I read this crap. Admittedly I only got through the first book, and was somewhat appalled to find out that there were more of them – it makes one lament for the sorry state of the publishing industry if crud like this can get printed once, let alone a series. Mostly I read it because a young friend of mine had read them and said they were ‘good’. I read the first book and felt it was anything but – the characters were wooden and un-engaging, the narrative was dull and predictable and the writing?!? OMFG… it read like it was written by and for fifteen year olds. It was fucking painful to get through, a seriously fucking painful three hours or so. Maybe that is just what happens to you when you spend your time reading and studying classic literature? I don’t know. But E.L.James is no Henry James, (not that I’ve ever enjoyed Henry James… but that’s enough story).
There’s been a lot of talk in the media at various points about this 50 Shades of Grey crap not being representative of the BDSM community and rather that it has all the hallmarks of a sensationalised and sexualised domestic abuse situation – to which I have sort of thought ‘Oh yeah, wind your head in. It’s just unadulterated crap – not even remotely erotic, doesn’t have any similarities with BDSM relationships, but hardly depicts sexual or domestic abuse’… and I have a feeling that I came to this conclusion based on my complete lack of empathy for the characters of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Anastasia Steele is depicted as dull, listless, clueless, two dimensional and well, insipid. Christian Grey is comes across as though the author wanted him to be commanding, domineering and strong and masterful… but instead just reads like a big bored wanna be, monied up prat. who misses the mark. I’ve heard the book described as ‘steamy, erotic,and filled with sexual tension’, which just makes me sad really. If that shit is steamy, you need to take a serious look at your love life.
But I’m getting off point… abusive. People have said the relationship depicted in 50 Shades of Grey is abusive, and my complete inability (and lack of desire) to empathise with the characters led me to dismiss these claims out of hand. Until I saw these:
Some fans will say that these quotes can’t be taken in isolation an are out of context, which is why they read like domestic abuse slogans – but in all honesty that’s just not true. This is how E.L. James wrote this Grey character, this is how he interacts with Anastasia throughout the entire novel. Grey is abusing her, mentally, emotionally and (maybe) physically… but prior to seeing it spelled out like this in black and white mocked up movie posters – the characters were so poorly written that I never gave a shit enough about the characters to see it.
So what does it matter really at this point? Well, while we have to live with the fact that publishers are constantly handing us tripe these days and selling it to us as though it’s caviar… unfortunately, many people don’t analyse what they’re consuming and don’t see these things for what they are. There are many, many, thousands – hundreds of thousands – of people who have read this particular tripe… and now I am wondering, how many of them are impressionable young teenage girls? :/