Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey...how gray indeed.

Basically; Sex sells, but there's not always a guarantee.

Please read on, but only if you have read yet or do not intend to at all. I would never intentionally want to spoil a book for anyone.

*Many spoilers

Just finished reading the Fifty Shade of Grey Trilogy. I did not like it. Let us go through why.

1. The author, E. L. James, started out as a fan fiction writer for the Twilight series.

Okay, so fan fiction is just that; fans writing stories that are more or less spin offs of a novel or character. I read that James was attempting to emulate Stephanie Meyer's, the author of the Twilight series, writing style. I was actually appalled upon hearing this. Meyer is the least accomplished writer of my very short lifetime. Her weak story line and flawed characters have just enough life for fans to cling on to. Yet, no real literary skill is required to create what is essentially a four volume role playing guide. Mediocre girl falls for ideal boy and cliched relationship scenarios ensue; fights, love triangles, parental disapproval, teen marriage, teen pregnancy, teen mom. Oh, and they're vampires, the current "cool thing". Okay, so I obviously detest the Twilight "books", but let me stop myself before I get started on Kristen Stewart's acting.
When I heard that James's role model was Meyer, I had very low standards from the start.

2. It really is not dirty.

I will admit it to anyone who wants to hear; I was all geared up to read a porn novel. The dirtier the better. Except, that this is not a dirty novel.
It is a love story and instead of the couple fighting about money or where to go on vacation they argue because he likes to tie girls up and she's a virgin. And they deal with it and, if after three installments of mundane, move on to be a happy ever after couple.

3. Okay, so there was sex but how could such a detailed account not have it.

Seriously, the book was a day to day synopsis of their lives. I wish I was exaggerating. I swear that I read about 500 pages of wake up-sex-argue about eating-drive to work-emails during work-fight due to miscommunication via email-tense car ride home-angry dinner-make up raunchy sex-profession of love-internal struggle-bed.

... You're welcome for that impeccably accurate summary.

4. For a unrealistic scenario, it is very mundane.

It is supposed to be a depiction of a radical relationship, right? It describes many long term relationships in that everyone argues, deal with it or move on, don't pick apart every detail. I expected a very taboo relationship where you wouldn't know whether it would end in her dying while shackled to a head board (morbid, sorry) or the same old happily ever after. About 100 pages into the first book, I knew what to expect. Really.

5. It really is not what is made out to be...

And what's that? It's not a dirty novel; it's a love story with a lot of sex in it. It's not a good love story; it has bits and pieces of elements that are supposedly supposed to make a good novel. Ah, but a quilt with holes in the seams does not a blanket make.

My least favorite thing about the entire series was the ill disguised attempt to shrewdly enclose some mystery. It felt to me as though James knew the book was not working so she worked in a hostage-ransom situation. It was almost comical; as if a page from the Law and Order: SVU script got photocopied into the middle of the book. Ridiculous attempt at literature.

Alright, alright, to each his own but this quite proves that everything has its own place. Elicit porn should remain just that and good romance mystery novels should be left to those who know them best. James Patterson, for one! Finally reading the 10th installment of the Woman's Murder Club series. I will definitely be writing a book review/story about this series an how I began reading them five years ago.

Cuddling up with a good book, ciao!

X Jill

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