Wednesday, July 11, 2012

50 Shades of Grey

I went to the city last weekend and I saw K and C. We watched Spiderman and it was fun. But while we were waiting for the movie to start, C recommended this great book (she said it is). She added that it’s erotic and said that it’s a soft porn – as the people over the internet would call it. Then she gave K and me a copy of the trilogy. Yes a trilogy of that mommy porn soft porn. Apparently, it's been in the limelight since it was published last year and continues to be after Universal buys out the rights to make it a movie.

As I was reading the first book, I thought I glided over it, more like skimmed. But I read it. I just get that kind of feeling that I just skimmed the whole book though I didn’t. But here’s my review (if you can call it one) of it:

Point of view: The book is in the first person point of view and yes, most of you might have disagreed on that since it is very limited. In this kind of POV, readers will only see what the protagonist sees. Or he thought sees. That’s why it can be limited ONLY to how the protagonist perceives everything – including but not limited to other character’s emotions, tone of voice, actions, etc. And it feels like the author is really in sync with Anastasia Steele’s “inner goddess” as the words in her thought are used with the other character’s lines.

Characters: As much as I hate to break this news to all the women who's still waiting for their Christian Grey, he's not real and never will be. We all heard the billionaire, philanthropist, gorgeously sculptured body, and the dramatic handsome face. Yes, we all heard them. It’s close to Gary Stu actually except that in this story, Christian Grey is a sadist and wanted the BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism) relationship. And he’s not a millionaire, but a billionaire with a huge B like a bitch slapping you on both cheeks. He’s 27 and a billionaire. Sweet mother. Is he a Facebook founder or what? I would believe it if he’s Dustin Moskovitz. But he’s not. And in real word, you don’t get the title unless you’re in the IT side of business or some rich dad gave it to you. As for Anastasia Steele the virgin, she’s naïve, never drunk (I got drunk when I was 17!), too beautiful to believe it herself, and has a way of undermining herself in so many ways. More like Bella Swan. Oh wait, it is a Twilight inspired book! How could I forget? The other characters just float in and out of the story like they don’t really belong there. It’s like they’re living in this fantasy where only those two lovebirds are the only characters in the book.

Plot: The plot is slow and just ends quickly. There’s a quick introduction as to the background of the characters and more sex scenes ensues. It could have been good if not for the sexing-all-day-everyday that has happened in the story. But it’s an erotic book, it should have sex scene, right? RIGHT? Yes of course, but I believe that the erotic scenes in this particular story is just plain amateurish.

The first part of a plot is exposition which should introduced the main characters in a story. But since in this case there are only 2 main characters, well…  The rising action causes the immediate “turning point in the story” as this part should be where the protagonists makes a deciding factor which could ultimately dictates how the story will progress. But I just find it sooo long and so dragging that when I reached the point where Ana needs to decide her fate with the BDSM contract, I have already guessed what her decision will be. And NO, I don't think I was uncomfortable the whole time I was reading those books and in turn labeled it BORING as what Katie Rophie is saying.
Situation: When I thought that the situation of the story couldn’t get any worse, I bump into these orgasms achieved only in about five seconds. Aside from the fact the characters are brutally unrealistic, the situation’s increasingly laughable in every turn of page. And this oh-so-multibillionaire-god just falls for this naïve, inexperienced, college graduate virgin on their first meeting. Just like that. That’s so old news IMHO.

Wordings: And this comes with an ear splitting scream—yes I get it! Anastasia Steele ALWAYS flushed crimson, her inner goddess talks her out in every sexcounter they have doing backflips and other excruciatingly painful muscle spasm it could bear (or in everything that involves CG for that matter), her favorite expression is “oh my” with 67 of that in one single book and “crap” (which is around 98—including the “double” and “holy” AND “triple” craps she so fondly uses as alternatives), she “whispers” a response as Christian Grey “cocks his head on one side” with a “smirk” in almost every conversation they had! Is that even normal? Repetitive words is the first thing that a reader notices, any good writer knows that. You don’t want to be branded as a monotonous story teller. That’s Grammar and Composition 101 for goodness sake. Okay, maybe those can be exceptions as they are “unique” in this book or maybe Ana just wanted to be left alone with her expressions and for the book to be erotic, the “whispers” been inserted here and there but hell, sympathy was repeated 5 times. “Holy Moses!”Get me a Thesaurus, QUICK!

Humour: There is humor there—what, with the banter that they had during e-mails (it is kind of funny to me, I admit). And especially those times when Christian changes his e-mail signature such as Palm Twitching CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. And yeah, even that comes repetitive too but it’s funny. I find it funny. Ok, whatever. Another thing that makes me laugh as well was how redundant the words were to the point of hilarity (Gee, I’m being redundant here too. AM I? Yes, I am and my inner goddess approves with her pom poms up). And by the end of the third book, I was totally annoyed (YES I read it ALL just so I wouldn’t be judged by women worshipping James who’s probably shouting You-Have-Not-Read-The-Whole-Trilogy-Bitch-So-Back-The-Fuck-Off while reading this).

Others: Not sure where to put this but I believe AS is American. I swear I read the words bloody. Ha! This gets worse. But this is debatable considering AS is studying English literature and creative writing - which this book is hideously lacking.

But I guess, this book is much more okay than that of Anne Rice’s Claiming Beauty. Ugh, I dunno but I just hate the humiliation Beauty is experiencing. Sex slaves are shit. It’s repulsive. When people say that they like a BDSM relationship, I’m hoping inside that it’s not this kind of BDSM. I’m hoping that they are two consenting adults with more than just sex slave and all. I’m really HOPING that they are only having that BDSM thing within the chambers of their sanctuary and surely it doesn’t extend beyond that, does it? I shudder to think about Beauty in that book or real people for that matter. I’m in the 10th page of the book and I’m not sure I can read it further. It’s just nauseating to read. I almost puke! EEE.

Update: Yep, there's a teaser that you can see at the end of the third book which narrates the whole story in CG's point of view (as if the three books weren't enough of a torture already). I'll bet my appendix that his favorite expression will be - excuse my french -"fuck" and "shit." 

Laters, baby.
J x
Critic, 50 Shades of Grey Wonderland

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