Welcome to a new series of guest posts about 50 Shades of Grey. by Pearse Anderson, a friend of mine who has subjected himself to the burrden of reading 50 Shades to try and understand it. Hope you enjoy.
For a while I’ve been complaining about Fifty Shades of Grey.
“It’s a disgusting example of unsafe sex glittered up to look like erotica,” I told a fellow student at my school after she started to read it with her mother and swim coach (Why???).
“The book, based off of Twilight, has a similar unhealthy relationship people are confusing for drama,” I told writing friends. I’ve only heard this from online articles and analysis.
I’ve been told I can’t make these claims because I haven’t read the book. I’ve been thinking about doing a IHS Tattler article on the recent movie controversy, so I decided to do my research. I decided to read Fifty Shades of Grey. I am on the tenth page.
And holy shit is it the worst thing I have ever read since critiquing my friend’s writing. One very important lesson Jeff VanderMeer taught me was to never repeat anything if it can be helped.
“Mrs. Clayton is pleased to see me.
‘I’m real pleased to see you.'” – page 7.
The protagonist thinks the same four thoughts for the first ten pages worded slightly differently or not at all. This makes her seem like a robot with a limited vocabulary instead of a character.
The book infodumps character’s physical descriptions as softly and smartly as a bear shitting.The first scene of the book could be told in flashbacks. It’s written horribly as is–the first two lines being: “I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. Damn my hair – it just won’t behave, and damn Katherine Kavanagh for being ill and subjecting me to this ordeal.” Every set piece and character seems cookie-cutter. E.L. James could’ve thrown in a metaphor or two, perhaps some figurative language, but no. She went with the route with sentences like: “Then, for some reason, I glance up…and find myself locked in the bold gray gaze of Christain Grey who’s standing at the counter, staring at me intently…‘It’s a pleasure to see you again, Miss Steele.’ His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel… or something” (9).
What the fuck?
I’m continuing to read. This is hilariously bad. I will try my hardest to give the book fair judgement, especially when it comes to relationships. I have a feeling the “romance” will be a checklist case of sexual abuse.
Pearse Anderson is a writer, photographer, and journalist for the Tattler, in Ithaca NY. The chapters of his novel-in-progress can be found at tinyurl.com/themapmakerI and tinyurl.com/theblindstagII . He can be found on Instagram here.