It all started with the fuss and the fact that it became a best-seller. I tried and read a summary and wasn’t interested as there were a pile of books to finish. But then several women decided that the copies deserved to be burned. That was when I thought I had to read the book (oh yes, I have a thing for banned and/or burned books). So I searched through PirateBay and there it was.
If you haven’t heard of this book and wonder what is it with it, go and try to read what readers think of it here. Got the summary? Yes, it’s not for the faint-hearted or them who decide to keep their mind shut. Some people may not want to come forward admitting they’ve read the book, especially not from where I come from. Taboo. Inappropriate. Sinful.
Okay, so my two cents…
First, the book is very poorly written. Too many repeated words (really annoying), lack in diction, lack in creativity of describing, rigid flow of story… Well some people may not care and choose to just cut the chase and skip to the steamy parts. But, IMO, erotica is not porn. It plays with words to seduce, not moving pictures. It should be strong and beautiful enough to melt the readers instead of turning them off with the humdrum words and plot. So, yeah, erotica is not easy to write and E. L. James fails it.
Second, I can’t help but to hate Anastasia Steele’s character. The book insists that she’s one intelligent and naive girl. From where I see it, she’s a doormat. I mean… come on… *insert me slapping her with a large Trout* if she’s actually going to be pictured as a naive, innocent virgin… she should have a better background. She drinks alcohol, surrounded by men and swear too stinking much. If she really is intelligent and a bookworm, she should know better what to do with herself. She’s twenty-one going on twenty-two and has no clue what it feels like to be attracted until she meets Christian Grey? Right, Mrs. James, right. And what is it with her inner goddess and subconscious throughout the book? Is she some kind of Ally McBeal, perhaps? And that the whole story is just a comedy.
Christian Grey is probably what I like the most about the book -obviously- even though he doesn’t make sense. The reason why, is that I keep having Benedict-Cumberbatch-as-Sherlock-Holmes picture in him. Tall, lean, well-dressed with white linen shirt and flannel pants, very organized, a control freak… and I like the picture. That’s about it.
Several feminists burned the book and claimed the action as a support for the women who become victims of domestic violence. I don’t think the book suggests such thing. Yes it’s all about sado-masochism. But, then again, Ana isn’t forced into it. She consciously and willingly becomes a submissive. Enjoys her role, even. She is given loads of paper to read and understand before agreeing to the whole act. If she’s dumb and weak, that’s her problem. There are Grace and Mia to make the picture even. So, really, better to recycle the copies rather than burning them. I don’t mind seeing them turn to pulp. Yes, it could be harassing and humiliating to read, but nobody is forced to read it. Women are free to choose whether they want to know what the story is all about or not. They can read the reviews and summaries beforehand.
This is a book of fantasy. The wildest fantasy of E. L. James, perhaps. So actually, anything goes, supposedly. No matter how shitty, cheap, impossibly ridiculous it is. But now that it is out for sale and people need to pay to read the copies, it should be worthy enough to please the readers. She should have thought of that from the scratch and read a good deal of references. Claiming she wanted to write a book that people would fall in love with… *snort*
If there’s fanfiction, for this case I would gladly write a hater-fiction.