My Final Word On Fifty Shades
September 7, 2012
By: Caitlin Ripley
I was very disappointed to find myself recently reading a piece of Twilight Fan Fiction that has become rather popular. You may have heard of it: ‘50 Shades of Grey’ ring any bells? I am sure like me you are fed up of everyone talking about it, but here is my say.
The book came with mixed reviews, from gripping to downright trash, so I was at first curious. My first experience of it was my inner child reading out certain extracts (you all know the bits I’m talking about) to the laughter of my friends and the embarrassment of the book’s owner. Oh my! What a reaction. But still my curiosity wanted to know what the story was which surrounded these rather explicit pages. How did this happen?
I borrowed a copy from my step mum, who in turn had borrowed it from a friend (we weren’t going to be seen with it in public!) and started from the beginning. Here I found the first similarity with Twilight: the first chapter was almost as dull, uninspiring and difficult to get past. In fact the only thing that kept me going was that I was laughing out loud so much; not because of the story, but because of the writing. I hate to say it, but yes it was that bad. And I don’t exactly read quality literature at the best of times.
A few painful chapters later, the infamous parts began: the sex. Now, I have to say here, I’ve seen the world, I’ve had some experience and I found a few inaccuracies. In fact I could easily believe it if the author had never lost her virginity, given how unbelievable that experience is for the female protagonist (she is in no way a heroine). ‘Pleasantly sore’ isn’t a feeling most people encounter at this stage. Additionally, if anyone can find me a man who recovers as quickly as Mr Grey, please can you give him my number? The sex scenes are as fantastical as Lord of the Rings. Well, nearly.
There are parts of the text that don’t follow: Ana saying she hasn’t done something she did the page before in the last sex scene, that sort of thing. I can’t be specific, that would mean going through the embarrassment of getting another copy and reading it. And there is a lot of repetition too; there are only so many times you can giggle over Ana’s inner goddess saying oh my and her referral to his ‘considerable length’, before you start to think ‘just get a thesaurus or ask a twelve year old boy: they know plenty of different words for penis’.
I’m not going to have a feminist rant, the internet has enough reviews of that direction. I just want to say that 50 Shades of Grey is not as my grandmother tried to persuade me: ‘a beautiful love story’, but a badly written, inaccurate, waste of paper and how it has gained number one position in book charts of multiple countries is beyond me. I know as I am not an author and in fact this review is very badly written I cannot complain about the writing in 50 Shades, but I’m working on it!
In all girls and boys, if you would like to read some erotica, I suggest you stick to something more imaginative, slightly more realistic and generally better written. Try Jilly Cooper and Jackie Collins.