Friday, August 31, 2012

Snapshot Book Review: 50 Shades of Gray

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I am truly embarrassed for anyone who liked this book. I am also embarrassed for anyone I see reading it in public. And I am most embarrassed to know that my father (who lent me his copy) will be reading this book. In the same way you don't want to think about your parents having sex, you don't want to think about your parents reading about sex. Even terribly repetitive, completely unrealistic sex.

Rather than trying to explain how much I hated this book--which would involve me going off on a linguistic rant about poor writing style; elementary word choice; flat, static, completely unbelievable characters; and the most predictable plot line of any romance, ever--I think I will merely offer some of the lines that made me want to rip my eyeballs out of their sockets. As an English major, avid reader, and merely literate person, I am horrified that these phrases are making this author and publisher money:

--My heartbeat has picked up, and my medulla oblongata has neglected to fire any synapses to make me breathe. Pretty sexy stuff, with the medulla oblongata getting all frazzled. I wonder if even half of her readers even know where that organ is in the body....

--Boy he's angry. He grabs my hand and leads me back into the apartment and straight into my bedroom . . . no passing go. Since when does BDSM involve playing Monopoly? Actually the scene might have actually been more interesting if they had played Monopoly.

--Holy Moses, he's all mine to play with, and suddenly it's Christmas.At least she stuck to biblical references in this sentence, although I can't for the life of me determine why she's thinking about Moses and Christmas when she usually is thinking "f*ck* and "holy crap."

--F*ck, this is sexier than the toothbrush. Sorry, but brushing your teeth with a guy's toothbrush is not sexy. It just isn't.

Have Marco call me, it's shit or bust time. No CEO of any company would ever say this. After all, wouldn't "shit" and "bust" be more like companion, not opposites?

--"Ana, baby!" he cries, and it's a wild invocation, stirring and touching the depths of my soul. Realistically speaking, you have to touch something to stir it. And I don't think this is a very wild invocation, seeing as he's already said it at least 20 times in the first 3/4 of the book.

Another thing that drove me completely bonkers as I slogged through the book: in writing 101, probably back in high school or even junior high, you learn that most lines of dialogue do not need to be qualified with anything other than the simple word "said". If you have constructed the scene well and your reader has a sense of the characters, you should draw more attention to what they're saying and less to how they say it. The reader will understand how the character is saying their line, because the reader should already know how that character feels. James, however, insists on qualifying every instance of speech in the entire book. Her characters murmur, hiss, shout, cry, blaze, beam, and--the most common of all--whisper their dialogue. Never can they just talk.

I could go on and on, but I'll finish this up by saying that if I ever meet Anastasia's subconscious or inner goddess, I'll probably strangle it death. Only then would I venture to read the next book in this trilogy, because only then could I be assured neither would show up to torment me again with their trite, cheesy selves.

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Anonymous said...

I thought the book was SO disguisting that I decided NOT to finish reading it.

Anonymous said...

I thought the book was SO disguisting that I decided NOT to finish reading it.

Allison Goldstein said...

Well now I want to know who this is. . . . Email me!