Simon's Bookcase

Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey: E.L. James, August 28—September 14, 2012

Rating: ♦◊◊◊◊

Fifty Shades of Grey is the most appalling, dull, poorly written, over hyped drivel I have had the misfortune to read.

Clever, innocent student Ana(stasia) meets rich, successful Christian (Fifty Shades of) Grey and after a prolonged period of dancing about the issue, gets together with him despite his BDSM tendencies in some confusing, undefined sort of relationship. Continual angst about the viability of the relationship until the end of the book.

All the while, Anastasia’s flatmate Kate is merrily banging Christian’s brother into next week. Oh, what a small world.

Anastasia, as a lead character, is like a flat tyre as selling feature for a car. Necessary, functional, not designed for pleasure and when they go flat – utterly useless. The wittering woman is possibly the most annoying female lead in history. Her (crap/double crap/triple crap) ramblings are monotonous, repetitive and inane. She also apparently owns no clothes of her own.

Worse than Anastasia is Anastasia’s subconscious, apparently a character in her own right who dances, beckons, grins, frowns, sambas and other numerous forms of dancing, and eats grapes. Exactly why James thought it would be advantageous to describe Anastasia’s feelings in terms of the behaviour of a schizophrenic shoulder angel is beyond me.

Suffice to say, I wanted to smack Anastasia with the nearest belt too, mostly out of irritation.

Christian Grey (or Fifty Shades as Anastasia inexplicably decides to call him) is equally unfathomable. It escapes me how anyone can fall in love with such a flat, two-dimensional, cold and impersonal character. Though, it also escapes me how he has managed to build a multi “zillion” dollar empire and successfully runs the business without ever actually going to the office or doing any actual work. Yet somehow, he has managed it.

The initial will-they/won’t-they is entirely undermined by the very premise of the book. Of course they will. Thereafter, “negotiations” commence as to how the Sub/Dom relationship will work. We are treated to reading the necessary contract not once, not twice, but three pigging times. Could James not have written “the contract” subsequently? And – just an aside – but who changes the subject line every time they reply to an email? That was very irritating.

Built around the sex scenes, the so-called erotic fiction is about as erotic as throwing a pickled onion down the toilet and watching it decompose over a period of several weeks. Odd disgusting quirk aside, every encounter was pretty much the same which made them very boring very quickly. But congratulations to the author on mastering the art of copy-and-pasting.

The mixed metaphors, inconsistencies and general diabolical writing (in present tense, though nobody knows why) continue for a long, drawn-out period of time until the ending finally arrives, rushed into about two pages. Having bored us to tears on the quandaries Anastasia was facing, James sells us short with a burp of a dénouement.

Anastasia and Christian may have been frequently satisfied during the course of the book, but as readers the climax was more than a little disappointing.

  • Thanks to Andrea Kelly for the recommendation
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One comment on “Fifty Shades of Grey

  1. Pingback: The Hunger Games | Simon Taylor: Reflections and Reactions

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2012 by in 1 star and tagged .

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