Thursday, 28 June 2012

50 Shades of Grey

OK, OK, the world and (particularly) his wife has got their M&S cotton thongs in a right old tizzy about this book, right? WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

I freely admit, shamefully, that I am an utter sheep and downloaded this 'book' onto my kindle like so many others to see what all the fuss was about. I didn't *need* to do such a thing but I did. Reams and reams of people have written about it, (including some of my blogging friends) and I felt compelled to write this. I wouldn't call it a review, more a scathing attack on life, the universe and everything. I appreciate some people have read this tome and have derived great enjoyment from it - it has sold trillions of copies to be fair - and fair play to those who have/are deriving some enjoyment from it - but to say that it's not for me, would be an understatement akin to saying that I am a bit old to make a career as a Miley Cyrus lookalike.

What was I expecting when I read this? Well, a bit of a chuckle I guess - a bit of a guilty pleasure like the Jackie Collins books I used to sneak into my holiday suitcases as a teenager. It's so bad, however, that it's not even given me a chuckle or a little 'frisson'. What it has exposed is that anyone can make a career as a writer. You don't need good writing skills, sensitive prose, good character analysis - just write some sex scenes and you too could be a billionaire. (I'm taking Jackie Collins out of the equation because she has been successful and her books are entertaining IMHO)... Fair play right? Er, actually, no. There are so many good writers out there who struggle to get published, who are writing intelligent things but not achieving any success - it kind of sticks in the craw. Yes, I accept that there is a market for 'Mummy Porn' (and whoever created that phraseology needs to be shot), but why can't Mummy Porn be well written and intelligent? Nobody uses the phrase 'Holy Cow' apart from Batman (thanks to Sarah Miles for quoting me on that one and also for giving me the inspiration/idea to write this piece).

I also totally appreciate that by writing about this work I am contributing to the hype. Irony is not lost on me dear readers.

I'm not a prude, I love swearing and sex isn't something that we should talk about in muffled tones like 9 year olds but is this tosh really liberating? Are women really rushing home to hump their partners after reading this? REALLY?????? Didn't you want to hump him/her before this? Perhaps I am taking this all too seriously - who knows.....

I've paraphrased a section of the text here.. (Don't sue me, it's just my interpretation):

'Holy Cow' shrieked Anastasia as Christian plunged his member into her gaping, wanting orifice. Gently clamping the handcuffs onto her wrist, Ana let out a shriek of pain and a giggle... 'Ooooh isn't it lovely being handcuffed like this?' she mused acutely. 'Holy Crap, I didn't wax yesterday, I'm such a goof'...
Afterwards they sat and ate a cheese sandwich and she agreed to be whipped whilst watching Judge Judy.
'Stop biting your lip Miss Steele'
'OK Sir'
*continues for several hundred pages*

COME ON. That is not erotic. That is a fucked up bloke who has no respect for women and despite his wealth and apparent good looks, the only way he can get his end away is to insist on total submission.


Anyway, I had best sign out now as I've got to dust hubby's nipple tassels and make his dinner.......


  1. Agreed - I'll confess that I've just finished book 2 and will be reading book 3. Same as Twilight, dreadful writing, awful people but I still read them even though at the end I wanted the vampire baby to rip it's way out and slaughter everyone.
    I guess it's too much to hope for a vampire baby at the end of Fifty Shades.
    Anyway, my problems with this particular trilogy, ignoring the dreadful writing and appalling dialogue are -

    so any woman can change any man, no matter what his tastes, behaviour, fetishes just with the power of love and lots of vanilla sex. Obviously it helps if you're a virgin.

    Did women's lib not happen in this universe?

    No one with these particular turn-ons is suddenly going to stop and be happy with vanilla sex. Not just stop stop. No. Wouldn't happen and I'm speaking from experience here.

    Ana, like Bella is just such a pathetic sap. Christian, like Edward, is also a great pink-shirt wearing wuss. For God's sake, give them some gumption.

    Women are reading this because it's made it socially acceptable to read Mummy Porn. Most women would prefer something a LOT more erotic and frankly, a lot more pain and definitely some reciprocal slapping. Women are perverts too and that is perfectly natural - we all read Jackie Collins under the duvet, and Jacqueline Susann and Shirley Conran and sneakily we've read husbands/boyfriends porn mags to get ourselves off. Sometimes not so sneakily.

    Now that technology allows us to access porn so much easier, it's not as fun. There's websites out there with proper eroticism such as but it's not the same if you're clutching your iPhone or Kindle under the duvet.

    Maybe the one thing Fifty Shades might do is create a tumescent surge of proper women's porn for us to read. Although I'm somewhat ambivalent to this as I think we're rapidly becoming immune to what shocks us and that is what takes away the illlicitness. Ten years ago, two women kissing was shocking and now you can't get away from bloody lezzers so that's not a turn on anymore. It's all vanilla now.

    My final point is that despite all the nudge nudge stuff towards the pervy sex, it doesn't happen very much! Ana has supposedly converted Mr Grey to preferring the Haagen Dazs vanilla, admittedly with real vanilla seeds instead of the full on Ben & Jerry's double chocolate, caramel chunks, raspberry pieces with that full on molten, liquid core and THAT'S WHAT WE WANT DAMMIT.

    1. I forgot the 'convenience' of her being a virgin.... *rolls eyes to infinity*

      Yup, agree with all you've said there...

      I can't be assed with books 2 or 3 but will be intrigued to see if they get any better - I suspect not;-))))