Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book Review: 50 Shades of Grey.

I'm not going to give you a traditional review of this book (I'll do a little one at the end), and I'm not going to go down the hilarious taking-the-mick/parody route that has been done so much better than I ever could (Kitty Catastrophe and Karen, to name my favourites). I'm just going to get a few little things off my heaving bosom. Sorry - my chest. It's infecting me already.


The back cover: 

Romantic, liberating and totally addictive, this is a novel that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews the successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind - until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.

Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.

But Grey is tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Grey keeps hidden away from public view...

It doesn't sound so bad on the back, does it? I actually read the synopsis of this a while back on Amazon when they were running their 2 for 7 deal on paperbacks, and skipped it over in favour of Susan Hill's The Woman in Black. I later succumbed to all the hype and bought it in Tesco for around e7. I can honestly say, that this is without a shadow of a doubt, the worst book I have ever, EVER read, and I have been reading since I was three years old. 

Firstly, as you're all probably aware (or maybe not), this started life as a Twilight fanfic called... eh... Master of the Universe. You can read all about that HERE, where they do a couple of nifty comparisons between the two. Are we all picturing He-Man now? Yes? Good.

I don't know how it was published in its current form. The writing is so juvenile, it's actually hilarious. E.L. James writes as if she's just discovered the existence of  metaphors and similes. "She has her teeth in a book". "He's all muscles and shoulders in his t-shirt". "His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel". I burst out laughing several times while reading it. Also, I'd like someone to tell me what "sandles" are (page 428). Bad editor. BAD. 

What I want to know is, why has the world gone 50 Shades mad?! Apparently, Virgin Atlantic will now be providing an audio copy of the book for their passengers to "enjoy". You can read the article in Cosmopolitan here. I'd like you to read, in particular, this quote from Virgin Atlantic's head of PR Fay Burgin:

"We want to give our female passengers the chance to enjoy the book in an intimate way, away from prying eyes. Of course, we can't promise to spare any blushes and can't be held responsible for any risque* behaviour that listening to the recording inspires."

Are you serious, Fay Burgin? Have you read the book? The only risque behaviour that could possibly be a result of reading this book "in an intimate way" is for someone to have an episode of the  Gerard Depardieu kind from laughing.

I'm interested, also, as to what you picture when you think of Christian Grey. For me, it's now a mash-up of He-Man, Winnie the Pooh (thanks Kitty) and this ungodly creature:

Why have women started declaring Christian Grey as "The Ultimate Man"?! What's so great about a moody prick who likes to control stupid girls? Is this what women want, a brutish bully that throws money at them and makes them feel like shit? Oh, but it's okay, is it, to want to hurt someone every time you look at them, as long as he leaves painkillers? There's nothing sexy about Christian Grey, he's a domineering asshole, yet women are gaga over this fictional idiot. He also appears to have fingers the length of bananas. Or something equally as long and impressive. Are there any Buffy fans among us? Remember the episode Hush? Remember "The Gentlemen"? That.

Type "laters baby" (worst catchphrase EVER) into eBay or Etsy and marvel at the bucketloads of cushions, rings, handcuffs, posters and other various objects emblazoned with that stupid saying. It's ridiculous. I do quite like the cake though. I could eat that cake, even if his lips are a little weird. 

Throughout the book, Ana blushes so much that someone should really send her the No.7 Rosy Tone Colour Control, and bites her lip so much that I imagine by the end of the third book in the trilogy, she'll look like this:

Ana's attitude to technology is also amazingly stupid - she refers to the laptop on more than one occasion as "the mean machine". Ana, it's a Macbook, not Optimus Prime. I won't mention her Inner Goddess for fear of exploding with rage, but I'll say this: Lizzie McGuire has a lot to answer for.

To finish up this incredibly jumbled post, I'm going to leave you with three things. One, the funniest line in the entire book. This is thought by Ana as she's tying her hair up in pigtails:

" The more girly I look, perhaps the safer I'll be from Bluebeard."

Two:  E.L. James, not content with the mysterious weirdo Christian's skeletons and his tortured past, introduces a mysterious 'Situation' to deal with towards the end of the book. Nothing makes me want to rush out and spend another 7 quid like a mysterious Situation.

And finally, Three: My actual review of the story.

50 Shades in 50 Words
Holy Cow. Hips. Long Fingers. Go. Stay. Inner Goddess. Yes.
No. Go. Stay. Cry. Bite Lip. Stay. Go. Taciturn. Breathe.
Holy Cow. Bite Lip. Stay. Go. Long Fingers. Yes. No.
Bite Lip. Cry. Holy Cow. Situation. Inner Goddess. No. Yes.
Bite Lip. Don't. Do. Cry. Long Fingers. Ow. Cry. Cry. 

I don't know how I finished it, but I did. It fried my brain - probably at the base of my medulla oblongata near where my subconscious dwells.

Please don't waste your money. Get a Harlequin Blaze. Or a comic.

S xx

*My keyboard shortcuts aren't working. Imagine there's a fada on the "e". 


  1. Kudos on actually reading it. I am a huge book fan and I couldn't even read the back of the book. I can put up with the shite story like and the woeful characters but bad writing just makes me want to cry!

  2. The writing was atrocious. By the time I got to 'sandles' I wanted to cry.x

  3. it's so so so so bad but I'm ashamed to say I devoured the books. By the end of the 3rd one I was aghast at how the books got famous but up until then they kinda kept me hooked. As a teenager I read Mills and boons, shirley conran etc and this book would never have passed a Mills and boons editor!

  4. Lol you forgot OH MY *AND REPEAT* crying with the laughter here! I read it and it is awful but I will admit I want to read the other two *hangs head in shame* but if you want a bit of proper raunchiness pick up a Jilly Cooper!

  5. Karie I still read Mills & Boon and I thought that was hilarious, several times I thought there was NO way that they would've published this! Chantelle I don't know how I forgot 'Oh My' - through in a few 'Katherine Kavanaghs' and 'I feel it THERE' as well, it was just hilarious! Jilly Cooper scares me, I think it's the book covers... ;-) xx

  6. Throw, not through, I can't even spell anymore.

  7. Thanks for the review, I won't be wasting a penny on it! :P

  8. I've been resisting reading any of it, but I almost want to now, just to read about the mysterious Situation!! Is there a sultry Sookie too?

  9. Hehe, I loved your review! It's not really my kind of book (I love my crime fiction and thrillers) but all the hype did get me having a peek in Tesco. I wasn't blown away, and your review reaffirms in my mind that I don't need to waste money on it! xx

  10. haha.. great review! made me really laugh!think will give it a miss.. I have heard of this book on twitter and facebook, its also titled as porn for girls :) x Marina

  11. @Enigma It's terrible! Hilarious, but terrible!
    @Sarah No Sookies, but there is a fiesty best friend who is always referred to by her full name. Does that count?
    @Emma I felt really daft for buying it, I hid it under the cabbage in Tesco when I stuck it in the trolley :D
    @Marina Glad you enjoyed it! I know, 'Girl Porn' or 'Mummy Porn' - it's BAD porn!


  12. Laughing my head off here, brilliant post! :)

    After two attempts at reading it, I finally gave up at page 20. Sweet Jesus, the writing is woeful. I saw someone describe it as 'erotica Ann and Barry style' and they're bloody spot on!

    There's no flippin' escaping it either...it's everywhere!.

    One woman, on the bus, felt the need to inform me that she was reading it on her Kindle. What's that about?! And just the other day a guy told me that I was the first woman he'd seen in three weeks, reading on a bus, that didn't have this book.

    *Le sigh!*

    The piss take posts have still been keeping me entertained, nonetheless, though ;)

    1. I know, people are proud that they're reading it? My sister-in-law came in with it a few weeks ago whispering "look what I got" - it's not drugs!!!!! x

  13. absolutely loved this review!! I know now for sure i definately do not want to read it! such a funny review, thanks so much! also I am one of the biggest Buffy fans ever and the Gentlemen freaked the living daylights out of me!! brilliant episode :)

    1. The Gentlemen are definitely the scariest bad guys EVER ;-) Glad you enjoyed it x

  14. I've been keeping away from this book. I'm tempted to try it, just like I read Twilight for that reason, but I refuse to buy the book and I do not want to order it from the library (mortification station!)

    1. I wouldn't order it either, but I'll certainly be donating it to the library!x

  15. Brilliant review, love all the comparisons!!! Sadly just when you thought people were moving away from trashy TV out comes a novel to rival the likes of The Only Way is Essex, Kardashians etc.

    I embarrassed to admit I bought all three books as a deal offer on my IPad device (so no hiding it under the cabbage :)) for under £10 and let me tell you it gets WORSE! The 2nd and 3rd book make the first one look good! I only bought it because it was recommended by a popular blogger whose previous recommendations were spot on (The Help, Room). You live and learn!

    1. Parveen I bought the second book! I had a 6 euro voucher for Tesco so the book cost 95 cent. I got twenty pages in and when I realised that she was still wearing someone else's dress I gave it away! The series really is dire, I don't watch much of the trashy TV stuff but I've seen Kendra and it looks Oscar worthy next to this :)

  16. Haha I loved this review, I have shamefully just started the 2nd book as I feel the need to read it all to have a full opinion because boy oh boy do I have one.

    Since when is it ok for a woman to become controlled by a man because he has muscles and money?? I mean sure most women want the muscles and money but at the price of my own dignity, sanity and pride?! No thank you!

    I'm now following your blog based on this review (and the lush red nails you did for make up savvy's challenge today, which is how i found your blog!)



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