Note: This post was originally written in 2012 when I first subjected myself to this book (talk about Masochism!). In “honor” of the movie’s recent release, I am reposting this post. I only read the first book at the conclusion of which I had zero desire to read the other two. I’m thinking I will go see the movie, however. Which is sad. 😦
**DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU WANT TO READ FIFTY SHADES OF GREY AND BE SURPRISED BY THE STORY LINE. I AM GIVING IT AWAY, PEOPLE. Sort of.**
I have a headache. Either from the flying bug repellent that someone just sprayed and is now wafting through the open door, or from reading words that pierced my brain like so many non-acupuncture needles, or rolling my eyes at every other sentence. Or all of the above.
Fifty Shades of Grey, which I am about half way through, is surface material. But not good surface material like frosting on a giant cupcake that is meant only for you. It’s surface in the sense that it skims across the black-top of an empty parking lot with no people or even any litter to make it more interesting. I’m fine with the frosting-like surface that novels can have. I DEVOUR some of them like a cupcake that is meant only for me.
Basically Fifty Shades is a study in adjectives. If you’re looking for the many ways to describe eyes in particular, then this is your go-to book!
The “heroine”(???), Anastasia Steele, is so prone to blushing and biting her lower lip that at the end of the series I imagine she will have self-inflicted permanent rosacea topped off with a giant lip scab.
And the “Hero”(???), his name is Christian Grey, is an uber wealthy businessman and CEO of Grey industries or some crap. This surname of GREY is not to be confused with Christian’s GRAY eyes which spend of lot of time glancing, piercing, and smoldering. There was one line, let’s see if I can remember it:
“… his gaze was a smoldering molten gray.”
Yes. Really. Smoldering AND molten. Who knew such eyes existed?
Although, I have to say, Christian Grey sounds kind of hot, even though he is fictional. I like a man who wears white linen shirts, blue jeans, has adorable bed-head, drives fast cars, and has a really big….. helicopter. He’s a freak though, with his sadistic Dorian Grey (Gray?) persona hidden in the closet or the Red Room of Pain. Oooooh! Titillating. Yawn.
I did feel for Miss Steele, though. At twenty-one years old she chooses to lose her virginity to Mr. Grey, a man whose moods she cannot read, whom she describes as mercurial, who is one man at one moment and another the next. Being with a man like that is Effing exhausting, constantly trying to decipher what is really going on, feeling like you are responsible for his mood swings, all while being sucked in by his charm and delicious physical embrace. Even though it’s fiction, I felt bad for her knowing the hell she was going to have to go through bound to someone like that. Not that I’ve been there or anything… mmmm-hmmm.
The insult to my headache injury is that the “erotic” parts weren’t even that interesting. I’m assuming this book reached it’s #1 NY Times best-selling status from the erotic bits, not from the over abundance of “smoldering” and “molten”. So when the erotic episodes fail to move me, that puts me in the minority category, which is where I would rather be in this instance.
I haven’t reached the part yet when, I’m assuming, Anastasia agrees to sign the long legal document reprinted in the book, that will open the door to a world of S and M delights. But since that’s not really my thing, my hopes are not high for a rousing conclusion. All in all, an unsatisfying erotic romp, for this jaded lady. The whole thing elicits a big grey (gray?) Meh.
Part of me feels guilty for bashing this book. I mean Ms. James wrote a popular novel, a steamy, runaway bestseller that is not literature, but it was something she believed in enough to see through to become a trilogy. It will be made into a movie, she will make lots of money. Could I have written it? Sure. And in some ways I already did at age sixteen, when for 20 some pages, I waxed romantic about a teen romance on a Greek Island, but more romantica than erotica. Would I write one of these money making books now? No. Because I only do it for love, not money. Riiiight.
Stay tuned to hear more about The Lip Biter and Mr. Smoldering Molten. Yes, I will finish the book, but first I’m-ah git me some more Advil fer the pain.