Yes, this is it. I read the trilogy and have lived to tell the tale. I have decided to document my survival just for the record.
The hype surrounding these books likening it to, “mommy porn,” is not what piqued my interest. No, it was the critics complaining about the bad writing. Seriously. I thought it would be a great example of how not to write when writing my book. I was right.
If you like to read books that don’t make you think (i.e. an easy-read) and you are not a perfectionist, then this trilogy is for you. If sex scenes makes you blush and wince at the same time, then steer clear. I do not blush (nor wince) easily when to comes to sex scenes, but horrible writing as seen in these books made me hit the floor, where I proceeded to pitch a fit. “Pitchin’ a fit,” is an acceptable term for rednecks. It’s where your eyes roll back into your head and drool streams from your bottom lip as you’re floppin’ around on the floor like a fish out of water. Yeah, that kind of fit.
I’ve read some fantastic literature during my lifetime and as you know by now, I seem to have 9 lives, so that adds up to a lot of literature. However, this wasn’t even close to being sub-par and I’m afraid that I’ve used up most of my lives, so whatever trouble I find myself into next, will probably wipe me out. Maybe I’ll be okay as long as I avoid carrying matches while walking down stairs. (See “Watch Out” post).
For those of you who have not heard of these books (or have been living under a rock), it’s about BDSM. That’s it. That’s the plot. Needless to say, the plot is lacking. And…the characters are weak. W-E-A-K, I tell ya!
Forget the fact that Anastasia Steele (the female protagonist) is a spineless, self-doubting, insecure, mousy, passive nincompoop with too much wiggle room in her brain and loses brain cells every time she opens her mouth. Also forget the fact that Christian Grey (the male protagonist) is a self-loathing, misogynistic asshole, who is bordering on abusive, and has a list of ex-subs longer than the hair that Donald Trump swirls around his head. What I couldn’t get past was the constant repetition by the author, E.L. James. Repetition in a “novel” is just a sign of laziness and lack of creativity.
Some of you might be thinking, “What the hell do you know about so-called literature?” While I do not claim to be an expert, I can show you a bill for my student loans that I accumulated earning my MA in Literature and Writing that allows me to lean more toward the side of “more than somewhat knowledgeable.” So there’s that. Also, I mean, really? These books are so horribly written, it would be impossible not to notice.
Anyway…where was I? Oh, yeah. Plot and repetition.
Like I said, the plot is weak. Oh, there is a crazy ex-sub of Christian’s threatening the relationship between him and Anastasia. There is Christian’s ex-dominatrix threatening the relationship between him and Anastasia. There is Anastasia’s friend from college, Jose, who threatens the relationship between her and Christian. There is Anastasia’s boss at the publishing firm who threatens the relationship between her and Christian. There is a car chase. There is sex. A lot of sex. Besides that, it seems that for the rest of the so-called plot, Christian is obsessed with making sure that Anastasia eats and controlling every aspect of her life…even outside of the infamous, “Playroom,” or as Anastasia refers to it as the, “Red Room of Pain.” For three books! And that, my dear readers, is why this book has been #1 for so long and has out-sold J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. It’s the sex. Sex sells. Plain and simple.
If you noticed in that previous paragraph, I provided a lot of repetition. On purpose. However, that doesn’t even compare to what E.L. James attempts to shove down our throats. I wish it were that simple and I wish I would have documented how many times the following was used throughout all three books:
Oh My, Crap (as in crap, double crap and triple crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. — not kidding), Jeez, Holy (shit, f*ck, hell, cow, moses…and crap), Gasp, Whoa, Murmur, Whispers, Eyes Darken, biting lips, rolling eyes, tilts or cocks his head, and sharp intake of breath.
Yep. Oh my, I wish I would have counted these words used over and over. Crap! But, whoa, that would have been too time consuming, making me gasp with a sharp intake of breath until my eyes darkened and I bit my lip as I cocked my head to one side. Holy shit, Jeez, I murmured with a whisper. /sarcasm
AND…for the love of all things holy, I was aching to hold Christian’s head in place. I swore he needed to see a Spine specialist, because he was constantly cocking his head to one side. The guy needed some serious neck support! He might have needed to see another specialist for that twitching palm or an ophthalmologist for his darkening eyes. (If you’ve read the book, then you know what I’m talking about). I’m sure those are all treatable conditions.
You also have to constantly deal with Anastasia’s “inner goddess” or “subconscious.” The inner goddess is a no good whore and really distracts from the story. Story? HAHA. Sorry. That’s all I’m going to say about that. I just can’t go there. I’m worn out just thinking about it.
As for the sex. Did I say there was a lot of sex? I don’t want to sound repetitious. Anyway, the first scene made me say, “Oh my,” but don’t worry, I didn’t repeat those two little words, because after that, all the sex scenes were the same. Only the location varied from time-to-time. It wouldn’t take me long to go through the details with you, but seriously, I don’t have the energy.
If you don’t believe me, then read for yourself. Consider it a warning though. You will lose brain cells and you can only blame yourself for the seconds/minutes/hours/ and days you lose while perusing the tomes. You can’t get those back!
NOTE: I wrote this so-called book review on Sunday, but had a few posts to get in before this one so this one got delayed a bit. Since then, Katie Couric had E.L. James on for an interview. Did anyone see it?
I’m about to eat my words, but here it goes. Okay, I actually kind of liked the author. She seemed nice even though she was extremely shy and admitted it. It was somewhat endearing, but I have to admit that I had trouble reconciling the author I was seeing on TV with the author that wrote these books. It was a challenge.
Katie Couric even mentioned that several critics slammed her Trilogy for its horrible writing. E.L. James’ response? “I wrote these books for me. I had no intention of anyone seeing them.”
Hmm…my bullshit meter went off the charts for a second after I heard that. She’s on the NT Times Best Seller’s List for a reason and that reason isn’t because she didn’t want anyone to read her writing.
I still stand behind my original review of these books, but I do have one — only one — regret: That I didn’t write them first!