I’m about three-fourths of the way done with Fifty Shades of This Is Easily the Worst Thing I’ve Ever Read, and in the interest of maintaining my sanity through the rest of it, I thought I would take a break to share my thoughts on it so far.
Thought #1: This book sucks.
Thought #2: I mean, really, really sucks. Like, spectacularly, ludicrously, bafflingly sucks.
Thought #3: Sucks.
THINGS THAT SUCK ABOUT THIS BOOK:
1. The Writing
“My heartbeat has picked up, and my medulla oblongata has neglected to fire any synapses to make me breathe.”
On a similar note, I feel that someone needs to inform Ms. E.L. James that normal human beings do not invoke each other’s names in every single sentence they speak to one another.
“Christian, I would like to say something to you.”
“What is it, Anastasia?”
“Well, Christian, I’m just so clumsy and beautiful and have three different attractive men vying for my attention, Christian, but I really feel that you, Christian, are actually the one for me, Anastasia, which is my name, just as Christian is yours.”
“Oh, Anastasia, that is correct, for Christian is indeed my name, and also my eyes are gray, and my name is Grey, and isn’t that interesting?”
“Oh, yes, Christian, yes! Ever so interesting, Christian! And my last name is Steele, which is like steel, which is gray!”
“Zomg, Anastasia, that’s astounding!”
“ISN’T IT, CHRISTIAN?”
2. The relationship
I’ve heard many a case defending Christian Grey because tragic backstory + rich and handsome = do whatever you want to women and still be considered a masculine ideal. But it does have to be said, I feel, that this is one messed up dude, and anyone out there (male or female) who is raising him up as something to aspire to needs to wake up and smell the restraining order. (Though I imagine restraining orders wouldn’t have any particular smell, aside perhaps from the scent of the paper they’re printed on, or possibly the ink. But you get the idea.)
Let’s revisit a particularly memorable exchange from the book, which occurs after Christian has stalked Ana, tracked her via her phone’s GPS, sold her car and exchanged it with one he feels is more suitable for her, freaked out when she didn’t answer his emails immediately, raged with jealousy over her associating with other men, sworn her to secrecy about their relationship (thus isolating her from family and friends), and drawn up a contract that not only discusses the sexual aspect of their relationship (which is by far the least disturbing thing in the book), but also requires her to wear what he wants, keep herself constantly “shaved and/or waxed,” and accept that she is now his “property.”
So, yes, after that, we find this gem:
“So why are you trying to change me?”
“I don’t want to change you. I’d like you to be courteous and to follow the set of rules I’ve given you and not defy me. Simple,” he says.
“But you want to punish me?”
“Yes, I do.”
“That’s what I don’t understand.”
He sighs and runs his hands through his hair again.
“It’s the way I’m made, Anastasia. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way.”
These are not the words of a dark, misunderstood hero who just happens to like bondage – this is a big ole flashing neon sign that screams, “DANGER, WILL ROBINSON. RUN THE HELL AWAY BEFORE THE CREEPY SERIAL KILLER MUSIC STARTS UP, ‘CUZ YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO ANY MINUTE NOW AND YOU DON’T WANT TO BE HERE WHEN IT DOES.”
Now, in the particular case of Christian and Ana, apparently everything turns out just gosh-golly great by the end of the series; this profoundly disturbed man is healed by the lovin’ of a good woman, and all is sunshine and rainbows. But I feel that the fans of Fifty Shades of This Book Is Seriously Awful need to remember that that is by far the least likely outcome to this sort of relationship. When one member of a couple demands total, unquestioning control over the other in all aspects of life, it generally doesn’t lead to anything good.
Also, for the record, I have no issue at all with the sexual aspect of their relationship – it’s everything else about it that disturbs the crap out of me.
Well, back to the book, then. Only 200-some pages to go…!