FICTION COMES IN ALL FORMS, EVEN CRAPPY ONES.
I’d like to preface this by saying I’m in no position to critique anything anyone has written. Every style of written word has something to offer every walk of life. Stories bring us together, remind us that we’re human, and connect us on a global and spiritual scale unlike anything else (except maybe the Avengers. I mean, c’mon, did you SEE that movie?!)
For those of you with moral standards who may not have heard of the latest addition to the literary canon, 50 Shades of Grey is the latest erotic romance phenom written by E L James. Once again, my Googles tell me James is a fan-girl of the Twilight series, and wrote the book as homage to what she believes the protagonists of the popular series would be doing in their…err…spare time.
From a non-book-critique writer, I bring you my biggest grievances with 50 Shades of Grey:
1. The book is written in first-person, from the voice of protagonist Anastasia Steele. I’m going to let that simmer for you: Anastasia. Steele.
2. Anastasia can’t stop talking about her “inner goddess.” Apparently her inner goddess does things like “sit in a lotus position” and also “jumps up and down with cheerleader pom poms.” Apparently, Miss Steele’s inner goddess is very multi-faceted.
3. I’m halfway through the novel, and she’s used “medulla oblongata” three times. Writer’s note: I used to think the medulla oblongata was the hangy-ball in the back of one’s throat, which in the context of this book is REALLY funny. Alas, the main character continues to talk about the lower half of her brainstem. Why? Perhaps because this part of the brain in central to respitory function, and the author is alluding to the notion that without her male counterpart, much like her medulla oblongata, she cannot breathe. Perhaps she is just full of shit.
4. The book takes place in 2011, and Anastasia Steele calls going to the movies going to the “cinema.” If I was in college and asked someone to go to the cinema, I probably wouldn’t have an art collecting billionaire chasing after me. I’d probably be the weird girl who smells funny in the back of the Comp-100 class practicing lanyard weaving for summer camp.
To really drive the silliness of the language home, here are two of my favorite lines of the book (so far):
“IN THE BATHROOM, IT’S ALL HOT AND STEAMY.”
“I DIDN’T KNOW I COULD DREAM SEX. WAS IT SOMETHING I ATE?”
In all fairness, I’m not a wildly successful novelist. Obviously something about this book is connecting with audiences, and E L James’ success is something to behold. Does this book encourage women to embrace their sexuality? Maybe. Does it allow couples to talk about sex in a non-threatening atmosphere? I wouldn’t know. Is it grossly unimaginative? I’ll let you decide. For me, it’s 50 Shades of ridiculous inner dialogue amidst a silly plot. It’s also a damn fun read.
Agree with my thoughts? Share yours in the comment section below.