…utter boredom. The book that critics and fans are raving about has rendered me catatonic, representing the many shades of boredom I didn’t know existed.
What E.L.James attempted to do was present love conquering all, including psychotic tendencies; what she actually did was create a repulsion towards these two characters who, let’s be honest, have more issues than can be solved by poor old Dr Finn and show how destructive people can be towards others.
I was completely fed up of hearing the term ‘fifty shades’ by the end of the book; the whole thing was horrifically repetitive (never again will I preface any exclamation with ‘holy’ – Ana Steele has filled my lifetime quota), both in language and in plot. With language, I was sick to death of Ana and James’ own pretences at being involved with high-class literature: the roller-coaster ride that was attempts at higher level language and the return to inane and irritating colloquialisms and euphemisms (‘my sex’ being a pet hate – it’s your VAGINA, just say the damn word, you are a college graduate with a supposedly high GPA). The constant references to a truly wonderful piece of literature, ‘Tess of the D’Ubervilles’ only heightened my fury: how dare these characters be compared to the rustic simplicity and heartbreak of Tess Durbeyfield, or the devilish desires of Alec. Tess is a wronged woman: Ana Steele is a woman who knowingly and stupidly allows herself to be beaten, degraded and debased for someone else’s pleasure, and then wonders why she is unhappy. She is no victim of circumstance; she is a silly little girl pretending to be worldly when she hasn’t a clue over how people work (FYI Ana: psychos cannot be fixed by silly little girls who pretend to see the light through the dark).
‘He loves me, he loves me not’ barely covers how dreary this was to read; it was a struggle to wade through the self-loathing of Ana Steele and the masochistic bully that is Mr Grey constantly deciding where to draw their final lines – and the fact that the ‘contract’ was eventually made redundant was even more infuriating – what on earth was the point of this whole charade of control and boundaries?! And where control was concerned, boy did I pick fault: here’s Christian, a man with a scarred past, suddenly barrelling through his multitude of issues which, allegedly, were only solved by his BDSM relationship with Mrs Robinson, suddenly deciding after a week that this girl who blundered into his life is The One and worth changing for. Unbelievable psychology at its best, ladies and gentleman.
And the ending…’quick, I must throw a cliffhanger in so that people feel compelled to read on!’ – FAIL. The abruptness of the break up, and the ‘situation’ that arose (snooze – Christian’s not done a day’s work in the whole novel, do we care about his business? He clearly doesn’t) just proved how poorly structure this was. Ana’s snap decision to abandon the principles she had established, of working through life with this man who loves nothing more than to see his woman beaten at his feet, showed the lack of coherence that was evident throughout the novel. It didn’t make sense: the whole novel had worked up to the point that Ana wanted this man no matter what (and mainly, it would seem, for his gorgeous exterior – god knows what her attitude would have been if Christian Grey had been a middle-aged average-looking bloke…but I digress…) and yet James effectively showed that it wasn’t worth reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, because everything that was slowly and agonisingly done was undone before you could say ‘Red Room of Pain’. Great, that’s two hours of my life I won’t be seeing again, thanks.
I think I’ve gone on enough. Frankly, it was Fifty Shades of Awfulness and Poor Writing in my opinion, and nothing will convince me to torture myself, for pleasure or pain, by reading the next two books.