Wednesday, August 1, 2012

50 Shades of Vomit

For those of you who've been under a rock on Mars for the past few months, allow me to introduce you to the latest "literary" craze: The 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Apparently, the first book started as Twilight fan fiction but was removed from the website due to the extremely adult content of the story. 50 Shades of Grey is described by Wikipedia as an erotic novel. Allow me to sum up the "novel" (I will explain the quotation marks later):
  • Girl interviews mysterious and sexy kajillionaire, Christian Grey. He is intrigued by her.
  • Other stuff happens, Grey ends up telling her that he wants to sleep with her but she needs to sign all these non-disclosure papers. He also shows her a room full of freak-a-leek sex toys and she doesn't run for the hills screaming.
  • He takes her virginity and apparently it's a really amazing--you know, like how most girls describe their first time.
  • They start up this sex-only relationship and he's all into bondage, sadism, and whatnot. So I guess they do some of this.
  • Towards the end of the book the girl wants a full glimpse into the whole BDSM lifestyle so, being the diehard romantic that he is, Grey beats the bejesus out of her with a belt.
  • That was apparently the straw that broke the silly girl's back and she leaves.
I have no idea what happens in the other books. But I guess she misses somebody treating her like crap and goes back to him or something and it takes two more books to sort the whole freaking thing out. It didn't take me long to figure out that I wasn't interested in reading this thing that is also being described as "mommy porn". Finally, this forgotten demographic gets their own porn.

After a few weeks, I had seen so much on Facebook and Pinterest about how great Christian Grey is and all these people want their own version of him, I have to admit that I was interested. Not to mention, several people had told me that they stopped reading because they were disgusted by the book. I couldn't imagine what was so inappropriate in this book that my non-squemish friends were on the verge of vomiting. Basically, the same thing happened with Twilight. I kept seeing all this stuff about Edward Cullen and I had to see what the fuss was all about. Long story not remotely short, I pulled out my Kindle and read the free sample.

The sample was from the very beginning of the book. It actually didn't include any of the explicit parts (oh darn), but I still felt like throwing up. The writing is so terrible that it makes me wonder about evolution going in reverse. Hence my use of quotations around words such as literary and novel. I really can't put into words how awful it is. I remember at one point, I read the word "beguiled" in back to back sentences. I guess somebody didn't want to read any of the other options offered by the Thesaurus. It reads as though it were written by a junior high girl who probably needs to seek counseling. No offense, junior high girls. Actually, you probably write better than E.L. James. Explicit content aside, I couldn't read this book if I wanted to. I made a new year's resolution to not read things that suck, and I'm determined to stick with it.

Enough about the atrocious writing--let's talk about disturbing subject matter! I cannot imagine why any woman would want to read about another woman being victimized like this. And on top of that, pining for this character who views women as objects really baffles me. As previously stated, I know nothing about the other two books. Maybe they have a come to Jesus moment and seek couples counseling and live happily ever after...but I don't think so.

I will admit that I love some procedural dramas such as Law & Order: SVU and CSI. Both of those shows deal with sensitive subject matter and I could see how some people might not see a difference between those shows and these books. But the shows I watch focus on eliminating this behavior, not condoning it.

Finally, I wonder what the women panting over Christian Grey think about men viewing pornography? Are they against it? What makes this trilogy more upstanding than Playboy or Girls Gone Wild? In my mind, nothing. If it's ok for a woman to fantasize about someone, it's ok for a man to do the same thing.

So read the book, don't read the book--it's up to you. But stop filling up my newsfeed with creepy posts about it.