Home > Uncategorized, WTF > 50 Shades of Snark: My take on 50 Shades of Grey

50 Shades of Snark: My take on 50 Shades of Grey

So let’s discuss the big Grey elephant in the room shall we? Fifty Shades of Grey, a book by British author E.L. James (no relation to the E.L. Fudge Keebler Elves) has taken the horny world by storm. The book trilogy took just eleven weeks to pass the one million paperback marker, breaking the record previously set by Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code*. The sales are still skyrocketing and there is no telling how many copies will be sold by the end of this year. It is safe to say that E.L. has established herself as a household name.

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Her smile says “I have waaaay more money than you could ever imagine”

My pals told me they had only heard about the book while at a bachelorette party from all of the ladies there.  They were raving about it, and sparked my friends’ curiosity enough to get them to read it as well.  I was doubtful about buying them. I hadn’t really gotten into any books since had I re-read the Tolkien series. After that, my attempts at starting other books usually resulted in me staring at the Tolkien books while Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares to You, played in my head (a single tear streaming down my face.)

I bought the first book.  I bought it on my Kindle so if I was ever in public reading I could be “sneaky” about it, and people would probably assume I was reading the complete works of Dickens…Instead of something to do with the work of dick-ing. Boom!  Am I butter? Because I am on a roll with this wordplay.

Anyway…

For anyone who hasn’t read the 50 series, here is a brief recap of what sums up the plot of all three books:

“Oh I’m so bookish, virginal and independent I’m not even thinking about men. Wait, who is that?”

It’s only been 2 minutes but I’m hopelessly in love with you

“How can you love me? You’re rich and handsome and I’m bookish, and a poorly written every-woman character?”

“We can’t be together because of [conflict]” 

Danger

Weird Sex
More danger

More weird sex

Cliffhanger ending

Ka-blam, you’ve just read Fifty Shades.

So I will say as books go, Fifty Shades is not that good. The plot is weak, and Ihave not read anything in the “steamy novel” genre so I have nothing to compare the sex scenes too, but I hear in terms of the smut world they are not well written either. The characters also don’t have enough grit for them to be truly relatable. I also think that James is giving Jane Austen a shameless nod by having the characters sometimes speak to each other like they are Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. They address each other all like “Mr. Grey” “Ms. Steele,” “Mrs.Dillhole” instead of using their first names like normal twenty-somethings. James’ literary nod must make Jane Austen roll over in grave to be even alluded to in a bodice-ripping, grocery store paperback. Or maybe, like the rest of the world, she’s touching off to 50 Shades. I’m going to hell for that comment. I’m sorry Jane.

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Forgive me.

The kicker of all this is: I.Kept.Reading. Why? I didn’t really know. All I knew is that I hated myself for it but, like a moth to the porn flame I was into books two and three of the trilogy. The massive sales of the books also points out to me that I was not the sole victim in the phenomenon.  It took me a long time to figure out why it was so successful, and then I realized it. Twilight.

Fifty Shades had originally been written as fan fiction for Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. The 50 books are a thinly veiled copy of the also-fantastically popular vampire series. The  significant difference between the two sets of books is the sex. And that’s when it hit me. In Meyers’ books the two main characters Edward and Bella were virgins until they were married and didn’t go all the way until well into the series. I remember when I was reading Twilight (Yes I know, I read those too and I hate me too) I got to a point where I was like JUST DO IT. They danced around the sex until they were married, and to add insult to injury it was really boring when they finally humped.

And this is where our pal E.L. comes in. She capitalized off of writing scenes that satiated the collectives’ frustration from Meyers’ lack of gettin’ down.E.L. James wrote the characters to be nearly identical to call into mind the Twilight series when you’re reading, and that unconsciously makes you want to continue on through the whole terrible series. Kind of like letting you relive the Twilight series in a sense, except this time there are riding crops involved. Screw you Stephenie Meyers, now look what you’ve unleashed.

Now that I solved the riddle of the Smut Sphinx, I hear daily some social ramifications of the 50 series. People are speculating that there might be a slight Grey Baby boom as a result of young couples reading this book. I think that’s kind of sad, but maybe it’s good that it is opening people’s minds to new ways of expressing themselves? You know those Grey babies are probably going to be a little messed up. I picture them as Ed Hardy wearing douches that scream “YOLO!” as they try and do amateur parkour.

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Kill it. Kill it with fire.

Also apparently some middle aged and older couples are reigniting the passion in their marriages by using the book as a beginner’s guide of BDSM. To that I say, I guess great? You know, older folks doin’ it, getting down, gettin’ biz-zay, good for them…something, something I just barfed.

I will say this, good for E.L. James for thinking of writing something the world can easily grasp onto. That was genius on her part. I’m sure she’s laughing her British ass off all the way to the bank whenever snarky critics talk about her series. However, I wouldn’t recommend Fifty Shades. Find something else, anything else. As it is there is already going to be a 50 Shades movie and that is bad enough. But will I see it?

Yes. God I hate me.

*Fact Source: UK Daily

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  1. July 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Funny and true. I am amazed at the number of readers that went on to read the entire Trilogy. It’s a weird virus. People who hate it read the whole thing TWICE!

    It gets to the point where you have to read it if you want to be up on the Pop Culture references that are bound to spawn from it.–or not.

    I love your take on it! You are SO like butter… 😉

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