Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fifty Shades of No Thank You!

Every once in awhile a book comes out that I hear everyone making a big fuss about and I wonder whether I should read it or not. This feeling doesn't come over me very often as - to be honest - I'm a bit of a book snob and I really don't like to read something just because it's popular or trending. I'm not a big fan of jumping on band wagons if you will as I've got plenty of things to fill my time with so if I'm going to take the time to read a book, it's going to be a good one.

I much prefer classics like those books written by Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, the Brontë sisters, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle but that's not to say that I don't enjoy more modern authors like Janet Evanovich, Tom Patterson, Nicholas Sparks and/or Evans, Patricia Cornwell, Stephen King, and Mitch Albom.  Of course, one of my favorite up-and-coming authors is my friend Gale Martin whose first book Don Juan in Hankey, PA was a wonderful read and whose second book is coming out soon but more on her later this month when I review that book - for now I want to talk about a book that's become quite popular and which I attempted to read this weekend.

Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2011 erotic novel by British author E. L. James which is set largely in Seattle and explores the dominate/submissive relationship between the young virgin Anatasia Steele and the drop-dead-gorgeous, really young business magnate and title character Christian Grey. It's the first book in a trilogy which according to the website hype is:
"Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever."
That may be true for some people but I'm going to have to take their word for it as I simply cannot see me finishing even the first book as - just a shade over five chapters into the book - I've decided that I've had it with the poor writing, the characters that I really don't like, and the overwhelming feeling that I'm reading a story about Bella Swan's identical twin who, instead of falling for a sparkly vampire, falls for a rich guy whose past has made him a big fan of bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism.

I honestly didn't even know that the book started out as a piece ofTwilight  fan fiction which was originally titled Master of the Universe and published episodically on fan-fiction websites under the pen name "Snowqueens Icedragon" before it was rewritten as an original piece but it's quite easy to see that the main female character is very Bella Swanesque - she's uncoordinated, self-deprecating, innocent, and annoying. No doubt when they make the movie they'll cast Kristen Stewart to play her as the role is right up her awful-acting alley.

A mere 68 pages into the book with nary a sex scene to be read (so you can't call me a prude!), I've decided that I've read far enough and the book is going back to the friend that I borrowed it from so that she can lend it to the others who have asked her for it.  After all, I see no sense in holding up someone else's chance to read a book they might enjoy when I'm pretty certain that even if I were to read another 68 pages or the entire 514, I'm not going to like the characters any better.  Heck, I'm not even interested enough to get to the first sex scene (and I certainly don't mind reading steamy sex scenes if I'm being perfectly honest) but I've just go NO interest in either of the book's characters.

Maybe I'm too old?  Maybe I just don't like poor writing?  Maybe I just don't have the time for this sort of book when there are so many other really good ones out there to be read?  Ah well, no matter what the case may be, it's fifty shades of no thank you for me and when Hollywood makes the movie you won't see me in the theater either - not unless they somehow manage to cast Robert Downey, Jr. as Christian Grey! 


  1. thanks for the heads up, i won't waste my time...

    smiles, bee

  2. I started it, and couldn't get past the "flushing" and "inner goddess" that seemed to occupy every paragraph. Now I did have to google a term or two that I read. Let's just say that it took me a bit by surprise.

    Don't get me wrong, I love mindless "book candy" but not the portion of the first book I read. This was just downright base. Too base for me.

    1. I completely agree, Jean(ie); I just couldn't develop any sort of like for Anastasia at all and found her to be pretty downright ridiculous even with the small amount that I read. I just couldn't see wasting my time reading anymore of this book no matter how many women are panting over it.

  3. Anonymous9:05 PM EDT

    I don't mind reading books that are overly hyped. I quite enjoyed The Hunger Games...but when I know that the subject definitely is not something I want to read I stay away unless something REALLY compels me to read it. I think the only way I'd read this series would be to openly mock it.

  4. It's not a book I'd even pick up to read. I read for fun and relaxation. Nothing more. I'm certainly not a book snob.

    Have a terrific day. :)

  5. I've just acquire this trilogy on my Kindle and started reading the first book. I'm not impressed so far but will probably finish it.

  6. Gads, reading p. 68 as shown was boring! No thank you. There are too many GOOD books out there unread, but I'm reading as fast as I can:) Reading Sparks "The Locket" right now.

    Big hugs, honey...

  7. Ima take your word for it.

    Of course, it didn't sound remotely interesting to me even before I read your review... but that's just me. :)

  8. It didn't hold any interest for moi either, even before I read this post!

    I need to care about the characters if I'm going to read a novel. (something I do precious little of lately)

  9. I have the 3 books in my to be read pile
    I'll try it out but it sounds like I won't get far

  10. Well, you know what I think from your FB post. I'd like to add though that I quite enjoyed the last two fusses (Hunger Games & Twilight series).
    Hugs from Ohio,

  11. Every woman in my former office seems to be reading it!

  12. I have not even had the desire to read this book. Like Sandee, I read for enjoyment not because it's the "IN" book to read.

  13. I read one sample page and hit massive boredom somewhere around the second paragraph. We know I'm no shrinking violet so this has nothing to do with sex and everything to do with bad writing, blah plotting, and uninteresting characters. So all the frustrated housewives can pass it around to their hearts delight. Count me out.

  14. At least you didn't spend any money on it.


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