The Fifty Shades Of Grey dilemma – (WARNING – Strong language and scenes of a sexual nature)

I’m very firmly of the belief that you shouldn’t knock it unless you’ve tried it. New foods, new ideas, new books – especially books, because when I was six and was given a book for Christmas, I didn’t think I’d like it. Still, my parents got me to try it – and they turned out to be the Harry Potter books; the series which I credit for making me such a good reader and giving me a good start with my writing too. Even if I don’t think I’ll like that genre, I’ll generally try it. But there is one trilogy that I am trying to weigh up whether it might be beneficial to go back on my promise and never read, because I don’t know if it’ll even be worth the £3 per book to get it on my Kindle.

From reading extracts and reviews, I’ve concluded that 50 Shades Of Grey is my idea of a nightmare book for a number of reasons.

  1. It’s been described as “Mummy porn”. I’m not a mother and I have no interest in porn, so why would I want to read it?
  2. The whole concept of erotica fiction just seems a little weird. I mean, there’s so much porn on the internet, there’s so many videos and pictures… some people seem to think that porn is dirty, unless you read it. Why? Watching it doesn’t make you a bad person and reading it doesn’t make you some great intellectual person.
  3. It started off as a Twilight fanfiction. Twilight isn’t exactly well-written, and every Twilight fanfiction I’ve read seems to try and emulate Stephenie Meyer’s style, so I think that alone would be enough to put me off. I’ve heard enough about the errors and poor writing style in 50SOG to put me off – yeah, maybe I’m a snob, but a bad writing style really annoys me and I’d end up throwing it out the window.
  4. There are so many better fanfiction writers out there! There are some who have written Harry Potter fanfiction who could easily have best-sellers published, and from the excerpts of the book I’ve read online, the HP fanfiction authors are so much better.
  5. What the hell is an inner goddess and why does she talk about it so much? I’ve only read a few excerpts and yet it’s all over the place.  Also, what is “there”, what is “kinky fuckery”, what is a “considerable length”…? Seriously, if you’re going to write porn, at least be brave enough to use the actual words.
  6. Jeez. Holy cow. Biting lips. 50 Shades of Repetitive! Oh, and apparently “Oh my!” is used 79 times in the book, and not once in reference to lions, tigers and bears. Not amused. I mean, who is she? George Takei??
  7. Anastasia Steele should have been called Mary Sue (or Bella Swan). Flawless and innocent and virtuous other than being a teensy bit clumsy. I can’t be the only person who automatically despises these characters and longs for their eventual gory, messy, painful death. Oh, and Christian Grey is Edward Cullen.
  8. Some of the sex just sounds disturbing. And hello? Have you ever heard of UTIs, Ms James? They exist, and they’re painful. And some of the other bits… no. Just, no.
  9. BDSM and abuse are not the same thing, and one of the major off-putting things about this fanfiction is that reviewers have said that it confuses the two things. Oh, and since when have women been incapable of being dominant? Way to set us all back 100 years… I hope that in the future kids will read The Hunger Games, not 50SOG, and see what a real female protagonist should be like.

So, for the record, I’m not judging the people who read it. Heck, I may even read it at one point, so I can put my money where my mouth is. If I enjoy it, or I’m wrong in any of the points I just made, I’ll hold my hands up and admit it. However, people are spouting the figures of book sales like it’s a good thing… but how many of them are reading the book for a laugh, or have read it and immediately posted reviews of how terrible it is (answer = a lot)?

I mean, I’m glad it’s getting people reading, because that’s always a good thing, I just wish people would open themselves up (no pun intended) to the better works of fiction that are out there – the classics, and if not the classics, then at least good modern fiction such as The Hunger Games, Harry Potter (I’ve also heard rave reviews for the A Song of Ice and Fire series), or even chick lit – at least those tend to be novels, rather than glorified fanfiction.

What do YOU think?

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