It must have been about two years back that I first chanced upon E. L James and her now universal book Fifty Shades of Grey. It was making all the right noise, with readership, book sales and related paraphernalia (read sex toys!) growing every minute. Naturally, I was quite curious and had to get a copy for myself. After all, the ladies seemed to devour it and I wanted to find out for myself what the fuss was all about. So I went over to the bookstore and predictably enough it was on the best sellers list.
Even mum was excited, since she’d heard so much about it and wanted to borrow it when I was done. But when I actually got down to reading it, I just thought it was terrible. To my utter despair I could not proceed beyond half of the chapters. I have tried my best and failed utterly and miserably to finish reading the entire book. To say the least, it failed to arouse any of my latent desires let alone my “inner goddess.” Here are a few reasons why I personally despised reading the book and would not dare watch the movie.
First and foremost the book is like a punishment. (To me, it was. Actually sitting down and reading it. Sad but true!) One has to make a conscious decision to read it with the sole intent of getting on to the next page. Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t really a romance, so I don’t see the point of dragging it into a relationship, to the point of converting the book into a trilogy. One was more than enough for me. There are no shades of grey in this book, I think its all black !! Since it blurs the line between consent and control in the worst kind of way. The book drags on and on and fails to engage the reader. There are a few books around that have been disguised as literature; but when those books have an entire series, in fact a trilogy they just seem to cross the line.
Coming to the actual writing of the book, I guess there is only one thing that is more torturous than the sex in Fifty Shades of Grey. And that would be the writing of Ms James. Sometimes I wonder if her proof reader and copy editor slept while the book was being sent for publication? Did they fall asleep on their job? Any layman would be able to tell you that a few chapters in, the lines and phrases become so repetitive. You think to yourself, how many times am I going to read that same thing, that same image over and over again?
“Mr. Grey will see you now.”
Christian Grey: “Come”
Anastacia Steel: “Oh my!”
These are just a few that come to mind. Honestly, I don’t know how many times one can tolerate reading before they get fed up. In particular, the part about Anastasia biting or chewing on her lower lips I feel is the most annoying of all repetitions. If I had to pin down on something as the reason why I stopped reading the book, this has to be it. I just couldn’t go on beyond that. Like there was nothing else in the world, the author can think of, besides making the reader acutely aware of this habit of the main protagonist, which is of no great consequence either to the character or to the plot of the story.
Yes, I’m opinionated. But there’s a whole army of women out there who aren’t in love with either Mr. Grey or Ms. James’s book. The hype surrounding it has surpassed the book itself. And sure it is loved, cherished and prized by a lot of people. Their search for adventure, fantasy, pleasure and all the trappings that come with it seem to culminate in this poor fan fiction inspired by The Twilight series. It makes me feel sorry for those who consider Fifty Shades of Grey the greatest trilogy ever written. I wish they would have read more books previously and could have made a better judgment. But then again, you have to make a start somewhere and if it is with Fifty Shades, well so be it. “Happy Reading” is all I have to say to them.
And no, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone; now that my “inner goddess” knows exactly which book to never read. The other reason that I’m yet to complete reading the book is because I am still in control of my higher brain functions. I’ve rightly decided to discard it halfway through. After all, the only other Grey that I have read happens to be “The Picture of Dorian Grey”! BDSM or not, reading this one has been no less of a pain than being in Mr. Grey’s “Red Room of Pain.” And if ironically enough there is plenty of “vanilla” mentioned here, I could find no sweetness in it. The only thing you are left with is the bitter after taste of having bitten into something rotten, that you thought would have otherwise tasted delightful. Now, Vanilla anyone?!