Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey: One Shade of Shit Brown

In the spirit of reading only trash for the remainder of the year, I tried to read Fifty Shades of Grey.

I feel pretty stupid for having attempted to read this pile of garbage. I succumbed to peer pressure and media frenzy, the same way I did with The Help. I'm an idiot.

Unlike The Help, though, I did not purchase Fifty Shades of Crap; I checked out the eBook from the municipal library.

I did not get past Chapter 2, so I can't even comment on the smut. I can't say whether or not the relationship between the two protagonists is truly a BDSM relationship or if it's actually an abusive relationship. The book was so bad that I couldn't even bother reading ahead to the smut (of course that's also partially the fault of the asshatty eReader that my municipal library required I use on my htc Whatever S phone).

Now I get that the work started as Twilight slash fiction and hence was captastically written by a bored netizen with lots of time and little talent, but I had assumed that the manuscript would have been edited at some point. I assumed wrong.

There is no way that Fifty Shades of Dung was edited. Had it been edited, at least one of the zillion references to Whatisface's "penetrating gaze" would have been changed to something else. It was funny the first time (was it supposed to be funny?), but by the third time it had become tiresome.

There is also no way that a competent editor would have left in a non-ironic use of "put the pedal to the metal". Nor would a competent editor have left an incredibly long-winded description of a commute -- including make and model of the commuting car -- in this book.

And presumably a competent editor would have told "EL James" that you can't be confronted by a desk. You may enter a room and find yourself facing an imposing desk. Maybe you were even confronted by a tall blonde behind an imposing desk. But you sure as hell weren't confronted by the actual desk. Desks, by nature, are not confrontational. They're inanimate objects; they can't accuse you of being a fraud -- though I wish the ones in the book had.

I know it sounds like I'm nitpicking, but I assure you that after fifty pages (Fifty Pages of Bleuch!) of little or no character development, no plot development, and no actual insight, it is hard to overlook the book's incredibly awful writing and nonexistent editing.

Sometimes bad writing can almost become art in and of itself (see Irene Iddesleigh), but this is not one of those times. There's no emergent poetic or amusing properties arising out of Fifty Shades of Yuck.  It reads like a bad teen novel written by a teen.

I am astounded that so many people have managed to get to the end of this book. I now know that the collective IQ of my neighbourhood -- a place where the municipal library has a waiting list of 78 people for Fifty Shades of Shit, but no waiting list at all for The Marriage Plot -- is lower than its walk score.

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