You’ve probably had enough of Christian Grey whether you’ve read about him or not. The fact of the matter is that he’s not a very interesting guy, he’s obscenely rich (private jet rich) but he doesn’t do a lot for me as a character, but then again neither does Anastasia Steele, or Katherine Kavanagh, or token Mexican friend José, the characters in 50 Shades Of Grey fall flat in every single way and I find myself wincing at the things they say and the way they act and their supposed thought processes and hoping that it’s just because I’m a man and I’m reading ‘erotic literature’ intended for women.
The fact is that Anastasia Steele is not a good character or role model for women. Considering her penchant for classic British literature and feminism she is quick to fall foul of the man who buys her expensive first editions, a laptop, a Blackberry and a car. The virgin at the start of the book who wants to find her prince ends up falling for this monster who is painted as being so troubled that it’s hard to believe he isn’t institutionalised. The fact of the matter is that both leading characters are bullet point copies of fictional characters, they have no real warmth or depth, they are just fuck puppets, and that end of the bargain they serve up in abundance, in a number of clichéd and mundane ways. I thought I was going to be slightly put out by the content of 50 Shades but the fact is that none of the actual sex scenes are that graphic, or maybe that’s just me. They’re also not long enough or descriptive enough and end as quickly as I did my first time. The closest I came to embarrassment was when a greying man in a suit happened to look over my shoulder as I was reading the list of soft limits (which includes the delightful terms vaginal fisting and butt plugs). That was about it. He quickly moved seats.
E L James really needs to get hold of a thesaurus; her obsession with the same words caused me more tension than the supposed sexual tension between the characters. Every escaped hair was a ‘tendril’, every kiss left Ana ‘breathless’ and every other page she’s biting her lip and Christian is getting a lob on over it. There’s really nothing new going on in 50 Shades
The fact of the matter is that I was more embarrassed about what other people think the books is about than the actual content, it’s not anywhere near as violent and despicable as everyone makes out, it’s been painted as a monster, but really it’s just a ridiculous bit of escapism. I’ve read better sex scenes in Murakami and Palahniuk. I’ve read better dialogue, characters, plot and setting in near enough every book I’ve picked up since Postman Pat’s Rainy Day and I’m just left feeling a little underwhelmed by it all.
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