12 October 2012

50 Shades of Jumping on the Bandwagon

I promised myself I wouldn't do this.

I wasn't going to jump on the bandwagon and read the book every other adult female in the entire world has seemingly read. But curiosity got the better of me. I had started to wonder just what all the hype was about, what the book was actually about, rather than just accepting the "mummy porn" tag it had been given. I thought about borrowing a copy from the library, but felt a bit funny about borrowing that kind of book from a public library. One day at the shops, I saw the books for under $10 each and I spontaneously bought all three! (Yes, I like completeness and sets. I'm special that way).

From the outset, the book seemed ... different. I couldn't put my finger on it at first, but by the time I got to about the third chapter, I realised what it was. Most books I've read are written in the past tense, no matter what person they're written in; for example: "I went to the train station", "She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear". But this book is not written in that way. This book is written in the present tense: "I trip over my own feet", "I can hear my heart beating". I didn't like it. It was off-putting. I may have missed something here, in fact I probably have, because I haven't studied literature since high school (well, literature written in English anyway - I studied French literature at uni, but that's beside the point). But the story being written in that way gave me the impression of a conversation taking place between people on public transport ... chewing gum... (à la Kylie Mole) rather than a literary work, by a narrator/protagonist who had just received a degree in literature...

I confessed to some of the old ducks that despite my declaration that I would not be reading it, I had in fact begun to read the first fifty shades book. At that point, I had reached the first mention of the contract (those of you who have read it, which is probably just about everyone, will know what I'm talking about) and I told them that I was feeling uncomfortable about where the story was going and unsure of whether I wanted to continue reading. One duck advised that I didn't have to read it if I didn't want to. And she was right. I'm a grown woman, I can make my own decisions. But, I also knew myself, and that I couldn't not read it. I had bought the trilogy. I couldn't stop reading a third of the way through the first book. So I left it a few days, but then picked it up again.

It took a while to get to the "good" stuff. But geez, can that girl's mind kill a mood. I mean what grown woman says "holy crap"? And, who says "oh my" in the heat of the moment? Actually, who says "oh my" at all? There were plenty of those occasions where, to my mind, it would have been more effective (and less irritating) to omit those phrases completely. And what of this inner goddess and other voices in her head? Ana thinks Christian is messed up, but man, she's constantly having conversations with her multiple personalities!

I get the mummy porn tag. The book has naughty bits in it and the story line is completely fanciful. But, having said all that, now that I've read the first book, I'm intrigued to see what happens next. I've been taken in by the loose ends deliberately left hanging, leading to the sequel. And so I will read on.


Book: Paperback. I own it (unfortunately) - bought it from Big W.
Rating: I gave this two stars on Goodreads.
One-liner: I promised myself I wouldn't...

30 comments:

  1. I haven't read it, and probably won't. I have heard so many mixed reviews.

    I'm not a big reader, well I used to be, but I have 4 sons now and just haven't started again.

    (fybf)

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  2. You might enjoy this. Here is actor John St John aka the voice of Duke Nuke 'em reading from 50 Shades of Grey. It had Dadabulous rolling on the floor with laughter - the last person to achieve that was Borat.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oUa-3W0BFI

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    1. I think I agree with Dadabulous... I kind of 'guffawed' in the first pages, even without the Duke Nuke'em ...I didn't think it was supposed to be a comedy(?) so I haven't bought the other two (and to be honest, I threw my copy out. In the bin. The first time I have ever done that with a book! I just couldn't bear the responsibility of my efforts allowing someone else to read it if I donated it ...). Good luck with the next 2, you'll have to let us know what you think :).

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  3. I have the book.. got to page 100..

    then put it away in my drawer..

    I was bored.

    I doubt I'll try and read it again.

    but am I missing out on something the rest of the world rave/hate about it?

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    1. I really don't think you're missing anything by not reading it :-)

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  4. Well done for overcoming your prejudices and giving it a go. I remain completely prejudiced and haven't read any more than the excerpt freely available at the publisher's website. I just couldn't stand all that 'holy crap' stuff - it really grated. Good, bad or otherwise I still think it needed more editing before publication. I look forward to your opinion on the rest of the series!

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    1. I completely agree with you about the editing. With the "holy crap", "oh my" stuff, I'm surprised there wasn't an "OMG" thrown in there too!

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  5. OK, i'm not a mommy, but I had to see what the fuss ws all about. I still don't know. I got to about pg. 50 then had to skip, skim to get to the "good" parts. The good parts are not that good. It should not that hard to write some good porn, even soft mommy porn.

    What the fuss is about, I have no idea!

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    Replies
    1. I think it's marketing hype at it's best...

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    2. ...sorry, "its best", silly auto-correct on my phone incorrectly correcting my grammar.

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  6. Unfortunately I think the publishers were pushing for release for monetary reasons - they saw an opportunity to use FSG as a stepping stone into other, less vanilla books on their listings and knew it would be hyped by the "mummy" crowd. The cynic in me would almost suggest that the atrocious writing style was left in place to cause more controversy.

    No editor I know would have let it pass their desk with such a terrible "voice", which is why I can't help thinking money and fame was the object of the release as opposed to literary styling and viability.

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    1. "Voice", thank you, that was the term I was wanting to use in the post but it escaped me.

      Well if money and fame were the objectives, it was a success, at the expense of writing standards?

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  7. Your post really made me laugh. It's like you were in my head!! I also got on board the 50 Shades bandwagon because I wanted to see what it was all about!! And thought the whole thing was rubbish - if I had to hear what here inner goddess was thinking or doing one more time I was going to scream. They are badly written trash! I too thought it would have to get better and wanted answers - so I went onto the second and third books. Having got halfway through the third book I couldn't stand it anymore, decided life was too short and just let it go... and I'm OK with that. Cheers Lee

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    1. So funny Lee! I'm part way through the second book now, but it's not something I look forward to reading. I'm looking forward to finishing it so I can move onto something else.

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  8. I'm like you, I did not want to read it and the curiosity took over me. I borrowed the books from my friend and read the first one. I feel it's an absolute waste of time to read the others but, again, I'm too curious. So I'll read the second. I kind of understand what's the fuss about but I'm annoyed by the characters, and the repetition: he cocks his head to the right, don't bite your lips, I'm hungry but not for food (who says that anyway?)...

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I know, she probably could have gotten it over with in one book without the repetition!

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  9. I have to agree...I did a "review" of the book myself on my blog. If your interested here is the link...

    http://raising-reagan.com/2012/09/21/50-shades-of-what-the-hell/

    I found you via the Flash Blog Friday Hop...following you via Twitter.
    Come say Hi at Raising Reagan :)

    Lanaya
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, I just read your post and I completely agree. I have just finished reading the second book and I'll blog about it soon :-)

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  10. Not gonna be touching them with a 50 foot pole. I barely made MIT through the twilight books coz they were so badly written so I know after talking to some friends that I won't be able to finish these at all.

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    1. Twilight, I am NEVER going there! Anne Rice will always be my vampire genre writer. I've seen a couple of the Twilight movies, but the best thing about them is the soundtrack.

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  11. I am looking forward to hearing more at the next Ducks get together! I'm still resisting but probably because I am time poor and the ironing fairy hasn't been visiting over the school holidays!

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  12. I'm the same as you and bought all 3 in one hit! while the first one left me intrigues and the second one kept me interested...I got bored by the third. I didn't even finish it. But still. I'm glad I found out what the fuss was all about :)

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  13. I did the same thing as you, wanted to know what everyone was talking about, bought all three books at once. Irritatingly got through the first and gave up half way through the second out of boredom. I now feel bad because I wasted money!

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    Replies
    1. I think the fact that I spent money on it will be the only motivating factor for continuing to read...

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  14. I flicked through it at my sister in laws house. The fact the I didn't feel compelled to read on at all means I didn't!!

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  15. I haven't read it, but my best friend has. I asked her if it was just a 21at century version of Jilly Cooper, and she said no, JC is much funnier! So I don't think I'll bother, and your article makes me feel I've made the right choice!
    Visiting from PoTMC :-)

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  16. (Haven't read comments yet, but I will).

    I'm laughing at "Holy Crap" and "Oh My". Because I actually say both of these. :)

    BUT. Your first mistake was attaching the word "Literary" to 50 Shades. It's not. It's an old Twilight Fan Fiction. With names changed. It's crap. It's cringe-worthy. I have no idea why this book became the success it did. And I've actually read fan fiction before. And some of it is really, really good. This however - not even a little.

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