Ed’s Note: We turned RobbieRobTown loose on a review of 50 Shades of Grey for a few laughs. The project changed him.
50 Shades of Rage: A Book Review
I want to be clear about this: 50 Shades of Grey was so awful, it somehow rendered me sterile. It gave my eyes a hernia. I can no longer do math after reading it. I smell burning toast when I look at it. My inner goddess sharted real razor blades.
I hated this book. I still hate it. I am hating it, right now, present progressive tense with a stative verb. I have been hating it (present perfect, as in: The perfect tense to describe my ongoing hatred of this book since an initial inciting incident of ass-razoring hate) since opening it up and discovering the egregious dangling modifier on the first page- Literally the first page! Not just the first page, but the first sentence to appear in the book in the author’s (used loosely) bio reads as follows:
“EL James is a former TV executive, wife, and mother of two based in England”
Where do I begin? I guess I begin with wondering where she is based, as her two children appear to be based in England. I also wonder how her children died and when her divorce was, as she is a former wife and former mother. I also wonder what her current job is, as she is most certainly not a writer.
The main characters in this “novel” (used looser-ly) have chronic medical conditions, possibly terminal. If the implausibly named Anastasia Steele bit her lip any more, it would likely be severed off, but at a bare minimum would cause permanent nerve damage to her face. Both Christian Grey and Ana are at exceptionally high risk of macular degeneration from the amount of eye rolling they do. The breath of each is constantly hitching. There is more hitch in their two throats than there is Hitch in the entire Alfred Hitchcock Presents series, not to mention his complete filmography.
“What is your father like?”
“As taciturn as you?”
NOT HOW DIALOGUE WORKS. DOING IT WRONG.
I don’t know how many times Christian says “Good point well made”, but that is not an actual phrase. “Good point” is a phrase. “Point well made” is a phrase. Arguably, if you are a retarded goat that has been raised by a non-english speaking family, maybe somewhere in Mongolia, you could get away with “Good point, well made!”, because you have fashionably, albeit incorrectly, used sentence fragments.
The components of Anastasia’s psyche are her Subconscious, and her Inner Goddess. They are personified, pantomime, Mummenschanz flunkies who dance or tut their opinions on all matters vaginal (or there-al, as preferred by James). I hate them.
At some point (probably after about the fifth time I actually found myself shouting at the book, hoping beyond all possible hope that it could hear me, and improve), Christian gives Anastasia a laptop and a blackberry. That wouldn’t be so bad. But then, THEY START EMAILING. Their bizarre adolescent missives made me hate teenagers more than I already do. The only place where I have seen exchanges half as needy were on the facebook walls of recently broken-up couples. If this was a character choice, and it was intended to make me hate both characters, mission accomplished.
I skimmed the last 5 chapters of this book. Even the sex that occurred could not make me enjoy this book. I began to wish, hopelessly, that somebody would use the words “pussy”, “cock” or “ass”. Every time Christian put his “significant length” in “there” (or worse, her “sex’), I started feeling like these cockadoodie characters were going to get shackled to a bed in the woods and forced to re-write the book as I read it. It was like The Neverending Story meets Misery, only not at all enjoyable, and not at all like the high-concept I just pitched you. It was more like a steaming hobo shit on the street meets herpes scars on the Mona Lisa’s sex. I found myself wishing Christian would rape Ana to death, and then crash his helicopter (which is named Charlie Tango because it lives in the fucking world of Thomas the Tank Engine) into the Space Needle. A morbid wish perhaps, but I similarly began to wish someone would rape ME to death while I read this book. Getting through the first 5 chapters of this Babysitters’-Club-Gone-Creepy book was an effort as herculean as any I have ever attempted, and I once used my entire website to try to get a date with Emma Stone.
I hated this book. I still hate this book. I will always hate this book.
P.S. I’m not at all offended by BDSM sex. I am offended by a total lack of narrative. In fact, of the BDSM porno I’ve seen, the storytelling is usually more engaging.
P.P.S. I own the exact tie depicted on the trade-paperback cover. It is not expensive, it is not silk, and the only thing I tie up with that dated grey monstrosity now is my curtains.