Friday, May 25, 2012

Fifty Shades of Disgust

I haven't written a weekend whine for quite awhile and felt it was about time to not only up the quantity of whines, but get something off of my chest that has nothing to do with breast cancer. 'Bout time, eh?


See that? Have you read it? Have you heard about it? Relax if you haven't read it and plan to, as I have no intention of spoiling your fun by giving away the plot. I'm merely posting my (re)view here as a way to vent my disgust.

First of all, let me explain that I am a rapacious reader. You don't learn to use words like "rapacious" if you're not (vainglorious much Mags? OK, now I'm just showing off and proving that I know how to use a thesaurus.) I am on a constant lookout for new authors and also classics that I may have missed along the way. Nothing tickles me more than picking up a book and not being able to put it down until it is finished (along with the ubiquitous bag of peanut M&M's.) It will come as no surprise to you then, that I am also quick to jump at the chance to read books that are recommended to me by others. I'm not going to name any names here, because I don't want to get "her" in trouble, but let's leave it at the fact that I can't blame her for passing along something she hadn't researched, because I didn't do my research either. It has been said of her and me "What one doesn't think of, the other one won't either." Nuff said.

Fifty Shades of Gray makes me angry. I simply cannot understand how it achieved the status is has. It is erotica/porn, and not that erotica/porn isn't a legitimate genre for those who enjoy reading such chit, I just feel that this book is being bought and read by millions of people who would never even think of reading erotica/porn, myself included. I succumbed to the hype, including such propaganda as "this book is going to save your marriage" and "your love life will be changed forever." Now don't get me wrong, I do realize that being on the other side of 50 puts me into the hormonally challenged group, and for all intents and purposes, I have become not unlike the Mohave desert 'down there' (TMI?) However, I just think a spade needs to be called a spade and not "best-seller" literature. It's freaking porn people! AND.... (ok, maybe a little spoiler alert here) it's sick porn, which I believe is the worst kind, if there are varying degrees, that is. My apologies to those of you who believe that the infliction of pain can be in any way a "normal" type of sexual expression. I just happen to think it's perversion.

Fifty Shades of Gray is part of a trilogy. I have no intention of reading two and three.

24 comments:

Jo Ann H. said...

I couldn't agree with you more!!! There are too many good books out there to read...my favorite author is Jody Picoult. Keep doing with you do Mags!!!

jo

Anonymous said...

I have only read Book I and have no desire to go further because I feel it's just plain not well written. I'm not sure how you couldn't know what it was about. I was on a girls' trip with 10 other women, none of us had read it and we all knew what it was about (we actually thought it was going to be a lot worse than it really was). Honestly, I couldn't care less what 2 consenting adults do and from what I've seen/read, the stuff in the book is very mild for those who imbibe in that lifestyle. Not something I care about, but I certainly don't care if someone else does it. YMMV

It's like I tell people who think gay sex is perversion - no one is asking you to do it! :)

June said...

Thanks for the heads up Mags. The book's OFF my list.

G. Parker said...

I had some friends say they were reading it, and that I didn't need it. Whether that was because they knew I was happily married (which they supposedly are) or what - I'm grateful because I've heard nothing but YUCK about it since. Thanks for confirming what I'd heard. Yesh. How do books like this even get published???? sigh. I know.

Anonymous said...

Applause, applause! We don't need this kind of filth in our bedrooms.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty! You are so correct!

AngieD said...

I am upset when people refer to this book as a porn. Porn is not about falling in love, it is about the act of sex. That's it. This book is more about sex, it is about a the forbidden love and she discovers his S&M secret.Its about self discovery and trust. It is well written and fun to read. It is exciting and does make your libido tingle a little. There is nothing wrong with an ADULT reading an ADULT book. Censorship is not cool. Neither is judging the type of woman who read this book. I mean, is it fair to say you're a prude because you don't like this type of book? I would never do that. I dont even care what types of books your read. There are worse books out there about crimes, the justice system and serial killers. This is just harmless sex between consenting adults. I just want to tell everyone to get over it.

Amanda said...

It's simply not well-written at all. I bought it because I was intrigued by the "began as Twilight fanfic" angle, and it's just like most fanfic: it's not terrible, but it's... not good. And it's certainly not worth what they're charging for even one book, much less three.

The other two books in the trilogy are definitely off my list.

thisoldbroad said...

I was curious because I kept seeing it referred to all over the web, but thanks for saving me the $ I would have wasted buying it.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good bodice ripping, throbbing passion romance novel. But from the comments, this book is a little off my rails.

Happy & safe weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pam said...

I have nothing against porn, but I've read too many reviews that say the writing is awful.

Donna Coffey said...

You are right on! I never understand what causes one particular book, particularly one like this, to be so lauded and advertised when there are so many others of so much higher caliber, interest, inspiration. Good for you for telling it straight!

Kat said...

As I suspected! Thanks for the review. I cannot turn on the TV without hearing about this book. Even on the evening news. SERIOUSLY?

M.J. Jacobsen said...

Hmmmmm, I agree with everyone on a certain level. Especially your comment Mags on the Mohave desert!!!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Mags,
As a recipe and book blogger I've been dragging my heels about reading this trilogy. My sister gave me copies of the books but I honestly don't think I'll read them. Like you, it's just not my thang. There are many books that achieve cult status and I'm left asking 'Really?!?'. This trilogy has reduced some women at work into tittering fools as they keep asking all the women 'Have you read it yet?'. It almost makes me not want to read just to keep telling them no. ;)
I'm very open to almost all genres (erotica and 'bodice ripper' romances being pretty much the only genres that I don't enjoy). Just personal tastes.

Laurie
The Baking Bookworm

francy said...

OH be glad dear fifty for the porn...I did read book two for I had to see what direction it was going to go. In book two the heroine cools the real funky stuff and it turns into what the trilogy really.....not good work. Not going on to the last of the trilogy for I don't care what happens to them...

Barbara Bakes said...

I've heard so much about this book too. Most of it bad lately too.

debbilicious said...

I'm so glad to hear someone else express their disgust at pain being a form of pleasure. Pain is pain. To me it does not feel good or make me aroused. And reading about someone being tied up, and then (in my opinion), tortured, is sick. I, for one, will say this type of behavior actually ruined my marriage. My ex wanted to delve into this behavior...I did not. He is now married to a woman he met in an S&M club. The book should be promoted to that culture and not the general public.

Lissa Matthews said...

I follow your blog and will continue to do so. As an author of erotica and as someone who has explored and experienced the BDSM lifestyle, I know it is something a lot of people do not understand nor care to. That's fine with me. I have plenty of readers who do love my books, who do love the subject matter, and if books about adultery, murder, and shallow entertainment such as reality tv can become bestsellers and top rated, why can't a book with sex in it? Even if that sex is different than what we might feel comfortable with. Porn is something very different than erotica and erotic romance. 50 Shades is neither erotic or pornographic. It is poorly written, and the lifestyle it delves into is poorly researched and incredibly misunderstood. I know, because I once felt the same way. I love and value honesty. I have not, nor intend to read 50 Shades. There are many other amazing books by very talented authors available in the erotica genre.

mare ball said...

Just finding your blog. This book doesn't interest me either. I've read/heard NOTHING positive about it. Aside from the subject matter (there are worse books out there), it does seem to be poorly written. I think it's sad that society has declared this good literature. I think it's more a reflection of us. :-(

franziskaerbar said...

I don't think it's perverse or sick, each to their own and who are we to judge what turns people on. Let's not forget that a lot of women fantasise about spanking or even getting raped but that's what it is, a fantasy, it doesn't mean that they are asking their partner to live out that fantasy. And for those who do include S&M and bondage in their love making, again, that's really down to each couple and their pain threshold.

But the books are just so badly written! Terribly repetitive, the guy is vain, narcissistic and the girl herself is well, where do I start?

On one hand I find it refreshing that people who would usually NEVER admit that they are reading erotic literature are freely mentioning that they are reading this book.
On the other hand they don't actually talk about their own sex life and if the book has affected it. Maybe they are too British after all (I live in the UK).

But nobody can deny that this book has caused a lot of discussion about what women and men want/expect/fancy and isn't that a good thing?

This book is a bestseller because it sold over 20 million copies worldwide. That doesn't make it a literature highlight and we all know that Mrs. James will never win the Orange Prize for Fiction.

Vickie said...

Whewww...almost got sucked in and bought the book. Finally, someone that calls a spade what it is, a spade.
Love being on the other side...

Anonymous said...

I agree with you totally. I only have been reading them (in the middle of book 2) because my boss loved them so much, she lent me her set, and I feel I should at least humor her. My take on them is that they read like badly written teen fiction, with porn thrown in. My boss is very intelligent & very well read, and I find in amazing she was so enthralled with these books. I will finish them, if only to see if there is some redeeming quality about the story or the characters. But I certainly would not recommend them at all.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree.

Susan said...

I know a lot of people loved it but I couldn't finish reading it. I read anything I can get my hands on and this just seemed like...trash. I have read love novels that were great, but this just seemed insulting to women. I really don't understand how this became a best seller.

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