So after reading around thirty seven million five thousand and forty six extremely scathing reviews of the 50 Shades series, I decided to read it myself and review it as I go along. Here is what I found:
Meet Anastasia Steele
This is how we're introduced to her:
I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. Damn my hair – it just won’t behave, and damn Katherine Kavanagh for being ill and subjecting me to this ordeal. I should be studying for my final exams, which are next week, yet here I am trying to brush my hair into submission.
This is what that made me think of:
Apparently Anastasia's meant to interview Christian Grey, the CEO of a multinational corporation, because her friend is sick. So, Ana, I'm assuming that on days that you don't have to meet up with CEOs of major companies, you go around looking exactly like that^
The next few words cemented my hatred of the girl:
I roll my eyes in exasperation and gaze at the pale, brown-haired girl with blue eyes too big for her face staring back at me, and give up. My only option is to restrain my wayward hair in a ponytail and hope that I look semi presentable.
Yeah because girls with porcelain skin and big blue eyes are SO unattractive. Within the next few pages we learn that Anastasia is:
An incredibly petty, jealous byatch:
Kate begs me in her rasping, sore throat voice. How does she do it? Even ill she looks gamine and gorgeous, strawberry blonde hair in place and green eyes bright, although now red-rimmed and runny. I ignore my pang of unwelcome sympathy.
Calls herself a friend.
I have made an effort and worn my one and only skirt, my sensible brown knee-length boots and a blue sweater.
In what world do knee-length boots qualify as smart or sensible? Enlighten me please. Are you so completely clueless that you have no idea about what to wear for a major interview?
Judging from the building, which is too clinical and modern, I guess Grey is in his forties: fit, tanned, and fair-haired to match the rest of the personnel.
Really? You're judging the man's age and looks by what his office and employees look like as opposed to the fact that it takes years to build an empire as big as Grey's supposedly is, which would point out that he is an older man? Also, where did you hear that major companies generally hire people by their resemblance to the CEO instead of..oh I don't know..THEIR TALENT?!
Perhaps Mr. Grey insists on all his employees being blonde. I’m wondering idly if that’s legal.
As an experiment, I made my nine year old brother read this line and do you know what he said? He said “Why would it be illegal?” and looked very confused. Therefore, Ana, I have to conclude that your mental capacity is definitely below that of a nine year old's.
Obviously suffering from cerebellar ataxia:
I push open the door and stumble through, tripping over my own feet, and falling head first into the office. Double crap – me and my two left feet! I am on my hands and knees in the doorway to Mr. Grey’s office.
More about Anastasia later. For now..
Meet Christian Grey
Here's what we find out about him over the next few pages:
He's humongously good looking
And not blonde.
And Humongously Big-Headed..
Business is all about people, Miss Steele, and I’m very good at judging people. I know how they tick, what makes them flourish,what doesn't, what inspires them, and how to incentivize them. I employ an exceptional team, and I reward them well. My belief is to achieve success in any scheme one has to make oneself master of that scheme, know it inside and out, know every detail. I work hard, very hard to do that. I make decisions based on logic and facts. I have a natural gut instinct that can spot and nurture a good solid idea and good people. The bottom line is, it’s always down to good people.
So here's what I think of Christian Grey's shamelessly cliche'd not to mention completely ludicrous “secret of success”.
-Business is all about people miss Steele: Uh. No, it isn't. It's more about market trends and making smart choices.
-I’m very good at judging people. I know how they tick: Well, it's good to know you're good at something, sir, because judging by your below average grasp of English language, you're rather dim. “What makes them tick” not “How they tick”.
-My belief is to achieve success in any scheme one has to make oneself master of that scheme, know it inside and out, know every detail:
He's quite fantastically stupid too:This guy obviously got his company going through a deal with the devil. Listen to this crap:
Besides, immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control things.
No. No, it isn't you walking, talking oxymoron. Didn't you JUST say that it was all down to your “hard work” and “finding good people”?
“You invest in manufacturing. Why, specifically?” I ask. Why does he make me so uncomfortable?
“I like to build things. I like to know how things work: what makes things tick, how to construct and deconstruct. And I have a love of ships. What can I say?”
So, you own a telecommunication company because you like to build things. Hm.
So, just out of curiosity, since you “like to build things”, you didn't become a carpenter or something as opposed to a CEO, where your job would generally involve paper pushing, because..? Also, what exactly does a love for ships have to do with anything? With the information I've been provided thus far, I can only come to one conclusion:
Anyway, as I went along the book I got more and more reasons to dislike and, ultimately, downright despise it. Here's a rundown of exactly what brought on this hatred:
The authors pathetic attempts to force us to conclusions:
Grey's a control freak:
I don’t subscribe to luck or chance, Miss Steele. The harder I work the more luck I seem to have. It really is all about having the right people on your team and directing their energies accordingly. I think it was Harvey Firestone who said 'the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.'
“You sound like a control freak.” The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them.
Uh. If you say so Ana. To me, he just sounded like dimwitted troll. Which part of his little speech was it that made you think he was a control freak? Do enlighten me.
“We can’t eat money, Miss Steele, and there are too many people on this planet who don’t have enough to eat.”
He's also oh-so-mysterious:
Some of his answers were so cryptic – as if he had a hidden agenda.
Just sounds like Anastasia's schizophrenic to me :/
He's ALSO oh-so-attracted to Ana:
Oh, Ana, it can’t have been that bad. I think he sounds quite taken with you
What the HELL are you talking about?! Which part was it that made it sound like he was "taken" with her?!
Everything about Anastasia. Including her name:
Which, by the way, is Anastasia Rose Steele. Seriously. Throughout the Christian Grey interview, all I could think was that why on EARTH did you send this fudgetard to take a major interview, Kate? WHY couldn't you find someone semi-intelligent? The author tries to force us into believing that Anastasia's super smart and super artsy but it backfires repeatedly and makes her sound like a bigger idiot every time:
I work on my essay on Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Damn, but that woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong century.
Yeah. murder is such a 21st century thing to do! And then there's Ana's dreams:
"That night I dream of dark places, bleak white cold floors, and gray eyes."
"Dreaming of smoky gray eyes, coveralls, long legs, long fingers, and dark, dark unexplored places."
Why is he here at Clayton’s? And from a very tiny, underused part of my brain – probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata where my subconscious dwells – comes the thought: he’s here to see you.A) FUNCTIONS OF THE MEDULLA OBLONGATA:
Reflex centers of vomiting, coughing, sneezing, and swallowing
Telling you that “he's here to see you”.
B) DEFINITION OF SUBCONSCIOUS:
Sub-The Latin Prefix 'Sub' can mean 'under', 'beneath', or 'below'..
Conscious-Aware of and responding to one's surroundings; awake
Subconscious: psychic activity just below level of awareness
Are you now beginning to comprehend the fact that one's subconscious does not exactly hold conversations with oneself? Also, that the subconscious is a phenomenon and hence does not really inhabit any particular area of the brain? Anyway' on we go.
Not here to find you at all, my subconscious sneers at me, loud, proud, and pouty.
Great. Not only does it talk to her, it sneers at her too. And it's POUTY!
“Books,” I whisper, but inside, my subconscious is screaming: You! You are my thing! I slap it down instantly, mortified that my psyche is having ideas above its station.
Yes Anastasia, how dare you have lustful thoughts about your Betters?
My subconscious is figuratively tutting and glaring at me over her half moon specs.
God. Basically the word subconscious was mentioned 82 times in the book. Just saying. Anyway, more testaments to Anastasia's mental deficiencies:
Like I said before, Anastasia's UNBELIEVABLY DU-UMB:
I eye Christian’s toothbrush. Grabbing it quickly, I squirt toothpaste on it and brush my teeth in double quick time. I feel so naughty. It’s such a thrill.
You are a pathetic sod, Anastasia Steele. Also, EW.
Ray is a skilled carpenter and the reason I know the difference between a hawk and a handsaw.
Even YOU, Anastasia Steele, with your pitifully low mental capacity, should be able to tell the difference between the two on your own.
..I can’t locate my brain..
Praise the Lord, she's finally looking for it!
His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel… or something.
So she didn't find it after all.
The mouth-to-brain filter is broken again.
Brain-to-mouth, you moron!
Honestly, his surname should be Cryptic, not Grey.
And YOURS should be dumbfudge not Steele.
And there it is, a white helicopter with the name Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. written in blue with the company logo on the side. Surely this is misuse of Company property.
Notice how it's HIS private company and thus HIS helicopter. Notice how that gives him the freedom to decide how and when to use it.
In fact, I’m vehemently anti-drugs. I have a strict no-tolerance policy with regards to drugs for all my employees, and I insist on random drug testing.” Wow… control freakery gone mad. I blink at him shocked.Me:
“No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard. Secondly, there’s a lot more paperwork to do, and thirdly, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run for the hills. Come, I want to show you my playroom.” My mouth drops open. Fuck hard! Holy shit, that sounds so… hot. But why are we looking at a playroom? I am mystified. “You want to play on your Xbox?” I ask. He laughs, loudly.
And again, Ana leaves me speechless. This is all I could do:
“Okay, bag out tea. Sugar?” For a moment, I’m stunned, thinking it’s an endearment, but fortunately my subconscious kicks in with pursed lips. No, stupid – do you take sugar?
Receptive Dysprosody: Caused by a lesion in the Wernicke's area of the non-dominant cerebral hemisphere, resulting in an inability to understand intonations of other people's speech.
THAT is the only reason I could think of for the above idiocy.
Christian Grey’s sweat, the notion does odd things to me. I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I feel like a two-year old, if I close my eyes then I’m not really here.
Why would Christian Grey's sweat do “odd things” to a two year old? This is disturbing.
"My very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba."And I'm like oh God. I think she means her vagina. But as we move onwards, the nature of her inner goddess becomes more and more vague until it becomes a replacement for her "subconscious".
"My inner goddess sits in the lotus position looking serene except for the sly, self-congratulatory smile on her face."After some time the words "inner goddess" made me want to set the damn book on fire. But I had the e-book version. So I couldn't.
She's Infuriatingly Insecure:
"Romantically, though, I’ve never put myself out there, ever. A lifetime of insecurity – I’m too pale, too skinny, too scruffy, uncoordinated, my long list of faults goes on. So I have always been the one to rebuff any would be admirers. There was that guy in my chemistry class who liked me.."
"“No,” I snap irritably, hoping that will halt the questions. We head back into the apartment. “You obviously did, though.” I can’t contain my envy. Kate always manages to ensnare men. She is irresistible, beautiful, sexy, funny, forward… all the things that I’m not."Me:
Moving on from Ana, here's the other stuff that I despised
This is probably the single most despicable aspect of this book. Apart from having the weakest female lead I've EVER come across, the book is full of blatant misogyny Just listen to some of this crap:
“Well, if you were mine, you wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday. You didn’t eat, you got drunk, you put yourself at risk.” he said.
“It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you. I will gain a great deal of pleasure, joy, even in your submission. The more you submit, the greater my joy – it’s a very simple equation.” “Okay, and what do I get out of this?” He shrugs and looks almost apologetic. “Me,” he says simply. Oh my. Christian rakes his hand through his hair as he gazes at me.
I leave the table, wondering for a moment if I should ask permission but dismissing the idea. Sounds like a dangerous precedent to set.
“It means I want you to willingly surrender yourself to me, in all things.” I frown at him as I try to assimilate this idea. “Why would I do that?” “To please me,” he whispers as he cocks his head to one side, and I see a ghost of a smile. Please him! He wants me to please him! I think my mouth drops open. Please Christian Grey. And I realize, in that moment, that yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want him to be damned delighted with me. It’s a revelation.What really makes me want to go all homicidal is that women the world over are going nutzo over this dungheap of a book and actually APPROVE of all of this. Had a MAN written this, he would have been reviled far and wide so why is it okay if a WOMAN writes it? Why the hypocrisy?
The continuous descriptions of Grey's hair, eyes, shoulders, clothes, voice..
The author goes on and ON about how perfect Grey is and her tragically limited vocabulary makes this even worse. She even tries to wax on about his damn FEET:
Christian Grey’s feet… wow… what is it about naked feet?
Grey's overbearing pushy pompousness:
“Sit,” he commands, pointing to a place at the table. I make my way across the room and sit down opposite him as I’ve been directed.
My dog does the same thing! :D
“Your hair’s very damp,” he scolds. “I couldn’t find the hairdryer,” I mutter, embarrassed. Not that I looked. Christian’s mouth presses into a hard line, but he doesn’t say anything.
What the-what the HELL?! :s
“Eat,” he says more sharply. “Anastasia, I have an issue with wasted food… eat.” “I can’t eat all this.” I gape at what’s left on the table. “Eat what’s on your plate. If you’d eaten properly yesterday, you wouldn’t be here,
“Get into bed,” he says sharply.
“Two glasses of the Pinot Grigio,” Christian says with a voice of authority. I purse my lips, exasperated. “What?” he snaps. “I wanted a Diet Coke,” I whisper. His gray eyes narrow, and he shakes his head. “The Pinot Grigio here’s a decent wine, it will go well with the meal, whatever we get.What I would have done if someone had tried to pull that shit with ME:
Words that EL James needs to understand the meaning of before using them:
Stop! Stop Now! - My subconscious is metaphorically screaming at meMETAPHORICALLY
-I recognize the quote from Tess. I am stunned by the irony as I’ve just spent three hours writing about the novels of Thomas Hardy in my final examination.
-“Anastasia, I’ve told you. There’s something about you. I can’t leave you alone.” He smiles ironically.IRONY
My subconscious has emigrated..EMIGRATED
I leave her a groveling message to tell her I am alive and have not succumbed to Bluebeard, well not in the sense she would be worried about.GROVELING
And this was after I read only around a fifth of the book.
This Shit OBVIOUSLY didn't go Through an Editor:
There were frequent sentences that made absolutely NO sense at all. The last English Language classes I took were during my Ordinary Levels and even EYE can do better than THIS:
“I’m not the strange one, you are,” I accuse. There - that told him, my courage fuelled by alcohol.
He hasn’t mentioned the outburst of passion that exploded in the elevator.Outburst of passion that exploded? ....Wtf? :s
The car interior is filled with the sweetest, most magical music of two women singing.
...the music is caressing me once more. It’s a gentle, slow, sweet, and sure assault on my aural senses.
The waiter re-emerges with our entrees: black cod, asparagus, and crushed potatoes with a hol-landaise sauce. I have never felt less like food.So I gather that she generally feels like she is a giant roasted chicken with a side of baked potato or something:
|What Ana Generally Thinks She Is|
A rasping, disembodied voice comes over the speakers.
Disembodied? Really? What other kind of voice CAN you have over a speaker?
The Relationship Itself:
The whole Christian/Anastasia relationship is one giant farce. She's a pathetic fool with a classic case of abuse mentality. He gets his kicks by forcing his will on submissive women bound to him by a crazy contract that, to me, looks a lot like a contract for sexual slavery. He is totally beautiful though and, apparently, that redeems him completely. Here are a couple of clauses from the contract Grey presents to Ana:
The Submissive shall not look directly into the eyes of the Dominant except when specifically instructed to do so. The Submissive shall keep her eyes cast down and maintain a quiet and respectful bearing in the presence of the Dominant.The Submissive shall always conduct herself in a respectful manner to the Dominant and shall address him only as Sir, Mr. Grey, or such other title as the Dominant may direct.
“Keep your hands up here, don’t move them, understand?” His eyes burn into mine, and I’m breathless from their intensity. This is not a man I want to cross… ever. “Answer me,” he demands, his voice soft. “I won’t move my hands.” I’m breathlessShe's scared of him. And that is wrong on so many levels. What the hell kind of relationship IS that?
My inner goddess is jumping up and down, clapping her hands like a five-year-old. Please, let’s do this… otherwise we’ll end up alone with lots of cats and your classic novels to keep you company.And THAT right there is the crux of it. lets stick with the guy even though he's psychotic and abusive because he's really good looking and if you don't get with him, you might be alone forever. How utterly..sick. Women and girls the world over are worshipping all this insanity and that makes me want to HURL. It's horrifying to imagine that there are millions of impressionable teenage girls out there who are reading the series and accepting everything it advocates as something to swoon over. There are already way too many women in the world tolerating abusive relationships and atrocious treatment at the hands of men for some rubbish books to add to their numbers. All I can do is pray for the next generation.
The book has just about no story line. If the author was to remove the repetitive scenes through it, she'd probably be left with around ten pages of badly written crap. Most of it is filled with sex scenes boring enough to put an insomniac to sleep. No matter how hard I tried, I was unable to go through more than a third of the book and, after that, this is what I looked like:
It'd be kinder to stab someone in the eye than to make them read this shiz. The best thing about the whole 50 Shades series is that it's over. The end of the last book, however, says "The End..For now". And all I have to say to that is: