Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Romantic, liberating and totally addictive, Fifty Shades of Grey is a novel that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever. When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind - until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out. Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more. But Grey is tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Grey keeps hidden away from public view...

Okay, so I've been feeling a lot like I'm the only girl in the world who has taken more than a week (hell, I think it's been more than 2 weeks!) to read this book. I am not quite sure what the fuss is about. And after a friend sent me the Bizzybiz Blog posts, I'm feeling a lot better about my lack of enthusiasm about this book.

Seriously, I found it tedious. I dunno if that's because I wasn't expecting it to be about a completely sheltered 21yr old and a ridiculously impossibly wealthy 27yr old. The hype was making out to be "Twilight for adults" (okay, so the characters have made it out of high school :P) but this was just too glaringly *exactly* the same as the Twilight series (sans Vampires, of course). The cipher any/every girl, the described-in-minute-detail wealthy impossibly good-looking boy. And yes, spoiler alert, this run-of-the-mill ordinary girl is the only person this amazing god-like man is interested in. And she says no way, he couldn't possibly be. And he says but yes, I want *you*. And she says no, but why would you and he says oh, but I just do. And then she gives in because he is being all caveman and hit her over the head with his club and dragged her back to his cave just to prove that yes, he really does only have eyes for her. Vomit.

Yes, I get that (I suppose) we all want a boy who determinedly knows exactly what he wants and what he wants is you. There are few things more heady. And confidence is sexy. But let's be fair. I am living a real life with real people. And I get that there is something to be said for fantasy and escapism, but at this point in my life I am desperately trying to undo the damage that movies, series and fiction have done to my expectations of a relationship and romance and real life. I realised that as I read this book lying in bed next to my wonderfully normal boyfriend
(who I completely adore), while he was playing a game on his tablet and wondered why he hadn't just ripped my pj's off in a frenzy of lust. Oh yes, because I live in the real world. If yours did, congrats, but I expect it won't happen again tomorrow night ...

I think this book is going to be doing a lot of damage to the Twilight generation (who no doubt will follow that series up with this one), who will have unbelievable expectations of what love is and what it is to be in love with someone. They are in for some serious heartache, and I reckon they will be in therapy for years wondering why none of their relationships last longer than the honeymoon phase. I expect this lot will also have plenty of undue expectations of sex after this book.

Seriously people, unless you think you can handle this as pure escapism and fantasy (NOT real life), don't read this book, read the blog posts I linked to above instead. Or read the blog posts after you've read the book at very least to remind yourself just how unreal it actually is.

1 comment:

po said...

I love your review! I have not read this and have no desire to but I tried to read a Twilight once. I so am with you on undoing the years of indoctrination into how Hollywood thinks relationships work - when I was younger I did actually believe that if a relationship did not feel perfect, then it was because the person I was with was not good enough, because with the right person I would never have to make any effort, never argue, never get annoyed, because with the right person there is this magical connection blah blah. I am sure there are many women out there breaking up with great guys for those reasons. Blegh.

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