One of my favourite pastimes is doing online searches of fan fictions. I absolutely despise reading them, but I love seeing what horrible concoctions people have come up with. My personal favourites are “My Immortal”, “Half-Life: Full-Life Consequences”, and “Squad Broken.” All of them have terrible concepts that go against everything the original work is about. What is fascinating about fan fiction is the surreal aspect they have. They are reflective of the author’s world but they are not reflective of the author’s imagination. Enter “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James; “Twilight” fan fiction gone horribly wrong. What is even scarier is that somehow, this beast got popular enough to be published (without an editor) and become a best seller.
I am a 21-year old white heterosexual male and I do not have kids nor am I in any form of a relationship (I swore I would never love again after my relationship with “Lost” passed). This makes me the opposite of the “target demographic”. Allegedly “Fifty Shades of Grey” is read by suburban soccer moms who are using erotica as a way to avoid watching real porn. It is also a eBook hit as nobody in their right mind wants to be seen reading porn in public. I read this on my Playbook and I simultaneously ironically loved and non-ironically regretted every second of it.
“Fifty Shades” follows Anastasia Steel and her relationship with the rich Christian Grey and his twisted sexual desires. They are supported by an equally boring group of secondary characters. The writing is horrendous and the plot is slower than molasses. I could go into depth on the grammar and diction but I will redirect you to this brilliant site as she does a better job than I can at poking holes in the writing style.
I have read “Twilight”. I disliked it, but I admire Stephanie Meyers odd ability at making boring subject matter compelling, even if it is convoluted and sappy. The characters are shallow and lack any substance, which makes it easy to simply rename them and call it a new story. “Fifty Shades of Grey” was originally “Twilight” fan fiction. Bella is Ana in literally every single sense. Christian is Edward, minus the vampire bit with a little BDSM sprinkled in. Jose Rodriguez is Jacob, the hopeless ethnic minority who loves the girl for some reason. Mia is one of the sisters, and Kate is that character that Anna Kendrick plays in the movies. Like “Twilight”, the characters are selfish and one-dimensional and the plot is bloated and could have been told in a fraction of the time.
What really irks me about this book is how unrealistic everything is. It is almost as if E.L. James does not understand how humans interact with themselves, others and the world around them. Ana will talk about mundane crap that has no bearing on the plot, her situation or even her lifestyle. Christian is a kajillionaire (he must have won that lawsuit against Limewire), and he has dealing with Darfur and other international contracts, perhaps in genocide or ethnic cleansing. Christian employs a lot of people and is apparently a great public figure. People like him for some reason even though he comes across as a turd. E.L. James treats any minority as if they were an alien and Ana is always quick to point out how “special” they are.
The book is not just racist, but it is sexist as well! Ana is willing to sign a contract allowing Christian to literally beat the shit out of her and declare himself the “dominant” to her “submissive”. This sets feminism back a few centuries at least. Ana is completely willing to sell her dignity so she can have a boyfriend, and she does not think anything of it. Christian has revolutionized how I will now play the dating game. I now know the only way to pick up chicks is by having sketchy dealings with genocide filled regions and get girls to sign contracts saying that I literally own them.
The novel goes from one unrealistic sex scene to another. The sex is always perfect and the descriptions are hilarious. She refers to her vajayjay as her “sex” all the time and she exclaims things like “holy moly!” every time Christian exposes his dingle berries. After they first have sex the plot becomes rehash of itself over and over. They have sex. They talk about how cool the sex was and she blabs on about how her “inner goddess” is proud. He shows up to one of her events. They talk. They have sex. Cool writing bro. E.L. James, looks like you are a modern day Jane Austin.
The literary critic is more important than ever. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is something that should have never been published and it’s existence is damaging to feminism, sexual liberty, literature, the English language, ethnic minorities, the environment (trees make paper right?) and most important of all: my soul. Do not buy this book, as it is dangerous to society. Read absolutely anything else. Give “The Hunger Games” a shot or stay inside and play video games. I really do not want a movie to come out for this, as I do not want to experience “Fifty Shades” crazes to rock popular culture. If I see any #TeamChristian or #TeamJose or even a #TeamInnerGoddess on Twitter then I will know that the critic has failed.