I read a “novel” recently that begs to be discussed. I’m not exactly sure why 50 Shades Of Grey became such a cultural phenomenon and one of the biggest selling books of all time (aside from the public’s obvious interest in pornography) but it’s quite the overrated little concoction.
On one hand, the writing style is just so painfully pedestrian and simple that it feels like a 12-year old wrote it (and trust me that’s an insult to 12-year olds everywhere). I don’t think I’ve ever really read a book that felt this cheap and badly written. E.L. James’ reliance on repetitive phrases such as the protagonist’s “inner goddess” made me want to gouge my eyes out with a hot poker.
But on the other hand, I have to admit that I was never really bored by Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey’s shenanigans. The book presents a stream of consciousness that while not particularly engaging, flows naturally and is easy to follow. Sure E.L. James offers little in terms of plot and character dimensions, but the story’s plethora of sex scenes undoubtedly entertain (naturally). Furthermore, I found myself strangely captivated by Christian Grey’s disturbing S&M lifestyle and the twisted world that Miss Steel got herself wrapped up in. The unsettling yet intriguing premise had a lot of potential which James destroyed with a lack of language proficiency.
And yet I kept on reading, frequently furious with myself for sticking with a book whose craftsmanship was just so cheap. It’s hard to decipher, but the book’s trashy quality was unusually engrossing and further cemented this garbage as a true guilty pleasure.
All in all, I don’t regret reading 50 Shades Of Grey. However, I doubt I’ll continue with the rest of the trilogy (I still can’t believe two more of these even exist), unless Miss E.L. James decides to take the plunge and invest in some much-needed writing classes.