Now, I've spent A LOT of time making fun of my mom and the other *ahem* mom's I know who have read this penis and vagina-fest Twilight fan fic. But, last week while waiting to pick my boss' husband up from the airport, I decided to give it a read. It was free, after all, and someone told me that Ryan Gosling was in talks to play Christian Grey in the movie. So I cashed in my RG fan club card and tried to read it.
But I got about 4 pages into it before I decided it wasn't worth the energy it took to move my eyes from left to right to read it. But then I remembered, I have the audio books from Daron. And I'm also facing a 7 hour road trip and I am sans-iPod. And I was curious as to *just how bad* it could be. So I burned the books to 5 cd's and set out on the road.
I made it to chapter 5 before I got so simultaneously bored and angry that I wanted to scratch my own eyes out. It's a shitty book to begin with, but the only way to make it worse is to have it narrated by a drab, banal Valley Girl.
I spent so much time laughing at her shitty inflection that I lose track of the "story." Honestly, I understand that it's an S&M "romance" book and that plot/conflict/resolution and character development don't mean much, but shit. Even porn needs an intriguing story line. And I didn't think I could find characters less redeemable than the Twilight clan, or dialogue so awkward and stiff than the George Lucas penned episodes of Star Wars, but EL James has done it.
I have no idea why so many women think this is a sexy book. I'm too distracted by how terrible it is. Early on, I figured I'd read/listen to all the books just to say I did it, and to figure out what this story is all about (everyone tells me the climax (hurrhurr) occurs in the 3rd book). But, I don't know if I can handle 2 more books of this vapid 21 year old refer to her "Inner Goddess" (vagina) every 36 lines, or listen to her say "My subconscious screamed at me" whenever she has a moment of inner monologue (which is 99% of the book).
I cling to a lot of terrible Pop Culture hullabloo just for the novelty or because it's just so much fun to hate (Twilight). But, this and HoneyBooBoo are the first "icons" to make me nauseous with how bad they are (did anyone see the episode where they all breathed on a blind folded sister's face and that sister had to determine who it was based on the smell of the breath? #vomit). There's just nothing good I can say about this. I can't even say, "hey, at least Ammmrrka's reading!" because it makes my brain deflate to think that this book has sold more copies than anything by David Foster Wallace.
But on a serious note, I'm concerned with how books like this and Twilight shape how young girls view love. Christian Grey is a scurrry character. The type of distant, cold, stalky, insulting, control freak who clings to thoughtless women and rewards their submissiveness with clothes and orgasms (albeit sadistically derived orgasms). Not that being rewarded with clothes and orgasms is a bad thing, but yikes. In any other universe, Christian Grey would be a wife beater. In this one, he's a guide through "deep, dark, places."
In summation: It *is* as bad as they say. I fear for the young women who fall in love with dudes like Christian Grey or Edward Cullen. Read this book if you get off on idiot women being controlled by Diet Patrick Bateman.
Mmm, Patrick Bateman.