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50 Shades of Grey


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Didn't put this in the book forum because that's designated for "books you love".

Holy crap, this book is f-ing terrible. It's the first book in a while that I have not only heard about online, but by word of mouth. I figure, hey, must be pretty darn good, right?

WRONG.

I consider myself a writer. And one of the things about being a writer is that when I read things, I can see what the author was trying to do or what their intentions are with certain words and phrases. This isn't always a bad thing...I am able to appreciate good writing, wording and set up.

But I cannot tolerate really obvious, heavy, dramatic writing. I expect more from a published author, sue me. You have to be able to write a sentence that successfully conveys a complete message or thought with less than 25 words. You cannot use the same words over and over again. You cannot be predictable.

This book is touted as erotica but it's nothing more than an impossible, cheesy romance novel. I can already predict the ending. The main character is an annoyingly naive virgin who has stupid conversations with her own abusive self conscious. She falls for the brooding, classical piano playing millionaire who has a thing for whips and chains.

The author uses the words dark, intense, amused, hard, steely, rigid and mysterious to describe the sexy pervert REPEATEDLY. We get it!! He is an unattainable monster! She's a cotton panty wearing choir girl!!

This is in official rant and book review brought to you by Pumpkins. Apparently, women all over the country are foaming at the mouth and snapping this piece of trash up off the shelves faster than the glazed donuts when the little red sign is flipped on at Krispy Keene. Ladies..you can do better!! This is not erotica, this is not even good writing!

Feel free to share your own experiences with book disappointment. Any books that everyone else loved that you could barely stomach? Or have you read the atrocious waste of ink and paper that is 50 Shades of Grey?
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Obviously meant Krispy Kreme. Considering I did that on my phone, I am pretty proud of only a few errors!

Reading a bad book once in a while will make you a better writer, or so I've been told.

I haven't read it, but I know it originated as a fanfiction.  Based off Twilight.  Any interest I had ended there.

Eta: because most people aren't familiar with fanfiction...it's a website where anyone can write stories based on other books, or using the characters.  Kind of like a build-your-own-literary-universe.  More popular books have lots of stories (Harry Potter, Jane Austen, Girl with Dragon Tattoo, etc).  There are a few good ones, but it's mostly full of young teenagers with no writing skills, illiterates, or unpublished authors of bad eroticas.

When my judge found out I was going to Hawaii, he insisted on sending me off with reading material for the plane.  His selection was a Jack Higgins novel about identical twin WWII pilots who fought on opposite sides.  It was so painful to read, and I had to, because I knew the judge would ask me about it (he did).  Terrible character development, obvious plot, wholly unrealistic dialogue ... the thing read like some kind of programmed computer algorithm that spits out names and places according to a carefully planned "action novel" structure.  I've read better mad libs.

I read this piece of **** last week. Normally, I read a lot of reviews before buying a book. I don't know why I finished it. Anastasia rolls her eyes fifty bazillion times. And the lip biting! Enough with the lip biting! I never thought I'd read a book as bad as twitlite; I think 50 shades of Bland is actually worse. It was soooooo bad. 

The writing is infantile. The story is stupid. I mean Christian is obviously pretty ok with his kinky self, so why would he be so invested in persuing someone who can't deal with "The Red Room of Pain." I suspect she "cures" him in book 3. I mean you'd think a book with a BDSM theme would at least have a few good sexy parts, but ohhhh no. It's like Disney kink. I imagined her chewing gum through the entire book.

So bad, so so bad.

And he was always "fisting" her hair! Stupid stupid book.

ETA: The cheesey inner dialogue with her inner goddess got very old, very fast.

 

After reading the reviews I had already determined that Ann Rice did it better, years ago, as A.N. Roquelaure in the Sleeping Beauty series. Not only did she write beautifully, she gave the reader insight with regard to the true sub/dom power dynamic.

Thanks for the heads up though, LP. Would have really hated to spend the dough.

Omg, the lip biting! If anyone actually bit their lip that much, they wouldn't have one anymore. And at some point, it stops being sexy.

My most memorable book that I hated which everyone else raves about is The Old Man and the Sea.

I disliked it so much, I really don't want to get into it, but I'll just say that I still resent Mrs. Nicholson for making us read it in English class.

And thanks for the heads up, NP - I was considering it, but now I can save my time and $$.

It's bad but it kind of makes me think a little less of someone when they recommend an awful book. I know we aren't all readers and writers, but come on.

Also, erotica is only hot if it's somewhat realistic. You have to be able to believe it on some level, and relate to the characters.
I was wondering about this. Had 5 people (including my mother in law) recommend it to me.

I assumed it wouldn't live up to the hype.

Thanks for the heads up!  Not much I despise more than reading all kinds of good reviews for a book that I can't get past 3 chapters in because I'm bored to tears.

I adore a good romance/paranormal romance (my personal fave)/erotica (hubby loves when I read those... hmmm.  dunno why ;) but have run across some stinkers. It's like trying to get through really (REALLY) bad porn.  How do you screw that up??

The author Amber Scott is coming to mind immediately.  Was browsing Amazon based on ratings (trying to find a new author I would like) and her 2 books kept coming up highly rated.  So I downloaded them.  Managed to get through one of them in like a week (mind you, I read 1-2 books/day when I get the opportunity), and the other one I managed to make it about a third of the way through and just couldn't stand it anymore it was *that* bad.  Booooooorrrrrring.  I did leave a lousy review on the one I actually read, just to let others know that this really wasn't all that and a bag of chips.  I'm still thinking those that wrote all the raving reviews were friends and family.

And, santonacci, I HATED The Old Man and the Sea.  Talk about dull. You are not alone in your assessment ;)

I am reading a 2032 A  Post Apocalyptic  Experimental Novel..

This was by A.S. Anand.  It was free on Amazon Kindle... the only good thing about it.. Sorry, but it has been really hard to follow, maybe that is why it is experimental...Generally I find Post Ap. novels really fun, this one I just don't get.   I keep thinking that I will eventually hit a good stretch.

Original Post by rosieii:

Reading a bad book once in a while will make you a better writer, or so I've been told.

It can certainly convince you to keep writing. If that schmoe got published...why can't I? :)

Original Post by meta15:

I was wondering about this. Had 5 people (including my mother in law) recommend it to me.

I assumed it wouldn't live up to the hype.

That's interesting to me. I wonder if the hoopla is simply the mainstream dipping their collective toe into the 'dangerous' waters at the dark end of the pool?

I haven't read it, but I won't try to now.

I read the first Twilight book. That was awful. Simply horrendous. But I knew that going in - I just wanted to be able to say that I had read it, before I made fun of it.

At one point, having no money or job, I ended up reading a lot of the "recommended" books at the local library. One of them was The Tavern on Maple Street. Looking at Amazon, it gets several good reviews.

It was honestly the worst thing I have ever read (I think even Twilight was better writing). Pure tripe. I read it 6 years ago, and I'm still bitter that I spent my completely free time on it.

There are too many books I do want to read to put something like 50 Shades in my To Read Pile.

But either this week or last week, Newsweek had a cover story about how today's woman really wants to be dominated sexually. Because after a hard day at work, being in charge and making decisions, we just want to be put in our place?

I don't know. Sounded like a load of codswallop to me. Or wishful thinking/projection on the part of kinksters, probably because of the popularity of this book, sounds like.

Not that there's anything wrong with kink if everybody's consenting - whatever. But it's kind of lame to write an article attempting to show that your kink is like, soooo popular now.  Oh brother...

Oh. One other thought I will share. Don't confuse popular appeal with literary skill. If you were to look up the top-selling books of the year from the last 100-150 years, very rarely would you find a top-selling book that is now studied for its literary merit.  There are exceptions, but in general it holds true. Take a look at this and compare the best selling fiction to the acclaimed and significant titles.

I will also say though, that there is a time and place for guilty pleasure, 'trashy' novels every once in a while (or often if that's your cup o' tea).  But it sounds like 50 Shades would not be one to waste my time on.

The Dragonbone Chair - Tad Williams. I gave up about four times trying to get through this book.

Movies: Saving Private Ryan. Yawn.

Original Post by nomoreexcuses:

There are too many books I do want to read to put something like 50 Shades in my To Read Pile.

But either this week or last week, Newsweek had a cover story about how today's woman really wants to be dominated sexually. Because after a hard day at work, being in charge and making decisions, we just want to be put in our place?

I don't know. Sounded like a load of codswallop to me. Or wishful thinking/projection on the part of kinksters, probably because of the popularity of this book, sounds like.

I read that article, or one like it. The reference was made to the new HBO series Girls, in an effort to prove the hypothesis. The idea being that women, nowadays, want he-men, and that they find hyper-sensitive, emotionally available men boring. Of course, the series portrays both extremes to the point of absurdity, because it's supposed to be a funny show.

It can't be forgotten, too, that every generation thinks they invented sex, so there's bound to be a new version of 'what women want' every couple of decades or so.

 

Hmmm.

Idk.  I thought about it.  The last thing I want, at the end of a long day of making my own decisions, handling my own stuff, taking care of my child and myself, is some dude bossing me around or babying me.  Of course, I have a natural inclination to resist any type of dominance or authority.  I appreciate a guy who knows when I actually need help or someone to put their foot down and will step in without making a big deal out of it, and who also knows that for the most part, I got this, yo.

I'm glad I've saved a few of you some dollars and time and agony.  If I can even prevent just one innocent person from reading this book, my life will feel full and complete.

You're probably on to something, KG.  And maybe to some people, this is pretty edgy and dark and "bad".  That makes me...sad, really. 

Original Post by lostpumpkins:
You're probably on to something, KG.  And maybe to some people, this is pretty edgy and dark and "bad".  That makes me...sad, really. 

Why? Who cares what other people read? The important thing is that they're reading.

I have parents who come in and complain because their kid is reading comic books instead of "literature". I always tell them they're lucky--a lot of kids (and adults) won't even pick up a book.

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