Ceilidh's Reviews > Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
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Aug 10, 12

Read from March 17 to 21, 2012

** spoiler alert ** (This is clearly a joke, no offence intended to anyone mentioned. My thanks to Tumblr for all the gifs. If you know nothing about British politics, this may make this a bit difficult.)

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ORDER! ORDER! 50 Shades of Grey review by the leader of the opposition. Mr Ed Miliband!

"Ed Miliband Reviews 50 Shades of Grey (whilst Ceilidh hopes this doesn't result in her party membership being revoked!)"



Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing us to have this emergency meeting in the House of Commons to discuss this incredibly important manner in a polite, democratic fashion. As many of you may know, the publishing house Vintage recently purchased the erotic romance series 50 Shades of Grey, written by E.L. James, for a seven figure sum, thus allowing her to benefit from the Chancellor's recent top rate tax cut. I'm sure he'll be delighted to take responsibility for that.



This book, originally published online as Twilight fan-fiction, has angered many in the literary community, especially those who feel that the author exploited fandom and copyrighted material for her own personal gain. The people are angry, Mr Speaker, and since this complacent government won't take it upon themselves to listen to the will of the people, not the corporations, I decided to read the book myself to see what all the fuss was about. It was... enlightening.

Ed suddenly remembers he is supposed to taking this all very seriously.<br />PMQs 29/02/2012

First of all, it's heinously written. It makes the NHS bill look like a Booker prize winner. I can't help but wonder if the author was being paid by the ellipses. The British author just cannot write authentic American dialogue to save herself. It doesn't matter how many times the heroine gets called 'baby', that won't hide the frequent British anachronisms that any half-decent editor could have fixed. I won't even get started on the cringe-worthy nature of the dialogue itself. These characters read like teenagers, or at least how a middle aged woman imagines teenagers speak, which is worrying given they're all supposed to be in their twenties, but not surprising given that this is Twilight fan-fiction. A brief side note for the less internet savvy Members of Parliament present today. Fan-fiction are stories written by fans of an original work. Sometimes they're based on movies, songs, or in this instances books. And sometimes they're based on real people, known as RPF. During my research I uncovered a significant amount of RPF relating to me and various people of political interest. What can I say? What has been seen cannot be unseen:



Returning back to the matter in hand, the juvenile nature of the prose only serves to highlight just how ridiculous the content of the novel is. The characters are clearly Edward and Bella (don't ask me how I know this, I'm a Desperate Housewives fan so my taste in popular culture is suspect at best) with no editing or creative spin put on them to differentiate them from fan-fiction state to original fiction state. They're bland, predictable and entirely stupid. Mr Speaker, the so-called hero of this piece, Christian Grey, is nothing short of an abusive spouse, masquerading as a sexual dominant. He pushes Ana into a situation she has no real understanding of and never provides her with any real information on what she's been forced into. Once again, we're left with a nasty little man considered charming and desirable based solely on his looks, although I imagine his extreme wealth also has something to do with that. He's condescending, mean, classless, he stalks her and puts her in situations she clearly says she's uncomfortable with. How is it romantic or sexy to intimidate your girlfriend and have her constantly worry about upsetting you for fear of your twitchy palm? That's shocking, Mr Speaker! Shocking!



The hastily developed romance is not romance and it's more embarrassingly hilarious than sexy. This author has absolutely no understanding of what a dominant/submissive relationship entails. Christian's abhorrent behaviour is excused as a normal part of BDSM and D/S relations, which stem from his childhood trauma. Because, of course, only messed up people would ever want to mix pain with pleasure. This cheap, lazy mis-characterisation of an issue the author clearly knows less about than her readers only does a disservice to romance readers, real D/S relationships, and women full stop. It's bad enough that our society is sex obsessed without ever really discussing it, but surely women deserve better porn than this? I know my shadow Chancellor agrees with me.

I hear that over the christmas break, the two Eds have been perfecting their rhymes for their Rap Duo outfit ready to bust the PMQs scene this wednesday.  Ed M is spitting his flow while Ed B appreciates the rhythm with his all out intense head bob.  Gets even the most dormant of back benches moving.

It's not even that kinky! It's a sad sign of just how sexually conservative this world is when a little spanking is considered hardcore BDSM. Then again, the spanking in this book is rage inducing in how badly it gets D/S relations wrong. Threatening the heroine is not how it works! At one point in the novel, Christian says, and I quote, "I could threaten you." Mr Speaker, how is this acceptable? The author doesn't know what she's doing! The only time this could legitimately enters the realm of kink is when Christian yanks out Ana's tampon and proceeds to have sex with her while she's menstruating. Not my cup of tea, I must admit. However, the scene is so badly written, so immature in its 1st person narration of the scene from Ana's point of view, that the only natural reaction is to laugh, cry or enter a perpetual state of panda-faced bemusement:

PMQs Wednesday 80/06/2011

Now, I won't go into further details on that area here in the interests of parliamentary politeness, but rest assured that many more qualified people than I have discussed this matter at length. Maybe the Chancellor can help us out there again, yes?



Lashed to the mast, yes, Mr Chancellor?

Mr Speaker, nothing in this book rings true. It's lacking in tension, in strong characterisation, in decent prose, in readable dialogue, in consistency and in pacing. It's evident that this work is fan-fiction because it reads like fan-fiction, not only in content but in style. It reads like it was supposed to be read on a chapter-by-chapter basis the way fan-fiction is designed. There's no finesse to the text. I highly doubt its publishers, The Writer's Coffee Shop, bothered to properly edit it before churning out overpriced copies to be sold online. A simple search-and-replace on names seems to have been the maximum work done to the text, as evidenced by Dear Author's comparison between the book and the original fan-fiction, available on their site. Mr Speaker, I can't help but feel exasperated by this self satisfied smug complacency by James and TWCS.



It's not hard to see why readers are angry. Not only because of the more than suspect background to the story's origins and subsequent publication as well as the author's own behaviour. Not only because of the 7 figure publishing deal, the placement on the New York Times Bestseller list, and the rumours of a movie adaptation, something that could rival The Room in terms of midnight showing hilarity. Not only because of the mainstream media's complete lack of understanding on issues of fandom, romance novels, erotica and women's sexuality. Not only all of that, Mr Speaker. Readers have the right to be angry because this book is just plain bad. There is so much wrong with this book that just one Miliband cannot express it:



Mr Speaker, action must be taken, and I doubt it will come from this complacent Prime Minister. We need strong, informed and occasionally sarcastic action against this surge of pull-to-publish fan-fiction that threatens to fill the market. If not, we will find that we have dug ourselves into a hole that will be impossible to escape, as demonstrated by my shadow Chancellor:



A hole where creative copyright is diluted time and time again for profit, bypassing the copyright laws the way the cabinet evades the tax laws, never technically illegal but still morally suspect. Mr Speaker, where will it end? 50 Shades of Grey fan-fiction already exists - surely the Inception of fan-fiction - and what's to stop someone from taking that, changing the names and submitting it to TWCS or Omnific for publication? The media's lack of understanding of fandom can only hinder the discussions we truly need on this matter, so let us demand them and let us demand action!

anotherlgbtchat:<br /><br />fuckyeahpmqs:<br /><br />PMQs… NOW… GET TO IT!<br /><br /><br /><br />Glad my GIFs are being put to good use!

But the question is, will anything ever truly be done? Mr Speaker, I am sad to say that I doubt it will. Profit before creativity, money before ideas. The same old story from the same old Tories... I mean industry. Same difference. We await further developments of this case eagerly. Now, this is the first book in a trilogy, one that ends on a highly predictable cliffhanger, and I've been asked if I will read the other two. My answer is a short one:

Erm&#8230; no.<br />Wednesday 09/11/2011

Mr Speaker I yield the floor. I'm going to go look for that fan-fiction where I'm a vampire and I get to feed on bankers!
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Reading Progress

03/17/2012
53.0% "Yes, I am doing this. I started reading it ages ago & just laughed a lot (imagine every sex scene being narrated by either Zapp Brannigan or Brian Blessed). However, I'm writing an article on P2P and the craze this book has inspired so it feels necessary to finish this crap. Also, dissertation procrastination."
03/17/2012
61.0% ""You scare me when you're angry." That's not how D/S relationships, or any fucking relationship, is supposed to work!"
03/17/2012
67.0% "I'm reasonably sure being an abusive jerk isn't covered under the hastily put together agreements of a D/S relationship. He should not want to hit her out of jealousy and she should not be scared!" 6 comments
03/18/2012
75.0% "I'm not really a fan of the gif heavy review style but I am so bloody tempted to review this book solely using Ed Miliband gifs I found on Tumblr: " 1 comment
03/21/2012
80.0% "It's so romantic and sexy to make your girlfriend feel intimidated and constantly worried about making you and your twitchy palm angry. Wait... PMQs Wednesday 80/06/2011" 5 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 66) (66 new)


message 1: by Yael (new)

Yael Itamar Oh, this will be fun...


message 2: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Can't wait.


message 3: by rameau (new) - added it

rameau Oh, I loved this. (Not that I'm an expert of British politics, but I know just enough.) And the last line especially.


message 4: by Vicki-Michelle (new)

Vicki-Michelle This:

'I can't help but wonder if the author was being paid by the ellipses.'

And this:

'It's not even that kinky! It's a sad sign of just how sexually conservative this world is when a little spanking is considered hardcore BDSM.'

*applause*


Ceilidh rameau wrote: "Oh, I loved this. (Not that I'm an expert of British politics, but I know just enough.) And the last line especially."

Glad you liked it and good to know it's not too weird for non British politics geeks to enjoy.

And yes, that fic exists.


Katie(babs) I think I peed my pants LOLing so hard. You rock.


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Hartman What a face Miliband has! I could watch him all day.


message 8: by Ceilidh (last edited Mar 24, 2012 09:21AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Ceilidh Rachel wrote: "What a face Miliband has! I could watch him all day."

I love him, although I'm sure people will doubt my political allegiances after this (fully paid up Labour party member & big supporter of Ed). Of course, if any UK politician were to criticise 50 Shades for its misrepresentation of BDSM, it'd be George Osborne (allegedly) but he's a Tory & he annoys me.

For those who know nothing about UK politics, this is Ed Miliband in action a couple of days ago, being badass:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkeQ41...


message 9: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Amazing review. Just amazing.

After reading that the fic exists, I went to FFn and searched it out. My husband laughed when I said, "You've got to be SHITTING me."


Sandra Brilliant, simply brilliant!!! :)


message 11: by Katie_la_geek (new)

Katie_la_geek Oh my god this is the best and funniest review I have ever seen. Just brilliant.


message 12: by Lotta (new) - added it

Lotta How does one find the mentioned fanfic? Sounds fascinating :) Great review!


message 13: by Kerry (new)

Kerry Freeman Best. Review. Ever.


Ceilidh Lotta wrote: "How does one find the mentioned fanfic? Sounds fascinating :) Great review!"

Which one? And thanks, glad you liked it! XD


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) Perfect! :D LOVED IT.

I wonder if EL James would pitch a legal fit if 50 Shades fanfic got P2P. Haha, one can only hope she'd be that much of a hypocrite.


Ceilidh Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "Perfect! :D LOVED IT.

I wonder if EL James would pitch a legal fit if 50 Shades fanfic got P2P. Haha, one can only hope she'd be that much of a hypocrite."


I actually mentioned this to TWCS on twitter and they said that 50 Shades fic would be subject to the same copyright laws as James, insinuating that they'd have no problem with P2P 50 Shades fic. However, when I asked them if they'd ever consider publishing it, I never got a reply. Funny that.


message 17: by Lotta (new) - added it

Lotta I was thinking of the one where Ed Miliband is a vampire who gets to kill bankers, that sounds brilliant!


message 18: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy This review is so made of win! Brilliant!


message 19: by Annmarie (new)

Annmarie One of the best reviews I've read on this so called "book". Hysterical but completely on point.


Ceilidh Thanks everyone. I genuinely wasn't expecting such a huge response in such a short amount of time, especially since this isn't my usual style of reviewing. I've just spent so much time getting mad at this book and everything surrounding it and already wrote an article on it that I needed do something to make me smile.

I'd be interested to find out how many people reading this review actually know who Ed Miliband and the other politicians mentioned are.


message 21: by ♡Karlyn P♡ (last edited Mar 24, 2012 11:03AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

♡Karlyn P♡ Awesome review! Loved it. This book is one of life's mysteries, but I surely don't get the hype. Not at all.


message 22: by Becky (new)

Becky Black Ceilidh wrote: "Thanks everyone. I genuinely wasn't expecting such a huge response in such a short amount of time, especially since this isn't my usual style of reviewing. I've just spent so much time getting mad ..."

I know who Ed is, being British, so I was reading it in his voice in my head, which was hilarious. The review genuinely sounds like a political speech, with its three part lists and so on. Ed Balls nodding away about women deserving better porn made me LOL.

You realise I'll never be able to listen to Yesterday in Parliament in the same way again?


Ceilidh There were points where I was reading 50 Shades in Ed's voice. It was an experience. The next PMQs is going to be a lot of fun for me, I can tell you that!


message 24: by Katya (new) - added it

Katya Awe-fucking-some.

Out of curiosity, is there a discussion where someone really into BDSM reviews this book?


message 25: by Zona (new) - added it

Zona Amen.


message 26: by Luxie (new) - rated it 1 star

Luxie Ryder Brilliant review! Loved the gifs :)

My review says pretty much the same regarding the fact Christian is an abuser (I just don't say it as well as you do). I was disturbed by the nature of their relationship. I've read the whole fan fic (Masters of the Universe) and can only say you should consider yourself lucky you didn't have to read the part where he covers her chest in lovebites while she is blindfold and has placed her trust in him, in order to stop her being able to wear the skimpy bikinis she has been defying him by wearing.

Noooo...he's not an abusive prick AT ALL!


message 27: by Bella (new)

Bella Leone Bless you. Bless your gifs. Bless the crazyass Brit politicos for giving you those gifs. The insanity of all of this is beyond me, but you've captured it well.
In all seriousness, you hit the nail right on the head and I'm thankful for that. This story started out intriguing as a fic, but became a sick and twisted tale that was not at all reminiscent of a healthy BDSM relationship. It is downright offensive on so many levels.
Not to mention how horrendous it is so many people are buying it and funding her plagiarism and those touting it as "mommyporn" and the like. It's just not okay all over. Thank you for saying it so well.


Ceilidh Luxie wrote: "Brilliant review! Loved the gifs :)

My review says pretty much the same regarding the fact Christian is an abuser (I just don't say it as well as you do). I was disturbed by the nature of their r..."


Wait, what?

Wednesday 22/06/2011<br />Caption Anyone?

Ed and the shadow cabinet are unamused by this news:




message 29: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Excellent review.


KindleRomance Reviews Great job!!


Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish) Lord, WHY can't I like this more than once? Brilliant review. You said so many things I've said and wanted to write more about.

I can't help but wonder if the author was being paid by the ellipses.

Hahahaha!

...only does a disservice to romance readers, real D/S relationships, and women full stop.

Yes, yes, yes!

Not only because of the mainstream media's complete lack of understanding on issues of fandom, romance novels, erotica and women's sexuality.

Exactly. Instead of reporting on the real issues surrounding this fic, they concentrate on the fact women like sex. How...typical for the media.


Katie(babs) Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "Perfect! :D LOVED IT.

I wonder if EL James would pitch a legal fit if 50 Shades fanfic got P2P. Haha, one can only hope she'd be that much of a hypocrite."


There's already 50 Shades fan fiction written http://www.fanfiction.net/book/Fifty_...

I'm tempted to write a fan fiction where Ana ties Christian up and uses the cane on him instead of the scene where he uses the belt on her. Ana ends up leaving him tied to the bed and gives him the finger and tells she's out.

He cries late into the night clutching his lame as BDSM rule contract and ends up watching Twilight to get over the hurt.


message 33: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Katie(babs) wrote: "Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "He cries late into the night clutching his lame as BDSM rule contract and ends up watching Twilight to get over the hurt. "

Oh, please. If you do, you must link it. Please, please, please!


Katie(babs) Trinity wrote: "Katie(babs) wrote: "Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "He cries late into the night clutching his lame as BDSM rule contract and ends up watching Twilight to get over the hurt. "

Oh, please. If you..."


You think I should? I would do it more like a parody ala Fifty One Shades.


message 35: by Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) (last edited Mar 24, 2012 03:31PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) Ceilidh wrote: "I'd be interested to find out how many people reading this review actually know who Ed Miliband and the other politicians mentioned are."

When I watched PMQ on C-SPAN over here (U.S.), I was making up slash with Cameron and Osborne the entire time. I fangirled Nick Clegg until he went over to the Dark Side. And I only saw a few sessions with Miliband before I unsubbed from the satellite service, but from this Yank's POV he came across as a harping little snot. I always wondered if any MPs were tempted to dump his books in the hallway.

And the name Ed Balls is full of win.


Ceilidh Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) wrote: "Ceilidh wrote: "I'd be interested to find out how many people reading this review actually know who Ed Miliband and the other politicians mentioned are."

When I watched PMQ on C-SPAN over here (U...."


Shame you didn't stick with it. I know I'm obviously biased but EdM's been on political fire since the beginning of the year. He's very good at tearing down the government's arguments and making them very annoyed while doing so. I welcome this because Cameron & Osborne spend their days acting like private school bullies and take ridiculous pot-shots at Ed's appearance and relationship with his brother.

Plus he has the greatest facial expressions on the planet, as evidenced above. XD


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) I meant to watch it online, but watching TV on the computer isn't something I normally do so it fell to the wayside. I figured he was finding his sea legs early on and would hopefully become less of a carping whiner.

Osborne really came across as a jerkwad, but I like Cameron for the pretteh. Totally agnostic and shallow when it comes to UK politics. Though I DO miss Gordon Brown in all his dour, humorless glory.


Ceilidh Cameron? Pretty? Really? Love Gordon Brown, but I'm a dour socially awkward Scottish Labourite of Edinburgh University so of course I do!


Karla (Mossy Love Grotto) He's the right mix of pretty & snarky for me. I liked his rich boy sarcasm. I'd want to kick him in the nads IRL tho, but from a distance, I LOLd.


message 40: by Ashton (new)

Ashton Despite being in the UK, I know nothing about politics, but Ed has a phenomenal face for making a point! Great job on your review.


message 41: by Trinity (new)

Trinity Katie(babs) wrote: "
You think I should? I would do it more like a parody ala Fifty One Shades."


You absolutely should.


message 42: by Bεε (new) - rated it 1 star

Bεε i agree. Best.Review.Ever... or in other words, "Lisa - err, Ana - You're tearing me apart!"


message 43: by Steph (new) - rated it 1 star

Steph Sinclair *slow clap*

Brilliant!


message 44: by Catherine (new)

Catherine "I'm going to go look for that fan-fiction where I'm a vampire and I get to feed on bankers!"

I now want to read a book about a vampire politician who is still far more noble and heroic than the human politicians, 1% etc.

He'd be like Batman or something. Helping the poor, women and people of colour by day through changing the law, helping them by night by breaking the law!


Anachronist You know, I'm starting to appreciate 50 Shades - that wretched excuse of a book has made so many people write great, funny, unforgettable reviews! Reading yours I laughed, cried and laughed again! My dog hid in the corner thinking that I must have gone insane! Thanks once again, now I must give the poor creature a snack!


message 46: by Aoife (new) - rated it 1 star

Aoife Epic XD The review allone is great but Ed Milliband-gifs make everything better!


Ceilidh Aoife wrote: "Epic XD The review allone is great but Ed Milliband-gifs make everything better!"

They really do. A friend and I were joking about all the other Labour politicians we could use to review bad porn. Peter Mandelson reviews Anne Rice, perhaps? But none of his gifs are anywhere near as cool as Ed's.


message 48: by Aoife (new) - rated it 1 star

Aoife Mandelson and Anne Rice would be truly awesome combination.
Andy Burnham could - I don't know - any books involving cute little puppies...
This is a very serious matter to think about...I am in no way procrastinating from writing my term-paper


Ceilidh An Andy Burnham review would just be tons of photos of him and his amazing eyelashes, no words needed.

Hey, join the club, I have a dissertation to write!


message 50: by Aoife (new) - rated it 1 star

Aoife I am really warming to the idea of expressing my opinion on books with gifs of politicians...

(Which would mean that I had spent my time searching for more gifs...
*joins the club* I assume we meet regularily and talk about how we should rather be writing our papers right now?)


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