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Before reading, I knew Fifty Shades had been written as a sort of response to Twilight (which I loathe) so I had built up a number of possibly unrealistic expectations regarding gender roles and characterisations. I also knew that it involved an aspeBefore reading, I knew Fifty Shades had been written as a sort of response to Twilight (which I loathe) so I had built up a number of possibly unrealistic expectations regarding gender roles and characterisations. I also knew that it involved an aspect of BDSM and apparently was causing yummy mummies the world over to quake at the knees and rush off to shag their husbands for the first time since trying to conceive little Tristan/Arabella. Hell even Woman's Hour had reviewed it! What I did not know was that it was actually written as fan-fiction to Twilight, using the original characters and some of the original plot!
But enough dithering, the book, the book! From the first it's clear that this is amateur writing. The characters speak in a bizarre and formal manner so thus any conversation between them is agony to behold. My personal favourite has to be the following:
"Paul, this is Christian Grey." "What, THE Christian Grey? Of Grey Enterprises Holdings Limited?"
What was she thinking when she wrote that line? Can you imagine meeting Bill Gates and saying "What, THE Bill Gates? Of Microsoft Corporation?"? A half decent editor should have red-penned it to oblivion. There are hundreds of such examples and it's a sad reflection on an author that the most realistic interactions between her main characters is via email.
It is possible to be a bad writer and still write a compelling book, for all I dislike The Da Vinci Code, I couldn't put the damn thing down. If you sacrifice craft you must lay the plot on heavily yet she falls into the 'Twilight Trap'(TM) of being crap and boring. It's possible to make a thin plot brilliant, On Chesil Beach is a perfect example, where a bonk gone awry becomes a masterpiece. The only difference is the quality of the writing, again it's clear Fifty Shades was written without any particular direction and with little self editing.
I'm sick to death of books where the male lead character is a super controlling, super gorgeous super-squillionaire and the female lead is a poor, plain but good hearted sort who can heal his damaged soul and bring him peace. For goodness sake, do people think women are so destitute of affection that we'll swallow this bollocks? It's lazy writing, it's easy writing and we can't keep chalking it down to escapism when we live in a society where reality TV is becoming a genuine career choice for young women. Stop writing women as doormats and stop writing men as cavemen, it's embarrassing and clichéd! It stretches suspension of disbelief to extremes to write about sexually experienced men and innocent virgin girls and then expect the reader to accept that she's able to have rip-roaring orgasms on her first go and that he'd be willing to give up his desires for domination because she's just so darn cute and clumsy!
On the subject of the sex (or as Anastasia puts it with such elegance and poise, kinky-fuckery), it's really not well done and I can't say I felt any desire to hunt down my partner with the grey ties to hand. The fact that the main female lead is a virgin disconnects most readers from her experiences as it's frankly hard not to laugh when she's having multiple orgasms shortly after she's rid of her hymen. Christian is apparently utterly devoted to BDSM to the point that he has a 'Red Room of Pain' in which he can have his very wicked way with his submissives, yet for Anastasia he's willing to go 'vanilla' on the basis of... well nothing. Until the final scene, where he beats the shit out of her the kinkiest thing he does is tie her up a little bit and spank her, hardly Earth shattering stuff.
It's such a shame the author wasn't pushed to edit better, there's an interesting novel in here somewhere. Cut the crap about rich controlling men, boring virgin girls and large casts of entirely pointless characters (Kate, Jose, Elliot etc, why did she even bother?) and focus on the interesting aspects....more
You'll love this one...!! A book club & more
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We are an international group who share an interest in reading all genres of books. We focus on four main areas:
1. Monthly Group Themed Read. Each mWe are an international group who share an interest in reading all genres of books. We focus on four main areas:
1. Monthly Group Themed Read. Each month our members select a small set of related books to read and discuss as a group. See our bookshelves to see our past reads.
2. Challenges. We have monthly challenges based on various themes. We also have a year-long challenge.
3. Bi-monthly TBR Topplers. Now that we've given you all sorts of recommendations, we support your efforts to read the books that you've shelved. Every other month join us in a 'read-a-thon' to help reduce your groaning shelves.
4. Buddy Reads. Do you want to read a book and discuss it with others? Our Buddy Read section is open for this purpose.
We're a relaxed, non pressure group of folks who just want to have fun, and to read some great books in the process....more