I don’t like the 50 Shades books. As a lover of words, I have not been quiet in my criticism of E.L. James and her poorly written erotica. And yes, people. I’m being kind by calling it poorly written. And erotica.
You wanna read a sexy book? Getcha some. Rock on. But read a good sexy book, and by good, I mean one that doesn’t read like it was written by a 15-year-old girl who’s never actually had sex. I’m a mom. My two young boys run me ragged most days. I don’t have the time and energy to read a sexy book…and let’s be real, a lot of the time I feel like I don’t have time and energy for sex.
I’m not offended by what goes on in the red room of pain. If whips and chains are your thing, whoopee for you. You like the occasional spanking to shake up your otherwise vanilla sex life? You go, girl. But I still don’t like the book and I’ll keep telling anyone who will listen why.
I read the first two books. I’m a little bitter about the estimated 10 hours of my life I’ll never get back. One of my friends suggested I’d enjoy the series because I’d liked Twilight. Seriously people…I got through half of the first book before I realized that vampires weren’t going to show up. Sigh. My primary reason for not jumping on the 50 Shades bandwagon because this book glamorizes unhealthy, controlling relationships.
If it’s true love, he’ll stalk you, girls.
Uh…no. Besides, the writing is shit. Seriously, just read Twilight and imagine Bella and Edward banging from Chapter 3 on. It’s practically the same thing.
The movie (which I have not seen) was released on Valentine’s Day because nothing screams romance (in SHOUTY CAPS, see what I did there?) like sitting in a theater with a bunch of heavy breathers watching a movie about a college girl who likes bondage. Ew. After the initial hoopla (and the spike in DIY sex swing injuries) died down, we didn’t hear much about 50 Shades of freaky-deaky Christian Grey.
I guess I was just silly to think that cash cow was going to be quietly put out to pasture.
I was in an airport a couple of weeks ago. I had some time between flights and I decided to browse at that little kiosk that sells reading material and overpriced gum. You know the one.
And I saw this.
Legal stuff: the image above is an affiliate link. If you click it and purchase this book (or anything else) off Amazon during that session, I'll make a gazillion dollars. OK, maybe not a gazillion…
It was like my hand had a mind of its own. I reached out to pluck it off the shelf, morbidly curious about what was written inside. It was like that car wreck you just have to look at. Fortunately, I snapped out of it, turned around and headed straight for the bar. It was a close call. Cocktails for all.
I’m willing to admit that my criticism of E.L. James might be sour grapes. I know hundreds of talented writers who are making a pittance…or writing for free…and it kind of stings to see someone who can barely string a sentence together make a gajillion dollars because she wrote a Twilight knockoff substituting the word “spanking” for “vampire.”
But this new Grey book is too much. Too, too much. It’s the same story as told by Christian. I didn’t buy it but there is a Buzzfeed article that screen captures of some of the text. That was enough. You can click here to read it but I’m warning you…you can’t unsee this stuff.
So it’s the same story, people. In the parts of the book where Anastasia says geez and freaks out because Christian is so intense, Christian tells the same story…except his perspective is peppered with commentary about the thoughts and feelings of his nether regions (except for one bizarre passage where he describes Ana’s natural scent as something like an apple orchard.) And then there’ something about alternative uses for unpeeled gingerroot that I think is going to cause me to need extra therapy.
I swear I’m not making this stuff up, people.
In an effort to boost publicity for this latest literary masterpiece, E.L. James decided to host a live Twitter chat: #AskELJames.
Actually, I’m sure the idea came from some publicity wonderkid because E.L. is probably off writing her next literary masterpiece. OMG, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
E.L. wanted questions and by golly, she got ‘em. Here are a few of my favorites:
#AskELJames Is there a safe word we can use to get you to stop writing such drivel?
— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) June 29, 2015
— BuzzFeed Books (@BuzzFeedBooks) June 29, 2015
— lauren (@lburgundy) June 29, 2015
#AskELJames A lad once punched me on a night out. Does this mean he likes me? Should I have gotten his number?
— notgavin (@notgavin) June 29, 2015
Have you fired the person who told you #AskELJames was a good idea yet?
— Libby Mitchell (@UUHCLibby) June 29, 2015
The responses to the responses are interesting. There’s a lot of finger-pointing and labeling the tweets to E.L. (what in the eff does E.L. stand for anyway) as bullying. The world is sometimes a mean place and I generally try to steer clear of bullies…or even call them out on their behavior. But I don’t think taking shots at a writer who is notorious for not being a very good writer when she’s opened herself up for questions is bullyish behavior.
So, stay off the Twitters, E.L., unless you can really handle the truth. Stick to writing naughty stories…and laugh your ass off all the way to the bank.
I’ll be right here, munching my sour grapes.
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