50 Shades of Opinion… by Miss Gray

Hi guys, Iim back! Had a lovely holiday but thought my first post back would be a review of 50 Shades of Grey since I know you’re all dying to know what I thought…..

My first thought, funnily enough, was finding it odd to see ‘Grey’ with an ‘e’ written as a name and the colour written ‘gray’ with an ‘a’. I know, with all the sex.. why is this my first thought?! Well it’s annoying since I spend most of my life telling people that my name is Gray with an ‘a’. Damn Americans confusing things!

Before I read the book I was told it was badly written… do I agree with this? Yes I do. Thank god I do really. I would have been a bit concerned if I couldn’t tell the bad writing what with me having an English degree and all. It was readable yes and no worse than your average chick lit but the things that annoyed me the most: the repetition of phrases… I lost count of how many times Grey had a ‘ghost of a smile’ or the ‘trace of a smile’ and whenever Ana had an orgasm… ‘I shattered into a thousand/million pieces.’ E L James… heard of a thesaurus?? Get it out and vary how you write! There were also a few sentences that didn’t make sense and had poor expression. The characters were poorly developed too. I know Grey is meant to have so many levels and have ’50 shades’ but a lot of the time his moods just didn’t seem believable and I doubt anyone would be quite that changeable unless they had bi-polar disorder.

Ana also annoyed me because she seemed to confident within herself and her studies. She was a university student who seemed quite ‘normal’ and hung around with popular, outgoing people, yet she had never touched alcohol or had sex. I know, I know, it could be true but in the way she told the story it just wasn’t convincing. She was willing to drive a long distance to a town and interview a complete stranger yet became a blubbering wreck when she see’s him. Then all of a sudden he likes her ‘fast mouth’ but she blushes all the time and before we know it she is sex-mad minx who is willing to try bondage. I just didn’t really get who she was really meant to be. She was oh so confident to write to him on email and as I said, used fast comebacks in person but she couldn’t voice her concerns to him at any given point. She had been studying English and was going into publishing, so shouldn’t she be verbal and articulate? Yet, she can’t seem to tell him that she is not sure if she wants to be hit indeed for pleasure or pain. Weird.

It is the fastest selling paperback of all time. I find this depressing. I can see why people want to read it, yes. But is this what people seem to look for and need from a good book; good sex and bad writing? It’s such a shame because it could have been so much better. Will I be reading the next one? Sadly, yes I will. I want to see how it turns out. I don’t think the same reasons keep me turning the page though as they did for most people. People seem obsessed with the sex in it. It is very descriptive, if not too repetitve at times, interesting and shocking. But to be honest, sex takes up about a half of the book and after the first five or so times, I’m a bit like ‘Oh here we go again.’ Even with his ‘Room of Pain’ I don’t think there are enough different ways to talk about sex as it is mentioned. I was more interested in seeing how their relationship developed and I kept turning those pages to discover more about Christian Grey, who we discover had a lot of pain and lack of love in his life. So, it’s the psychological side I’m the most interested in… yeh yeh the sex is good too but like I say there is just too much of it…. I like them to talk so we can discover more about the characters and I was secretly hoping that they developed further…. I’m still waiting.

I also liked Kate and Elliot. They seem to be a constant contrast of what a ‘normal’ relationship is like and makes us think of Grey and Ana; ‘god their relationship is messed up!’ The parents of Ana and Christian are all interesting characters but we don’t really see them enough for them to fully develop. I think there was one part where Ana phoned her Mum and we got a little history about her and then before we know it, she is phoning her Step-Dad and we hear about him… and I’m thinking Sloowww down, I was just digesting the new information about the mother.

It is worth a read yes but if you take away the sex then you are left with a boy meets girl, boy doesn’t want to commit scenario and let’s face it, that’s been done 50 million times before. But if you are like me, you will want your own opinion on the fast ever selling paperback. And I’ll keep you posted when I have read the other two books 😉

Hope you all had a good week and let me know if you have been reading or have read the 50 Shades books too!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tanya
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 15:36:56

    Pretty spot review Sammmmm 🙂

    Reply

  2. david mulgrew
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 16:43:26

    Surely the fact its selling so well suggests its actually very well written. it may not be a particularly intellectual writing style but that does not mean its badly written. Its aimed at the woman in the street, not English teachers.

    You wouldn’t judge a childrens book as badly written for being too repetative and simplistic so why judge this as such. i think you have been spoiled by reading too many books written by English academics for English academics.

    Also bear in mind this book started as fan fiction so it has to get a lot of credit for that.

    Reply

  3. Emily
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 17:33:34

    But Dave…. why should somebody become famous for writing a book when they’re not actually very good at writing? It just seems now even more acceptable in our society to become famous for just being average at something. its no wonder thay talented people become annoyed! Having said that, it seems the author has compromised writing style for sex, which for many is obviously the real selling point. Bring back the talented writers with complex and inspiring plots!

    Reply

  4. Sam Gray
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 17:57:11

    Yes, exactly. I think you have made far too many assumptions there Dave. I never said the audience was English teachers, that would be ridiculous. In fact, I said that it was no worse than Chick Lit… what i was saying was why is it so popular? It has to be because of the sex. Not all books have to be well written to be popular… how would Danielle Steele and Mills and Boons survive? You should also note that I have read some of those… and all sorts of books. I have never claimed to have written books ‘written by academics for english academics’… again ridiuculous. When I say well written, I mean good grammaer, sensical sentences and detailed description plus well developed characters. A decent, well thought plot should also be a given. Some people are happy with just the good story and don’t care about the other stuff, fair enough, just saddens me. I was mainly saying that it had been criticised for being ‘badly written’ and that was one generalised opinion that I agreed with.

    I am aware it was fan fiction… again my point was how has it gone onto become the fastest selling BOOK ever?

    As for your point about children’s book…. absolutely irrelevant. They have the audience of children and again I have read many. They are supposed to be repetitive and use simplisitc language and use few, well chosen words. They are usually well written for its audience.

    Have you read 50 Shades Dave? And I mean, you personally, not from what you have heard 😉

    Thanks for the comments guys. x

    Reply

  5. Sam Gray
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 17:58:00

    *read books by academics – tht should be

    Reply

  6. pissed1off
    Aug 24, 2012 @ 22:43:40

    Reblogged this on pissed1off and commented:
    I haven’t read it yet, but the gossip is fun.

    Reply

  7. Tanya
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 01:40:18

    Well said Emily and Sam 🙂

    Reply

  8. David Mulgrew
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 11:19:04

    OK English teachers was an over generalisation, I was trying to keep the comment short, not making assumptions. The Children’s book example was just an extreme example of how a book can be simple and repetitive but still be well written.

    There are plenty of books/videos/films/TV shows/the internet where people can look for sex for free. That kinda says its not just about the sex.

    You all seem to be judging how well a book is written by the complexity of the literary style. Its written simply. This means is appeals to everyone and not just bookworms.

    You cant judge how well a book is written simply by the complexity of the writing style or if it ticks certain writers boxes. Many writers tick all those boxes and no one buys the book.

    For me a book is well written if it is written in such a way to appeal to its target audience. I mentioned a children’s book as this is the extreme of this. 50 Shades has appealed to millions.

    Writes keep slagging it off for being badly written and in my opinion this is just jealously that they have studied English and writing for years and someone who hasn’t has written something better. You can analyse the writing style all you like but ultimately the selling numbers speak for themselves. This book appeals to a huge number of people Surely how well written it is should be judged on how it appeals to its audience and not how many writing boxes it ticks.

    Reply

  9. Sam Gray
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 15:12:10

    For a book to be written well it normally uses standard English and makes sense and has correct grammar – that should be a given and if you are saying it needs to be ‘dumbed down’ to appeal to a greater audience then that is very sad. To be well written it also needs good characters and a well developed plot – it sort of has both of these to an extent so I’m not saying that it is totally awful, I wouldn’t be reading the second one otherwise!

    It doesn’t need to be complex to be written well. It also doesnt need to be simple and repetitive to appeal to everyone, that is just insulting and would annoy the tiniest brain Im sure!

    Please, please read it dave, then we can have a proper conversation about it. I know you haven’t, which, to me, means your argument has no substance and you are only going on what I and others have said about it.

    Reply

  10. Nathan Hooper
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 10:11:44

    “Oh my!”

    Reply

  11. Tanya
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 19:45:03

    Just a few comments to make:
    I added some points to Dave’s comments as I have read the books and have to disagree with some of your statements. Firstly, I think the figures speak for themselves, I don’t think that people merely buy the book for the sex else we’d watch porn, there is so much more on offer in the fifty shades trilogy. I love looking into the reasons why Christian is the way he is and does the things he does. Saying that he nor Ana seem unrealistic, I can quite honestly say that I don’t know a rich,successful,young,handsome,sex god American man to compare him to…..let me know on that one I’d be interested to know the differences. Also, a little challenge for people with degree level English…explain to us how an orgasm feels…yeah I can’t just roll it off the tongue either and I think I can generalise when I say that sometimes it feels similar (muscles clenching and all that!) so I don’t mind the repetitive narration for that instance. Overall, I think the books are unique, clever and very intriguing. I think you should read the whole trilogy and post again as you’ll notice that there becomes more development of certain characters and their relationships and life experiences as you read on, as this becomes relevant. Enjoy 😉

    Reply

    • Sam Gray
      Aug 27, 2012 @ 20:39:46

      well the figures speak volumes in how many people are keen to read it – but why? Everyone Ive heard has been excited to read it because of the sex scenes… that doesnt mean they don’t make more away from it than that but I do think that is what draws people to it.

      You contradict yourself slightly because you say Christian’s character is realistic yet you know of noone like him to compare? Isnt that the point?

      I’m not sure where the degree level english thing keeps comin from. I havent said you need that to appreciate it…or indeed any book… I just said I would have been annoyed at myself for not spotting simple mistakes since I do have a degree.

      As for describing an orgasm… it is difficult to describe but anyone can have a go at decribing a feeling, again not just people with english degrees! To ‘shatter into a million pieces’ doesnt do it completely but yeh it is hard to compare but she could have said other similar things like comparisons to ‘fireworks, ‘reaching boiling point’, ‘explosions’ , ‘volcanoes’ – I don’t know, but writers should be able to use various similes and metaphors not keep using the same one.

      You are right that I need to read all 3 and I am happy to do another review or correct this one when I have 🙂

      nice to hear off someone who has read the book!

      Reply

  12. Tanya
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 21:53:58

    I was just saying that you comment on the characters being unrealistic but if we don’t know anyone of a similar nature how can we state that point. I see your point on the orgasm fireworks but I think the book gets too much bad press. Why do people write books…..to explore feelings,portray experience,to entertain etc….but ultimately to sell lots of them and become successful….job done!

    Reply

  13. Trackback: Feeling the Presents… « I'm not gossiping… (I'm networking!)

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