LT / Badly-written page-turner

12:00:00 AM

About a month ago, I completely sold out and started reading E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey. My friends Andrei and Pauline have been bugging me about it, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I started reading on a Friday evening, and by lunchtime on Sunday, I've finished reading the next two installments of the trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.

I've been sufficiently forewarned that the novels are "porn in a book." I'm not a stranger to sex (or porn, for that matter) so I was ready to handle the characters' sexual proclivities. I anticipated that the books would be bad; it was, after all, written as Twilight fan fiction. I didn't expect I'd actually get hooked to the point of finishing all three in one weekend.

Yeah, I'm a sucker, thankyouverymuch.
(image from the internet)
The writing is horrible. I'm not a literary expert, and I'm not going to pretend to be one. But I know good work when I read it, and this is not Shakespeare. Heck, it's not even Harry Potter. In terms of writing, it's as bad as the Twilight Saga. Maybe even worse, given the subject. I consider myself quite open-minded, but I believe that there's a classy way to narrate things, to make the graphic a little easier to swallow. (Forgive me. Haha!)

The plot twists are nothing more than cheap tricks. To begin with, the books have besmirched the great name that is Mrs. Robinson; it's not like Sherlock's Dominatrix for the modern-day Irene Adler. There's a non-professional killer who seems to have the right skill set to evade surveillance and capture, and his identity is a tad too obvious from the first time he was brought up.

The sex was just way overplayed. I mean, really, they're like rabbits. While I understand and appreciate that it's an erotic novel, there's a point when people just get enough and the book just becomes dragging. The maximum sex-free interval could not have been more than ten pages after each romp. One tub of vanilla ice cream at a time, please.

The characters are flat, and this is partly due to having too much sex and not much else. The attempt at making Christian seem multi-dimensional through the psych angle succeeded only to a certain extent. As for Anastasia, well, that's a hopeless case altogether. Typical damsel in distress for the most part, save for the occasional and painfully contrived shining moments.

The love story is the very definition of kitsch. It's bits and pieces of every fairy tale that Walt Disney picked up for full-length animated features, sexed up to the maximum. It's written like cheap softcore porn, and I can only hope the movie turns out to be another Bridges of Madison County - horrible book, good movie, due mainly to the depth that Meryl Streep brought to the character.

Okay, I realized I've been bashing the trilogy I read in under two days, so you might be wondering why I even finished it. Actually, I couldn't get myself to stop reading. For starters, I was curious about BDSM. I've seen a video in the past, and I've also read about it, but it was all psychological/clinical. This is the first time I'm reading about it from a more experiential perspective, and if the books are right, then I sort of understand the take.

And as much as I hate to admit it, the textbook love story is something that appealed to me on a deeper level. Even the strongest of women have their soft spots, and for most, it's the promise of love. We are hardwired to fall for the handsome prince who sweeps us off our feet. Flowers and lavish presents, flirty texts and emails from the reincarnation of Adonis - of course it's going to work.

The Fifty Shades Trilogy gives false hope like most romantic literature. But it's hope nonetheless, and it's better than not believing at all, hence the takers. It may be a badly-written page-turner, but if its place in the New York Times Bestseller list is any indication, it hit all the right spots. If you know what I mean.

P.S. Matt Bomer's my pick for Christian. Haha!


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Hello, reader! Thank you for wasting your time reading my blog. I do hope you enjoyed whatever you stumbled upon. :)