Following is the third and final part of my review on the book “Fifty Shades of Grey”. If anyone’s still with me, I admire your tenacity. For any newcomers, I warn you, I do tend to rant. Part one and two can be found here and here, or in the posts just below.
Now, I know I’ve expressed a lot of negative opinions about this book so far. But this is where I get to the good part. Because the writing, that was just amazing! It was probably my favourite part of the book. I’ve learned a lot of fancy words, I’ll tell you that. And yet, it was never boring. For instance, you’d think there’d only be so many ways to describe an orgasm, right? Wrong! I’ve learned that you can describe one with pretty much every adjective in the dictionary. Throw in an adverb or two as well, and you’re golden.
Also, the author obviously knows how to make a good spin on a sticky situation. I can imagine that it must be hard to describe a good sex scene and not unintentionally turn the reader off in the progress. However, E.L. James does this masterfully! I don’t think she ever used the real words for the character’s fuck parts. Ana’s hoohoo was her “sex”. Christian’s dingle-dangle was his “considerable length”. Instead of a room smelling like sweaty genitalia and body fluids, the smells were “a heady mix”. Heady, indeed. Just by the simple act of swapping out a few words, the situation instantly sounds more dignified, less awkward, more beautiful. I was enthralled and totally distracted from the more unfortunate aspects of love-making that went discretely unmentioned. Not once did I consider that their beautiful love instruments might have been kinda smelly after round one in the sack and wouldn’t that have put a damper on the oral sex that followed, or whether Christian was as immaculately shaved down there as he demanded of his women, or that Ana in fact didn’t seem to shave all that often and wouldn’t that hurt during sex if her hair got caught and pulled in, or how having sex when sore inside should have felt like being tortured with barbed-wire, or that the tub water must have slowly turned red from all the coochie blood when they were doing it fire truck style in the hotel room, and that the semen must have been swimming around in the water sticking to their bodies, and how often does the maid REALLY clean the tub drains anyway, and how bad will her day suck when she has to fish the used tampon out of the toilet. Nope. Not once did I consider that.
I think the most fun part of the technical writing was the author’s fondness of describing Ana’s every thought, as they popped into her head. The expletives alone holds a potential of unlimited hours of fun: I could make a drinking game out of all the times the phrase “oh crap” was used. To be fair, the author did seem to have a good handle on her thesaurus, often mixing it up a little with “oh shit” to keep the reader guessing. To make our game more interesting we could make it so that every time Ana says “oh crap” you do a shot, and every time she says “oh shit”, I do one. Got it? Okay. The one who gets alcohol poisoning and/or dies first, loses. Or maybe they win. I don’t know. In the end it all comes down to just how badly you wish you could forget ever having read this steaming pile of crap. Or shit.
The cherry on top of this literary sundae, however, is definitely the inner goddess. What a brilliant way to externalize Ana’s feelings, making them more palpable for the reader and not at all annoying! In the beginning the goddess struck me as a metaphor for Ana’s inner “feminist”, making sure to hold on to Ana’s dignity and female power when dealing with the opposite sex. That image quickly changed. Soon I kept seeing the inner goddess in my mind as this horny little Tinkerbell figure – rapidly turning into the very essence of Ana’s id – raging against her totally dull subconscious/superego counterpart who just kept insisting on being so darn rational. Lord knows you can’t argue with rational people, so you’d better learn to hit the ignore button. Ana was a master at hitting the button. And how the author even managed to intertwine such quintessential Freudian sub-characters into a story about exploration of sexual limitations, is just a stroke of genius. Oh wait, now I’m confused. I’m not even sure if I’m being sarcastic anymore. Alright, time to wrap things up, then.
My Opinion Summarized
There are a lot of things I didn’t like about this book,
most some a few of which I’ve already told you. I always have difficulties enjoying a book when I don’t like the main characters. However, the only thing that can really make me hate a book is if it’s boring. This book wasn’t boring. How could it be, what with all the raging hate it stirred up in me? There’s something to be said for a book that can make me feel so passionately about a main character, even though the feeling is extremely negative. I believe the author wanted her readers to dislike Christian at times, although maybe not with the fiery passion that I experienced. I suppose I was meant to forgive him just a little every time he put on his charming smile or showed a rare smidge of vulnerability. No dice. He’ll have to do better than that.
A positive thing about this book was that it did manage to surprise me a few times, especially towards the end. I loved the ending! Well, mostly, I did. It was a little more sentimental than I’d hoped. Other than that, it brought me hope that maybe Christian can be saved after all, or at the very least tone down the cruelty. And maybe, just maybe Ana can develop a personality and some self-respect. A reader can only dream.
To really sum it up nice and easy, I didn’t like this book very much. I’d give it two stars out of five. Vanilla has never tasted better. However, the ending did give me hope that the next book might not completely suck. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve already bought it. Okay, maybe I am.
Finally, to my best friend: I’m really and truly sorry for getting you this stinker for your birthday. I totally blame myself for you now thinking you actually like this shit. I swear I’ll do better at Christmas!