Saturday, June 30, 2012

50 Fucks of This



I read and review Fifty Shades of Grey so you don't have to.

Right then. So, you know how I thought the incredibly inaccurate portrayal of BDSM in this book was making me angry? Well, I was wrong. Because in the last few chapters of this heinous crime people think is literature, E. L. James takes this bullshit to a level that I was genuinely unprepared for and I am now at a level of fury I was unaware I was even capable of.

Chapter 24 begins with Ana having a dream: Christian is in a cage and trying to feed her strawberries, but they can't reach each other. Let me repeat that: Christian is in a cage, and he and Ana can't reach each other. OH MY GOD THE SYMBOLISM IT IS SO CRYPTIC. What could it mean? Is this dream a metaphor for their relationship? Is it? IS IT? WE MAY NEVER KNOW. Christian wakes her up. It's very early in the morning, still dark outside. Christian is getting her up because he has a surprise for her, but first they have to argue about whether or not she's going to eat breakfast because no chapter would be complete if they didn't argue about food. They get in the car and Christian has opera on again because he is sophisticated and sad. Ana thinks it's depressing so he puts her in charge of the music. She scrolls through his iPod for a while and then selects Britney Spears' "Toxic". My personal friends who are reading this are laughing their faces off right now, as I'm pretty sure I've subjected every one of them to my rants about how much I hate Britney Spears because she can't sing. Don't worry though, Christian's judgment about music is still intact: he didn't put that in his iPod, Leila did. Ana is STUNNED. Who the fuck is Leila? Is she an ex-sub of his? Where is she now? Why is this happening? If James had written a line for Ana where she said something about having the vapors it would not have been out of place in this paragraph. It turns out she WAS an ex-submissive, one he ended things with because she wanted more. I have no idea if the author will go back to this in later books, but my money is on the serving girl at his parents' house who couldn't look at him without getting upset. This sparks a discussion about all his other subs and why things ended - apart from one, they all wanted more (by the way, they will start using this word like it's a noun for the rest of the book, i.e. "Thanks for the more". It is annoying). ANA IS THE SPECIALEST LADY EVAR.

They are headed to an airfield. Ana is alarmed: "We're not going back to Seattle, are we?" I mean, she hasn't told her mom she's leaving, and none of her stuff is packed, whatever will she do? Once again, the concept of free will and saying "I'm not going" is entirely lost on her. Luckily, that's not what's up: They are going gliding. Or the way Christian puts it, "We're going to chase the dawn, Anastasia." Fuck this dialogue. Seriously. Fuck this dialogue with a deer antler. When they get there, they meet a few people and then Christian starts strapping her into the glider (and her parachute) as if she were a small child, which is described in excruciating detail, unlike major plot points such as what being the child of a crack whore was like. He starts to strap himself in, but Ana can't move to see: "he's strapped me in so tightly I can't move...typical!" No, idiot, he's strapped you in that tightly because you are IN A GLIDER. She also gives some detail on the inside of the plane: "In front of me is a panel of dials and levers and a big stick thing." A BIG STICK THING. JESUS. I WANT THAT DEER ANTLER AND I WANT IT NOW.

So they go gliding, and it's all marvelous, and the sky is beautiful with "childlike clouds" whatever the shit that means, and he even lets her control THE BIG STICK for a minute and everyone is happy for once. They decide Christian decides they should get some breakfast, so they get in the car and drive to IHOP. I have a hard time keeping my own breakfast down and I write in my notes "Well we know he has shit taste in women so why not also in pancakes?" Her description of IHOP is the only line in this entire book I have genuinely enjoyed because she actually captures it perfectly: "It smells of sweet batter, fried food, and disinfectant." WELL DONE, JAMES. NAILED IT. Only took her 456 pages to get something right. As they eat they discuss their relationship some more, which is boring, and she asks if she can treat him to a meal and he gets mad, not because he's rich and flaunting it like usual, but because he finds this suggestion emasculating (his word). WOMEN CAN'T PAY FOR STUFF YOU GUYS. NEXT THING YOU KNOW THEY'LL ALL BE WANTING JOBS AND FREEDOM AND THE VOTE.

Christian drops her off at her mother's without asking how to get there because he probably collected that information weeks ago so he would know everywhere she might go to escape from him. Inside, her mother is freaking out about dinner because she is desperate to impress Christian rather than the other way around, the way it normally works for parents whose children aren't dating billionaires and who aren't stupid. Ana goes to start another game of e-mail tag, which is when she first finds out that Christian heard her talking in her sleep. The panic begins: What the hell did she say? Has she embarrassed herself? I know this is the start of a theme, and I know it's going to make me massively angry because shit you say in your sleep hasn't got a fucking thing to do with reality. The best example of this is the Sleep Talkin' Man blog, where a woman has been exploiting her husband's insane sleep talk ramblings for years to the delight of the entire internet.

After the e-mailing, Ana gets a phone call from the publishing firm she wants to work for offering her a job, which she accepts. Taking that phone call has made her miss a call from Christian. She calls him back to find out that there's some sort of "situation" and he has to go back to Seattle immediately so he won't make dinner. He sounds cold and angry..."But for the first time, I don't immediately think it's me." Oh for fuck's sake. I didn't want to do this but she's forcing my hand: here is a list of the warning signs of abuse, and every one of them applies to Christian except for threatening to kill himself if she leaves, but I'm sure that's coming. How are women enjoying this book? HOW?

That afternoon, Ana is sitting outside with her mother and contemplating the amazing morning she spent with Christian. He seems like a changed man, happy, playful, wanting a real relationship. She wonders what's different - he wasn't like this when she left....OH SWEATY PINK RHINOSAROUS BALLS. This all started after he had dinner with that horrible woman he was never in love with who is no threat to her. MOTHERFUCK. She must have told him to stop being such a massive penis and have a real relationship with Ana. How dare she help Ana get her way? WHAT A FUCKING CUNT. Seriously, this is Ana's reaction to this (entirely speculative!) realization. She has exactly what she has wanted this whole time, but it better not be because of that evil bitch or she will cut someone. Ana, you enormous fucking child. The only correct reaction to this, the ONLY one, is "Wow, I must have been wrong about her." Your complete fucking insanity is goddamn breathtaking. Ana doesn't mention this to him during that night's nausea inducing e-mail exchange. Instead they play more cat and mouse games that make me want to punt a baby duck. What did I say in my sleep? Not telling, teehee! You're mean! You're pretty! I've seen more mature conversations occur between two 13 year olds.

At the start of Chapter 25, Ana's parents are dropping her off at the airport for her flight back to Seattle. Incidentally, on both her flights the seat next to her in first class has been empty, and she speculates that this might be because Christian bought that seat so no one would sit next to her because he doesn't want her talking to anyone else ever. You guys, CAN'T YOU SEE HOW ROMANTIC THAT IS? She spends some time thinking about her relationship. (I am warning you now, this is the part of the book where I start to really fucking lose it.) So, her mother thinks Christian loves her, but she doesn't think so, because he can't possibly know what love is since his mommy preferred drugs and dying to child rearing and cuddles. And, you know, here's the problem: she needs him to love her. (She has known him for a month.) Needs. Desperately. She describes it as "a deep-seated compulsion to be loved and cherished." By a man that she doesn't think knows how. As premature and co-dependent as that is, it's about to get worse. Because then this happens (get ready my D/s friends): "He doesn't even love himself. I recall his self-loathing, her love being the only form he found acceptable. Punished - whipped, beaten, whatever their relationship entailed - he feels undeserving of love."

There is not a way for me to even describe the rage I am feeling right now. I have read those three sentences a dozen times at least and they are still having the same effect as they did the first time. I was actually shaking when I read this. In my notes I used an entire sheet of paper to write "FUCK YOU FOR THIS." She has just reduced the sex lives of thousands of people to the most disgusting and untrue stereotype she possibly could have. We are all so broken, we are all imbued with such a fundamental self-hatred, that we have to do horrible, punishing things to ourselves in order to assuage our guilt over receiving love that we know in our hearts we don't fucking deserve. E. L. James is not a member of the BDSM community. She is not in a D/s relationship, she has not done a shred of research, and she has not one fucking clue what the fuck she's talking about. How fucking dare this woman make this presumption? I have to tell you guys, the only reason I didn't stop reading this book RIGHT FUCKING THEN is out of a sense of duty to the people who have been reading and recommending this blog, and leaving hilarious and encouraging comments asking me to continue every day. Thank you - you are amazing. You deserve better than this horrific high school "love" story.

Sorry about that. I believe I was reviewing a book:

So, after that whole bullshit, she continues wondering what she said in her sleep. I can't even call this foreshadowing, this is the author standing on a stage with a megaphone screaming "THE THING SHE SAID IN HER SLEEP IS A PIVOTAL PLOT POINT." The e-mailing thing happens, the only real news is that the "situation" (she always puts this in quotes) has not improved. This worries her, not because something important might be wrong, but because she is afraid of what kind of mood he will be in when she arrives back in Seattle. When she does get to his place, she walks in to find him on the phone dealing with the "situation". I am getting pissed off about this because it keeps making me picture the cast of Jersey Shore. James has now made too big a deal about the "situation" for it to be a problem with his company; it's going to wind up being something more personal. We are not going to find out about it in this book, but based on conversational snippets, someone has gone missing and it's a woman, so I assume his ex-Domme has disappeared. I'll let you know when I get started on the next book (assuming she goes back to it since she tends to just drop things with no explanation constantly). He sees Ana come in and his relief at her presence is overwhelming. He kisses the living shit out of her while smelling like body wash (7). I assume his pants are hanging from his hips, but for once she doesn't tell us about it. He wants to take a shower with her right fucking now, but first he has to fuck her against the wall. I am convinced she only wrote that sex scene so she could use this line right after it: "He seems so much calmer now, his apprehension gone, dissolved by sexual congress." Yes, yes. He needs her, don't you see? He can't handle stress without her. This is like "I'll kill myself if you leave me" lite. Also? Never fucking use "sexual congress" in a sentence again unless you're being facetious or my antler and I will find you. All is well now. Everyone is happy. They get in the shower and he sensuously washes her with his magical body wash (8). She tells him about her new job, even where it is! He says he didn't already know, but I'm not buying it. I was born at night, but not last night. Then she decides to ruin it by mentioning that Jose's photography show is opening the next week and inviting Christian to go with her. He agrees to do so, but he is super jealous about it and tells her so very threateningly: "Yes I am, and you'd do well to remember that." This happens so often, I've pretty much resigned myself to it. Congratulations, James, you've successfully made not just your protagonist a victim, but your audience as well.

Afterwards, he decides there needs to be more fucking, this time in the magic sex room. For what was purported to be a BDSM based erotic novel, this is only the second time they've had sex in there. This is going to involve some sensory deprivation - a blindfold, and some headphone music so she can't hear what he's doing. He controls this music with "a small, flat device that looks like a very hip calculator." THAT'S A REMOTE CONTROL DUMBASS. THEY ARE OLDER THAN YOU ARE. I want to take the nearest remote control and shove it down her throat. Here is what's important about this scene, because it's going to make me very angry later, worse than I was about the not deserving love shit: Christian makes a very big deal about making her remember and say her safewords. He does this knowing he's not going to do anything that really hurts, but just in case, she needs to know what they are. He makes her repeat them just to make sure she's got the whole safeword concept down. When he's finally satisfied with her safeword proficiency, he subjects her to a very light flogging, which of course doesn't hurt at all and she has absolutely no reason to use her safewords in this scene. The only note I make about the rest of it is that he has to rub her legs to "bring life back into them" when he lets her out of her restraints, which means her restraints were too tight. Once again the author is straying from her own characterizations: an experienced Dom like Christian would have checked. Afterwards, they lay there cuddling and arguing about him still not having told her what she said in her sleep.

The final chapter of this volume opens with Ana waking up alone in Christian's bed in the middle of the night, again, because he couldn't sleep and has gone off to play sad, sad piano songs, again. She finds him at his piano and tries unsuccessfully to get him to talk about his childhood. He apologizes for waking her, but he didn't wake her, she just had to get up in the middle of the night to take her pill because she started taking them at 8 in the morning Georgia time, which is 5 in the morning Seattle time because she's an idiot. She writes this about Christian's reaction to her remembering to take her pill for three whole days in a row!: "He raises his eyebrows in surprise. 'Well remembered,' he murmurs, and I can tell he's impressed." Shut the fuck up. This isn't impressive unless you are dating someone who never learned to tie their shoes or cut their own meat. Christian suggests they fuck on the piano, but Ana decides she'd rather keep discussing their relationship endlessly. He tells Ana that he thinks the contract is moot at this point - so long as she follows the part about the rules he won't worry about the rest, but if she doesn't follow the rules she will be punished. She rolls her eyes at this, and so immediately he decides she needs to be punished, even though that's not anywhere in the rules. James' characters are now contradicting themselves in the same fucking paragraph. The thing is, she really, REALLY doesn't like to be spanked. At all. She makes him chase her around the room for a while like a tease before she bothers to tell him she is legitimately trying not to get caught because she hates the spanking. She compares it to how he doesn't like having his chest touched. He instantly deflates. His is visibly upset about it, so upset that Ana immediately backs off that statement because it makes him so sad (not because it isn't true, mind you, just because saying so has upset him. Grow a fucking spine). She finally tells him the truth: she doesn't actually like anything that goes on the playroom, she's only doing it because she wants to be with him, and she will endure whatever she has to for that to happen. He's very upset about this, because he needs to hurt her. She wants to know why, but he won't tell her because it will scare her away, and he can't lose her, he couldn't bear it, please, please, don't leave me, you said you would never leave me...and you begged me not to leave you in your sleep. Oh you've GOT to be fucking kidding me. THAT'S the all important thing she said in her sleep, please don't leave me? She was ASLEEP you fucking tool, for all you know she was talking to a purple dolphin with three eyes she met while she was stranded alone in the middle of an ocean made out of lemonade. You think you're ready for a real relationship because of THAT? How old are you, 12? Eat a dick.

You guys. She loves him so much though. Like, you have no idea. Her life depends on getting him to love her back. She'll do anything, for reals. "Show me," she says to him, "Show me how much it can hurt." Ok, he decides. He's going to show her. He's going to show her how much it hurts, because she asked him to. He is very explicit about it. He's going to hit her with a belt, six times, and make her count the blows while he does it.

Oh, no. Nonononono. I already see what's coming, and I don't want to read this ANYMORE, but there are only 10 pages left in this book. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, let me just tell you that getting hit with a belt REALLY. FUCKING. HURTS. It is definitely not for everyone. If she doesn't like the spanking, this is NOT going to go well. There's no chance she can handle six blows. She wouldn't make it through two. He asks her a bunch of times if she's really sure, and she keeps saying that she is even though she's not. This is like watching a train run over a pile of babies. I have never wanted to read something less in my entire life.

He hits her the first time and she is completely unprepared for just how bad it actually is. On the third one she starts to cry. By the fourth one it's already full on sobbing. At five she is convinced that she hates him. This is not something she can handle AT ALL, but he isn't going to stop....BECAUSE SHE HASN'T USED HER SAFEWORD. Ana, THIS is when you need your safeword. THIS IS WHAT SAFEWORDS ARE FOR. THIS WILL FUCKING STOP IMMEDIATELY IF YOU USE YOUR SAFEWORD. SAY IT. SAY IT! She never does. She never fucking says it. And after the sixth one, when he tries to comfort her, she is fucking enraged. She lashes out at him, because anyone who can do this to another person is obviously a depraved monster:

  • "This is what you really like?"
  • "You are one fucked-up son of a bitch."
  • "You need to sort your shit out, Grey."

And she storms out of the room. Look, I know I've pointed out a million times about how abusive his behavior is, but this one is not on him. He warned her and he warned her, she insisted he do it anyway, and she did nothing to stop him when she couldn't handle it, despite being reminded only hours before of what her safewords were and how important they are. He would have stopped after the first one if she had said so. She didn't. He's not a fucking mind reader. And then she attacks him and tells him he's a terrible person for it.

I don't know a bad enough word to describe how much I despise this book.

She runs off to her room and cries her face off. She is completely shattered. This relationship can never work because he is a sick, sick monster. She needs to leave him but she doesn't want to, she less than threes him 4EVA. Her whole life, everything, everything is destroyed: "Oh, this is a dark morning of the soul for me. I'm so alone." I'm going to throw up. WHO FUCKING TALKS LIKE THAT? Christian comes and finds her and tells her she should leave him, so she tells him she's fallen in love with him. He is horrified (her word). "You can't love me Ana. No....that's wrong." Because remember you guys? HE DOESN'T DESERVE LOVE THAT'S WHY HE DOES THESE THINGS. He goes on to say he can't make her happy. "But you do make me happy," she says. Jesus Christ, could this be any more melodramatic? Or stupid? He DOES NOT make you happy. YOU DO NOTHING BUT CRY. Enjoying sex is NOT THE SAME THING as being in love with someone, and you would know that already if you hadn't been such a ridiculous prude and put your hands down there once in a while. She sends him away so she can pack, because she's leaving him, for reals. Except that there's two more books and dozens of unanswered questions: Why can't anyone touch him? Why was his mom a crack whore? What's up with her dying? How did the Greys come to adopt him? How did they add to fucking him up? So, you know, not really leaving him, just being a fucking drama queen. She's already foreshadowing that she'll come back to him: Can I forgive him? Can he forgive me? The entire rest of the book is nothing but overly dramatic despair that would make your average soap opera look like a blockbuster comedy:

  • "I have...glimpsed the extent of his depravity, and I know now he's not capable of love." (You also "know" that helicopters need space to take off and land)
  • "I gaze at myself in the mirror. A pale and haunted ghost stares back at me." (You just spent four days on the beach in Georgia, shut the fuck up)
  • "...happier times, when there was hope of more." (Note: she's talking about YESTERDAY)
  • "I'm a complete failure. I had hoped to drag my Fifty Shades into the light, but it's proved a task beyond my meager abilities." (Um, yeah, she actually calls him that through the whole second half of the book. I agree though, you are a complete failure at just about everything in life)
  • "Shit, I've left him. The only man I've ever loved." (that you met A MONTH AGO)
And my personal favorite, because it encompasses everything that sucks about James' writing:


  • "The pain is indescribable...physical, mental...metaphysical...it is everywhere, seeping into the marrow of my bones." That's not indescribable. You just described the living shit out of it. You described it so much it doesn't even fucking make sense.

She leaves him after an argument about her keeping her gifts from him (she doesn't, she has INTEGRITY) and goes home, presumably to cry herself to death. We should be so lucky.

THE END. For real. She ended the book this way. Laying in her bed (with her shoes on even, so we know how epicly sad she is) There’s nothing for me to even say about this. It’s that fucking stupid. It's the most anti-climatic ending ever written that doesn't involve someone waking up and finding out it was all a dream.

So – That is my review of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in a series of three. Overall, I have to say it was the worst book I have ever read. It might be the worst thing I have ever read. I’ve read cereal boxes that were more entertaining and well written than this book. Out of five stars, I would give this book negative ten. My recommendation is: DO NOT read this book. If you come across this book by accident, throw it into a fire. If someone tries to give you this book, beat them over the head with it until your arms get tired, and then throw it into a fire. If you see someone else burning this book in a fire, go get some kindling and make a bigger fire. No matter what, do everything in your power to USE FIRE to make this shit not have happened.

NOW THEN – I swore I wasn’t going to read the other two books. But then this blog went viral last week and dozens of amused strangers begged me to read them both and write more angry things. So, I AM going to review the other two books. Here’s the thing though – I can’t just keep yelling at you in all caps for 1000 plus more pages of this because there’s only so many variations on “zebra raping fuck” I can come up with and you are going to get bored. So for the next one, I am changing the format a little in a way that will almost certainly be even funnier. I have somehow roped my best friend H-Town into reading this book with me because I am a terrible person. H-Town is the funniest person I have ever met in my life, and I am someone who once dated a professional comedian. H-Town is about 900 times funnier than I am. I’m not being self-deprecating here – I think I’m hilarious, it’s why I have a blog –she’s just extremely fucking funny. So what we’re going to do is read the book in sections, and then have discussions about it, and then I will write posts with a little background so you have the storyline for context, followed by our presumably incredulous and horrified conversations. And then later I will think of something else for the third book. BrownsFan thought it would be fun if I wrote predictions for each of the chapters, but I am open to suggestions, and you guys are awesome commenters so I know you have some. Thank you SO MUCH for all of the encouragement, I would NEVER have been able to finish this book without it, and I am one of those people who feels like a failure when I don’t finish a book I started (other people get that right? It’s not just me?). You are the best readers a gal could ask for. I hope you never meet your Mr. Grey.

152 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for reading this shitty shit of a shit book and sharing your derision and anger with all of us. I can't wait to read your take on the other books.

Nomad said...

You made it! (I totally agree by the way, the only reason I finished is because I HAVE to finish books). I am so ashamed I gave my money to this woman, so am very excited I can read your blog instead of the next two books.

amberance said...

Thanks guys! I think you will like H-Town's take on things as well, she's brilliant.

Cari said...

I just finished reading all of your reviews for the first book, and I don't think I've ever laughed so much in my life. You've explained everything I hate about this book in hilarious detail. Thank you SO MUCH for finishing, and I can't wait for the next two books :)

amberance said...

Thank you Cari! We are working on getting a copy for H-Town without spending any money on buying her one, and then we should be off and running!

Anonymous said...

I love this blog. I read the first book and hated it. I've not managed to bring myself to read the others but now I can just read your next blog and not have to go though the pain of the real thing. Thank you so much for hating on it as much as you do!

Pron said...

Deer antler = brilliant !

amberance said...

Hopefully not for the person on the receiving end!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. I wanted to know just how awful this book could be without actually having to read it myself, and you've done the job brilliantly. And volunteering to tackle the rest of the trilogy as well - truly, you are a superior human being, and I wish you the very best of luck.

PS. I had no idea EL James was from West London until you mentioned it. I live in that area too and would just like to apologise on behalf of all the other residents. Not all of us are such terrible writers, honest.

Ash said...

I didn't finish this book, even though I ALWAYS finish books. I felt like I was being persistently insulted by a small piece of plastic (I was reading it off a Kindle), so just had to put the bitch to the side. I read today that she's expected to make over $1,000,000 PER WEEK from this shit!

I'm not suggesting for a minute that you or anyone else should do this, but I would be interested to know what it would be like if yourself or anyone else with understanding and respect for the BDSM community were to take this piece of tripe and extensively edit/rewrite it. I think underneath it all it is an interesting enough concept, but obviously she's made an offensive and dangerously uninformed haimes of it. I don't understand how it's so popular. It actually kinda strikes fear into my heart that it is. People in their millions are willing to accept, pay for and celebrate THIS? Really??

Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time and effort to read the thing and write your hilarious and spot-on reviews. I look forward to the future instalments!

Anonymous said...

This is, without a doubt, the funniest thing I have ever read! I felt exactly the same when I read it and people who think it's a soppy love story annoy the shit outta me! Well done you!!

Twilight said...

My favorite line of this review-"or my antler and I will find you".

So glad you're reading the other two. I've gotten so many LOLs from your review so far.

amberance said...

Haha, oh I know. I am in London all the time, half my friends live in the UK and they are all brilliant. E. L. James is clearly an anomaly.

amberance said...

For me, erotica works best when it's done as short stories or a novella at the longest. I'm thinking that until H-Town and I can get going on the new reviews, I might post some suggestions of BDSM erotica that I WOULD recommend in case anyone is interested. I do write my own erotic short stories, but so many people do it much better than I can.

amberance said...

Thank you, Twilight! Well start getting the new reviews up as soon as we find a copy of the second book for H-Town to borrow. We can't buy these books on principle :)

Anonymous said...

thank you for your reviews. i read the books, all 3, mostly aghast with horror which compelled me to fully understand my enemy. i told a friend i had read the books and, in homage to Ana, blushed- not because it was erotica, but because i found it difficult to admit my eyes had seen such poor literature. you are helping me make sense of this traumatic experience. i think you should rename your blog fifty shades of grey therapy. r.

SazDJ said...

I have become slightly obsessed with your posts and get kind of mad when you haven't written one quickly enough. You should give up everything else for my reading pleasure. The downside to this is that I am actually contemplating re-reading this pile of turgid bollocks so I can do it with your posts as reference points.

I know nothing about BDSM, but I think it's clear that Ms James doesn't either, so I'm not entirely sure why it bothers you that she gets it so wrong. It's a bit like reading The Koran for recipes for pork in cider.

Brian said...

Thank you so much for turning this horrible book into a fantastically funny series of reviews. Without a doubt a medal or parade of some kind is deserved. While I have zero intention of ever reading these books, I can't wait to read the future blog posts.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, far more entertaining than the books, please carry on

Jo

amberance said...

SazDJ- it bothers me because people who aren't a part of BDSM culture won't know it's wrong, and this is the perception they are going to have if their only exposure to it is this book. These are stereotypes we are already dealing with, so to put them out there like this makes it that much harder on people to be honest with their partners about what they like, to be comfortable with themselves and not wonder if they are some kind of monster, and to convince people who might accidentally catch sight of the bruises that they aren't being abused by a partner. And from a literary standpoint, it is inexcusably irresponsible to write a book using anything at all as a foundation for it without doing enough research for even a basic understanding of the chosen subject.

Also, my blog is more hilarious if I take it personally ;)

Evil Thumper said...

I fucking love you. And I love you for doing this. The world needs to know!

Rachael said...

Oh my lord that book sounds god awful. I was debating about reading it seeing everyone seems to LOVE it but i'm glad I found you review. Its made me laugh so much in the past hour and as someone who had experiences as as sub in a relationship once I just can't believe how wrong the basics of the BDSM lifestyle is being portrayed in the book. To me the sex they seem to be having in this book isn't anything other then people experimenting with being tied up, don't most people have that experience at some point if they are willing?

I can't wait to read your reviews of the next two books!

Amy said...

It has quite literally made my day that you're going to read the rest of the trilogy. I have never laughed so much at anything on the internet. Love it. I do agree though, it is the worst book I've ever read. My local library actually has a long waiting list for this book & supermarkets are rationing sales of this book to no more than two copies per customer! Can you believe this?! I know I died a little inside when I heard it.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your reviews out to my husband, using my best dramatic voice for the verbatim quotes. Somewhere around 'sexy Jesus' we both cracked up laughing so hard he actually fell out of bed :)
Yet again, thank you for reading this tosh so I don't have to. The fact that reasonably intelligent women in my peer group are seriously eating this shut up makes me want to cry bitter tears.
-Jen

Anonymous said...

So pleased you are having to live through the other 2, I feel a failure without completing a book too & your blog has gone some way to making up for my hatred of this book & the rage I feel when people say they loved it!

eosratatosk said...

"So – That is my review of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in a series of three. Overall, I have to say it was the worst book I have ever read. It might be the worst thing I have ever read. I’ve read cereal boxes that were more entertaining and well written than this book. Out of five stars, I would give this book negative ten. My recommendation is: DO NOT read this book. If you come across this book by accident, throw it into a fire. If someone tries to give you this book, beat them over the head with it until your arms get tired, and then throw it into a fire. If you see someone else burning this book in a fire, go get some kindling and make a bigger fire. No matter what, do everything in your power to USE FIRE to make this shit not have happened."

clap clap clap clap clap.

Anonymous said...

I love this and can't stop laughing about the "hip calculator". And if anyone is curious, James is making $1.34 million a week for this shit.

Corydorable said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corydorable said...

I have never had, nor will I ever have, any desire to read this "book". And yet I have followed these posts religiously. Well done, you funny lady you.

Anonymous said...

I always suspected these books were terrible but didn't want to have to read them myself, now I don't have to and I'm sure I was much more entertained by your review than I would have been by the book itself. I'm looking forward to the next reviews, something I never thought I'd say about anything relating to this trilogy.
Thank you for saving the rest of us from this horror.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had found this blog BEFORE reading this piece of shit they call erotic fiction. My toes curled so much at the cringe-worthy dialogue they nearly fell off. At least it will save me reading the next two!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reviews - for the LOLs and for spreading the message that BDSM relationships are NOTHING like the adolescent, whiny and downright abusive interactions of Christian Grey and Ana Steele.

I hope someone buys you that antler. You deserve at least that for reading this tripe.

Juleskat said...

Thank you so much for doing this. You really have done this so I don't have to, and I truly appreciate it.

As someone who believed that my kinky leanings DID make me a bad and wrong person, I cannot put into words the level of hate I have for this book and its vile lies!

You are a brilliant writer, and I can't wait to see your reviews of the following 'books'.

Also as a bit of random info, whilst 50 Shades is flying out of the door, my brother-in-law who works in a bookshop, says that there is a 50% drop off for book 2, and a further 30% drop off for book three. So whilst people are buying the first book (due to media hype), it's not being carried through to the subsequent books.

Sadly James' husband has been offered a publishing deal allegedly because she's his wife and he's 'always fancied having a go at writing'. I think this news makes me want to stab publishers.

Once again, I have adored this, so thank you, thank you so much!

MonkeyTypes said...

Thank you so much for this. I have been following your updates avidly for the last few weeks and whilst not reading the book, I am sure that your review is infinitely more entertaining.

If you ever find yourself in Brighton in the UK I will gladly buy you alcohol as some form of poor recompense for the suffering you have endured.

amberance said...

Thank you! I am in the UK the entire second half of September, maybe a trip to Brighton is in order!

MonkeyTypes said...

Please do. You'll be more than welcome 'down here'.

Anonymous said...

every time i see a facebook friend post about how they're going to read 50 Shades, i forward them the link to your blog and say READ SOMETHING THAT'S ACTUALLY AWESOME FOR A CHANGE. thanks for getting through this book!

Quvonda said...

Oh My God!! Now I understand why you were so upset about the end. This stupid fuck seriously messed up this book. I'm just sooo over her interpretation of BDSM....it fucking blows. She is the worst writer in history, regardless of this starting out as fanfiction...that is not an excuse. She's too old to be writing this way.

I went to a play party last night and called this new guy with really long hippie hair "sexy Jesus" and I also posted a comment on fet that me and some of my lady friends should go see the movie just to have a good laugh...but I honestly don't think I want to put anymore money into this shit nor do I think people want to hear me cursing at the screen the whole night....i think I would be mostly embarrassed to be seen there watching this movie by someone else in the community...social suicide ahhaha justkidding.

We have a smoking area outside and people were talking about actors/actresses who should play the main characters and I said "No, no one should play those characters ever! There should not be a movie for this shit" and they laughed....I don't remember my exact words, but you get the jist of it.

I am honestly concerned that some dumb girls will start popping up in the scene just to see what it's all about without doing any research and some young or even older guys are gonna read this book and think that Dominance is all about what Christian Grey (really E.L. James) has made it out to be. Fuck Me. I'm scared for us...."shakes with fear".

Anonymous said...

Superb review. Came across it from the Popbitch mail out and it's one of the best things I've read all year. Perhaps when you've finished all three you might consider compiling all the reviews into a Kindle ebook

Kate Crisp said...

Another UK reader here. I've loved reading your blogs; started reading them after I'd read all three books. I don't think I've ever been so glad to get to the end and I feel a little bit ashamed that I fell for the hype. Friends assured me that they got better. They lied!

So pleased you'll be reviewing the other two books as there's some pretty rich material for you to despair over.

My daughter refused to read the books, but she's thoroughly enjoyed your blogs.

Can't wait to see your & H-Town's take on 50 Shades Darker!

Anonymous said...

I've just finished all of your reviews, thank you so much for this! It is fantastic and I love it, you are indeed hilarious! I was wondering if you would subject yourself to the other books for our amusement, I'm so happy that there will be more reviews to come!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reading this steaming pile of shite so we don't have to. I have read various reviews of it and had no desire to read it but there was still a slight curiosity lingering there,I mean how could I possibly hate a book I hadn't read yet? Well your reviews have been thorough enough for me to know that I do indeed hate this book and why, despite never having read it! So thank you, thank you for saving me from this drivel (I also would have made myself finish it as I feel a failure if I don't finish a book too)!!!

LisaG73 said...

You are amazing. I am impressed that you finished it, and I would completely understand if you didn't want to read the other 2 books. I know I wouldn't. There was a reason why this had to be self-published originally, and it just shows how publishing, like any other business, is all about money.
It is unfortunate that people are still buying it, and even more distressing that they presumably don't see how misinformed and damaging it is.
I despair. You, however, are brilliant.

Anonymous said...

This has been the funniest review I have ever read. In fact, it may well be the funniest thing I have ever read. So many of my friends have been reading and loving this utter crap that I was beginning to think I was the weird one, for scanning the first few pages and deciding that I'd rather eat my own feet than devote any more time to these pitiful characters. But now, I know what happens without having to suffer anything more than painful sides from laughing so hard. (Although I may need to seriously consider some of these friendships.) I am ecstatic that you will be continuing to plough through the trilogy - thank you for this immense personal sacrifice; I know it won't be easy. Can't wait to read it :o)

Stef88 said...

I've just finished the second book.... your going to have a field day with it..... I can't wait for your blog!

NickyP said...

Oh my god! My friends have been trying to get me to read this book and i've resisted because it sounded like utter bollocks. THANK YOU for confirming i was correct! Your blog has made me laugh so much over the last couple of weeks and you are a true hero for taking on the next 2 books for us! i do not understand why i'm STILL getting facebook updates every day with idiots banging on about Christian fucking Grey and how great he is! Can only assume their reading skills are as limited as the author's writing skills!!

Clothilde said...

In case you haven't already heard, the attitude to BDSM in later books gets much, much worse. I was annoyed by the first book, but the second one had some offensive stuff in it that made me feel sick, and I'm not even a part of the culture.

Ven said...

Greetings from across the pond! I have spent far too much time reading this blog and trying not to laugh out loud. One of the guys at my local library asked if I'd read the book-I usually trust his opinion as he's steered me to great reads that I wouldn't have even thought of looking at. There was a huge waiting list for it so I wouldn't be able to take it out. Then I came across the link to you through Popbitch and through your words realised that I would hate this book and contemplated slapping the librarian for trying to offload such crap to me. Thank you for providing such a valuable service, I'm looking forward to the next installment

CageFightingBlogger said...

Before reading this, I thought, I'll probably pass on 50 Shades. Now I know I was right. EL James hasn't done much to win over the, y'know, misogynist community.

Fay Hancocks said...

Really really enjoyable review! I have to ask though - do you have any recommendations of (in your opinion) examples of good BDSM erotic fiction? I would love something to scrub away the horror of hip-hanging trousers.

tonette said...

I don't know you but I seriously think I love you! I look forward to your blogs and feel disappointed when you don't post everyday. I know you have a life but selfishly think it should revolve around this blog. I cannot wait for H-town's and your review of the second book!!! I'm anxiously looking forward to it!! If she's as half as funny as you are it will be a shear success!

Jayne said...

Thank you SOOOO much for this. I've spent (wasted) so much time hearing other people gush over these books that I *almost* considered reading them, just so that I could give them informed criticism when I told them how retarded they were for liking this shit. Now, I never, ever have to read them and my curiosity has been entirely quelled. I am forever in your debt.

Anonymous said...

I've enjoyed your blog wayyyyyy more than the shitty shit book. be strong, be brave, you can get through the next 2. I had a mental breakdown at the end of 3. Just warning you.

Anonymous said...

I haven't laughed so hard since discovering R.Kelly's trapped in the closet...

Personally, I'm glad that these books exist otherwise I would never have found your blog and therefore missed out on the subsequent hilarity. And having spent an entire weekend at a hen party I wasnt particularly keen to attend, I was grateful of the common ground these books provided with people I had never met before so we could make repeated reference to our sex and down there and my apex. It's a good icebreaker if nothing else, I just wish people wouldn't act like its the only book ever (badly) written featuring (awful) sex scenes.

Please continue the count of bodywash/trousers on hips (where else would they hang from FFS!?!?) in your new format as it guarantees me a laugh everytime.

Thank you for more.....

Quvonda said...

Books by Shayla Black and Maya Banks are great!! You won't be disappointed.

amberance said...

I would piss myself laughing if someone sent me an actual antler in the mail. That would be the best thing ever.

amberance said...

I was that level of angry where you almost start actually crying. As someone noted above, people often do worry if there is something wrong with them because of their kinks, this book could set those kinds of people back years in terms of learning to accept themselves. How fucking dare she do that to someone, honestly?

amberance said...

Haha, more than half my readership has been from the UK since the link got into Popbitch. I am pleased. I have always felt I was born in the wrong country. PROOF!

amberance said...

If only I were independently wealthy my life WOULD revolve around this blog (and my other secret one). H-Town is genuinely much funnier than I am. And not only that, but she's one of those people who makes the people around her funnier than they would be otherwise. I think you guys will love her.

amberance said...

I kept thinking, if his pants are HANGING from his hips, he needs smaller fucking pants.

Romi said...

I had a link online that I read 2 and 3 from but it's not working. Sorry I was trying. I'm so excited to see your review. This Blog is the best thing I've read in a while!!!!

Romi said...

"Enjoying sex is NOT THE SAME THING as being in love with someone" = best line ever!!!! Beside “zebra raping fuck”

I'm as obsessed with your blog as I WAS these books. So happy I found it and I can't get enough. You're hilarious and I'm sure anyone you allow to stay part of your world will be also!!! Hope you find the book soon. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for enduring this! I'm another reader who slogged through book one and then vowed never to touch the other two, it was all so awful, so I am incredibly grateful that you're taking, well, two for the team. Looking forward to the collaborations to come. And good luck. J

WildNutmeg said...

Amberance, you are my hero. I've been involved in the scene for years now, and I was having a hard time justifying my dread & revulsion for the book without having read it. Then a sympathetic genius posted a link to your blog on Fet - oh happy day!!

I would happily donate extra copies of the books to you if I could do it without giving any money to E.L. James...

On a different note, I can't remember whether anyone else has pointed this out in the comments, but did you know that "Ana" is a common nickname for "anorexia" in the eating disorder community? Might explain some of the bizarro food-obsession in the book. That James, she is so so clever, my goodness.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I defo enjoyed this way more than reading the actual thing! Can't wait for the next one though you may have to get a copy printed single sided so you can have a whole page to write how shit the book is!

Jacquie Levett said...

I have PDF copies of the books if you want them? Can email them to you

Jacq

Bruce said...

So you didn't like it then?

Good Golly Miss Dolly said...

I'm kind of sad it's over. Congratulations on getting through it without going all Oedipus on your eyeballs.

Despite being Jewish, I can now sort of see where Hitler was coming from with the whole book burning thing.

Siobhan Woodrow said...

This has been the most amazing read ever. Can't wait for the other two book reviews. In some ways her writing this has allowed you to write something great, so something positive has come of it.

DaRob said...

Thank you THANK YOU THANKYOU!

Do you have an Amazon wishlist we can buy stuff for you from? You deserve a reward for inflicting that much mental suffering on yourself. Oooh! I know, we should get a Kickstarter going to fund you going to find this E. L. James person, and kicking her in the baby maker until your foot comes out the top of her head.

Urbanhippie21 said...

I have just sat and read this whole review in one sitting. And I have passed it on to friends. My partner thinks I am a loon for reading a review that's nearly as long as the book, but what does he know?:D

Thankyou, for the big, big, laughs and the sniggers, and the giggles.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your hilarious appraisal of the book and for setting the record straight on the inaccurate portrayal of BDSM relationships... I can't believe she didn't use her safe word!!

Anonymous said...

I'm another that arrived here from Popbitch, and another that owes you a debt of gratitude for not having to read the damn thing just so I can explain why it's so awful.

For your stirling work you fully deserve a piece of cake.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=336918076383837&set=a.192831164125863.48119.190130674395912&type=1&ref=nf

S-Beth said...

I've been avoiding this book at all costs and occasionally catching up on the odd forum post about it, so I already had an idea of how ridiculous it was. A friend shared your blog this evening and I've just read the entire thing while laughing my arse off and had to keep interrupting my partner to read snippets of your blog to him.
Thank you for taking the time to do this. I'll look out for your next two book reviews.

Jane said...

I can't add anything that hasn't already been written here, but OMG I TOTES <3 YOUR WRITING 4EVA. Thank you so much for getting all the way to the end!

Sarah said...

This blog is genius! Thank you so much for enduring the nightmare of reading trash for our entertainment.

I had no intention of reading the books and I'm so glad to read such hilarious justification for my decision!

I am now judging those of my friends who have read this shitty book and not denounced it even more harshly than I already was.

Looking forward to more!

Minna said...

Oh my god. Holy beefy jesus, I am dying from laughter. Goodbye world. You were cruel enough to let shit like 50 Shades see the light of day, but I forgive you for going out like this.

I hope my hiccuping, crying, wheezing and sobbing will do in place of a standing ovation. Can't stand right now. My legs won't work.

Annalise24 said...

I actually love you! Tears of laughter! I think we should have been provided with a 'safe word' to stop the book happening!

Anonymous said...

LEAVE E.L JAMES ALOOOHHOOOOOHOOOHNEEEEEEE!

Webbo said...

What a wonderful act of charity this is. Until reading this blog I only SUSPECTED that the book was terrible. Now, armed with the knowledge you've provided, I can go into work and tell the women who are constantly crapping on about how wonderful this book is to cram it up their dirty stink holes, thus saving me from suffering a mental breakdown. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I've shared this blog with so many people- not least about 6000 on a massive baby/mum forum. Sharing the love. Your blog is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Hello, thought you and your readers might be interested in this article, wherein we get a hint about why Ana can't say VAGINA (apparently 'rude' words turn women off) and a claim that James carried out both primary and secondary research for the book. Riiiiiight: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/fifty-shades-of-grey-author-el-james-dont-call-my-books-mummy-porn-7907584.html

melissa Ivory said...

you point in your review that you understand that it started as a Twilight fan fiction, but then throughout the rest of the review, specifically at the parts pointing out how abusive the relationship between Christian and Ana is almost exactly the same as Edward and Bella.

only other thing i need to point out is that although this book ended the way it does, does not mean it is THE END, as the original fiction was two parts, which was put into three books, which explains the cliffhanger ending, which many fan fiction authors are good at.

all of this said, i have written my own review, and i completely agree with 99% of your review, the one percent rather meaningless overall.

hidingheather said...

This book is disgusting for the way it portrays so many things - women, people with any sort of kink, readers of erotica - it's a sad excuse for literature. That being said, I'm currently in library school so have been reading many articles about libraries banning the book due to its erotic content (while at the same time keeping Henry Miller on the shelves - helloooo dirty content). This is obviously also unacceptable, and has caused a huge uproar in the library community - no matter how bad this book is, people have a right to read it. Anyhow, I'm taking it up on myself to become the Dirty Book Librarian and compile a bibliography of well written erotica to recommend in lieu of Fifty Shades. Any recommendations you or your blog readers have would be great!

Kate said...

Thank you so much for reading the book so I didn't have to. I don't know whether to cheer that you are continuing the series, or wonder about your sanity.

Rachel said...

I read this about four months ago, before it was 'cool' and hated it about as much as you did. It is now in the bathroom for use as emergency loo roll. Nice to hear that someone else in the world isn't ranting and raving about how ahmayyyzing and hottt and secksy it is. VOM

Alison said...

I only wish I had read this BEFORE I chose to subject myself to that monstrosity "just to see what the fuss was all about".

I am a writer, and it really burns me how popular this drivel has become. It really makes me sad that this is the kind of crap people are reading these days.

That all being said, I had the exact same reactions that you did. Reading your blog was so therapeutic because when I mention how much I HATE 50 Shades, and how it's glorified Fanfiction, people respond in shock: "Are you serious? I loved it! You're the first person I've ever met who has hated it!"

The whole novel, in its entirety, could have been written by an 8th grader.

Her editor deserves to be shot repeatedly.

In closing, you and I are probably separated at birth. Thank you for existing and posting this. I appreciate knowing I'm not alone.

Alison

Peter Tupper said...

You are a brave, strong person for enduring this. I'm doing my own commentary on this... I'm forced to call it a "book", and I only hope mine is this insightful and entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have found it hard coming to terms with my complete lack of judgement when I decided to read this book. Even more astonishing were the positive comments that I had recieved from seemingly normal people regading this abortion of a book. I seriously was beginning to wonder if I was the only one that noticed that it was a complete pile of steaming crap - until I discovered you! I feel like I have had a therapy session - and have sat here and read all your reviews in one go (my children have not been fed). I am now soooo happy to discover that I am not losing my mind, and in fact, was spot on the money with my reactions. As I keep saying to those woman who feel it is sooo romantic - 'If Grey were some ugly, unemployed feral who kept turning up at your house/work etc, would it still be romantic, or would you be calling the cops?'. Not to mention the complete lack of a plot, grammar or basic story telling ability. I have started the fire and will be tossing my copy on it shortly. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I loved your reviews and cant wait for more. Meantime, here's a beautiful interpretation... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K1RcKJVbHA&feature=player_embedded

melissa Ivory said...

there are two things based on two reviews i would like to point out, one which has nothing to do with the book itself and the other which does, marking a difference.

hidingheather mentions how this does not adequately portray the BDSM lifestyle, but there isn't a fictional book, even written by those who are involved, that has the lifestyle shown properly. i am not saying this is a good or bad thing, just fact.

Alison mentions that the editor of this book should be shot, but the original e-book format was never edited any more than the original fan fiction was, if at all, and the company which bought publishing rights did no editing to the content, only spelling and punctuation depending on the country released. yes, this book needed editing, but those problems were there before it became so successful, which makes one wonder how the fuck that happened.

Anonymous said...

This novel will "obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever"... It won't, but you will. I love you with the loviest of loves!

Natalie Golding said...

Congratulations on making it through book 1 - I already suspect that your review of books 2 and 3 will form one of the highlights of my damp, foggy London summer!

Cari said...

If it makes you feel the least bit better, I've been periodically checking the rating of the first book on Amazon. About a month ago it was at 4 stars, and then it dropped to 3.5, and now it's at 3. So I think the reviews are finally starting to reflect the quality of the writing! Once it's down to a single star, my faith in humanity will be restored.

melissa Ivory said...

Erotic (if you can call it that), amusing(ly annoying), and deeply moving (me toward the rubbish bin to through this out), the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you (to nitpick at it), possess you (to gripe over it's errors), and stay with you forever (because it has been burned into your retina with all the other horrors the world has to offer).

this is what i think of the overall review on the back of the paperback.

Unknown said...

I want to print off several copies of your entire review and hand them to women I see reading this fetid turd of incoherent tripe on the tube.

Kirsten Irving said...

Thank you so much for the rage and reviewery. It has helped dissipate my impotent rage towards 50SoG a little ibt. Particularly loved the purple dolphin in lemonade and the phrase "she less than threes him 4EVA." Your review made me quite extraordinarily happy. We need to send you people flapjacks or something.

Kirsten Irving said...

PS: perhaps we should direct the residual rage not so much at E.L. James, but more at the greedy, art-hating goits who locked their gagged editors in a cupboard (they must not deserve love) and okd the publication of this gobshite.

melissa Ivory said...

@ Kirsten Irving: the 'rage' at the author that she couldn't do more to change her fan fiction into original fiction and that before she self-published this tripe she couldn't have it edited in any way makes this all valid. the publishing house deserves rage as well for publishing this as unedited as the author did. if these weren't issues, the 'rage' might be at something else, but it probably wouldn't be as justified as it is.

Sarah said...

Hilarious blog! So glad someone hated the books as much as I did - you're in for a right treat with the next two they are even more awful than the first one.

amberance said...

I'll be over in September. We should have a party, assuming I survive the other books.

Kal said...

You are a beautiful, beautiful person. I read all 3 books recently to see what the fuss was all about (people are work were very much OHMYGODZ AMAYZING about them....) You have written what my head thought. I never hated two main characters so goddamn much in MY LIFE and it's relieving to know there are other sane people in this world with me.

Gina said...

WOMAN! YOU ROCK!!
A while back you described the draw of Ana being her "blank canvas" (the Twilight 'Pants' formula)... I wish to add that female readers are drawn to characters they can identify with; characters who already remind them, even subconsciously (OMG I used the word correctly!!)of themselves. In this case:
Sexually naiive? does what everyone tells her to? "This is such a sexy book - you HAVE to read it!!!" oh yes Jame's success is no mystery, but such a travesty!
Good luck with book 2 xx

The Laughing Muse said...

I am so looking forward to this...! Blessings on your head. (And the rest of you. I'm feeling generous.)

Anonymous said...

Thankyouforthe heartiest laughs I have had in ages. My cousin keeps referring terrible books like this to me and I am glad beyond belief that you read this monstrosity.

I feel like re reading story of o :) let the good times roll

From Austria with love Kb

antoniya petkova said...

I. LOVE. YOU!

That was splendid. Firstly, I haven't laughed so much recently (and it is doubled, seen as how I just finished the idiotic book and your clever writing came as a breath of extremely-needed fresh air). Secondly, you've captured perfectly the things I hate about the f*cking book - if people want to hate on it, they don't even need to go into any deeper problematic concepts, all those points are enough to make me vomit. And I swear to God - if I read ANYMORE cocking of someone's head, climbing (or later clambering) in and out of sh*t, flushing, being exasperated or inner gooddesses biting their lower lip, I am going to get a bloody AK 47 and [SPOILER] go sh*t crazy like in 'God Bless America' [SPOILER].

Thank you SO MUCH for restoring my faith in humanity, good taste and clever writing!

turducken said...

This is brilliant.

Elements said...

I have enjoyed reading your blogs about 50 shades so much :) gave me and my hubby a good laugh, I have read all 3 books and honestly I just got a good laugh out of them.. I have been looking for other books to read and came across Bared to you, slave and knight I think they would give 50 shades a run for it's money... I can't wait for your blogs on 2 & 3

etmuse said...

I couldn't even get through the excerpt of the first chapter that was free on one website or another, so I'm so glad you did this. I can feel justified in my decision that I couldn't even attempt to read the actual books.

Looking forward to books 2 and 3 - your blogs on them at least.

(Please, please, no matter how much the rest of this series makes you want to, don't stab yourself in the eye with a fork.)

Lisa said...

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
I in no way pretend to be an expert in the world of BDSM, because it's not my thing, but I know people who are experts, and those people are honest and true and loving.

This author has portrayed everything is such a way as to make it seem that the books and their subject matter is made up solely of the people that you would run screaming from if they appear on FetLife. Or your corner shop, to be frank. The people you warn newbies about. You know, the ones you warn people to steer clear of.

It is dangerous, misinformed tripe. and should have a health warning on it.

Thank you again for showing it for what it is. Bull.

Anonymous said...

Seriously - there is no need for so much swearing!
I get it, you're angry.
Please extend your expressions beyond the use of f**k every other sentence

Erica said...

Oh my freaking God. Your "50" series gave me 500 Bellyfuls of Laugh. I damn near fell out of my chair a few times.

I have no intention of reading this dreck, so I applaud you for managing to slog through it. As someone else already said, knowing there are people like you out there restores a bit of my faith in humanity. I just spent a very pleasant afternoon reading your blogs and forgetting about the plethora of bored housewife idiots who are sucking up this book like pablum for the wannabe-kinky masses.

You have gained yet another fan for life. I know there would be legal issues, but I so wish you could combine these blogs and create your own book. I'd even proofread it for you.

Thank you for exposing this cliché-riddled pile of crap for what it is. I will look forward to what you do with parts 2 and 3.

Gallo said...

Kept expecting you to tell us that the last page revealed that it had all been an extensive roleplay session between two (already experienced) practitioners. Kind of like the BDSM version of 'it was all a dream'. But it would appear no such luck...

CyberpunkHero said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I have read the whole lot in one sitting and look forward to the next installment.

Hannah said...

I'm so, so, so pleased you're going to carry on with the other 2 books. Well, not for you cos you're really going to hate them but for me because someone hating this immature, ridiculous drivel even more than I do (which I'm amazed is even possible) gives me very good giggles.
And you're not alone with the having to finish a book, no matter how much it makes you want to stab your eyes out with rusty spoons, once you've started. It was a combination of that and (blatantly lying) friends telling me that it got better which forced me to finish them. I'm just glad I had paper copies rather than a kindle - throwing them at the wall, repeatedly, was quite satisfying.

Hywel Phillips said...

Thank you. Thank you for reading this book. Thank you for expressing succinctly and wittily what's so bloody wrong with it.

I only got 30 pages in before hurling the book down and shouting at it. (It was when Ana kept saying how gosh-darned attractive Grey was, over and over again in the same words).

My fiancee made it through a book and bit.

We run a fun bondage website, and have BDSM fun in our personal life.

Fifty Shades misrepresents BDSM play, portrays people into BDSM in the most hysterical stereotypical ways. What's worse, it does so to titillate, cashing in in the most hypocritical way possible. To add insult to injury the writing is the worst I have ever read in a published book.

To add even more insult to the injury, it has reached a wider audience, and is making more money out of it than any legitimate, talented, diligent writer/producer is ever likely to. That's just depressing :(

Thank you for debunking it. It was a public service.

Anonymous said...

Thought you'd like this...

*UPDATE*: The most annoyingly overused phrases in this masterpiece it was discovered that Ana says "Jeez" 81 times and "oh my" 72 times. She "blushes" or "flushes" 125 times, including 13 that are "scarlet," 6 that are "crimson," and one that is "stars and stripes red." (I can't even imagine.) Ana "peeks up" at Christian 13 times, and there are 9 references to Christian's "hooded eyes," 7 to his "long index finger," and 25 to how "hot" he is (including four recurrences of the epic declarative sentence "He's so freaking hot."). Christian's "mouth presses into a hard line" 10 times. Characters "murmur" 199 times, "mutter" 49 times, and "whisper" 195 times (doesn't anyone just talk?), "clamber" on/in/out of things 21 times, and "smirk" 34 times. Christian and Ana also "gasp" 46 times and experience 18 "breath hitches," suggesting a need for prompt intervention by paramedics. Finally, in a remarkable bit of symmetry, our hero and heroine exchange 124 "grins" and 124 "frowns"... which, by the way, seems an awful lot of frowning for a woman who experiences "intense," "body-shattering," "delicious," "violent," "all-consuming," "turbulent," "agonizing" and "exhausting" orgasms on just about every page.

Anonymous said...

Against all my better judgement, and even having read your excellent and accurate review, I, in what can only be described as some form of self-hating punishment, decided to read the trilogy ( for free, I should add, I don't want anyone to think that I paid money for this shit).
I still am not sure why I did so.

Never before has a story made me so horribly angry. I am more ashamed of reading this than pretty much anything I've ever done, and I embarrass myself often. However I save my real wrathful judgement for EL James, Stephanie whatsher face ( for the inspiration as well as Twilight) and anyone who contributed to this ever becoming more than twilight fan fiction.

Having enjoyed your review very much, I am a little concerned how you're going to handle the next two books. I'll usually read any old crap, but this...I'm very confused and angry about this trilogy's success. So confused and angry I can't express it in words without a lot of swearing, shouting and waving of arms. I would hate to deprive myself and others of your reviews, but for the sake of your own well being I would strongly advise against reading anymore of this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. I was handed this book by a friend and I decided to read it since everyone and their mother was raving about it. I hated it and I felt like I was the only one who got how awful and wrong this book is/was. I cannot wait to read more of your posts.

Anne said...

I think that in order to understand what James has done with the two main characters, they ARE a mirror image of Stephenie Meyer's Bella and Edward. I read the original fanfiction Master of the Universe and it quickly became clear to me that James, known as Icy back then was not concerned with literary achievement, grammar, punctuation, spelling, character and plot development; she was interested in tapping into a huge Twilight fanbase who were frustrated by Meyer's lack of sex in the books. When people read or watched the movies of Twilight, they wanted Edward and Bella to get down and get dirty, but Meyer made them wait until Breaking Dawn before they did the deed. That both titillated and frustrated the Twilight fans. James, by writing Bella and Edward into a fucked up sexual situation, fulfilled that gaping need in the fandom, so they all flocked to read it. Many Twilight fanfiction writers have written stories placing controlling vampire Edward into a situation where Bella took charge and saved him with true love. It's the old Harlequin romance, bad boy theme. "He is truly bad and evil, but I will be the one to save him. He will love me like no one else. My love and pure heart hold the keys to his reemption." Women always love to believe that they can save the bad boy. What they don't realise is that leopards never change their spots.

The BDSM is excruciatingly bad and certainly not realistic and I worry what damage James has done to that community. I am not a member, but a dear friend of mine is. He is a Dom and I now know enough about it to recognise a travesty when I see it. People who are not part of that community have a skewed vision of what it actually is. They think because someone is involved, then they have issues or sometimes that they hate the members of the opposite gender. They certainly don't need James's help to feel that way.

I think the scariest thing about these books was James's attitude when she decided to publish. She already had something like 30,000 reviews on Fanfiction.net and then pulled it to self publish through the Twilight Writer's Coffee Shop which at the time was a small concern and had no editing staff. Therefore the book was published without any editing whatsoever. No editor in a mainstream publishing house worth their salt would have published that un-edited. James was unashamed about her aims in changing the names of the Twilight characters and publishing. She admitted that what she wanted was a big fat pay cheque. So when the book turned up on Amazon, all of the rabid Twilight fanbase wrote in with reviews. Amazon was flooded and the book reached the top of the Amazon best seller list; guaranteed to get the interest of a mainstream publishing house like Vintage who wanted to make lots of money.

The rest is history I'm afraid. They say James earns 1 million a week from the sales so she got her big fat pay cheque. She got it off the back of the loyal Twilight fans who supported her and who she offloaded as soon as the book was successful. She got it off the back of two characters created by Stephenie Meyer. None of it came out of her own mind. Her characters are a one dimensional as the sex and her plot is non existent.

And incidentally, despite Vintage taking over publication, they STILL have not corrected the errors that were in the original fanfiction!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reinforcing the "silly amateur" thoughts I had after hearing the premise of this book. I also now have the phrase "holy tittyfucking penguin fins" firmly lodged in that talky part of my brain! Cool!

Kate said...

ZOMG YOU'RE TOTES HILAR.

Seriously, well done. I read the whole review in one sitting. I would LOVE to have you read the second and third ones for me, I am especially looking forward to how bad the sex scenes are....down there.

Aurelia Bhoy said...

Reading your blog after reading the 50 shades of grey shall be my redemption. Thank you and bravo ! I know how difficult is must have been to read it. I cursed and screamed and prayed the return of plague after every page. It is a best seller. God help us all, they are breeding !

Sarah said...

First: I love you. Now that that's out of the way... I refuse to read those horrible pieces of trash, but I'm so happy you are. I laughed myself silly today. I'm very sorry you have to subject yourself to the terrible writing and awful portrayals of BDSM, but thank you. You've made my entire birthday month better, since I didn't discover your lovely reviews last month when you originally posted them.

Jess M said...

You are officially my hero! I keep seeing everywhere how wonderful this piece of shit book is and just want to stab people in the eye >.< I LOVE your review. So. Fucking. Funny.

PyroPunk 51 said...

I'll be forever indebted to your for giving me a new vocabulary of swear words. Thank you!

365 Attempts (At Life) said...

I am sitting in the food court of a shit mall on my lunch hour and laugh-crying my eyes out reading this. You just gave me back the two days this book stole from me.

Luke said...

Got linked to your blog the other day and it made me very happy. All I've head of the book makes me want to choke the author, for the horrific generalisations about kinky people.

Thanks for suffering so I didn't have to.

Leanne said...

Thanks - that was awesome.

I just wish I'd read your review before I was stupid enough to read the book. Then I wouldn't have wasted my money on James' rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Never read the book, never intended to. A friend pointed to your blog as "f-ing awesome" and I've read every single review this evening. Absolutely hilarious and best waste of an evening ever.

Anonymous said...

I lived through a sexually abusive relationship and reading this book made me want to throw up. I can't imagine anyone who would find Christian a desirable man.

Midnight Ariel said...

The writer owes an apology to the entire BDSM community. I get that the characters we create have flaws...that can be what makes them interesting. She went way beyond that. She used her book to tell us all that anyone who lives the lifestyles is screwed up in the head. That is so wrong! Thanks for your suffering. ;)

Anonymous said...

since the hype (sadly) started in Germany too and I heard some people talk about it , I wanted to know about the book. but from my little knowledge I was sure it is nothing for me and I asked some friends about reviews, gladly someone linked me to yours. I enjoyed it very much.
And I think you deserve an award for making it through the book.
somewhere I'm glad there are two more, meaning there will be more of your awesome reviews which mak me laugh a lot.
Thanks for your sacrifices

Linz said...

You deserve a fucking medal for reading this piece of mind destroying shit.

But I find myself in a quandry. I loathe the book with the passion of a burning nova, and the people who read this book and thought omg!bestEVERbook with the passion of a dozen burning novae (novas?), but because of the book, I found your blog and THAT is worth the epic!badness because you are awesome.

Beaumains said...

Loved the reviews; scared my cats off my lap I was laughing so hard, but I may have found an up side. This book, like Jersey shore before it has saved me a small fortune. Now instead of wasting time getting to know girls over drinks and coffee who turn out to be vapid morons I just avoid any of the orange ones, anyone who's earrings are hoops that would fit my thigh and anyone carrying a copy of this IQ lowering misleading poorly written rapey piece of crap.

Anja Wettergren (Wren E. Gade) said...

This (YOUR BLOG NOT THE BOOK!) has been the best reading experience I've had for years! Thank you so much.

Natalie O'Donnell said...

I think the lesson we all need to take from this is to stay away from crack.

Matthew de Klerk said...

I found the link to your blog somewhere utterly random and, my curiousity piqued by your awesome post titles, I read the first post.

Then I read all the posts, and then (my mind being kind of overwhelmed by your indescribable way with words) I took the night off to think about how to respond.

There isn't really a way to describe what you've done, except maybe a simple "wow", and maybe that I'm slightly in love.

You're brilliant, AND you're reading this drivel so that we - the Dear Readers - don't have to subject that sort of cruel and unusual punishment on ourselves. I'm beginning to think that an audiobook of this monumental garbage would be a definite hard limit.

Otherwise, this blog has made my day, week and perhaps even my year.

"WHAT THE ZEBRA RAPING FUCK" almost killed me.

Rancid- said...

Hi,

I'm one of the "blog gone viral" people, incidentally pointed towards the 50 Shades project by a Facebook friend of mine. I just want to say THANK YOU so much for doing this.

I watch bad movies and play bad video games for entertainment myself, and I cringe and groan whenever my interest groups/subcultures are grossly misrepresented -- but even with this perspective, I can't imagine how it feels to have such an intimate part of your life subjected to the worst stereotypical bullshit imaginable AND have that subjection become wildly popular.

I applaud you for everything I've read so far and I'm looking forward to what I'm about to read next.

Once more, thank you thank you THANK YOU for this. You rock.

Alison said...

Thank you for this. I have laughed out loud for the last couple of hours.

Steve H said...

I've read every blog you've written about this but haven't commented till now. I have no particular experience with the BDSM subculture or anything like that, but it's clear reading this that the book has done a horrific hatchet job on it. Despite not having experience of such things, I can well imagine that putting yourself in a vulnerable position with someone could enhance a relationship due to the level of trust it would require. It doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to figure that out. The concept that pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin is also pretty easy to grasp. So really there is no excuse for this. I agree that the implication that this guy practices BDSM because he's incapable/feels undeserving of love is a total insult and completely ignorant. What on earth was this woman thinking? From everything you've quoted, it just seems like nothing more than her own juvenile fantasies, mixed up with a lot of unhealthy prejudice about things she doesn't understand.

J-chan said...

Your reviews are the only great thing that has come out of the nightmare that is 50 Shades becoming popular. I'm gonna go read the previous posts on your blog now, before gearing up for the second book. 8O Thank you so much, it was a hilariously painful ride!

celtic-thistle said...

THANK YOU for these reviews, omg. You've perfectly articulated everything that's wrong with these beyond-putrid books and you've eviscerated the dreadful writing at the same time. Plus, you've made me literally shriek with laughter on about a dozen occasions. I am VERY glad you are continuing with the other two "books."

Anonymous said...

The only variation on "50" I haven't seen yet from you is "50 shades of rape", which I actually would have expected at some point. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

This has been the most amusing set of reviews I have read in a long, long time. I was raving about you to my friends last night, haha. I could have never predicted the vast immensity of shit that is 50 Shades of Grey, and I'm so relieved I didn't have to read it myself to get a first hand look. This gives me plenty of ammo for anyone who tries to defend this book's subject matter, characterization, plot, or writing in general. Thanks a ton. Looking forward to making my way through the rest of your reviews of the sequel. Keep up the good work, this stuff is really fucking funny.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm in an abusive relationship as my Dom made me read 50 shades as a punishment (1st book only, he's cruel but not that cruel :-) )

I've enjoyed reading your review, not least because it closely matched my own opinion of the book. I've been deeply frustrated by the number of my friends who've been unable to recognise the abusive nature of the relationship described. This includes D/s friends who seem to think the popularity of the book will bring some sort of wider mainstream acceptance for BDSM. Huh? Wouldn't it take a book about BDSM to do that? Equally frustrating are those who acknowledge the abuse and equate it with BDSM :-(.

I'm unsure if I will read your reviews of books 2 and 3, because frankly I don't give a toss about the characters. I do however admire your perseverance and resolve in your endeavour.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon this and could not stop reading and laughing. Please, keep reading and making us die in laughter!

infinimaru said...

Thank you for putting into words that which left me speechless. I can't tell you how many times (it was a lot - one can only read so much crap in one sitting)that I walked away from 50 Shades with my mouth hanging open, unable to put together a coherent sentence to describe the level of fuckedupness that is this book.

You are my hero. And funny as hell to boot. :D

Cynla said...

Thank you so so so much for reading and writing about this book. I couldn't make it past the chapter where he beats her and fucks her without using a safeword and without her permission, so it was good to know that I made the right decision. I read the last chapter to confirm that everything you said was right, and of course it was worse. I felt sick and had a pain in my side from reading that sick parody of a bdsm relationship. Thank you for being a martyr for the cause and saving the rest of us from that hell.

David said...

"50 Fucks of This". Best. Title. EVER.

I realize this is almost as sleazy as Christian Grey himself, but I'd like to invite you--shamelessly--to plug my own book, a parody of such works as 50 Shades.

I realize this is almost as sleazy as Christian Grey himself, but I'd like to invite you--shamelessly--to plug my own book, a parody of such works as 50 Shades.

I wanted to let you know about a giveaway I'll be hosting this weekend of a book of my own which was inspired, to some extent, by the illiteracy of the 50 Shades series. The book is ludicrous--purposefully so. Here's a bit of a link, if you're interested...

http://thebaroninsideyou.blogspot.com/2013/03/passover-book-giveaway.html

thanks for your consideration, and I apologize in advance for so shamelessly, brazenly asking you to plug my thing in the comments section of your blog.

Best,
-David

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy 50 shades of Grey exists, because otherwise I wouldn't have found this blog.
I REALLY didn't want to read the book, but a friend pestered me for months, and then literally put the book in my hands.

Unfortunately, now I have lost all respect for this friend. And the millions of other people who like this... this... I can't find a word bad enough.

The one thing I should be glad about is that I read it in English, and not translated to my native language, because that's apparently even worse. Yeah, I know- HOW?

I found this while searching for reviews, because like you I honestly could not see WHY this is popular.

I wrote better erotica than this when I was 16, which is saying a lot.

Anonymous said...

I was legitimately offended by Ana's reaction to Christian hitting her with belts- and I let the awful fucking stereotype earlier on go, assuming it was just standard, common ignorance and an honest mistake (despite the fact that that's no excuse given the book is supposedly *about BDSM*). It is plain offensive that she would take what is a real BDSM practice and decide that makes Christian a "sick monster," and that the author would put this in as a legitimate, reasonable response to that scenario.

"I have...glimpsed the extent of his depravity, and I know now he's not capable of love."
I was more deeply offended by this line. In light of this set of statements, getting BDSM more into the mainstream was nowhere near fucking worth this book. That's just ludicrous and I cannot believe anyone on the planet champions this as a step forward for the BDSM community. I hated this book before I read this blog because I knew what it would contain, but I was in no way prepared for this. All internet exaggeration aside, I'm honestly questioning if I could have a civil conversation with the woman who wrote this book- and that is a fucking feat.

In the beginning, I was just looking for some laughs and to privately ridicule a book I was certain would be silly, poorly-written, and ignorant. But that last bit was in no way amusing. I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but that was completely unacceptable on the author's part.