If you are not living in a nuclear fallout shelter you may have heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, a romatic-erotic novel, in trilogy form. I have seen comments on Twitter and in the blogosphere about it.
I will be honest ... I saw it mentioned on CNN online, downloaded a sample to my Nook and voraciously read all 3 books. This may damage my credibility when I criticize it! I also read the review of it in the New York Times. Now let's get real here ... this is not literature. It is barely prose. It is not a feminist manifesto. It is not even outrageous porn. It is escapist fantasy for women who are dragged down by the monotony of "real" life, sort of a highly sexed version of those romance novels of yesteryear.
Here are some things that did NOT bother me about 50 shades.
1. The dude is gorgeous and rich. OK, somewhat cliche, but do you really want to be a sex slave to someone who is gross and poor? The answer is no.
2. Yes the writing is bad. The author is a slighly smarter Stephanie Meyer. Some of my biggest grievances are the substitutes for good old "said". Christian (the dude) always "growls" and "murmurs". Ana (the chick) always thinks "Holy Cow!" at weird moments, of which there are many. But really bad writing is almost required for this.
Here is what did bother me.
1. Ana is a virgin. No I don't hate virgins, but is that really still required for the romance heroine in this day and age? Ok, if you are morally opposed to sex before marriage that is one thing, but this chick clearly is not. I do not buy that she was not attracted to any man before Christian. If you are female, heterosexual and breathing you will meet an attractive male before age 22.
2. Now here is the big gripe, and it is vaguely related to weight loss. It bugs the shit of me how Ana forgets to eat for days. OK, people in love tend to lose weight .. this is documented, and in the distant past I may have experienced it myself. But days? Really? That is some really good sex. Ana, get a burger. It will help.
And then some random comments.
1. It is apparently still necessary for the dude to have an unusually large penis, so much so, that it elicits gasps from the chick on initial viewing. My question is ... how big, in cm, must it be to get this reaction?
2. The romance novels in the 80's allowed for no obscene language. Now apparently erotica for women permits extensive use of the work f*ck, with its core meaning, but not for slang terms for body parts. (Except for ass, that is ok.) They still must use euphemisms that make you want to barf.
So that is my non professional review of Fifty Shades of Grey. Any thoughts out there on this novel or romance/erotica in general?
- Cathy Yonek
- Pittsburgh, PA, United States
- Six years ago I decided (age) 42 would be my magic number. I stepped on the scale for the first time in a LONG time. It was a BIG number, it was a SCARY number, but mostly I knew I had to own that number. I lost 40 pounds, leaving the obese category behind. In 2014 I committed myself to working out HARD and a low sugar diet, losing more weight and gaining nice definition. Then life happened, and I lost momentum, gaining some weight back. My goals now are different, and include completing my first ever marathon at age 48. GULP! You can read about the next part of my journey here.