Friday, 7 September 2012

50 shades of crap? Or should I say genius?


As an English student I would say that on the whole, I tend to read pretty cultural books. Either classics that I have been forced to read, classics that I feel I should read or chick lit that I am reading to give myself a break while, at the same time, researching the market (as I want to be a chick lit author).  But at the beginning of this summer, (like so many women around me) I got seduced by a new craze that has crudely been named ‘clit lit’ which has swept through our nation.  And it all began with one little piece of writing that originally started its life as Twilight fanfiction.  I don’t think even the author could have predicted just how big 50 Shades of Grey became, outselling even Harry Potter within a few months.  I don’t know whether that says more about the book itself or about the females that populate Britain.
50 shades of grey tells the story of university student, Ana Steele who by chance meets multimillionaire Christian Grey.  Of course, she is immediately dazzled by his amazing looks and he is intrigued by her innocence.  So they then have a ‘relationship’ of sorts where he reveals some very particular sexual tastes and she spends the rest of the book trying to decide whether she loves it or is terrified.
What is most confusing about the trilogy is that, despite its huge popularity, the writing itself is actually pretty poor.  The descriptions are dull, the conversations are repetitive and the plot is somewhat unrealistic.  Furthermore, the formation of the characters is extremely weak.  You reach the end of the novel knowing very little more about the characters than you did at the beginning.  By the end of the third one you do know a bit more, particularly about Christian but all that you find out about Ana is that she is intensely annoying and gets angry about little things that don’t actually matter at all.  James took far too much effort in trying to make her feisty, so much so that her argumentative nature just seemed a little obtuse.

Yet still we read it which I can only put down to a fairly enticing plot and even though you can guess the end, you do want to see whether or not the characters manage to settle down nicely.  On top of this it is quite educational on how you shouldn’t write a novel and includes every single ‘don’t’ that is on a teacher’s tip list (take that from a trainee teacher).  However, if you are willing to ignore this and are desperate for something relaxing to read that takes no brain power at all, then this is definitely for you. So sit back and enjoy…but not too much.
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