Descent Into Smut Hell with 50 Shades of Grey

Descent Into Smut Hell with 50 Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey is number one on the NY Times Bestselling Paperback list.

It’s been reviewed on NPR, the Morning Show,and every other outlet. It’s also what all the moms in my town are discussing.

And 50 Shades of Grey is pure smut, or “Mommy Porn,” according to the NY Times.

Photo from the NY Times article.

After hearing so much about 50 Shades of Grey, I finally broke down and purchased the erotica Twilight fan fiction novel originally posted by E.L. James on Fanfiction.net. I didn’t hide my copy inside the anonymity of an e-reader either. I bought a real paperback copy, and proceeded to descend into the pages of true smut.

Why this book is such a hit is a complete mystery to me.

The plot could not be more cheesy. Anastasia Steele (I kid you not, this is her name) is beautiful, innocent and of course, clumsy because women in these types of novels are always walking into doors, or lurching into oncoming traffic while completely sober. Anastasia is a college senior goes to interview a wealthy CEO for the last issue of the college paper. She is so clumsy that she falls to the floor when she opens the door to his office. When he helps her up, she feels an electric current run through her, the first sign of an irresistible pull towards Christian Grey, a dangerous but somehow wounded man who soon invites her to join him in a committed bondage relationship by having her sign an NDA and a detailed dominant/submissive contract.

Seriously? Did I just say bondage? Yes. This book that is sweeping suburbia and being feverishly passed around playgrounds is a BDSM novel.

To say that 50 Shades of Grey is poorly written would be an understatement. Anastasia has lengthy inner conversations like, “His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel… or something. I shake my head to gather my wits. My heart is pounding at a frantic tempo, and for some reason I’m blushing furiously under his steady scrutiny. I am utterly thrown by the sigh of him standing before me. My memories of him did not do him justice. he’s not merely good-looking – he’s the epitome of male beauty.”

The characters and their relationship are also deeply disturbing. Grey asks Anastasia to sign a contract giving him control over her well beyond sexual activities. He mandates that she not snack outside of meals other than fruit, that she exercise three times a week, that she address him as Sir or Mr. Grey, and that she refrain from touching him or looking him in the eye unless authorized. The fact that women are getting turned on by a relationship based on such complete submissiveness boggles my mind. Do we all aspire to live in Saudi Arabia, wear a burqa, and not be allowed to drive?

Like millions of others, I fell under the spell of Twilight three years ago, consuming all three books in one long fevered daze. I found Edward vaguely controlling and annoying, was firmly on Team Jacob, but was still hooked. But I find nothing redeeming about 50 Shades of Grey. The writing was horrendous. The characters were miserable. And the sex was way too graphic and creepy.

I don’t like to review books that I didn’t enjoy on my blog. I’d rather share works that have inspired me so that others can enjoy them too. But I am too disturbed by the popularity of this novel to not talk about it. As Shades of Grey is a copy of another novel, I’m sure there are already dozens of similar mommy porn novels in the works. I hope they will be even worse than 50 Shades of Grey so that this horrendous demeaning genre can disappear. Instead I’ll take more strong heroines like Katniss Everdeen.

Reading 50 Shades of Grey will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth that will only grow with time. Trust me, this is one book you can do without, regardless of whether you’ll read it in secret on your Kindle or out in public with the cover for anyone to see.

 

 

17 Responses to Descent Into Smut Hell with 50 Shades of Grey

  1. Sara says:

    OMG should I return it!?? I had no idea.

  2. Several my friends have been talking about this on Facebook recently. I will admit, I had not heard of it before and was curious. Put it on my GoodReads list to remember later. Of course, it may never show up in my hands in the form of a traditional book or on my beloved Kimberly Kindle.

  3. I have just seen people mentioning this book lately and am SO grateful for your review. I would have never guessed that what is inside should really equate to having a photo of Fabio on the cover!

    Just horrible insipid writing at its’ best it seems. Really…SO grateful!

  4. Becca says:

    I have been so intrigued…yours is the first awful review I have read. Wow!

  5. The Food Hunter says:

    Thanks for your honest review.

  6. Lucy Probert says:

    Agreed.. poor writing and a waste of time.. and not only was she a stereotypical klutz but this ‘beautiful’ college co-ed had never even been kissed before she met him AND had never even owned a computer before he bought her one! SUCH a waste :)

  7. Pat Powers says:

    Actually, the sex scenes really sing in this book. The characters like the sex, they like each other, they have a really good times when they have sex. That’s why the book is so popular. And the fact that women enjoy such fantasies does not mean they want to wear burqas in public. There’s a difference between reality and fantasy, the readers of “50 Shades” understand that. It’s a shame that YOU don’t.

  8. Jen says:

    SO not in agreement with your post. I LOVED the book and it was a fabulous way to indulge in some “down” time, allowing me to escape into a fantasy world, just for fun :) If you couldn’t see the overall picture of this series, that it’s simply for enjoyment and shock value, than you have sorely missed the point. Take it with a grain of salt. Poor writing and all, the story is a zinger (although you are right, kind of lame) and the sex is incredible! GET THIS BOOK, LADIES!
    Don’t drag your feet.

  9. [...] are reading, and not just magazines. Everyone seems to have their nose in a  book. And thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey, book discussions are popping up all over the place. This smutty, poorly written novel has done [...]

  10. melissa says:

    I tried to read this book…..but I found it so poorly written and, quite frankly, dumb, that I had to stop. I read about 200 pages and I was annoyed by the storyline and characters. Different strokes for different folks…..but I found the book to be a big waste of my time and $30 dollars.

  11. Kate says:

    Glad you have your own opinion, though I do have a problem, just one. You shouldn’t have to think that just because us women are turned on by it means that we belong in saudi arabia* (sp?) Mind you, BDSM has been around foreverrrrr. Some women are dominant in real life and just like the feeling of a man being bossy in bed because it’s such a shock. I get turned on simply because it’s abnormal and I admire the confidence, nothing to be ashamed of. As for her usual innocence in every book, I could have cared less if she was the High School harlot, the scenes are still hot. But thank you for sharing. =)

  12. I am so with you on this!!!!!!!! I just finished ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Everyone I know loves it and is raving about it. I’m the odd one out. I’ve blogged it a couple of times, while reading it, and I have just started book 2, as a writer myself I want to blog this experience, but I agree with everything you said!

  13. audreyii says:

    I have to assume that people who find this sexy have never, in fact, read explicit smut before. That’s the only explanation I can find for getting turned on by sex scenes that include the dialogue “Aargh!” and “Suck me, baby.”

    For erotica, I need ONE of the following: hot sex, likable characters, functional prose, or respectable plot. Fifty Shades of Grey provides none of those.

    (And this is not even getting into the basic disrespect of asking people to pay for work that has not been properly edited. I don’t mean “made good” — I mean “grammar mistakes corrected” and “basic scene-to-scene continuity” and “all the words that are supposed to be in a sentence actually present in a sentence.” Taking the perspective of “I know it’s going to sell, so why bother?” is just flatly rude.)

  14. Carol says:

    This book is the evidence of a sexiest man handsome, rich,loyal,focused business man,generous and very loving. A shocking sad story of a boy abused and saved by his adopted parents. Confused because of his past so called mother. To become a happy and loving husband after meeting the love of his life! Also very talented in pleasing his mate!

  15. Susan says:

    The thing I find most disturbing is that she agreed not to snack on anything other than fruit in between meals. What a loser.

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