The lack of disappointment when it comes to 50 Shades of Grey and the rest of the vile trilogy is unnerving. I started reading the books, hoping to finish them by February 14th, which marked also the release of the film, but I managed to reach the end chapter of the third book last week.
To say that the volumes are not so interesting is an understatement. I’ve read Ikea instructions more entertaining that this, but somehow, I took the time to read them in full, which is more than I can say about Deborah Harkness and her trilogy.
To say that E. L. James masters some kind of talent while writing her pages is a generous overstatement. Throughout the first book, I had to fight the vocabulary of a 13 year old with sexual needs, as well as my gag reflex, only to reach a boiling point expressed by the all mighty „inner goddess” which saturated almost every page.
After the second volume, though, things went more smoothly and I’m guessing that James had indeed improved her writing technique, making it a little more bearable for us, mortals.
To be frank, I used this book for a different purpose from what it was intended. I used it to fall asleep at night, when I usually closed my eyes after 2 or 3 pages of the stuff.
The erotica is very sparse, due to some very un-sexual characters, that make even the most hottest moment a dull one, repeatedly overflown with guilt, questions and thoughts that would make a nun yawn, the BDSM part of the story sounds like a treatable disease, as long as a fair maiden comes to the rescue of the perfectly chiseled man-trophy with money and abs to spare, and as for the abusive relationship so totted by feminists around the world – I truly see none.
No relationship whatsoever. What I see is two persons in love with the ideal image they have for one another, and even though I applaud the moments when these two love birds fight (because they give such an authentic vibe), the fact is that their personas do not exist. They are the idealization of the author when it comes to both women and men. Virginal, untainted vs. Manly, broken results in a change dynamic that turns the woman into a sexual predator, with a glorious career, a great husband, awesome taste in clothes, a mom and a race car driver vs. the sincere man, lovey-dovey-cutie-pie, amazing CEO and father, always at the whim of his woman.
There were moments when the build up could’ve been great, especially the plot with the oh, so enamored horny boss of the protagonist, or the plot with the sexy architect, or the plot involving the history behind the Greys, but after a few paragraphs, you could tell that E. L. James does not master enough literary eloquence in order to control her characters, so all of those moments flew out the window.
However, the books were captivating enough to keep me returning night after night, and I’d recommend them for the ease of language and the satisfactory pace of the story. If you love Sci-Fi, then brace yourselves – James masters this art with great ease. Never have I ever seen such incongruous array of characters, making it unbelievable for the common person to relate to all that turmoil, all that inconsistency, all that… Blah-factor.
I raise my glass to a period of three months well spent in regaining my love for good reading once more. Here’s to all of the E. L. James’ in the world, may you forever float in our universe, teaching us bad books so we can savor the good ones!