50 Shades? I wouldn’t read it.

Years ago, I used to do improve writing every day.  I would get home from work, turn on the computer and write.  I had a book, from which I got the idea, that gave a list of things to write about.  I did those sometime.  Other times, I developed a fun game where I walked into a room and glanced around.  The first thing I saw would become my subject.  I would have to write at least a page about the item. 

I’m thinking about it as I looks at my Pessimist’s, tear-away calendar.  Today’t entry is 50 Shades of Meh.  It calls the book unreadable and gives examples of the repreative nature of the book. One such example is that the author mentions that the protagonist ‘blushes or flushes’ a total of 125 times. 

I particularily like how the calendar writer tells us that the 50 shades book started as Twilight fan fic and when you compare 50 Shades to Twilight, Twilight ‘reads like Dostoevsky’ in comparison.

They give a sample sentence and I found that it made my head hurt.  Well, it was two sentences.  Let me share it with you.

“Anticipation hangs heavy over my head lika a dark, tropical storm cloud.  Butterflies flood my belly – as well as a darker, carnal, captivation ache as I try to imagine what he will do to me.”

I’m having trouble with the alliteration.  To much alliteration ruined a mystery series for me a few years back.  At first it was amusing and enjoyable.  But then it started to feel if the author was attempting to put it in just to see how many times she could do it in one novel. 

It isn’t too different from how the puns in Piers Anthony books were originally amusing, but latter books began to have so many puns sent in by readers that the stories themselves were getting lost.  And all the characters started to sound alike.  Not a good thing to have happen.

I also didn’t like going from tropical storm clouds to butterflies that fast.  My brain seizes up and I want to know which image I’m supposed to carry for what will follow.  The feeling of dark energy and movement and building tension inplied by the storm coulds or the sense of sunlight flashing off the wings of a flock of brightly colored butterflies. 

And what is with ‘darker, carnal, captivating ache’?  ‘A darker ache’ is all she needed to get the point across.  Without actually reading the books I am still able to know exactly what she means. 

If I had bought it, just from those two sentences, assuming they are typical of the rest of the book, it would have joined the handful of unfinished books I have.

Island of the Blue Dolphins.  Technically, I did finish it one time.  It took me four years.  It was the first one or two chapters that were so awful that I could never get past them.  I started it in grade school and finished in high school.  In college, I thought I would give it another try.  The rest of the book was really interesting.  Again, the beginning was so bad I actually got rid of the book.

Steamed.  A steampunk novel by a romance writer that utterly failed.  It was also a ‘travel to an alternate reality’ novel.  The male lead in his own world would have been a great story.  The female lead’s story in her world would have been a great story.  But the story she tried to tell with them together was horrible.

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.  I stopped after book Seven.  I got totally disgusted.  The series was already dragging on too long, taking off on too many tangents.  He told us it would be seven books long.  At book seven, not only was it nowhere near done, he created a HUGE new tangent.  I never picked up another book in that series again.

So, no 50 Shades of anything for me.  I think I’ll resume my reading of early Andre Norton science fiction.  There are a few awkward elements to her early books.  But I really want to find out where Ross and the others end up.

10 Responses to “50 Shades? I wouldn’t read it.”

  1. Twilight reading like Dostoevsky? Wow. Cannot fathom. Not that I’m defending 50 Shades. No. I mean, Twilight already reads like fan fiction to begin with. Like, sloppy wish fulfillment fan fiction. Knowing that is going to make the rejection letters I get when I finish my novel hurt that much more.

    As for the darker, carnal captivating ache, obviously it’s that using three descriptors makes it three times as descriptive. It’s a mainstay technique of the Meyer school, which despite being a “literary” school is apparently based mostly on arithmetic.

  2. Stitchersflock Says:

    I too fail to grasp the buzz about the 50 Shades books, their mass appeal escapes me (other than the base assumptions that lemmings will read whatever is trending). I am about to go curl up with Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, well if my Nook app hasn’t once again lost my bookmark.

  3. I’m truly scared that there is a movie in the works for this book

  4. My mother got into fifty shades of grey, and I read one part where the female character describes like an inner goddess or something like that… Like she has split personalities or something. Definitely turned me off!

  5. But you know what I do love to read? Persephone Magazine’s “Linotte Reads 50 Shades” series. Because it’s snarky and awesome. http://persephonemagazine.com/?s=linotte+50+shades

  6. I hear you. A friend read it, mainly to save the rest of us the agony. The summation made it sound so much stupider than the hype led me to believe. She’s now in detox, nothing but classic lit and intelligent TV. She’ll be okay… in about six to eight weeks.

    • I think it got so popular and sold so well because of initial shock value. But really, all they had to do to get that type of content is go pick up romance novels from the 1970’s. They were less about the plot and mostly an excuse to write soft to not so soft porn. And, the writing was slightly better.

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