Books and Comics

Color me Fifty Shades of Surprised

Fifty Shades of Grey received a whole lot of crap on the Internet, and I can see why.

First things first.
The writing is terrible. That’s no exaggeration: the prose is incredible, suck-ass bullcrap forged deep in the fiery depths of hell and sent up here because apparently, there isn’t enough suffering on earth.

Cases in point:

  • Christian. Talks. Like. This. A. Lot.
  • Ana’s expressions reflect how frickin’ boring she is: Holy fuck!, Holy shit!, Holy cow!, and the most (unintentionally) hilarious, Holy Moses!
  • Ana’s “inner goddess” and “subconscious” are annoying devices for E.L. James to communicate to the reader how Ana is feeling inside. I HATE THIS WITH A FIRE SO INTENSE, I CAN ACTUALLY FEEL MY HEART BEAT FASTER AS I REMEMBER HOW IDIOTIC THIS IS. Her inner goddess keeps dancing (the tango, salsa, what have you) and even performing arabesques.
  • In the Fifty Shades world, People don’t simply “say” things, they “murmur” entire sentences.1 They also “gasp” a whole fucking lot. Seriously, can’t they get through a human interaction without gasping? Are they that easily startled or rattled?

If only I kept a count of how many times I cringed reading the trilogy.

And the characters—can you say Twilight rip-off? I mean, yeah, Fifty Shades was originally Twilight fanfiction, but come on, let’s have some imagination!

Just look at how similar these motherfuckers are:

Ana Steele & Bella Swan: they are clumsy, like to read “serious” literature (because they’re so smart), and swoon over the male lead because they’re so fucking dreamy and all that shit. They have low self-esteem which makes them feel like they’re not good enough for the object of their affection. Basically a device for female readers to insert themselves into the fantasy.
Christian Grey & Edward Cullen: they are graceful, play piano beautifully, listen to classical music (because that is so intellectual), and stalk the heroine (because that’s so romantic). Everything they do is dripping in sexiness, even eating a goddamn muffin. They have heaps of self-loathing and try to push the heroine away.

I don’t even know why E.L. James bothered changing the damn names.

Those aren’t even the worst things that suck about Fifty Shades. That would be its inaccurate portrayal of BDSM: Fifty Shades portrays Christian’s predilection for BDSM as a product of psychological illness, when in fact there is little to no connection between the two. Besides, BDSM isn’t a disease, it’s a sexual preference that is harmless when consensual; the way James wrote it, however, makes it appear like it’s a symptom of mental instability.

Moreover, many an article 2 has been written saying that Fifty Shades is misogynistic in that it encourages female dependence on, and submission to, a male; that Ana is shallow and treats fellow females as competition for a “hot” guy; that Christian and Ana’s relationship is classically abusive.

But for all the shitty things about it, I have to admit:

I, Ela Kaimo, self-admitted book snob, enjoyed the Fifty Shades trilogy.

There is absolutely no good reason to enjoy this. My inner goddess cringes at the thought that I have enjoyed such a suck-ass piece of (dare I say it?) literature. But it’s so bad, so terrible, that it’s actually great fun to read. Try to count how many times Ana can say “jeez” or “my Fifty”. Wonder how Ana brushed off Jose’s unwanted sexual advances so easily. Stand in motherfucking awe as Christian Grey, the CEO of a supposedly large company, has time on his hands to text/e-mail/fuck a college grad all goddamn day.

Seriously, if you read this with the right attitude, you’ll get a kick out of the idiotic characters, the godawful plot, and the hideous prose.

P.S. Fifty fans, don’t get your crotchless panties in a twist. There are reviews much more scathing than mine.

1 Twilight is also guilty of overusing this word.
2 A lot of these articles mention the dangers of the trilogy to feminism, as if by simply reading this, you’re already buying into misogyny. I’m not completely in agreement, though. Give women some fucking credit; not every piece-of-shit literature is going to suddenly turn us into docile servants of the patriarchy.

Ela is a twentysomething who is constantly getting stuck in self-destructive behavior and bouts of low self-esteem. She struggles with depression and writes to relieve herself of her feelings. Sometimes she even blogs about other things like makeup and positivity. One of her pieces was published in the Inquirer Young Blood in October 2017. She likes cats, dogs, and sometimes even people.

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