Customer Review

16,464 of 17,194 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bestseller? Really???, March 25, 2012
This review is from: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoy erotica and heard so much about this book that I had to give it a shot, but I'm five chapters in and just can't take it anymore. This has to be the most appallingly atrocious writing I've ever seen in a major release. The pseudonymous British author sets the action (such as it is) in Washington State... for no reason than that her knowledge of America apparently consists of what she read in "Twilight"... but the entire first-person narrative is filled with Britishisms. How many American college students do you know who talk about "prams," "ringing" someone on the phone, or choosing a "smart rucksack" to take "on holiday"? And the author's geography sounds like she put together a jigsaw puzzle of the Pacific Northwest while drunk and ended up with several pieces in the wrong place.

And oh, the repetition...and the repetition...and the repetition. I'm convinced the author has a computer macro that she hits to insert one of her limited repertoire of facial expressions whenever she needs one. According to my Kindle search function, characters roll their eyes 41 times, Ana bites her lip 35 times, Christian's lips "quirk up" 16 times, Christian "cocks his head to one side" 17 times, characters "purse" their lips 15 times, and characters raise their eyebrows a whopping 50 times. Add to that 80 references to Ana's anthropomorphic "subconscious" (which also rolls its eyes and purses its lips, by the way), 58 references to Ana's "inner goddess," and 92 repetitions of Ana saying some form of "oh crap" (which, depending on the severity of the circumstances, can be intensified to "holy crap," "double crap," or the ultimate "triple crap"). And this is only part one of a trilogy...

If I wrote like that, I'd use a pseudonym too.

Like some other reviewers, what I find terribly depressing is that this is a runaway bestseller and the movie rights are expected to sell for up to $5 million. There are so many highly talented writers in the genre... and erotica is so much more erotic when the author has a command of the language and can make you care about the characters. For examples, check out the "Beauty" trilogy written by Anne Rice under the pen name A.N. Roquelaure, or any stories by Donna George Storey or Rachel Kramer Bussel. Just stay away from this triple crap.

*UPDATE*: Thanks to the many other perturbed readers who have shared their own choices of the most annoyingly overused phrases in this masterpiece. Following up on their suggestions with my ever-useful Kindle search function, I have discovered that Ana says "Jeez" 81 times and "oh my" 72 times. She "blushes" or "flushes" 125 times, including 13 that are "scarlet," 6 that are "crimson," and one that is "stars and stripes red." (I can't even imagine.) Ana "peeks up" at Christian 13 times, and there are 9 references to Christian's "hooded eyes," 7 to his "long index finger," and 25 to how "hot" he is (including four recurrences of the epic declarative sentence "He's so freaking hot."). Christian's "mouth presses into a hard line" 10 times. Characters "murmur" 199 times, "mutter" 49 times, and "whisper" 195 times (doesn't anyone just talk?), "clamber" on/in/out of things 21 times, and "smirk" 34 times. Christian and Ana also "gasp" 46 times and experience 18 "breath hitches," suggesting a need for prompt intervention by paramedics. Finally, in a remarkable bit of symmetry, our hero and heroine exchange 124 "grins" and 124 "frowns"... which, by the way, seems an awful lot of frowning for a woman who experiences "intense," "body-shattering," "delicious," "violent," "all-consuming," "turbulent," "agonizing" and "exhausting" orgasms on just about every page.
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Comments

Tracked by 34 customers

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Showing 1431-1440 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 14, 2013 4:33:58 PM PST
A professor of mine suggested that the class read some of the book's reviews, seeing as they can be very funny and to the point. I'm certain that your review is one that she read. Brilliant review! Thanks for entertaining me.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 5:23:30 PM PST
Amen, sister. Your review is spot on! Only 1/4 of the way through the book and SO sick of the clambering, fire/heat "down there," lip biting, and shattering/splintering. Why, why, why are otherwise intelligent women sucked into this?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2013 6:28:23 PM PST
Traveller says:
Oh I don't know I'm kinda wishing I'd put a little peeking and flushing in my Novella. Not! It was like a runaway train and it helped she is related or married to some established show biz type.

Posted on Jan 18, 2013 11:29:53 AM PST
Ahuva says:
BRAVO!
I'm so glad I didn't spend money on repetitions.

Great review

Posted on Jan 22, 2013 6:25:17 PM PST
CeeCee says:
spot on review. Could not finish this, even tho I would have to concede I'd thrown away my money. Whenever anyone says they loved this book and couldn't put it down my inner goddess secretly wonders if they have ever read anything besides this drivel and possibly Cosmo magazine. Holy crap it stank!

Posted on Jan 24, 2013 3:29:47 PM PST
Maria D says:
This has to be one of the greatest reviews I've ever read! I laughed so much, I had tears in my eyes :) Thank you!

And I gotta say, Ana's character is very annoying. At first, she's alright, but then...

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 8:42:56 PM PST
S. Obilo says:
Lol, your review was really funny and I actually agree with most of it, especially the 'inner goddess' (I hate that). Oh, a few other overly repeated statements were 'errant child', 'terse tone', 'I'm so glad it was you who stumbled into my office instead of Katherine Kavanagh'. Also, I feel like the story could do without all those sex scenes. There were just too many in my opinion. Having said that, I honestly loved the books (I've read the first two). In spite of all those annoying aspects, I genuinely love the series and I can't wait to read the third one. I just bear in mind that it is fiction, maybe not the most intelligent of stories, but it was very entertaining. Still, lol at your comment. :p

Posted on Feb 8, 2013 8:00:16 AM PST
Orchid lover says:
Thank heavens that I read the reviews on this book before I shelled out money based on all the hype the book has been getting in the media. It's hard to conceive that this "writer" could really be so bad but apparently she managed it, not once but several times! What I can't understand is why her books are so hyped!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2013 1:12:18 PM PST
I actually went and read some of the five star reviews ---- and nearly fell over from dismay at the comments! The point seems to be "Christian is, to me, one of the best male leads in romance that I've read in a long time."

R.E.A.L.L.Y.?????????? I loved (NOT) this one too . . . "I really think that for a book to be well-written it not only has to be composed of well-structured prose, but also has to have a great story and a great emotional interface with the reader."
Oh, and this one? " I think it is beautiful how you see him "blossom" from this harsh, closed in, sad and lonely man into someone who knows he is worthy of love and accepts it."

Again - You have GOT to be f-ing kidding me! These people wouldn't know good prose if it hit them over the head with a two-by-four.

And THEN - the scary one? "Made me remember why I fell in love with my husband 25 years ago. I have successful changed him.Now I want him back." That by someone who identifies herself as "God's Project". I guess her god wants her to be beaten, brutalized and tormented (physically, mentally, and via really bad prose . . . )

Someone kill me now........ the degree of ignorance is horrifying. The 'readers' apparently have never taken an English class in their lives, much less had a loving relationship. Sigh. We really are a failed species.

Posted on Feb 9, 2013 12:07:56 PM PST
SORE EYES says:
I'm starting a FB page called 50 Ways to Kill 50 Shades of Grey. Please find a way to destroy the book-fire, run it over, etc and post a pic. This hack writing being this popular is a effing shame. The fake 5 star reviews from the publisher on here irritate me even more.

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