17,302 of 18,078 people found the following review helpful
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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Showing 51-60 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on May 9, 2012 7:15:12 PM PDT
Arielle D. Saadoun says:
You took the word right out of my mouth!!!! PERFECT PERFECT review for this book. Thank you
Posted on May 9, 2012 7:28:53 PM PDT
D. Pecka says:
Thank you, I won't waste my time and money now.
Posted on May 9, 2012 10:19:07 PM PDT
Gail Patricia Greer says:
Posted on May 10, 2012 5:31:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 10, 2012 5:32:32 AM PDT
I'm all for the freedoms of expression - sexual or otherwise - but it boggles the mind that such a poorly written novel has the universe orbiting around it. Seriously, if I didn't know better, it reads like it was written by prepubescent teenagers. Especially the sexual encounters. And how could someone in such a position of authority (?) and public exposure like Dr. Oz tout its value as a marital/sexual aide? Are you kidding me? Now this book finds itself labeled as "self-help" and "therapeutic"?
I'm simply aghast.
In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 5:56:23 AM PDT
I disagree with you, Gail. This review is helpful to those who don't like poorly written books. The repetitions in this book are part - and just part- of why it's badly written. As for the review being critical- he or she didn't like the book. It doesn't mean s/he is a negative person. Because the original poster didn't like this one book, you feel free to assume s/he is unhappy? Pretty big leap. I'm a fairly cheerful, optimistic person, but this does not mean I like every single thing I read or watch. One nice thing about Amazon is the product feedback. That way we can get a feel for things before purchasing them, and sometimes decide something might not be right for us. In order for the feedback to be useful, it has to be genuine. It can't all be THAT WAS WONDERFUL- that would be pointless.
Also, something being a bestseller doesn't mean it's good. A lot of terrible things are popular. American Idol, the Kardashians, Ugg boots, just to name a few. It's nice that Dr. Oz likes it, but his opinion on books doesn't carry much weight.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with finding happiness in a book. But nor is there anything wrong with not liking a book, and sharing that opinion with others who might feel the same way. I wish I had read more negative reviews of this book before wasting $10 on it. Yes, we all have a choice about reading material- but I for one prefer making an informed choice, if I can.
Lastly, how is not liking a book, and sharing that view on a forum dedicated to precisely that, turning back the clock? Are you suggesting that we all profess to like everything? No debate? No differences of opinion? That does not sound like a future I would like to move toward.
Posted on May 10, 2012 6:38:39 AM PDT
I'm on page 288 of this. "Bewitched"? Really? His character would say that? If this guy is so important, how does he have time for this girl? Whatever. I plan to finish it since I started it.
I'm reading it on my Kindle Touch. What is the function to count how many times a word is in a book? Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 7:38:41 AM PDT
Posted on May 10, 2012 10:29:50 AM PDT
Denise Haas says:
Posted on May 10, 2012 10:54:31 AM PDT
Joan Reeves says:
I found myself rolling my eyes (not my subconscious, just me) so much in the first ten chapters. And I can't give it away, like a paperback. I'm stuck with the download, and my wasted $9.99.
In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2012 10:56:33 AM PDT
Joan Reeves says:
No amount of money will change the fact that this book sucks.