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Customer Review

18,340 of 19,267 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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Showing 1451-1460 of 1000 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013, 6:18:42 PM PST
miss B says:
Hey, I call a turd a turd. I don't have an 'inner goddess'... 'Inner demon' maybe... People who gush about this book have been severely deprived of one of two things... Real reading material past a sixth grade level, or nooky.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013, 6:23:44 PM PST
miss B says:
For those who show up here in a feeble attempt to defend this book... Perhaps I could direct you over to the reading section that fits your mental capabilities.. There's Sweetvalley High, The Babysitters Club... If you get them from a city library you may even be lucky enough to find some penises and hoohahs penciled in the margins! Voila! More fifty shades sagas!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013, 6:35:02 PM PST
Leiah says:
I know, DS ----- the lack of the faintest degree of intellectual or emotional intelligence shown by some "readers" (yes, I say that loosely) absolutely amazes me. As supposedly advanced humans, and given our vaunted access to high quality education, it would be logical that we develop intellectually, especially in the field of literature. It is horrifying to watch as appallingly inferior execution is becoming the industry standard in publishing. It is even more horrifying that this garbage is being lauded as exceptional!

While in earlier times access to education and literature was limited and, therefore, afforded only to the wealthy, today that is simply not the case. Free libraries, online access, self publishing and book stores give anyone who cares access to exceptional writing. All leave no excuse for maudlin support of clearly inferior work. And to have that same inferior work commended as the greatest of modern female writing is inconceivable, as well as personally reprehensible. The writer has effectually plagiarized another series through the means of a fan fiction site, then sold her stolen wares as her own creation. An extremely poorly written product at that, full not only of poor writing, but poorly designed plot, world building, and other components of well written novels.

The creation on the internet of a forum for budding writers is one I wholly admire, respect and wish well with all my being. I have met some really wonderful authors that I never would have found without access to self-publishing. For example, my absolute favorite new, self-published author, Mark Henwick (http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Henwick/e/B008SBO5YK/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1361323030&sr=1-2-ent) Mark has blessed us with two of an ongoing series so far, and in a terrifically crowded Urban Fantasy field, his work is a standout on multiple levels. Clarity of characters and exceptional world building are real 'hot-buttons' for me, and I am always looking for that. However, Mark goes well beyond, instilling a creativity and clarity of language, originality of style and (wait for it . . .) he can spell, understands diction and has more than three words in his adjectival arsenal! Amazing, isn't it? There are many, many other writers out there with exceptional skills who are being overlooked, while 'writers' of this persons ilk use (alleged) nepotism and other less-than-moral methods to get published. Then again, maybe the wealth of "five-star" ratings proves that my confidence in the overall development of the human psyche is vastly overrated. What a pity.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013, 6:45:35 PM PST
DS from LA says:
Gigi, we really MUST meet someday.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013, 7:37:26 PM PST
roverman says:
DS, you were right. The vultures came out, and I mean that in a good way. It's been interesting. Thanks for the enjoyment.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013, 8:03:07 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2013, 8:05:35 AM PST
Elia says:
Your posts crack me up. My friend only read the 'Look Inside' part of '50 Shades'. I barely got through the book myself. When I was in junior high and high school, I did read SVH and TBC. I've moved on since then, but I still think those books were so much better written than James' attempt at a novel. I'd still prefer them over this is given a choice.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013, 8:58:44 AM PST
Gigi says:
I agree, DS! I am so dreading the movie coming out.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013, 11:45:20 AM PST
Orchid lover says:
You mean they are actually making a movie from this trashy book? OMG!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013, 1:23:11 PM PST
Leiah says:
Makes ya wanna hurl chunks, doesn't it? Maybe if someone with the movies actually read the bad reviews (or hey, maybe the BOOK!) they would realize what a horrific idea that is......

Posted on Feb 21, 2013, 11:01:50 AM PST
C. R. Daems says:
It is an interesting event when a review is better written than the book! Great review.