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Thursday, January 17, 2013 2:01 PM

I didn’t want to read it. I knew I’d hate it. I just have a sense about these things. But, since every woman and her mother/sister/cousin friend was reading it, and then my book club, I figured I’d give it a try. Oh how very sorry, sorry, I am. I will never get that time back. More importantly, I don’t know if I will ever get that horrible, horrible writing out of my head.

Fifty Shades of Grey annoyed me from page one. (If you plan on reading this, by the way, and plan on enjoying it, you might not want to read this.) I just knew this was a writing style that gets under my skin. I despised the main character. I also abhorred her suitor, Mr. Grey, partly because he liked her in the first place.

Anastasia Steele (what kind of name is that, seriously?) bites her lip a lot. If Ana wasn’t biting her lip, she was delivering some line out loud or in her head along the lines of “Holy crap!” or “Holy Cow!” or “Jeez!” Her favorites were some form of crap, “Holy crap,” “Double crap,” or the crap of all craps, “Triple crap!”

Aside from the atrocious dialogue, there is Ana’s inner monologue which goes back and forth between her “inner goddess” and “subconscious,” as she calls them. I wanted to scream when either of these was mentioned. This while book is nothing but dreadful, dull repetition. Characters are constantly whispering, mumbling, murmuring, grinning, frowning, arching an eyebrow, cocking their head to one side – it’s as if the author threw a few mannerisms in a bowl and picked one every time she needed one. She also repeats the same phrases throughout the book…on the same page, even. Then she randomly throws in a high-level SAT vocabulary word maybe from her Word of the Day calendar, which just looks ridiculous.

This author is also British, which makes for some awkward phrasing, since she apparently had no editor to guide her whatsoever. In America we don’t “go on holiday,” “carry a smart rucksack,” or “go to the cinema.” We go on vacation. We go the movies. So many of these throughout the book.

Now to get to the plot. I know this is a small-town conservative paper so I can’t get too in-depth here. I really don’t have to. The…ahem…”erotic” scenes really did nothing for me.

What concerns me is that even though I know the main demographics here are “housewives” my age and older, younger women do read it. And I feel that this book does nothing more than glorify physical abuse and dress it up in a slinky number, calling it “sexy.” It is not sexy. I’ve been involved in abusive relationships. Nothing sexy about that at all. Ana also drinks Twinings English Breakfast tea throughout the book. This book made me want to hate tea and this is crazy, because I love tea.

If I were E. L. James I’d have also refrained from putting my name next to this book. She is truly the Ke$ha of literature. I understand I’m a literature major and I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece. I just wasn’t expecting this giant steaming pile of you know what in every way possible. It was a challenge to finish. I threw it across the room more than once. I’m sorry if you loved it. I wanted to, I did. I just didn’t.

Sara Berelsman has an MA in literature and leads the book club discussions at the Delphos Public Library.


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