In Need of 50 Shades of Editing

I just bought and read 50 Shades of Grey. Yeah, I know…a little late to the party, but I assure you, it was by design. I thought it was more interesting to sit back and watch the frenzy than it was probably going to be reading the book. My reasons for reading it now are two-fold, the kindle version is now $2.99; and the movie is coming out this weekend and EVERYONE seems to be talking about it, including my 13 year old DOMH’s (daughter of my heart) friends. Given the second reason alone, I felt it was imperative to finally read it, so I knew what she was going to be exposed to.

I’m going to be blunt. The book sucked. It seemed to have been written by two different people – the one who wrote the horrific dialogue and the other who wrote the erotic sex scenes. I suspect if we figure out who CCL (in acknowledgements) is, we may figure out who wrote those sections. The reason I think there were two voices is because everything but the sex scenes needed a good editor. Not just a wordsmith, but an editor that would have pointed out that if a thought is in your subconscious, you aren’t aware of said thought; as well as pointing all the ridiculous repetition and inconsistencies created by making a main character who is shy but some how also incredibly bold in ways she wouldn’t normally be. There’s a difference between shy and self-conscious and confident and bold. Ana was a very odd mix of both; and I can tell you that in the span of a three weeks, I’m pretty sure she didn’t just develop confident and bold from shy and self-conscious.

The story had potential; but because of the lack of editing in the parts that were most important, I feel absolutely no need to read the next two books. I wish I did, but the first one was painful enough. If you haven’t read the books, and you think you might be interested, they are fairly inexpensive now. However, if you want erotic and salacious, go elsewhere –  pick up an Anne Rampling book, say, the Sleeping Beauty Trilogy. There’s a lot of talk in this book, but even the actual penetration is less offensive than most “smut books”. The true offense of this book is the lack of editing – if you can look past that, then enjoy.

I have read several reviews of the movie and since I brought it up early I feel I should address it. From what I’ve read, I don’t get the sense that its anywhere near as erotic as say, The Story of O, or even American Horror Story for that matter. If the daughter-of-my-heart wanted to see the movie and asked me to watch it with her, I would. She and I have watched numerous movies and shows of questionable content (most notably, American Horror Story) that have opened lines of communication which allows us to talk about possible taboo topics without too much awkwardness. We have recently discussed the premise of 50 Shades of Grey, so she’d be aware of what it was about rather than only guessing about how awful it might be; and how appalling it was that her friends were going to see it. We talked about it while listening to music from and inspired by the books.

All that said, it is important to note the music referenced in the book and the soundtrack from the movie are absolutely the best part, and sadly probably the most overlooked aspect, of the 50 Shades phenomenon.


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