Tonight I achieved something that for the past three weeks I believed was going to be completely beyond my capabilities. I actually finished Fifty Shades Of Grey, and honestly, you would not believe how proud I am of myself to have battled through to the end!
No doubt like many (mostly) women that have picked up this book, it was out of idle curiosity – I wanted to know what all the fuss was about.
I also needed to use an Audible credit, and thought ‘What the hell!’. That was probably mistake number one. If you haven’t yet read the book and you haven’t got decent enough friends to warn you off reading it, then please PLEASE don’t be tempted to get the audiobook!
I have no idea who Becca Battoe is – and I am sure she’s an absolutely charming woman, but she has one of those drawly American voices that is toned at exactly the right pitch to get on my nerves. I had to listen at x1.5 speed just to make it in ay way bearable to listen to. Her accents for all of the men were absolutely awful! And to be honest, I would be really surprised if she had read the book beforehand – she seemed to be completely unaware as to how each sentence was constructed and kept putting the inflection on the wrong words. The end of sentences often sounded like a hasty addition.
But, to be fair to Ms Battoe, that could have been mainly down to the awful, clunky writing.
As I listened to this as an audiobook, I wasn’t able to mark out sentences to refer back to and quote — and that may be a good thing as I think it would have just made me really cross.
WARNING: this may (will) contain spoilers and rants!
Repetition (of words): This is just within the same sentence – no wonder Ms Battoe had so much trouble reading them out. think “The bright light was really bright in my eyes” – obviously not a direct quote, but there were many instances of this kind of word repetition within a sentence.
Repetition (of sentences etc): Honestly, the book could have been cut down to less than half its length if you took out all of the times the following were used “Holy shit!”, “Holy fuck!”, “Holy crap!”, “Holy cow!”, “Oh my!”, “He looked so hawt / it was so hawt” (I believe it’s actually hot, but I was subjected to the drawl), “My inner goddess…”, “My subconscious…”, “His long fingers…”, “His grey eyes…”, “His mouth set into a hard line”, “His eyes darkened…” and there were probably a hundred more that I am trying to banish from my memory.
His grey flannel trousers and white linen shirts: Yes, I get it. If I heard one more time that his trousers hung of his hips in ‘that’ way, I was going to throw my phone across the tube carriage.
His tousled/unruly copper hair: Yes! he has hair! A lot of men have. Does it really have to be mentioned about three times a chapter though/ (There are 25 chapters by the way!)
His ‘Christian smell’: I guess anyone called Christian would smell like Christian – and that doesn’t mean that they are all going to smell the same. There is no such thing as a Christian smell. And to be honest, people don’t smell the same ALL the time – especially not men, in my experience!
Rolling eyes and biting lips: Ok, it’s all a bit bosom-heavey but does anyone really bite their lip that much? And does a 21 year old recent virgin biting her lip really drive a 27 year old man with a vast, murky sexual history to distraction?
Blinking and eye-widening: Honestly, I have never known a cast of characters so lost for words. And I have never known a narrator so conscious of their own eye-movements. There were countless times that I read / heard “I blink at him”. This is actually code. Code for “The author couldn’t think of any dialogue”. The same goes for eye-widening. Everyone was at it. they never seemed to voice their surprise, they just widened their eyes. From Kate widening her eyes when Christian asks Ana for a coffee, even though she’s kept saying he obviously fancies her to Christian himself widening his eyes that Ana doesn’t like to be punished, in the same way he doesn’t like to be touched. Really? this is shocking news from someone who was a virgin little more than a week ago?
When does he do any work? From the moment that Ana meets him, he is stalking her, calling her, emailing her, seeing her or arranging gifts for her with no regard for the time of day. How does he make his money? When does he run his multi-million dollar business that he’s somehow made at his young age.
Ana’s total lack of understanding of human nature: she seems to do things purposefully that she knows winds him up and then can’t understand why he gets wound up. She mentions that she knows that Jose fancies her, but then when they’re both drunk and he makes a clumsy pass at her, she is absolutely horrified and can’t work out where that came from. she has really rubbish dreams which aren’t exactly steeped into mysticism but she can’t work out why she’s having them. I am in a cage and Christian is feeding me strawberries…why? Erm, because he tied you up, bound you, and keeps telling you off for not eating and trying to force you to? *sigh*
Fifty shades of grey: You could almost tell the moment that the author had decided on the name of the book – just over halfway through I’m guessing, as suddenly the term ‘fifty shades’ was used regularly throughout the rest of the book.
The contract: Oh, the contract. The boring contract that is actually completely irrelevant to the book really. And parts of which are repeated 2-3 times throughout the book.
Have I mentioned the repetition?
And finally (as I can’t bear to waste any more thought on this book), the emails: This is really just from the audiobook really. If I had been reading it myself, I would’ve skipped over the to’s and from’s but with the audiobook, the lovely Ms Battoe read out EVERY to, from, subject heading, time and signature! argh!!
This book made me constantly roll my eyes in despair – and I just wish that someone had taken me over their knee to give me the distraction I needed to stop reading it!
The writing was awful, the characters were unbelievable (yes, I know that this was written as a Twilight fan-fic, so Ana is based on Bella and the unruly copper-haired Christian was actually Pattison-vampire), and the sex, ugh! I have read many MANY erotica books, and I can honestly say that this is one of the least erotic stories I have ever read. Perhaps it was just because the writing was so awful it was putting me off.
And it doesn’t end. No, no, no, don’t be silly. It comes to a very sudden stop because guess what? There are TWO more books to subject yourself to. If you’re that way inclined, so why bother writing a proper ending to the first book to give some sense of finality, just pretend that it’s a third of the way through the story!
I wanted an ending, dammit! I deserved an ending! I made it to the end! For that kind of achievement, I should’ve got a dom/sub of my own to play with for a few hours. (I wont tell you which one I would prefer, I will let you work it out for yourself…)
Of course, if you’re still curious, give it a go, it may suck you in but I personally found it just one shade of brown. A shade I refer to as shite.