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Fifty Shades of Gray, part the first.

ROFL. I can’t even.

I have a lot of respect for E.L. James for coming out and publishing this; God knows it isn’t easy to get stuff accepted. But other than that, I’m not sure what I just read. Did the woman not ever see an editor?


Even ill she looks gamine and gorgeous […]” After 320 words, you throw in an SAT vocabulary word? AFTER 320 WORDS OF PROSE THAT COULD HAVE BEEN A 12 YEAR-OLD’S FIRST FORAY INTO FICTIONAL WRITING, YOU THROW THE WORD GAMINE IN?

“‘It’s shrewd business,’ he murmurs, though I think he’s being disingenuous.” And then to add injury to insult, you add words that even a student majoring in English Literature would be hard-pressed to know?

But going beyond the grammar and the inappropriate vocabulary choices, the writing is INCREDIBLY repetitive. Ms. James seems very keen on using colours to convey what Anastasia Steele is seeing. In a first chapter of more than 4,000 words, the word ‘white’ appears 10 times. It’s used to describe floors, ceilings, shirts, even Christian Grey’s teeth. Yes, we realize that clearly the CEO of Grey Enterprises appreciates colour coordination. But one would also imagine that the decor of the upper levels would probably match that of the lobby. Ms. James, evidently, is really trying to be descriptive.

Another of my complaints, among many, is the completely unnecessary proliferation of dashes. It would seem that the author harbours a certain fetish towards them, given how 32 dashes can be found in Chapter One alone. While I realize that dashes may make writing seem sophisticated, when used poorly and without restraint, they just seem pretentious. 

Finally, perhaps most importantly, Anastasia Steele doesn’t like a realistic character. Nor does her friend, but the latter’s far less crucial to the story. The protagonist is a senior at university, presumably 21 or 22. Yet she’s never conducted any form of an interview before? She blatantly breaks professional courtesy by asking personal questions? And if she’s so intimidated by Christian Grey, why on earth should she feel comfortable addressing him by first name, especially when he never gave her leave to do so?

Oh dear God. I realize that this was based off of a Twilight fanfiction work, but I really did expect better from an author who managed to get published. It’s not the absolute train-wreck that was “My Immortal”, but I have definitely read fanfiction works which were a damn sight more appealing from a purely aesthetic basis than this. If you’re going to read about characters which clearly came out of other media, I heartily recommend “Dumbledore’s Army and the Year of Darkness”, by thanfiction, which was based on Harry Potter. This story would make a decent, published book, one much more eloquent than Fifty Shades.

  1. serendipitousnerd posted this