Linda G. Hill

Life in progress

Finally, My Review of 50 Shades of Grey

82 Comments

I’ve held off reviewing the trilogy of 50 Shades of Grey because, mostly, I didn’t think it was worth my time. A poorly written, badly researched Twilight fanfic, it was more laughable when I read it than anything. It’s a masterpiece of an example of something that should have never been published for so many reasons, and yet it was.

I’m writing this now for two reasons. First, that I made a silly suggestion in my last post that single women go to see the movie, and further to that end I want to take it back – at least until you’ve read this review of the movie, which is my second reason for coming out with this now —–>>> http://www.mamamia.com.au/rogue/fifty-shades-of-grey-review-rosie-waterland/

I’ve said a few times that the film couldn’t possibly be worse than the book. It seems that perhaps, if the above review is accurate, that it might even be doing those who see 50 Shades as romance a favour by depicting the character of Christian Grey for what he really is: a narcissist, and a dangerous one at that.

I have to believe that E.L. James meant the story to be titillating; to show the world of BDSM in the mainstream. 50 Shades of Grey is NOT, however, an accurate depiction of what BDSM is. Although I’ve never been active in a BDSM relationship, I’ve written extensively with someone who has. I learned a lot from this. Foremost, and E.L. James actually WROTE this into the contract she copied and pasted numerous times in the book, is that a submissive must be able to trust a Dom. And over and over and over again, Christian Grey, the Dom, proves himself untrustworthy. Consistency is so far from one of James’ strong suits though, it catapults itself far above the ceiling over which my eyes constantly rolled during the reading of the novels. The average reader may have skimmed this. The writer and editor in me could not. It’s that “skimming” which leads me to believe, nay, KNOW that 50 Shades of Grey is a danger to any and all young women who fall into the trap of seeing it as romantic – or anything but what it is. A story of torture at the hands of a psychopathic narcissist.

If you’re planning to see the movie, know what you’ll be watching. The word “fun” should be banned from the screening of this film.

Author: LindaGHill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

82 thoughts on “Finally, My Review of 50 Shades of Grey

  1. I have avoided reading the book and do not plan to see the film for the reasons you have stated. Which is what I suspected it was about. I do not like really negative, bad people getting away with stuff and then we are all supposed to say we think it is entertaining or interesting. I did not like Gone Girl either. This is where the woman is pretty evil and gets away with it at the end. Why is this supposed to be good for anyone to read? What kind of non-moral values do these types of writing promote?

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    • In real life sometimes the bad guy does get away with it. However, in real life the naive young girl does NOT start a relationship with a manipulative, untrustworthy rapist and change him into a well-adjusted, upstanding human being just by loving him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never figured out what all the hype. I’ve never been interested in this type of genre. Thanks for the review πŸ™‚

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  3. THANK YOU for writing this! I read only excerpts, and I learned enough about the horrible writing and the abuse and manipulation in the story, that I knew I would never give a single penny to the franchise or anything/anyone associated with it. And every time someone defends it as “consensual,” I literally see red. Are people really that stupid??

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  4. Thank you for this review. I’ve been curious, but you have confirmed that the books are not worth reading, nor will I see the film. I’ve dated some narcissists in my day, and one on the dangerous side. Glad those days are gone.

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  5. I have not read the book. My daughter read one page in the bookstore and put it back on the shelf. Any commercialized work that denigrates women should not become a commercial success, but money overcomes integrity. Why are people reading it? Why is it made into a movie? Why are we pandering to bad taste? The answers, I fear, reflect
    a negative view of our diminishing regard for well-written, thoughtful novels.

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    • E.L. James said in an interview, which I’ve not been able to find again, that she wrote it for people who don’t read. They have proven, I believe, to constitute the majority of the novel’s advocates. It seems there are a lot of non-readers out there. What really gets me (apart from the appalling subject matter) is how it got published unedited. As you say, the mighty buck was screaming louder than good taste ever could.
      As far as the subject matter goes, it’s a fairytale that stretches far beyond the suspension of disbelief – or should.

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  6. I agree. This is a giant step backward for womenkind. The whole thing pisses me off!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well said, Linda – saves me from reading books for which I had an instinctive distaste! My desire to see the film is on a par with my desire to cut my own head off with a rusty knife! With a possible preference for the latter action. Mind you, I am probably just a jealous old cow because my book of erotica has not gone viral and hers did – chunter, mutter, growl, hiss! xxx

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  8. Oh, come on, if you think about it, the series is painfully funnyβ€”a complete, poorly-written adult fantasyβ€”one never to be taken seriously. As it’s under the Mature section, it’s not for children anyway.Β  I gave a 16+ age rating in my own reviews of the books.

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    • It is painful and eye-rollingly funny for a grown adult who is an experienced reader. But the problem is, there are impressionable young women reading it – ones who are actually taken in by it, sad as that is. Even kids too young to read it have read it… the rating on “The Shining” didn’t stop me from reading it when I was 14, so what do you think has changed other than books are easier to get? Sales are no longer scrutinized by the clerk at the counter.

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  9. I only read a couple pages of the first book and couldn’t read any further. The writing was horrendous! It makes me sad how popular the series is. Ughhh.

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  10. Not read the book nor the movie. And this madly hilarious review helped me cement that decision πŸ™‚ You will love it even if you have already read this – http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340987215 (she has written for all three).

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  11. I didn’t think it was possible but now I want even less to read it.

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  12. I may be younger than most here but I really liked the books. I thought they were well written. I agree though that it felt a lot like emotional abuse (not that I have been through it) on Christian’s part but if you read all three books then they do explain what that stems from and how he learned to control his emotions more. I am not sure whether any other billionaire would act differently when he has everything at his fingertips. I may just be naive though….

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    • I’ve read reports that a high percentage of billionaires are narcissists, so James got that part right. But it takes more than love to overcome such tendencies. If you research “narcissistic behavior” on the internet you’ll see what I mean. You’ll also see if you do some research that often narcissistic behavior does stem from such circumstances growing up. But the bottom line is, what he does to Ana is manipulation and abuse. It has nothing to do with a healthy BDSM relationship… and that’s where people need to see a difference.

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  13. I don’t care about the books or watch the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you, Linda, and thanks to all the commenters ahead of me. I was thinking of buying the book just to see what all the hype is about – now I’m glad I didn’t waste my money. Nor will I waste my money on the movie.

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    • Just in the nick of time! Glad I, and my commenters, could steer you in the right direction. Actually, speaking of that, there’s a great review here: http://bizzybiz.blogspot.ca/p/the-50-shades-reviews.html It’s chapter by chapter so it’s long, but it very accurately depicts the writing style and the content of the book. It’s also hilarious. Warning though – it’s littered with imaginative four-letter phrases. Read a couple of chapters and you’ll be hooked.

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  15. Nope. Not going to read it. I don’t want to waste my time. It’ll take away from my reading of good books.

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  16. LOL! I think I prefer the “ruin porn.”

    Also, kind if sad, thousands of men are going to start to think women love bad conversation, poorly worded love notes, and having their sexual desires exploited.

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    • The fact that millions of copies of this book have sold is a sad commentary on society indeed. You really do have to wonder how many people were really taken in by it all. In the right context, read by an informed adult, it’s badly written, non-edited (would you put your name on it as editor? hahaha) belly-button fluff. I don’t have any problem really with the masses who got their rocks off and ignored the rest of the drivel that was the story. I’m actually scared for those who believed the fairytale of it all.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that this is the flavour of this film and the books. I was never interested in reading them, less interested in seeing the film even more so after reading Rosie’s review. We live in a world where there are campaigns out there promoting anti domestic violence and this sort of film/literature is allowed to be put out as some form of ‘normal’.
    Thanks Linda for sharing this.

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    • What’s really happening with this book/film is it’s erroneously being made to look “okay” under the banner of BDSM. It tries and fails to make it look as though the heroine is making an informed decision when she actually goes into the relationship never having done more than kissed anyone “once or twice” in all her 21 years. She signs a contract basically under duress, allowing him to abuse her. So it’s okay.
      BDSM is normal between two consenting and informed adults. “50 Shades” is not normal.
      Thanks for your comment, Michael.

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  18. I read all three books as well and I’m not excited about the movie at all. I honestly hope young women don’t see it as romance because it is far more about abuse.

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  19. I read all three books. I found them poorly written and yes, like Rosie I was appalled at the emotional abuse that Ana is put through. Sadly, I related to it having been in an emotionally abusive marriage in the past. But I kept reading thinking “this has got to get better” and although he does change his ways in the future, what has he done to her soul in the process?

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    • The fact that he did change in the book is really what scares me. Because despite the fact that the entire thing is so utterly beyond belief, if by the time the book ends James has a willing suspension of disbelief in her readers they may just think it’s possible to turn a psychopath into a caring, loving, husband and father! THAT is what makes the book dangerous.
      Thanks for your comment, Sue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I totally agree. I remember a telephone conversation I had with the uncle of my ex-husband before my wedding. He said to me “A leopard doesn’t change his spots”. Would you believe that I naively replied “Maybe I can change the colour”.
        I know. If I had walked away from it all, life would have been so much simpler. However, if I had walked away I wouldn’t have my son or the life experiences that I have.

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  20. I have not read the books, I have read a few snippets from reviews (and they were not of the sex parts) which determined that I had no interest in the books as the bits I’ve seen were both poorly written and corny as hell. But I did just read the review you linked to and my heart sank. I can relate far too well the cycle of emotional abuse and of clinging to the glimmers of hope and kindness praying one day they will make everything worth it. And Hunny I can say they do not, cannot and never will!

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    • No, they don’t change. And yet inexplicably the books end with them living happily ever after… married with children no less. At the end of the book with Ana pregnant with their daughter, this conversation actually happens:
      “How’s my daughter?”
      “She’s dancing,” I laugh.
      “Dancing? Oh yes! Wow, I can feel her.” He grins as Blip Two somersaults inside me.
      “I think she likes sex already.”
      (excerpt: “Fifty Shades Freed” page 537)
      E.L. James doesn’t even wait ’til they’re out of the friggin’ womb! No taste, no sense of right and wrong – I swear, no actual thought could have gone into the writing of this book.
      Ugh!

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  21. I was totally turned off on the book. In fact” I found it offensive. Not sure if I will see the movie or not. The only reason would be to get together with friends. The preview looks terrible

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  22. I have had zero desire (pun intended) to read the books. Even less to watch the movie. I haven’t heard anything good about the books.

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  23. Thank you for writing this review. At least I’m not the only one that think this series is a piece of trash. It truly does a disservice to the BDSM community. I myself don’t partake in the lifestyle but it’s called reading a book or asking people who enjoy BDSM whats it all about. I really wished the author had did some research on the subject. Now some poor soul will think BDSM is about abuse, which it is NOT. More than anything it’s about TRUST. As always great post.

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  24. I agree with you 100%! Well said!

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  25. Not read the book or seen the film.

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