Why 50 Shades doesn’t do much for me

15 Aug

Before I write why not, I am going to write a quick caveat (I do love a caveat, keeps the wolf from the door on a number of levels).  I haven’t read 50 Shades Darker or 50 Shades Freed.  It is quite possible that the objections I am about to recount are solved across the course of the full trilogy.  Therefore I will fit in a terribly British advance apology for any offence caused, to sit alongside the earlier caveat, which should cover me nicely.  Thank you.

It isn’t the naughty bits I object to, before you think I’ve come over all Mary Whitehouse in my advancing age.  It is the characterisation of Ana Steele that makes my stomach turn, not Mr Grey’s prediliction for the odd hand-stinging slap or two.  How can a modern-day heroine be so one-dimensional, when that single dimension traps her in the thrall of a man.  And not just any man: let’s look at the evidence against Christian here.  He is demanding, dominating (no, not just in that particular way), devious, chronically moody, threatening and consistently shows the kind of stalker tendencies that, were Ana not so blinkered by his grey beauty (50 Shades of John Major, the grey man, Tory PM?), would have her dialling 911 in a heartbeat.  And don’t even get me started on her mother’s reaction when he rocks up uninvited and unannounced to ‘keep an eye on her’ while visiting.  Having just portrayed the mother as a serial marrying monogamist, dippy and dithery, to have Ana taking her advice simply doesn’t make sense, another blow to the weak thrust of Ana’s allegedly strong and ‘Steele-y’ personality.  And I tell you what, if a 22-year-old L1 and I are drinking Cosmos in a bar and some bloke she needs space from rocks up, I’ll be giving him more than some space, I guarantee it.  Isn’t this a more realistic parental reaction?

The resistance that Christian accuses her of (and it is accusation, not admiration) never rings true because it never truly exists.  Objections bleated in e-mails don’t equate to playing hard to get: telling him where to stick his stalking, rather than ending up in his awesome apartment accepting the keys to some dementedly expensive car, would be more noteworthy, waving a more positive flag for the way women can take control of their own destiny.  Ana stalling signing their ‘agreement’, but essentially doing the lot anyway, doesn’t constitute resistance.

But hey, I’m prepared to be turned.  I may currently swear I won’t read the next two but I bet I will.  And I will admit it if I change my mind.  So watch this space.


6 Responses to “Why 50 Shades doesn’t do much for me”

  1. Kelly August 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    It goes from bad to worse. I wanted the second two books to redeem the first. Nope. It just gets more inane. While I am grateful for the speed with which I read I still wish I could have those hours of my life back. Although I suppose having read them all I can now feel that my “hrrmph, 50 Shades of Awful” attitude is totally justified. 🙂

    • lizrossmartyn August 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      Love it! Yes, that’s my main reason for wanting to carry on reading it, as well!

  2. rebecca2000 August 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

    yes I wrote about this book today. It really is a blog making fun of the book. You should check it out on http://ladyornot.com

  3. Sally August 17, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Liz, you won’t be surprised to hear that I agree with you. You’ve summed up what it was that I just didn’t like about the main characters! Both Ana and Christian, for me, are poor role models in the current day climate which is disappointing…

    • lizrossmartyn August 17, 2012 at 10:52 am #

      I don’t think it’ll improve over the other two, either…

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