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Fifty Shades of Awful

I am on a beach vacation. When you are on a beach vacation certain things are just par for the course. You will have sand everywhere, no matter how many showers you take; sand in the bedsheets, in your daughter's hair, trapped in places we will not discuss this early on a Monday morning. You will snack constantly, sometimes healthy things like a sweet juicy peach, other times a handful of Oreos while standing in the kitchen contemplating what to eat next.  You will spend time playing paddle ball, boogie boarding, digging giant holes in the sand, taking long lazy walks, and staring at the ocean. There will also be plenty of time for reading, however it cannot be a book that requires your full attention. No serious novels here. Instead, it has to be the kind of thing that can be paused frequently for conversation breaks or trips to the kitchen to get more Oreos. It is for this reason that I decided to see what all the fuss is about and attempt to read Fifty Shades of Grey.

It should be the perfect beach read, mindless yet entertaining, like America's Next Top Model on paper. Well it certainly is mindless. Oh my, is this book awful! Like biting your lip in frustration awful. And repetitive. Like biting your lip in frustration repetitive. I am not a literature snob, I am perfectly happy reading all kinds of books. But this book....oh my!

The problem is that it actually tries to have a plot. The erotic scenes are fine, in fact they are quite enticing if you are in the mood for porn. (And not sitting on a beach chair next to your four year old daughter and an entire collection of family members.) They are entirely unrealistic but so is the sexy rendezvous with the pool boy. We expect our porn to be fantasy, in fact we require it. Who wants to watch a movie about a naptime quickie squeezed between dinner prep and laundry? If Fifty Shades of Grey were on sale for $2.99 at the newsstand it would be great. We don't need to know who these people are. We don't need back story.  We certainly don't need dialogue, internal or even worse, conversational. No one talks like this. Just get to the good stuff.

I know I have yet to publish anything other than blog posts and a few poems ten years ago, so who am I to judge? But this is bad writing. Like junior high school level bad. Like a toddler could have written it. (A screwed up toddler who has been exposed to things that are entirely inappropriate but still, you get the point.) As a wanna-be writer I feel bad saying that anyone's work sucks, but oh my does this book suck!

I have a Nook. That means not only do I have about fifty books currently saved on my device, but I have access to anything I want to read in a manner of minutes. (Ah, the future is now!) Yet I somehow am still slogging through this mess. Why? Why am I still reading it? Do I really need to see how it ends? Do I really care what happens to these characters? I am sure she will bite her lip a few more times and exclaim "Oh my!" while staggering breathlessly in and out of some awkward situation. He will continue to be cold and commanding and borderline insane but will remove his shirt often and lift the corner of his lips to show that he is human. Sexy!

Perhaps I just like a little porn with my morning coffee.

I am only about a third into it. Maybe it will redeem itself? I have four more days of vacation to find out.

Oh my! I can't wait!


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