Kamel usually writes on Saturdays (when he can get his act together). Because it’s been a while and because this is the week-o-books, he’s here talk about his experience reading Fifty Shades of Grey. To be fair and upfront: I did not read this book, only Kamel did. Also we would both like to point out, and this will be repeated in the post: If you are a grown ass person and loved this book – get your freak on.
A few months ago I remember the Today Show talking about this new book called Fifty Shades of Grey, and how it was all dark and mysterious and a huge hit amongst women. Finally a book for women, I think they said. But they had someone argue it was bad for women. I had no idea since they never really mentioned anything that happened. All they, or anyone later on for that matter, kept saying is that it was a story of a girl who meets Christian Grey, a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating.
Months went by and people kept raving about how good it was. It even went on to become the fastest selling paperback of all time, surpassing Harry Potter! Over 30 million copies sold, and to this day it continues to be number 1. Why? I asked a few people, and they all said the same thing “Oh I heard it’s so good!” or “Oh it’s because women finally have an amazing story to read about their inner most fantasies” or “It’s a secret.”
What? Well, there was only one way to find out right? So I did what no man has done before….
Yes, I decided to read the thing. I read the WHOLE fucking THING, from beginning to end.
SPOILER ALERT – I’m going to spoil the crap out of this story, because honestly, I WISH someone would’ve spoiled it for me and saved me the agony of reading this nonsense.
Note: I’ve never reviewed a book before. I have no idea what I’m doing so I’m just going to type out my thoughts. It’s okay for this one to be spoiled, I’m saving you hours of your life you’ll never get back. However, if you like what I’m typing so far, then please stop and go read the book, it might be your thing. Okay…
This is porn. Lady porn? Maybe? The story is basically about a stupid 20-somthing year old girl named Anastasia, who interviews a 26 year old billionaire named Christian Grey (this full name is mentioned about 9,000 times, be warned) and then she finds herself obsessed with him in a very immature and self destructing way.
The “Secret” is this: Dude is also super into her but only because he wants to dominate her, fuck her, and beat her into submission. He doesn’t want to “make love” because he doesn’t make love, he fucks. He doesn’t want her to touch him in the forbidden zone (his chest), he is “Fifty Shades of fucked up” he says. And get this, she loves it. Why? Because she is a naive idiot who is blissfully unaware that right from the get go, this man is abusing, controlling, manipulating and emotionally harming her intentionally because he gets off from watching her suffer. This book is not deep. I’m not reaching for this information, it’s right there on the page.
Christian Grey, even before we find out is really into hard core BDSM (he has a playroom and everything), is the most controlling, condescending asshole ever to be written. Right from the get go, he is ordering her around.
“Anastasia, where are you? Tell me now.” His tone is so, so dictatorial, his usual control freak. I imagine him as an old time movie director wearing jodhpurs, holding an old fashioned megaphone and a riding crop. The image makes me laugh out loud. “You’re so… domineering,” I giggle. “Ana, so help me, where the fuck are you?”
After pages and pages of horribly written crap (there is a stereotypical “Latino” character named Jose, who is totally in love with Ana, but she will have none of it) Anastasia ends up confessing to Grey that she wants to be with him. In return, Grey does the most romantic thing in the world, he draws up a contract that she must sign in order to be with him.
Before this, she must sign an NDA that prevents her from telling anyone about all the psycho shit that’s about to go down. She agrees to this, but doesn’t sign the contract yet. The contract is basically him owning her almost literally. She must always obey, she must never question, she must never look at him without permission, she must allow him to fuck her whenever he wants, she must eat what he says, dress the way he wants her to, be on call, exercise, and never question him. If she fails to do so, per the contract she will get physically punished. Does she run as far away as possible like any self respecting woman would probably do? Nope. She entertains the idea because she thinks it would be a way for her to have this man. What?!
While talking about this, she confesses that she is a virgin and dude proceeds to fuck her. He says he has to so she can understand the contract better. She loves it. The rest of the book they spend their time discussing the contract and “rules” via endless emails and texts (zzzzzzzzzzzz) and of course fucking all while she is being naive and stupid… and biting her lip. Endlessly.
At one point in the morning after sexy times, she wakes up before him and decides to wear pig tails “to be safe from him.” And then, as soon as he sees her, he grabs her by the pig tails and says, “you think these pigtails will keep you safe?!” What? Because that is the normal reaction to pig tails? More biting lip, more rolling of eyes. Both of these happen about 1,000 times. Each time she bites her lip, dude gets turned on but demands her to stop. And every time she rolls her eyes, dude wants to beat the shit out of her (for reals).
Half way through my read, I decided to research the author. Oh. My. God. We are doomed as a civilization. This book was originally Twilight fan fiction erotica, originally titled “Master of the Universe” written by the same author but under the name Snowqueens Icedragon. what the fuck? The author then changed Edward and Bella’s names to Grey and Anastasia, found a publisher and became the fastest selling paperback of all time. Really people? Okay, I’m not the one to judge here as I enjoy crap shows every now and then (Starship Troopers, Envy and Indiana Jones 4). But this is basically fan fiction of an already crappy book. Not only that, it’s basically a woman writing about an abusive man who takes advantage of a young girl and people rave that this is “the book for women”?
31 million women bought this? Have they even read the book? It reminds me of when I worked at the camera store in the Marina, and women would come in with their copy of DaVinci code, and I’d ask them how it was, and they would confess they hadn’t actually read it, but heard it was really good. I bet those people never did read it, and just bought it because of the hype. Possible.
So back to the story now. In the end after tons of emails and rewrites of the contract, dude spanks her and she just wants to be with him in a way that he OBVIOUSLY does not want to be with her. She wants love, he wants sadistic violence towards women. A match made in heaven.
Having had enough, he again tells her:
“I want to hurt you.” [Christian Grey Says] “Why?” He runs his hand through his hair and he shrugs. “I just need it.” He pauses, gazing at me with anguish, and he closes his eyes and shakes his head. “I can’t tell you,” he whispers.
So! curiosity gets the best of her and she allows him to “punish” her just to see what it’s like. He gets all excited and grabs his belt, pulls her pants down and orders her to count after each lash. He will beat her with his belt 7 times and she must be okay with this for their “relationship” to work. One, Two, Three…. she counts after each, and she kinda likes it, but is surprised that it’s harder than the spanking. Four… she begins to cry, and no joke, she is angry that she is crying. Five… she thinks she hates him now. Six….
“Don’t touch me! You’re one fucked up son of a bitch!”
They go back and forth trying to make it work, but no, he wants to abuse, she wants to cuddle. Not gonna happen, so she leaves. The book ends with her in pain, crying and sad that it’s over. The end.
Okay, there is so much wrong with this book. Especially the claim that this book is great for women. It’s not. A woman should not lust after wanting a man that just wants to beat her and dominate her. Maybe in pretend S&M fantasy land, sure. But this world that the book is in isn’t pretend. This is real dominating, scary shit.
And a man should not be taking pleasure from inflicting pain to a woman or thinking it’s okay to trick her into this. I think this will set horrible examples for young women who think this is what exciting sex is. And at the same time, it will set even worse examples for young boys who read this searching for “what women want” and think it’s okay to behave this way. In a world where violence against women is real and dangerous, how is this what everyone is thrilled about? Yes, it’s just a book and can live in fantasy land… but how is that hot? How is having someone control your life and beat the shit out of you sexy?
I don’t think I’ll read the other two, because I bet you anything she ends up going back to him and that will anger me.
My final thought: How are they going to turn this into a movie? I don’t think studio heads, directors, or actors have actually read this because the rumors of paying 6 million for the film rights and top talent dying for a part…. to what is basically pornography? Though if they do make this, I think Christian Bale as American Psycho will fit the part of Grey perfectly.
ANASTASIA, I HURT YOU BECAUSE I LOVE
YOU TO! COME BACK!