Fifty Shades of Grey – Lee’s mega-snark Goodreads spray from 21st June 2012

So, I had a comment from a fellow 50SOG hater relating to a Goodreads review I did on one of my hero Jenny Trout’s novels (Choosing You – it’s an e-novella – read it if you want to kill a couple of hours on a Sunday arvo with something light and fluffy)… ANYWAY it prompted me to read my review of Fifty Shades of Grey back from 2012. And I decided to share it here because it is still compeltely relevant….. (and if you then please do continue on to read the next post from contributor Rhi where she casts a very critical eye over the entire series from a decidedly non-snark standpoint – her writing is amazing, and she so perfectly sums up what is so so SOOO wrong with these books. She is sharing her original trilogy review that she posted on Goodreads, here on the blog as five parts. Please read!).

My Review

Jun 21, 2012
rating   1 of 5 stars
bookshelves 2012, read, why-the-hell-did-i-read-that

status Read on June 21, 2012
format ebook (edit)
updates view all 5 status updates
review In the acknowledgements EL James thanks her husband for doing the first edit. He must be illiterate, and her editors mokeys on crack because this awful lack of writing skill is making my brain hurt. The upshot is I am now very confident that if I came home pissed from a night out and decided to write an extended soliloquy about the intimate lives of two feral bogans from Western Sydney, that it would be picked up immediately and I would become a billionaire if the example set by this poor excuse of literary form is anything to go buy. However, as I am only up to page 4 I shall reserve final judgement till after the romp starts happening….


OK – so I am about 1/3 of the way through. I deserve a round of applause for making it that far. I wonder why the publisher didn’t buy the story concept from EL James, and then throw it at someone who, I don’t know, COULD ACTUALLY WRITE COHERENTLY, and go from there. It may have been slightly more redeeming.

And I can no longer call 50SOG a book. That makes all the real books cry. It even makes the boring stacks of reports that are bound with that plastic ring binder stuff that sit on my desk at my office cry at the thought of 50SOG being a book. Because the reports would love to be a book, and be interesting like many books are, yet they cannot attain that goal, and it makes them sad that the ink on paper that is 50SOG is being called a book.


They are now past the first lot of “the sex”. I will grant that during “The Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae Date” sex her writing became slightly less annoying, and yes, she can turn on the raunch, however to be honest I found the scenes in the Sookie Stackhouse books (which now seem like the greatest literary masterpieces ever in comparison to this grey shit) much more lusty and intense.

And can we touch on just what an arsehole CG is in getting indignant that Anastasia Beaverhausen (because I cannot help but infer that name upon her in the style of Karen from Will & Grace) dares to be a virgin. That is one of MANY MANY “WHAT THE FUCK” moments that lumbered out at me (when I can decipher this atrocious writing style).

(Whilst we are on Character names, that Kate chick whose name I wish to forget, is now Kimberly Kardashian.)


What the problem is now though that I can’t see Christian Grey as how EL James tries to pass him off (hot young billionaire Edward Cullen replicant except extra super dangerrrooooouuuussss). And despite her descriptions of him being tall, good looking, beautiful, attractive, tousled hair, long fingers, tall, good looking, beautiful, attractive, tousled hair, long fingers. I just couldn’t take to him in that image at all (douchey stalker arsehole tendencies aside). Not the least because the continual Long Finger references skeeved me out that much in their grossness, to the point where all I could think of was this bloke as ET with tousled hair. (*shudder*)

So I went to sleep and woke up this morning and realised exactly who EL James’ description of Grey reminds me of – and it is none other than Montgomery Burns. And Anastasia is a Smithers/Marge Simpson mashup.

I mean think about it – he is a young billionaire (so was the young Monty Burns), attractive (there was one episode when MB had a flashback to driving round in his convertible and he apparently thought he was attractive, and also athletic), wishes to feed the world (who can forget the 3 eyed fish incident), and is a completely dominating arsehole (Smitherrrrrs).

ETA: I also have decided at about 1/2 way that Christian also has the disgustingly creepy overtones of Hugh “weekend at bernies” Heffner. Because unlike monty who is a cartoon character, Hugh is real. And a creepy manipulative abusive self-absorbed pervert. And that realisation made me want to go and vomit into the nearest rose bush. HUGH HEFFNER is the PERSON I think of when reading this tripey shit. So people who love this book, think of Hugh Heffner and then decide of all the fucked up crap he manipulates that girl into doing is still sexy, naughty and hot.***FINISH EDIT

Now I have my character descriptions firmly established in my brain, I think I can finish reading the rest of this ink on paper thing. Well I am going to give it my best shot anyway.

OH, and I almost forgot.

I want to rip Anastasia’s medulla oblongata out of her skull and step on it. Her REPEATED use of those two words alone have almost wrecked “Fight Club” (which truly is worthy of being called A BOOK) for me. Once may have been just bearable. But more. NO. NONONONONONOOOOO.
And I can never forgive EL James for that.




so. I am now 2/3 of the way though this ink on paper.

There are soooo.many.MANY things I could say right now but basically I have lost the will to live.

All of the characters are insipid dipshits, cloned from the stupid twilight books, but not even good clones, they are those clones that happen when they are a clone of a clone of a clone and then the final clone (almost every character in this book) end up not quite right in the head.

The only character I even sort like is Emmett Elliot. Make the book about him and Rosalie Kate Kimberley Kardashian instead, even though KKK really shits me. Because Emmett Elliot seems hot (and without being a twisted creep stalker abuser). I do recognise though that Emmett was one of my faves in Twi, so liking him in this incarnation is understandable.


EL James seems to have lost some of her intolerably bad writing style once The Sex came into play, as she can write The Sex ok. So I think she basically sat down and watched True Blood and then just channeled Erics sex scenes into the book.

And I will admit some of the email exchanges were the only bits I have found tolerable so far. She should have written the whole book as email exchanges. (actually, scratch that, it still would have been tripe).

But neither the couple of interesting sex scenarios nor the slightly amusing email exchanges (she did mean all of them to be amusing didn’t she, I could be suffering PTSD from having to read so far, so my judgment may be cloudy) can make up for the completely ridiculous Inner Goddess/subconscious shit, the stupidly ridiculous sex scenarios, the stupid cupping that keeps going on, the annoying hair grabbing obsession, the long finger references, the Yes Sir-ing, finger on the mouth stuff, the Ridiculous Red Room of Pain, EVERYTHING just makes me want to throw this pieces of shit writing at the wall.

OK – delving back into the rest of this, I hope to god I an finish it soon and then go rinse my eyes and brain out with dettol or something.


I can’t say more. This book is fucking stupid. And so help me the fact that there are women out there who will now be all “oohhh Christiannnnn, I lurrrve him, and would lurrrveee him to be abusive to me too” is just a completely horrendous thought.

The Mayans were right, the zombie apocalypse was coming this year, but they were late in their date assessment, it is here already in the form of the swooning ridiculous brain-dead “can’t wait to be dominated” raunch buckets previously sane women seem to be turning into after reading this shite.

Anyway, in the end HURRAH – she left him and all is good with the world again. Thank goodness there is no sequel and this ink on paper isn’t part of a trilogy or anything so I don’t have to keep reading…………… *shut.up*

ETA: I just had to add I had forgotten to mention that repugnant tampon scene. I was thiiiiis close to emptying my stomach contents all over the room. *FINISH EDIT*

FURTHER EDIT: For the record to be clear, yes, I am pretending other books in this series do not exist. It is better for all concerned that way.

Fifty Shades Freed – Chapter 13 (aka one of the worst, most stupid book chapters ever written).

Right, so I was suffering through reading Fifty Shades Freed and I got to Chapter 13 and I could not help but throw the book at the effing wall approximately eight times (in about six pages!) such was my disgust at this stupid stupid book. I actually think I became dumber whilst shovelling through the crap that ELJames wrote in this chapter. I had to go to facebook to vent my indignation to Rhi, and here is the summary of just what went down on that facey post…. I think those of you that have bothered to read Freed will hopefully find some solace in the snark about to be unloaded. Note, that some of the names have been changed to protect the identity of some of the most fucking ridiculous fictional characters ever plagarised.
Things that are wrong with Chapter 13 (besides the whole Cullen fest that occurs – and I only just remembered at the start of this chapter that Ethan is Kates bro – I had forgotten that)
* Unnecessarily adding that the time is MST when they touch down at Aspen. (NO ONE CARES).
* Inane plane talk between pilot and Christward (really, NO ONE CARES).
* Christian being “immediately placated” by Taylors tight, contrite smile and a slight shrug. (Christian really IS gay and is in lurve with Taylor.)
* Why the hell can’t they all get their own fucking luggage??
* More MURMURING (that is on the list of WORDS ELJ uses that drives me nuts – TDMN for short).
* Who cares where Mia and Ethan sit – it has no bearing on “plot”.
* Anabella feels shy around him today. (Yeah, that is because HE WANTED TO KILL YOU YESTERDAY. You fucking moron.)
* “Elliot and Kate join us last.” Hmmm, thanks for pointing that out ELJ, because my skills in mathematical deduction are rusty and seeing as they were the only two whose names hadn’t been mentioned yet as GETTING IN THE FUCKING MINIVAN I am so glad you pointed it out to me.
* Taylor is left to load the luggage – again, is it THAT HARD TO PUT YOUR OWN BAG IN THERE. because it takes Taylor five minutes to do that for you, lazy gits, when you probably would have been on your way to the house if you had have actually helped him.
* The fact that ELJ actually says that it takes 5 minutes to do this. (really, REALLY. NO ONE CARES).
* Repeating the word “highest” in the last two sentences of the paragraph where they actually get driving and she is describing the mountains. (for fucks sake ELJ – get a thesarus!)
* Really, Aspen is the winter playground of the rich and famous? (I did not know that. Thanks again ELJ for point it out to me.)
* Tell your psyche to shut up Ana. I hate your psyche. Your psyche needs to be doused in bleach. Because your psyche is questioning what you have done to deserve the Chrsitward lifestyle. And what you have done is beemotionally abused and manipulated, physically abused and manipulated, sexually abused and manipulated, not to mention threateningly controlled, isolated from your friends and family, subjected to humiliation and punishment.
ANA DESERVES EVERY BLOODY CENT of that lifestyle you stupid psyche!!!
* “You might break your neck” his grin gone (or he might break it for you Ana).
* WHISPER another word ELJ uses TDMN
* “I frown, wondering what could be bothering her, and resolve to ask her when we’re on our own”. Resolve away Ana, you are still a fucking bitch to your best friend.
* MORE murmuring (TDMN)
* Ana flushes/heats/blushes/turns crimsonredvioletpink that often, I think she needs to go get her body checked over for signs of early menopause (maybe brought on by her eating disorder).
* ELJ’s descriptions of ANYTHING are fucking annoying. She says the name of the thing, what colour it is and what it is made out of. EVERY TIME for EVERY THING. With little deviation from form and zero imagination. Sheis worse than Dan “State the fucking obvious” Brown.
* “Home” he MOUTHS – holy shit I cannot stand when ELJ says one of her characters Mouth or Mewels or Murmurs. (piss off with the M words!)
* Actually any time Christian says just a single word, I shudder and immediately think of Hannibal Lecter.
* Mialice (Mia+Alice). And the fact that ELJ copied everything to do with Alice and plonked it in the story here. Right down to Jaspethan being a “late addition” to the Clan Grullen.
* “Carmella, this is my wife Anastasia” Christian says proudly. His *tongue* caresses my name, making my heart stutter. 1. If his tongue was caressing the word Anasataia it would come out sounding like “hanhastwazwah”. His MOUTH might caress her name, his LIPS might caress her name, but not the tongue. 2. Hearts flutter not stutter. IF her heart was stuttering she would need to get to a hospital STAT.
* The inane sentence where Carmella tells them about that it might rain and her eyes darken, and then she smiles again and her eyes twinkle and Ana is then automatically (and in no superficial or condecending way) going to be bestest BFFFFFF friends EVER with this lady she has just met and not actually said a single word to or had any actual interaction with.
(Maybe Carmellas twinkling eyes are betraying her Vampireness and she is just glamouring Anabella instead.)
*Christwad lifts and carries her again for no reason. STOP IT.
* “He sets me down gently on the hardwood floor”.!
* Blahblahblahblah boring decor description and MORE CREAM LEATHER COUCHES (Christwad must have gotten a two-fer deal when he got the lounges for the office). I will admit though I am SAD LEE because ELJ doesn’t tell me exactly how many people the couches seat – I was expecting this after the description of the Escala apartment. I need to KNOW NOW.
(No I don’t).
* Christwards eyes narrowing. He does that alot. He needs to see his optometrist.
* FINALLY someone helps Taylor with the luggage. Good on you Elliot, this is why I like you and liked you when you were Emmett too.
* “He’s radiating excitement – or is it anxiety? It’s difficult to tell”. OH NO – difficult to tell, I am again SAD that I can’t tell if he is excited or anxious. (No I’m not).
* Oh shit. The subconscious is back. I would like to see the subconscious, the inner-goddess, and the Psyche duke it out in an Ultimate Cage Fight. That would be worth watching fo.sho.
* Christwad takes her hand and drags her around again like she is an errant puppy who might piss and shit on the rug and soil his Aspenhouse. Oh Edward, you are so gentlemanly and valiant and brave and strong and… (ugh).
* Why does he need to eye her warily when he tells her what the fucking name of the fucking mountain is. IS she going to take to it with the rocket launcher she packed in her bag? Stupid Christwad
* And why does him eyeing her warily need to then lead to a description of him wearing his black (not blue or pink or aqua or tiedyed but pointlessly described BLACK) jeans and he has his thumbs looped though them. SO WHAT!
* Oh, I know, it is so she can NOD. Really, ELJ must have been worn out typing the names of the mountains, deciding that Christwad can eye her “warily” and then deciding to put the reference to his jeans in, and she got so overwhelmed a the fact that paragraph made no sense at all, that the only thing she could do was fucking NOD. SO that is what she typed that Ana did.
* TUGGING or touching or fingering or feeling or grazing or ANYTHING to her chin/face/lips/bodypart ARGHHHHH Fucking stop it Christwad!
OK where were we? Oh right. Stupid chapter 13.
* “You’re very rich”. Christwad is RICH – hold the phone, I had NO IDEA
* More muttering, except this time it is AUTOMATIC muttering.
* Another gasp. (Gasp, I didn’t see that coming!)
* Ok, the line about Emiott fucking “mainly women” was actually funny.
* Anabella is shocked that Emiott is a “Player”. This is because blue-eyed people are never players. Ever. EVER EVER EVER.
* more MURMURING…. and this time combined with nuzzling. ARGHHHGHGHHGHGHGH.
* Marveling at the ridiculousness of Christwad being “a gay”. noooo. really?
*Oh he just grabbed her chin again.
* Blah blah blah.
* He was an eligible bachelor in his HEART. WHATTTT. ELJ stop that whole paragraph was just baaaaad. REALLY REALLY BAD AND STUPID.
* Either one of them “claiming” the other is overdone too.
* Shy smiley Christwad is back. Ugh.
* Dark wood table. Nice to meet you.
* Blahblahblahblah blahblahdeeblahblah.
* Oh look, Mia and Kate dress Ana up like a life sized barbie doll. Just like they did when they were in Twilight.
* More eye rolling.
* Another mention of an Audi. Couldn’t we have some DIFFERENT vehicles please.
* OK now we get to where Ana has missed all the signs that Elliot is going to propose to Kate and was using the watch battery as an excuse to go buy a ring. Dumb AS A FENCE POST.
* Ana is again astounded by something expensive in an expensive shop in an expensive street in an expensive town is EXPENSIVE.
* And fists – ELJ is obsessed with fists and various things fists do.
* Mia skips ahead. Because Alice liked to skip. SO does Mia.
* The whole paragraph on page 285 where Ana is internalising dialogue about Kate. (Hit me in the head with a plank).
* More alcohol consumption.
* Oh my shock horror Anabella is tempted by a motorbike. At least it isn’t Josecob there as the one telling her not to ride fast.
* Anas brow can admonish. Clever brow.
* Another Holy Shit.
* blahblahblahblabhablah
* Another Christwad murmur, this time one that has overtones of dominating controlling Christwad. (dundunnnnnn)
* Another Christwad lecture about “why the whole world is unsafe for Ana”
* Ana runs the bath, and pours “expensive” bath oil in there. Because nosireebob – inexpensive bath oil would
* ANOTHER murmur, what a surprise.
* ANOTHER headcock from Christwardcock.
* ANOTHER murmur, an amused one this time.
* “SHIT, the water” I struggle to sit up, all postorgasmic and dazed. (OK that is the FUNNIEST LINE EVER!!!!!!)
* Christians foot fetish – at least this time in the bath he cleans them before sucking them off, making Ana feel it THERE. You know. IN her like groin-ey type place, the one she could not possibly mention.
* MORE MUMBLING – arghghghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
* More mentioning of Christwads freak fingers.
* Hello, this is a turn up for the books, Ana “Gapes’ at her reflection. Well good on you ELJ for finding a new word to use.
Ok I had to create a new paragraph there to just discuss this little sentence, on page 291 after Ana is all gussied up in her new dress and GAPING at herself in the mirror:”I need Christian to approve”
And then the next two pages describing why she needs him to approve with the threatening overtones that she is shit scared of what he might do if he does not approve. That is so fucked up, and just a PEARLER of an example of why I do not get what the mummy brigade finds so damn alluring about Christian.
Ana is fucking scared he will have a negative reaction to something she is wearing. And then she tames him with letting him feel her up as part of letting him control her again to get his approval.*I run screaming from the room at the sheer brainlessness of some women who love this shitty book*
Back to it:
Blah blah restaurant, blah.Another pearler: “You’re the best therapy. His words, whispered while we were making love once, echo in my head. Am I? Oh, Christian, I hope so.”
Good.grief. I am going to end the chapter 13 “Recap of why these books are shit” on that note. I need to keep reading to finally put this crap to bed.
So there we go that was Chapter 13. If you haven’t yet read the book, this pretty much sums it up. And we’ll have to get into a whole other conversation about Chapter 15 aka The Near Rape Scene which was so repugnant it nearly made my head explode.

Laters baby.

*this was a Lee post*

Why. HOW?????

See Rhi, you are amazing in your ability to eloquently and gracefully lay out the rage, going straight to the crux of why these books are so insidious in their ability to seemingly (and creepily) let the concept of rape/abuse as a seduction technique gain a foothold into acceptable mainstream culture.

It is completely disturbing that the cruel and violent elements so very prominently written in 50SOG are being brushed aside by people, thinly veiled behind a curtain of justification like:

  • it’s just fiction
  • some people analyse too much these days
  • it’s not that bad don’t take it so seriously
  • it’s written for entertainment purposes, nothing more
  • just some light reading, an escape from our everyday lives
  • this is just a fantasy novel, that is all

Your exploration on this topic in your “Not Ok” post is brilliant – especially in the light that those above dot-point comments were actually taken straight from the Facebook thread discussing the books that we both commented on last week.

And your ability to write such insightful posts is very much something I tip my hat to, given that my reactions to 50SOG in general are far less eloquent and considered, and more of an exclamation along the lines of “it’s so shit shitty it amazes how can people like it because the abusive nature and dreadfully shitty writing in this book is shit on a shit sandwich type of shit”.

Because really.


HOOOOOW can people like it? Or LOVE it even?

As in, not just say “oh, it was OK, with this one bit of the book that was pretty good” (because to be honest the only thing I didn’t mind in the books were the email exchanges).

But how can people absolutely fawn over the whole world (so poorly) constructed in the novels, and at the epicentre of this trembling abusefest that infatuated people for some reason adore, is one of the most emotionally and physically abusive, manipulative, cruel, controlling, misogynistic and down right douchey male characters to ever be turned into ink on paper.

I have been told of the “I don’t read much” angle on more than one occasion, but I have also known of people who read LOTS who think these books are it and a bit. People with varying levels of education and from differing backgrounds are all “Christian this” and “Christian that’.

Does it possibly come down to the fact that many people in long term relationships may be having dullish sex lives, and the raunch conveyed in the Fifties has stirred the lust on the home front.

Is it that women seem to finally be “allowed” to read erotica and subsequently have permission to enjoy a bit of naughty romp?

Is this what seems to make it easy for women to gloss over and ignore the more disturbing aspects of the books and brush them aside as simple light entertainment?

Because there are MANY. SOOOO MANY disturbing aspects – yes, “tampon” scene, I am referring to you, and to you there “multiple punishment f**ks”,  and you “almost rape scene” in book three, and you “baby in my womb is moving so it likes sex” scene. Along with the all the repeated declarations of Christian about needing/wanting/wishing to beat the shit out of Ana – it goes on and on and on. (like this blog post, wha-whaaaaaaa).

But to me no matter how lukewarm the home fires have been a-burnin in the bedroom in many households around the globe, I can’t just CAN’T get my head around WHY people love these books and HOW they can overlook the abuse contained in them.