Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Fifty Shades of … what did I just read?
It's fun -- even hard to put down. But empty.
One of the best things about summertime is the gift of having time to read books for pleasure, but that is hardly how I’d describe my experience with Fifty Shades of Grey.
As many know, Fifty Shades of Grey was one of this summer’s most popular books, and part of a trilogy by British author E.L. James.
The book depicts an erotic romance between a shy student, Ana Steele, and the very intimidating, attractive, young entrepreneur Christian Grey.
Of course, there is much more to the story, but I don’t want to give it away for those who plan to read it.
What distinguishes Fifty Shades of Grey from this summer’s other top selling novels is the generous detail of Ana and Christian’s romance activities.
When I was visiting a family friend in Maryland during my internship in D.C this summer, we stopped by a Barnes and Nobles in Baltimore. Since I had been hearing so many things about Fifty Shakes of Grey, I picked it up from a shelf and bought it.
I didn’t begin reading the book until I got back to Austin in early July.
I read a little bit every day and eventually, when I got halfway through, I went in my closet and shelved it. Here is why I did so.
Though E.L. James clearly has a sense of how to maintain the attention of readers and make them want to move on to the next book in the series, I felt that her work in general had no substance to it.
I cannot deny the fact that I did find the EL James book very fun to read and even hard to put down at times. However, as an English major, I naturally asked myself not only what the point of the book was but also if I was getting anything out of reading it.
Yes, I’m sure James spent quite a bit of time writing the hit, but her writing in general is not very deep.
I say this because the characters are described as being overly attractive and from what I read the romance is strictly physical and frankly quite strange.
Considering that I could not even finish the book, it’s possible that these statements are unfair to make, but based on what I read I did not see the plot going anywhere meaningful.
I suppose it is possible that by the last sentence of the third book, there is some larger intellectual point.
However, if that is the case, I’m deeply disappointed by what the author does to make readers want to get to that point.
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