Friday, August 10, 2012

Fifty Shades of Bad Writing  

Those of you joining me from Goodreads have most likely read my reviews of the three piles of horse excrement titled, respectively, Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed (otherwise known as E.L. James's magnum opus). Those of you who haven't may do so by following the links below, if you're so inclined (be forewarned, my reviews are NSFW and contain images/language which may upset some pussies readers).

My review of Fifty Shades of Grey
My review of Fifty Shades Darker
My review of Fifty Shades Freed

My review of the first book went a bit viral (surprising the hell out of me in the process), and I've endured both praise and censure for my admittedly harsh critique. Some people have told me this trilogy doesn't deserve the negative judgment I've heaped upon it because it's "just a book" or "some people like to escape into a fantasy" or my personal favorite, "It's really well written and a great story!"


I'll be the first to admit all three of my reviews focused on the personal. Most reviews are inherently biased because they are dependent on the feelings, judgments, and thoughts of the reviewer. So here's where I've decided to do something a bit different. Before moving on to the meat and potatoes of this post, however (point #3), I will first state my case for the first two points.

Argument #1 - "It's just a book!"

My rebuttal:

No. Sadly, this is no longer "just a book". As much as I (and a lot of others) wish it were, it can never be. Perhaps one day, far, far in the future, mankind will be able to look back and say, "Fifty Shades of what?", but that day isn't today. This has become the pathetic standard for erotic fiction. It is supposedly "revolutionizing" sex, and bored housewives everywhere are schliking to the idea of some high-handed emotional fuckwit like Christian Grey swooping in and pounding their stench trenches into oblivion. This "just a book" is a cultural phenomenon, and it stands to gain even more traction and influence after it's translated into several different languages and foisted upon unsuspecting foreign populations like fecal bombs from a fighter jet. Just a book. Yeah. And Salmonella is just bacteria.

Argument #2 - "Some people just like to escape into fantasy every once in a while!"

My rebuttal:

If this is the kind of "fantasy" thousands of women want to escape to, I hereby resign my membership in the chick club. Whatever happened to the fantasy of a man who cares enough about you to...oh, I don't know...respect you? Even if we remove the physically abusive aspects of the story, the psychological abuse is still present, and Christian Grey is still a fucking cockbag. Anastasia Steele has the intellectual prowess of a salt lick, true, but Christian supposedly loves her. Should he really be walking around shaking his head and laughing at her like she's the dumbest piece of ass he's ever had the pleasure of pounding? It's insulting. So where is the fantasy in this? All I can figure is that the women who use this book as fantasy fuel are only reading the sex scenes. Because if you read anything in between, this is what you're fantasizing about:

I'm Ana Steele. I'm awkward, insecure, petty, jealous, naive, ignorant, and about as intelligent as your common,  garden-variety grub. I love Christian Grey, who alternately humiliates me, threatens me, laughs at me, orders me around, guilt trips me, has zero respect for my boundaries, sulks when he doesn't get his way, and undergoes more mood swings than a menopausal schizophrenic on meth.

That's it, ladies. That's your fantasy.

Argument #3 - "It's really well-written! A beautiful love story!"

This is the pinnacle argument, the comment that makes my logic center explode into pealing gales of laughter. Because, honestly, anyone who's ever read anything before should be able to recognize that these books are not well-written.

I'm being completely serious here, I've read children's books with better prose and more engaging plot lines. Don't believe me? Let's look at the plot first.

Young idiot girl meets youngish idiot abuser and has to overcome her fear of the kinky nasties and her petty rage jealousies in order to cure him of his perviness with her magical panty hamster.

That is the plot. 

No, really. That's it. There are "obstacles" thrown in the way here and there (in the forms of a ridiculously clingy older woman, a clinically insane ex-sub, and a cartoonishly villainous ex-boss), but all of those are treated as side notes to the actual story, which is Ana and Christian gettin' their fuck on in as many ways as E.L. James could think of (which, sadly, wasn't many).

As for the actual writing? I'll let it speak for itself.

"The elevator whisks me with terminal velocity to the twentieth floor."

"I push open the door and stumble through, tripping over my own feet and falling head first into the office. Double crap - me and my two left feet!"

"'They're lovely. Raising the ordinary to extraordinary,' I murmur, distracted by both him and the paintings." - What makes this one even worse is that Grey is actually impressed by her amateur attempt at art critique.

"His gaze is intense, all humor gone, and strange muscles deep in my belly clench suddenly." Does she have to poop?

Ana works in an "independent hardware store".

"That night I dream of dark places, bleak white cold floors, and gray eyes."

"His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel... or something." - She's a lit major. Just wanted to make that clear.

"'Argh!' I cry as I feel a weird pinching sensation deep inside me as he rips through my virginity." - OK...

1. EW!

2. Did she really scream "ARGH"? No, I mean like....seriously?! Greybeard the pirate be plunderin' her booty.

"I'm so glad I decided to wear my best jeans this morning." - We all are, Ana. We all are.

"I must be the color of the communist manifesto." 

"I am all gushing and breathy - like a child, not a grown woman who can vote and drink legally in the state of Washington." - And only in the state of Washington.

"He has a coffee which bears a wonderful leaf-pattern imprinted on the milk. How do they do that? I wonder idly." - Seriously, she's like, nine years old, right?

"Well, if you were mine, you wouldn't be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday. You didn't eat, you got drunk, you put yourself at risk."

Oh, yes, Christian! Be my knight in douchey armor! Come tell me how to live my life and explain to me why we delicate little flowers should avoid the devil's water!


"My hormones are racing." 

"I just don't know what his game is? What he's thinking? You've slept in his bed all night, and he's not touched you, Ana. You do the math. My subconscious has reared her ugly, snide head." - She immediately jumps to the conclusion that she's not hot and he doesn't want her because he didn't take advantage of her while she was passed out drunk. What is wrong with E.L. James?

"He passes me a small teapot of hot water and on the saucer is a Twinings English Breakfast teabag. Jeez, he remembers how I like my tea."

"What happened in the elevator - it won't happen again, well, not unless it's premeditated." So it....might happen again...?

Ana on using Christian's toothbrush: "Grabbing it quickly, I squirt toothpaste on it and brush my teeth in double quick time. I feel so naughty. It's such a thrill."

"He tucks a stray strand of my hair that has worked its way free from my ponytail behind my ear."

"And there it is, a white helicopter with the name Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. written in blue with the company logo on the side. Surely this is misuse of company property." 

 He owns the company, you half-wit.

"The memory of Jose's attempted kiss haunts me. I'm beginning to feel a bit cruel not calling him back. He can wait until tomorrow... surely." - Oh, tomorrow at the very least. I know whenever my guy friends get all rapey on me, I make 'em wait at least a month before I return their calls.

"'Does this mean you're going to make love to me tonight, Christian?' Holy shit! Did I just say that? His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly. 'No, Anastasia, it doesn't. Firstly, I don't make love. I fuck... hard. Secondly, there's a lot more paperwork to do, and thirdly, you don't yet know what you're in for. You could still run for the hills. Come, I want to show you my playroom.' My mouth drops open. Fuck hard! Holy shit, that sounds so... hot. But why are we looking at a playroom? I am mystified. 'You want to play on your Xbox?' I ask. He laughs, loudly." - Seriously, nine years old. Right?

"I can hardly contain the riotous feelings or is it hormones that rampage through my body." - Yes, this supposedly went through an editor. I don't think it's ever been specified whether or not said editor was literate and/or an alcoholic and/or addicted to painkillers.

"His eyes burn into mine, and I'm breathless from their intensity. This is not a man I want to cross... ever." - Well, that's healthy.

"I race into the shower, unable to shake my face-splitting grin. He emailed me. I'm like a small, giddy child." - Yeah. Like a small, giddy child.

"Christian Grey just sent me a winking smiley... Oh my."

"Why hasn't he given me back my panties? I steal into the bathroom, bewildered by my lack of underwear."

"Would I do it again? I can't even pretend to put up an argument against that. Of course I would, if he asked me - as long as he didn't hurt me and if it's the only way to be with him."

"My anxiety level has shot up several magnitudes on the Richter scale."

"Thomas Tallis - I'm not going to forget that in a hurry. I heard it twice, after all, while he flogged and fucked me." - I debated for a time on whether or not to even mention this line as I find it to be the most tasteless out of any of the books. It's completely awkward and clunky, and I want to burn these books for that sentence alone.

"I pull the flattened Charlie Tango balloon from underneath my pillow and hug it to me." - OK, so maybe thinking she was roughly nine years old was giving her too much credit.

"'You look lovely,' he says. 'As do you.' 'Your boss, Jack Hyde, is he good at his job?' Whoa! That's a sudden change in direction?" - I don't know, Ana, is it?!

As Christian is spreading ice cream (ice cream) over Ana's nipples, she thinks, "Oh... it's cold."

Fifty Shades of Stewie Griffin:
When Ana gets a gift from Christian consisting of a few Thomas Hardy first editions accompanied by a note with a quote from Tess of the D'Urbervilles, she thinks: "I am stunned by the irony as I've just spent three hours writing about the novels of Thomas Hardy in my final examination."

That is not irony. That, dear reader, is what is known as a coincidence. This is neither the first nor the last time James incorrectly identifies irony, nor is it the only part of English she doesn't seem to understand. For instance, she repeatedly misuses the word 'literally':

"How could he mean so much to me in such a short time? He's got right under my skin... literally."

 Well, at least now we know why Ana can't seem to shake the psycho. He's not stalking her, she literally can't go anywhere without him because they have literally fused together.

During a helicopter ride in the second book: "...the view is spectacular, literally out of this world."
This, however, was one of my absolute favorites:

"'You look very relaxed in these photographs, Anastasia. I don't see you like that very often.' What? Whoa! Change of subject - talk about non sequitur - from playful to serious."

A change of mood/subject does not a non sequitur make.

Not even euphemisms are safe from Ms. James:

"You wanted to know why I felt confused after you - which euphemism should we apply - spanked, punished, beat, assaulted me."  

^^Not euphemisms^^

I could go on, but honestly, I'd have to type out the entirety of all three books in order to highlight how truly terrible it is. It's just all bad. Ana's goofy grins and Christian's gray gazes and their insipid, ridiculous dialogue. These books are, in all honesty, the worst books I've ever read. And I've read a lot of books.

So would anyone else like to argue the point that these books are well-written?  If you like the book, fine. It makes your giney tickle, or makes you lament the fact that you've yet to find an overbearing misogynist to share your life with, or Christian Grey is better than your husband because he knows what a woman wants and you (for some strange reason) can't be bothered to tell your own husband what you want (which, by the way, isn't your husband's fault).....fine, like away. For all your own bizarre reasons. But please, for the love of ball gags, stop claiming it's well-written.

Oh, and for any trolling jackasses who decide to get all smartassed and say shit like, "Oh, you sure do spend a lot of time on books you hate!" or "You must have no life, seriously!" I have but one response:

I manage my own time, and if I choose to spend it speaking out against this travesty of modern bookage, that's my fucking prerogative, so go fuck yourselves.

Now. The amassed, compiled (from all three books), completely stupendous, splendiferous...

WORD COUNT (please note, this trilogy is roughly 1,700 pages in length):
"Ah" - 73
"And" -  15,261
"Apex" - 15
"Baby" – 275
“Beat” - 76
"Beautiful" - 246
"Beguile" - 4
"Beguiled" - 3
"Beguiling" - 4
"Bemused" - 37
“Bite my lip” - 19
“Biting my lip” - 11
“Bite your lip” - 8
“Biting your lip” - 17
"Blazing" - 31
"Blush" - 91
"Body wash" - 21
"Bodywash" - 2
"Breathes" - 173 
"Clamber" - 26
"Clambers" - 6
"Cocks his head" - 46
"Come" – 513 (5 of which begin the phrase 'Come for me')
"Crap" - 183
"Crimson" - 17
"Delicious" - 102
"Disembodied" - 8
"Down there" - 7
"Dry" - 74
"Dryly" – 48
“Eat” - 170
"Er" - 31
"Erection" - 69
"Erotic" - 33
“Eyes darken” - 14
“Eyes darkening” - 17
"Expert hands" - 3
“Expert touch” - 4
“Exquisite” - 38
“Fair point, well made” - 11
"Fifty" – 178
“Fist” - 18
“Fists” - 5
"Fisting" - 19
"Flush" - 233
"Foil packet" - 18
"Frisson" - 12
"Gasp" - 138
"Gasps" – 41
"Gasping" - 7
“Gaze” - 350
“Gazes” - 278
"Gazing" - 149
“Give it to me” - 4
"Glorious" - 28
"Gloriously" - 10 (6 of which form the phrase "gloriously naked")
"Good girl" – 29
“Gray” (color) - 258
"Gray eyes" – 188
“Grin” - 246
"Grins" - 260
"Grinning" - 61
“Groan” - 126
"Groans" - 88
"Groaning" - 7
"Groin" - 27
"Hair tie" - 16
"Hair ties" - 10
"Hard line" – 31
“He stills” - 50
"Heady" – 27
“His hips” -68
"Hiss" - 5
"Hitches" – 19
“Holy Cow” - 87
“Holy Crap” - 76
“Holy Fuck” - 72
“Holy Hell” - 23
“Holy Moses” - 10
“Holy Shit” - 123
"Hooded" - 26
"Hot" - 169
"Icarus" (flying too close to the sun) - 8
"Inner goddess" - 149
"Jacket" - 121
"Jeez" - 224
"Just-fucked hair" - 5
"Laters, baby" - 26
"Longing" - 26
"Love" - 542
"Lust" - 18
"Mercurial" – 24
“Moan” - 95
"Moans" - 16
"Moaning" - 10
"Mood" - 87
"More" - 929
“Mrs. Grey” - 369
"Murmur" - 274
"Murmurs" - 333
"Mutter" - 187
"Mutters" - 109
"My behind" - 86
"My bottom lip" - 21
"My sex" - 40
"Naughty" – 5
“Nipple” - 47
“Nipples” - 43
"Obey" - 22
"Oh My" - 178
"Oh, Ana" – 55
"Orgasm" -  35
"Pant" - 10
"Panting" - 64
"Please" – 580
“Pleasure” - 107
"Plum dress" - 9
"Pools" – 6
“Punish” - 21
"Quicken" - 3
"Quickening" - 5
"Quickens" - 1
"Release" - 50
"Roll my eyes" - 74
"Roll your eyes" - 8
"Rolling my eyes" - 9
"Rolling your eyes" - 6
"Salacious" - 20
"Sardonic" - 9
"Scarlet" - 21
"Scold" - 25
"Scolds" - 30
"Scolding" - 7
"Scowl" - 19
"Sexy" - 66
"Sharp Intake of Breath" - 11
"Shiver" - 20
"Shivers" - 9
"Shudder" - 46
"Shudders" - 7
"Shouty Capitals" - 5
"Smart mouth" - 11
"Smell" - 51 (7 of which help form the phrase 'Christian smell')
"Smirk" - 52
"Smirking" - 23
"Smirks" – 148
“Spank” - 41
"Subconscious" -189
"Tease" - 34
"Teases" - 25
"Teasing" - 52
“Threat” - 24
"Thrill" - 18
 "Tilts/head" - 41
“Torture” - 24
"Tousled" - 11
"Twitching palm" - 4
"Twitchy palm" - 6
"Undoing" - 20
"Unfathomable" - 10
"Wanton" – 3
"Wet" - 66
“What?” - 122
"Whisper" - 430
"Whispers" - 406
"Whoa" – 57
“Wow” - 87
"Wry" - 13
"Wryly" - 13
"You're mine/You are mine" - 24

(The above word count includes suggestions made by some wonderful people over at Goodreads. Feel free to let me know if I missed anything, or if there's just something you'd like to see on the list, and I'll be happy to count and add it.)


  1. Replies
    1. I'm no hero, but I play one on the interwebs.

  2. This is just brilliant. I'm so glad you added me as a friend on GR, or else I might've never found this gem. Just as good as your three other reviews!

    I totally lost it at the "Make Love / Playroom" quote. I think that might be the first time I actually head-desked. Thank God I didn't have to put up with these books. I'd never make it.

    1. Well, thank ye kindly!

      The playroom bit has gotten a lot of play on the 'net, especially amongst those who hate the book(s). It's just too good to pass up.

  3. *slow clap* Keep fighting the good fight.

  4. Love it! Thank you for this!

    How many times is the phrase "smart mouth" used?

    1. Ask and ye shall receive:

      Fifty Shades of Grey - 6
      Fifty Shades Darker - 5
      Fifty Shades Freed - 5

      Grand total is going in the word count. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. E.L. James approaches a painter with the intent to commission a portrait that commemorates the essence of her trilogy. After a week of waiting, she witnesses the unveiling of the portrait. Extremely confused and disappointed, she inquires "I commissioned you to paint the essence of my trilogy...and you give me cows with halos and Norman Bates drilling a hole into the Earth?"

    "Misses James," the painter replies "this is the essence of your trilogy."

    "Holy...cow! Look at that psychologically abused lunatic trigger an earth-shattering reaction down there!"

    1. *Snort*

      That truly would capture the essence of the trilogy.

    2. Oh my god! This is hilarious!! HAHAHA

  6. This is absolutely brilliant, as someone above indicated! I'm definitely sharing this one with my friends! You had me laughing once more :o) "Stench trench" and "magical panty hamster" - I'm still laughing!

    1. The first time I read those two wonderful phrases, I laughed so hard I thought I was going to vomit. Had to share the joy;)

  7. I'm with Bethany! Crying laughing!!! Keep writing!

    1. Thank you!

      I'll try. I find I'm in a much better mood when I regularly vent with words.

  8. Katrina, I love your blogging!

    What drove me nuts with the 50 Shades books were the muttering & murmurings. It got so that I found myself talking back to the book - "Speak up, dammit, quit murmuring!" (I mean, who murmurs? Seriously!)

    1. Thanks!

      I know, it's like everyone thinks they're a spy or something, and they don't want to be overheard. When they're not muttering, they're murmuring, when they're not murmuring, they're whispering, when they're not whispering, they're hissing. Hissing? Yes, hissing! The hell? Lol.

  9. I'm so glad you took the time to write all these reviews! I just read all four in one sitting. I can't get enough. Now I won't have to say a word when people ask me why I don't want to read these books: I can just send them here!

    Thanks for making my night! :-)

    1. My new mission in life is to make literature easier. I read the crap and spare everyone the trauma. I'm unsure how long I'll be able to keep this up before my brain banana collapses in on itself like a rotten melon, however.

  10. Great review!! I really don't see how anyone can think that these books are 'well-written'.

    What about the word 'beguiled', 'beguiling', or 'beguile'? I'm pretty sure that comes up waaaay more than it should. (And I've only read the first book.)

    1. Thanks!

      I don't see how, either, yet people have told me they think it's well-written. So far I've resisted the urge to ask them if they can, in fact, read.

      Wonderful suggestions! On Goodreads, I got suggestions for 'bemused', 'disembodied', and 'unfathomable'. So I'm off to do some more word counts.

  11. Brilliant, just brilliant. Not only are these books terribly written, and perpetuate the many mistakes of the fanfiction from where they came, including the British expressions that have no business in a book about two 20-something AMERICAN protagonists, but there are such disturbing images and ideas contained within, that I shudder to think anyone would consider these books the epitome of erotica.

    Case in point: 40-something pedophile abusing 15 yo emotionally damaged boy is being held up as "she saved me". Never gets punished for her pedophilia either.

    The tampon scene.

    "I think the baby likes sex already"

    And so many more. This is worthless drivel. While it may have been somewhat titillating as a fanfic, when the characters where Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, as a published book/trilogy, it's an abomination.

    Thank you for this review. And thank you for spreading the word.

    1. The Britishisms are just too good, aren't they? It almost felt like I would be cheating to even mention them. Looking "smart", throwing toys out of a pram, the constant "bottom" and "behind" (omg, I need to word count those!). I'm amazed she didn't use "loo" and "lift"...I suppose those were far too obvious *eye roll*

      The underlying themes are just disturbing. I really don't get how anyone thinks this is sexy.

    2. This fanfic stuff is part of a conglomerate of women who run a robsessed, robsten (gone now) fanfic net, a different forest, alexanger skarsgard, one is an admin at pop sugar where the papp pics come from and all to pimp Rob Pattinson for stuff on amazon UK. Someone researched all this for me and she had 300,000 transactions on amazon, which is a tidy sum of $. They have addicted young girls to this ff (Edward and Bella) so they read it and imagine them in the sex stories. Occasionally there is a lovely one. But these are sex pushers to pimp Pattinson so that's why all the hate which Stewart is getting because the fantasy is damaged and reality is entering their mushy minds. There are many young girls now into anal sex which is intense, and god knows what they are going to do to satisfy their urges. They are targets for sex slave ships if there are such things. The insanity is not to be believed.

  12. Katrina Lumsden = putting a little sunshine into my day

    Thanks girl :)

    1. Also, have you read The Crossfire series: Bared to You. Now I like it, but was wondering what you thought? It's also not perfect, but I think the characters are a lot more real than Ana and Christian who....well you know :p

    2. No problem at all, Katie =)

      I haven't read Bared to You yet, but I've been considering it. That and Gabriel's Inferno. Hehe.

    3. I read Bared To You and it was tons better than FSoG. As for Gabriel's Inferno/Gabriel's Rapture - I look forward to your review of those. :)

    4. Yeah I like Bared to You much better than 50 Shades- at least the characters say they're messed up right from the off! lol! I may have to read Gabriel's Inferno while I await "Reflected in You" xD

  13. Excellent post and reviews. I have no intention to ever read these, but my stupid curiosity nevertheless wanted to know what they were like.

    1. Nothing wrong with being long as you can handle the consequences;)

      Thank you!

  14. I'm not a big blog reader, but you just changed my mind. I found one of your reviews by accident on Facebook and it has lead me to read all three of them about the Fifty Shades of Crap and then to this blog. Thank you for being the voice of sanity and I will happily laugh all the way through reading your blog. You, my friend, are hysterically funny.

    1. Thanks, Paulette!

      I haven't been much of a blog writer lately, either, so we're both in relatively new waters here.

  15. Bravo!!! I found your GR reviews when they went viral all over my facebook feed.

    I love them... and they are still a better love story than Twilight and 50 Shades.

    1. Thanks =) But to be fair, I think The Hunt for Red October is a better love story than Twilight and Fifty Shades;)

  16. I'm usually not a fan of series like Twilight and Hunger Games but I decided to give this one a try. I have to be honest this book was hilarious, predictable, and probably lowered my IQ, but hey I needed something to take my mind off of the impending school year. Anywho...this is a really great review I read your other 3 reviews and I could not stop laughing. Mainly because what you were saying was soooooooooo true; and the word count is hilarious. As I was reading I thought wow she (James) really uses (insert overused word) a lot. You also open my eyes to the many things I felt uncomfortable reading but couldn't quite pinpoint what was so disturbing about them. I did find the book enjoyable because it was so comical I was like am I supposed to be turned on or amused...amused was usually my reaction to the awkwardness and redundancy that permeated these books. All in all they were fun books but as you pointed out highly disturbing and not to realistic, so thanks for your honesty and humor.

    Oh and I didn't see Er on the list perhaps because it's not a word but still annoyingly overused.

    1. Thank you, Donnesha!

      I'm all for fluff reads, I encounter plenty of them (and like probably far more than I should). I just couldn't stand by this one after reading all the disturbing messages being passed along from a female author to her targeted female audience. Her complacence regarding the damage she could do with this story, and her subsequent monetary gain because of it, makes me ill. There's a part of me that thinks it would be interesting to meet her and tell her this stuff to her face, but another part warning me that being in the same room with her would be a very, very bad idea.

      They were fun for me only in the sense that they enabled me to write these reviews;)

      You know, I'm going to check for "Er" and see how often it pops up. Thanks!

    2. For hot sex by a great writer read Damage by Josephine Hart and all the rest of her novels. Just wonderful, literate and intelligent.

  17. OK, I've updated the word list since originally posting with the following:

    Smart mouth
    My behind
    My bottom lip
    Hair (damn near gave me a heart attack)

  18. Kat I have to tell you that I do think you are the greatest thing to happen to the Internet since "Memes". A friend of mine shared your first review on facebook and I came close to falling out of my chair with laughter, You are indeed fighting the good fight and I have never been more proud to support such a worthy cause.

    1. Well, thank you, Stitch. I've been heartened by the overwhelmingly positive response I've received, and the outpouring of support from fellow fans of good writing/haters of Fifty Shades. It's been like an extended carnival ride sans the nausea.

    2. If you register on disqus you can eliminate registration problems and still control and moderate the comments. No long process of posting and squinting at letters.

  19. Thanks Katrina! I am finishing up a book and was seriously considering reading "Fifty shades of..." next. And now, I'm glad that I read this first. What disturbs me most, I saw a news segment one morning featuring how people are having more kids after reading this book. I wonder what's that all about? Have you seen it? Any thoughts?

    1. Happy to be of service, Farah. If you find yourself capable of getting hold of the book(s) without having to pay for them (library, borrowed from a friend, illegally downloa...scratch that last one, I never said that)...then by all means, check 'em out. They're hilarious. You may not make it through, but I never discourage people from seeing for themselves. I just strongly discourage paying money for the torture.

      I've not seen that. I try to avoid any news stories centered around the depressing popularity of these books. I can say this, however; if people are getting pregnant because these books put them in the mood and they didn't have the forethought to prevent pregnancy, that says a little something about the average intellect of someone who could actually be turned on by this nonsense.

      Le snort;)

    2. I have MOTU the original fanfic on my hard drive so just ask.

  20. hey... you missed the part that she is with him just for his money.. She literally lives off him..

    1. That's a tough area to navigate because Ana doesn't really have any money problems to begin with, and E.L. James attempted to make Ana somewhat independent by having her get upset any time Christian spends a dime on her. She never returns anything like she says she's going to, true, but on the same token, she doesn't have control of her life. Anytime she tries to turn something down, Christian goes at her like a badger, insisting and sometimes threatening until she gives in. She WANTS to keep her job, she WANTS to make her own a sense, Christian is FORCING her to live off of him. Which is another level of weird altogether. And he wants her to quit her job. In that case, she would be completely dependent on it.

      Sheesh, now you've given me more to think about.

  21. Is the gif with the laughing puppets from the Thunderbirds show, 'coz its its really bizarre/hilarious C:

    The whole "Fifty Shades of Grey" phenom is just ridiculous and silly I can't even. Just when I thought the "Twilight" thing was winding down, BAM! Here comes "Twilight 2: Attack of the Clones". It's never going to eeeeend D:

    I also think its funny that E.L. James with her chance to do an AU Twilight, it didn't occur her to make Edward's character...I dunno...more LIKEABLE or make Bella's character less of a spineless vessel? Nope, apparently.
    I will say this, though. If its intentional, which I doubt, she's pretty good at writing in Bella's voice with the Jeez and the Holy Crap and the Oh My. XD

    1. A search for "Thunderbirds gif" revealed it is indeed from Thunderbirds! I didn't know when I found it, just knew it gave me a laugh attack.

      I can't wait for the final Twilight movie to come out because then all the hype around THAT ridiculous story will finally fade in obscurity. Then we just have to wait out Fifty Shades...hopefully we won't get anything else in the interim.

      She didn't make them better characters because she lurves Edward and Bella. Twisted. I don't recall Bella being quite as annoying as I found Ana to be...but I think I might need to revisit Twilight sometime. If I have the strength. What I really want to do is read The Host. Hehe.

    2. Oh my god, YES. My Dad is pretty sick of getting issues of Entertainment Weekly with "Twilight" covers. If nothing else, its going to cray-cray.

      Urgh, what big a missed opportunity.
      But yeah. I've only read "Eclipse" and I've still got my bookmark in "Breaking Dawn" so I didn't have to read what must have been the scintillating description of Bella and Edward's whirlwind romance, lol.
      I don't know. From the excerpts I've read, that's the impression I get and even the fact that Christian is inwardly laughing at her expense. I'm not even sure if E.L. did it intentionally or she's just a bad writer. I don't really plan on reading Fiddy to find out. :/

    3. She's definitely a bad writer. She got 50,000 reviews from gibbering idiots so I guess she doesn't know. They are really at it at adifferentforest a new morphing of ff and Pattinson.

      They are very upset at your site but gave me the link when I was lurking. It's all a fascinating soap opera. I mean there is one woman whose husband was close to death in the hospital and she's begging for new fan fic.

  22. Hahahahahahaha. I loved the "argh" bit and so did Alex and Abby. Couldn't stop laughing at that one. Another great rant.
    Check this out: on the first day of school Abby is filling out the getting-to-know-you sheets from her teachers and one of them had a question about what novels you've read. So Abby puts down 50 shades. After class, the teacher pulls her aside and asks her if her parents are aware that she read it. Her reply? "Yep, and then my mom and I burned it!". Gotta love that kid! LMAO
    And yes, we did burn it last week at our bonfire. I got the tampon scene!

    1. Oh, that niece of mine. She's going to get you into some serious trouble, hehe. Porn and book burning, Kim, are frowned upon in the puritanical, conservative U.S. of A. ESPECIALLY the south. your backs;)

      Did the pages scream as you burned them? Because I'm convinced the book was imbued with some kind of dark panty magic.

  23. I LOVE your reviews! I work in erotica sales, so it was important for me to read these books for my job. The only way I got through all three was by coming up with a drinking game (I drank every time someone murmured) and still could barely do it.

    The one thing that pissed me off the most in all three books you didn't write about, though. I know your book 3 review was short, but the orgasm denial made me see red. After it was over he tells her don't do it again. She then tells him (almost in the same sentence) that he doesn't control her, and that she won't ever do it again. WTF! Thanks for proving that his "punishments" really will change your behavior to what he considers acceptable, dumbass.

    I also started paying attention pretty early on and noticed that every time but twice when her nipples were stimulated they were done so by his "expert hands". Talk about copy and paste!

    1. I'm just starting the third book (just to see how bad they can really get), and you've just inspired me to drink along. I think I may take a shot every time she says "my Fifty" or "oh Fifty."

      And Katrina.....a fabulous review! Nobody could describe these books any better! Like you said, I'm all for fluff, but repetition, misuse of the English language, and elementary writing style is just painful!

    2. Thanks, Sandy!

      You know, I kept meaning to mention the orgasm denial scene, but it's almost like it pissed me off SO much that my brain kept blocking it. That and the boob-marking scene (where he's all like, "Well, you'll never go topless again" and she's all, "I'm so mad, but what can ya do?")...just...FUCK. I keep having to tell fans of this book that the reason the punishment sex isn't hot is because it stems from anger. They just don't seem to get it. He hoisted her up on that rack and tortured her because he was MAD, which is NOT what a consensual D/s relationship is supposed to be.

      Just. Shit. Thinking about it makes me nearly incoherent.

      I only counted "expert touch" and I felt certain it occurred far more than the four times I found...I missed "expert hands". Off to search more words, hehe.

    3. Thanks, Kenzie!

      Careful with that drinking game lest you end up in the hospital.

    4. I found the word "deftly" was used much too often. Jeez, we get it, he's good at undressing both himself and Ana! No buttons flying off in their sex-crazed haste, no clothes being unintentionally torn, no awkward fumbling, etc... because he is just so good!

      For all I know, the word may not have been used as often as I think, but it certainly stood out each time I read it.

  24. Katrina,

    There are so many nuggets here, it's hard to separate the nougat from the crème. To wit (for the twit that Christian is)...

    "like fecal bombs from a fighter jet"
    "undergoes more mood swings than a menopausal schizophrenic on meth"
    "in order to cure him of his perviness with her magical panty hamster"
    "Greybeard the pirate be plunderin' her booty"
    "my knight in douchey armor ... the devil's water"
    "It makes your giney tickle"
    "for the love of ball gags"
    "this travesty of modern bookage"

    You are not only a (closet?) poet, Katrina, but a one-woman Commedia dell'Arte and a prose mistress to boot (no pun intended with the leather footwear).



    1. Russell, you truly are a renaissance man, and I am humbled and touched by your praise (touched in a deep, emotional way, not a pervy, giney-tickling way).

      I most certainly am a closet poet. As long as I do it in there, no one can see the emo tears I shed.

  25. Best waste of 20 minutes i ever spent XD (reading all the reviews)

    1. That is the best back-handed compliment I think I've ever received! So thanks!

  26. I really enjoyed your reviews. I only wish I had read them before I wasted my time reading that drivel. Every time I see/hear someone talk about how amazing these books are it makes me want to cry. There is nothing "well written" about those books. After seeing your word counts I was shocked that the repetition was even worse than I thought, seriously, if everyone went around murmuring, muttering, and whispering all the time no one would ever hear a word anyone else said. It was ridiculous.

    Anyway, thanks for the laughs, you were so on point with this and your other reviews.

    1. Thank you, Erica!

      I recognized fairly early on that there was a serious problem with redundant word usage, but I too was shocked at the true severity of it. I keep having people point words out, and they're all words I never even thought to check. It's almost like there's such an abundance of repetition that your brain can't even handle it.

  27. I love your reviews of this series. Accurate and amusing to say the least. I am currently reading the first 'book', with absolutely no intention of reading the others. However these books seem to be something of a train wreck that draws the eye, so I guess I won't know until I successfully resist or succumb. I do find it amusing that the overuse of the word "and" is frowned upon both in formal and creative writing, yet on page 230 of "Fifty Shades of Grey" alone the word "and" makes an appearance no less than 26 times! Therefore, however tedious it may be to you, I wonder if you could possibly count the number of times "and" is used in the entire series please? As for me, 26 times on one page is more than enough to confirm that this book is very poorly written. I despair for modern literature if this Author is being lauded as a "great writer" by anyone, anywhere.

    1. Thank you, Nelly =)

      It's strange how they can pull you in. They make you feel like a spectator to all things horrible...a little dirty and used, and like you've wasted a lot of time, but emerged a better person in spite of it. Reading these books being violated. Or not so much violated, but like you've slept with a guy just 'cause and you probably shouldn't have, and the sex was lackluster and boring, and now you don't know how to file it away in your brain, so you just take a lot of showers and veg in front of the television for two weeks straight.

      You have hit on something monumental with the overuse of the word "and". In the first book alone, it appears 4,764 times. Throughout the entire trilogy, 15,261. According to, there are a total of 1,700 pages in the trilogy, which means the word "and" occurred, on average, 9 times on each page.

  28. You've done the impossible, Katrina. You've lowered my opinion of E. L. James. Had anyone asked if that was possible, I'd have laughed. You see, having not actually brought myself to read the printed sheets of dead tree pulp, I was unaware that James actually doesn't know the correct meaning of words she's (ab)used.

    Euphemism, irony, literally, and non sequitur. I'd have been downgraded in junior high English if I'd used any of them as an English author old enough to be my mother did in her series of novels.

    Maybe I'm being too harsh. It was an advanced class, something I'm guessing Snowqueens Icedragon (Erika Leonard's original pen name), bestselling author, multimillionaire, and one of Time magazine's most influential people of 2012, has never even hoped to be accepted into.

    I'd say that she ought to go back to eighth grade and correct the gaps in her education, but it seems there are people who would pretty much pay to smell her farts if they were marketed well enough, so it would probably be a waste of her valuable time.

    Excuse me, there's a hotline I have to call. Perhaps they can talk me down from the ledge.

    1. "You've lowered my opinion of E. L. James."

      Well, my work here is done!

      In all seriousness, it is really quite infuriating and depressing that someone with so limited a grasp of writing can make as much as James has. I'm waiting for the day a rabid fan accuses me of being an elitist supersnob because not everyone can get a college writing education. It really would make my day because I would then be forced to tell them I was homeschooled my entire life and never went to college. James, on the other hand, "was privately educated, then read history at the University of Kent..." (source:

      There's no excuse, none. Absolutely no valid reason for her writing to be that terrible except the obvious; she has absolutely zero writing talent. What makes this all even worse is that her husband of 20-something years is a screenwriter who apparently reads everything she writes. He's HELPING her and it's still that bad?!

      I weep for the future.

    2. That would be beautiful, but I can already hear the gears grinding to needles as your hypothetical (yet, I imagine, inevitable) critic throws her transmission into reverse and stomps on the gas with something to the general effect that James is obviously correct, since her educational pedigree is in order (unless she were to be tested) and yours is not.

      At which point I wouldn't blame you a bit if you had a vivid fantasy of going on a violent rampage with a dictionary as your only weapon. Still, the contrast is beautiful proof that a degree often isn't much more than a piece of paper, and achieving one doesn't necessarily require much more than the ability to memorize. (By which I mean no disrespect to the educated AND intelligent people of the world.)

      Truly, if this series can be a smashing success, literally anything can be. Anybody, absolutely anybody, can be rich and famous if they happen to have the ability to entertain people with low standards. Some would argue that reality television had already proven that, but reality television and literature are two very different things.

      They used to be, anyway.

    3. You're absolutely right. I too can see that happening. I think the turnaround time is dependent on the person, though. It's been my experience that, most of the time, when you shatter an asshole's preconceived notions, they become despondent and confused and just wander away. But there are those quicker-than-average idiots who are capable of turning it around after a few minutes' thought, and it would be just my luck that I would end up with one of those.

      I put very little stock in the acquisition of a piece of paper in regards to intelligence, as those I've met who are smart are so regardless of whether or not they had a formal, structured education. You're right, there are those who acquired that education and are intelligent...then there are those whom no amount of education could hope to salvage.

      Reality television was, I think, a precursor to this literary madness. Because I completely agree, they used to be totally different things. It is, after all, quite a different experience; sitting down and zoning out for 30-60 minutes or settling in and engaging your brain and eyes for hours, days, weeks at a time. I saw one woman comment about Fifty Shades, saying she loved the books for three reason, and the third reason was they didn't require her to think.

      That made me sad.

    4. True; I may have given ardent fans too much credit. Another thing I never would have imagined possible.

      "I saw one woman comment about Fifty Shades, saying she loved the books for three reasons, and the third reason was they didn't require her to think."

      You and others like you are my shield against the destructive power of comments like that. Smart, discerning, outspoken readers soften the blow.

      Next time I have a drink, I believe I'll raise a glass to you, Katrina, and the other free thinking girls of the world.

    5. You are hysterical. The amount of money she has made from the platform of Edward Bella fan fic and 50,000 reviews is well, magic! They are furious that they did this for her and now another one has just pulled out to publish without finishing by god so they want to kill her. These stupid but grasping women who run the show must want to die that they gave her a free platform and she has run off without looking back for a wave to them. And absolutely no tip.

  29. I have to know, because this has been going around tumblr -- is this ACTUALLY a line from the books?

    “...he mewled low and wryly into my external auditory canal.”

    My friend who read them says she doesn’t remember it, but it seems like the sort of ridiculous wording the author would use. Just curious!

    1. Nope, that quote doesn't appear in any other the books. When searching for the word "wryly" it never comes with that. It does kind of sound like something she would write, though.

    2. I looked, as well, but searched for "auditory ear canal" and came up empty-handed. I also checked the words, "mewl", "mewls", and "mewling", and didn't come up with anything. Sandy's right, though, it does sound like something James would write.

  30. You lit up my day! You are so hilarious I had to rest for a while after reading all 4 of your reviews and my stomach muscles might not recover. Your reviews were simply delightful and such a relief! I haven't actually read the books, although I did attempted reading the chapters up for free on Amazon and frankly I couldn't even get to the end of the first couple of pages. I thought that little snippet was so badly written it grated my nerves so couldn't carry on. I return from my summer holidays only to be completely blown over by ALL (and that isn't an exaggeration) my female colleagues ranting about how enjoyable, hot/erotic & a must read this book is. Some of them have even read the entire trilogy and went back to read it again (maybe they are closet masochists)!

    I was starting to feel abnormal because these people (normally intelligent and most of whom are very well read) were insisting that I'd give it an honest try. I suspect they might not be getting enough action in their Red Room. I always thought Twilight read like a badly written immature teenager's wet dream and fan fiction based on that.....well the thought of it makes my skin crawl. Why hair was mentioned so many times and why it sold over 4 million copies here in the UK is seriously beyond me. Maybe there is a weird voodoo involved or people were taken in by the only thing that was decently done about this book which was the design of the book cover. What is that old adage about book covers again?

    Anyway I wanted to thank you for spending the time and effort to review such rubbish so I don't have to waste mine and generally being a drop of sanity amongst this tsunami of idiocy that is modern media.

    1. Thank you, Mariposa!

      You're not alone, I've heard from so many people who are seemingly surrounded by Fifty Shades fans and their rabid, frothing defense of its writing, characters, plot, and message. A startling number of women seem to truly believe this is a sweet, romantic love story with great writing. I saw one girl on Goodreads proclaim that she thinks E.L. James is a "creative genius". My brain froze at that point and I stared blankly at my screen for a few minutes before I got hold of myself and remembered my name, where I was, etc.

      I truly believe that a very large majority of the rabid fans are just undersexed. The sex scenes tickle their fancy and they focus on that and that alone, foregoing any common sense in the areas of prose, grammar, plot, characterization, etc. Indeed, it's like they don't see the actual story at all. This is what I imagine it looks like inside the mind of a rabid Fifty fan: "Throbbing length, hot and wet, chiseled abs, orgasm, exquisite sensations, nipple teasing....", etc.

      As far as your theory of weird voodoo, I completely concur. I believe this book was imbued with some form of dark panty magic merely because it manages to suck so many people in despite being complete and total sewage. Add to that it's ability to somehow flit from the reader's brain shortly after reading. At first I thought it was my brain trying to protect me by blocking certain things, but then I began to wonder if perhaps part of the voodoo placed on the book weren't responsible. Like James wanted people to forget the awful in an attempt to get them to read it again and again, thus ensuring readership for years to come.

      But then, for me, if I were to read them again, I truly believe I could craft four more reviews, just as lengthy as my originals, without recycling a single thing.

  31. Thanks, Katrina! It looks much better here than in Goodreads, but you should post some of the pics you have there too (the one with Elaine is priceless)

    Humor is the best response, and you have used it extremely well!!!

    1. Thank you, Martisima!

      I agree, reviews look much better here.

  32. So I went through an entire beer in about 5 pages just using her references to her 'Fifty,' inner goddess, subconscious and use of the phrase 'oh my.' After that I decided to slow things down a bit.

    I'm almost done with the last book, and if I never see the word mercurial again, it will only be too soon. I have to give her props...she's very loyal to her adjectives. When she finds a word she likes, she sticks with it. I really hope somebody buys her a Thesaurus for her birthday or Christmas.

    1. You know what the worst part is? It's obvious she consulted a thesaurus every now and again because you'll be reading along, not having any problems whatsoever with the wording (other than maybe wanting to erratically stab at your own eyeballs with garden shears), and you'll run into some obscure word you've never heard of before. I have a relatively large vocabulary (even if I don't employ all the words I know, I don't normally have to look many up), and I would have to turn to the dictionary on my Kindle to figure out what the hell a word meant. It happened a few times in each book, and was completely out of place.

    2. I'm glad I'm not the only one who had to consult a dictionary to understand what the hell was being said. Why can't he just say "take off your panties"??? Noooooo, i't has to be that he "divests" her of her panties. And who says that they will "collect" you from work? Can't he just "pick her up"?? Maybe that's a regionalism much like people from New York saying on line instead of in line.

  33. "I truly believe that a very large majority of the rabid fans are just undersexed. The sex scenes tickle their fancy and they focus on that and that alone, foregoing any common sense in the areas of prose, grammar, plot, characterization, etc. Indeed, it's like they don't see the actual story at all. "

    I'm a 24-year old virgin but even that doesn't stop me from seeing the trilogy as nothing more than a sick joke. Everything about it is so poorly developed and dysfunctional that I'm thankful I'm still keeping my "inner Godess" intact.

    1. Well, then you definitely aren't one of the undersexed rabid fans I was referring to;) Which is good, very, very good. I didn't mean people who are undersexed (or unsexed, as the case may be), are bound to become rabid fans of this book. What I meant (and said) was that I believe the majority of the rabid fans are undersexed.

  34. i love your reviews on Goodreads by the way! The trilogy is just plain literary trash. Don't bother reading it unless you want to reduce your brain cells to less than half their size @___@

    On a different note, I think I know from whose feeble mind Ana's intellectual capacity was created after:

    1. Seriously, after naming Stephenie Meyer, Nora Roberts, Brenda Joyce and other "authors", she had to include Jane Austen among her list of favorite writers. WTF? Jane Austen in the same league as people who write about sparkly non-beings? I can't even.

    2. Oooohhhhohoho...WOW.

      Should I even point out all the things that frighten me about E.L. James? What the hell.

      1. Ana is "bright". Uh huh.
      2. Christian is her dream man because he's incredibly wealthy, a beast in the sack, gorgeous, and needs TLC. In other words, he's a pretty fixer-upper. *Scared*
      3. She lists a ton of female authors, then says they write good love stories. There are men out there who write excellent love stories. I've read them. Women (no offense meant here) tend to write more melodramatically, which is something I can only take for so long. But it's obvious James LOVES melodrama.
      4. She sees a lot of herself in Ana AND in Christian.
      5. She claims to have a fantastic imagination.

      Oh, thank you for that. I needed a good laugh;)

  35. Again, thank you for jumping on the Fifty Shades grenade, saving me from any germ of curiosity that may have driven me to read them.

  36. Soooo true! Ur reviews are hilarious!

  37. I like your first post :) maybe you'd like to lighten up the background though so its easier to read :) just a thought

    1. I was wondering if it would be too dark for some readers. Thanks for the feedback!

  38. I read all of your reviews on this today... I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. Thank you.

    1. Thanks =) Glad I could provide some entertainment.

  39. You've got to count how many times they say 'more'.
    It's like every other sentence.

  40. In answer to claims that these "books" (and I use that term loosely) are well-written, the quotations you provided speak for themselves. What a bucket of poorly written horse piss. I couldn't stop laughing. "He literally got under my skin.." Well, honey, that must hurt.

    I'm pretty sure that reading your reviews is about a hundred times more enjoyable than reading the books themselves (which I have no intention of doing). So thanks!

    1. "...bucket of poorly written horse piss."



  41. I despise these books, hate the Twilight trilogy and agree with everything you say, but.....

    Imagine this:
    You write some fan-fic on a website, you get a lot of views, then a publishing company says "We would like to publish this and you could make lots of money from it, is that ok?"

    What would you do? I know what I'd do!!

    1. Yes, Joe, but my review is not about whether or not James should have agreed to be published.

  42. I love this, but you missed my favorite (bad) part of the writing -- I refuse to go look, but I will bet that in every one of those almost 200 references to her subconscious, she's "hearing" it "say" something. WTF. The reason it's your SUBconscious is precisely because you CANNOT hear it, you twit.

    1. I mentioned it in my review of the...second? I think. It really is quite terrible. Why E.L. James couldn't be bothered to double-check her shit is beyond me.

  43. Oh, also, if people who've read your reviews want a taste of the "plot" and "writing" without having to actually read the books, they can go over to Jennifer Armintrout's blog. The poor woman did a chapter-by-chapter recap of the first book and she's in the process of doing the second. It's great stuff--much like your reviews, not for pussies without a sense of humor, but a great time for the rest of us.

    1. Hilariously enough, Laura, I just finished reading her recap of chapter two, looked at my phone, and saw this comment!

      Her recaps are absolutely amazing. Another fantastic blog to check out for Fifty Shades of Hate is right here:

    2. Thanks for the mention, Katrina! Your reviews are awesome, I am so glad I found them because I was worried I was the only woman on earth to see there is something seriously wrong with every single aspect of these books.

    3. No problem, Amberance! And thank you! I believe those of us with even marginally good taste need to stick together;)

    4. FYI, I meant to come here and respond to all the comments, but then I followed my own link and began reading YOUR blogs again. I'm never going to get anything done tonight! Hehe.

      I just finished '50 Sobs of Anguish'. Oh, the funnies. I have to read your blogs aloud to someone...

  44. I haven't laughed out loud so much while reading an unintentionally hilarious book....ever. Your trilogy (plus this 'epilogue') of reviews has made much more sense to me than the books have! And I love your gif choices :)

    I was actually surprised by the word counts considering it seemed like there were only a total of 10 words used in each sex scene, only in a slightly different order each time.

    And I swear, if I EVER hear someone say "Fair point, well made" in real life - I will slap them. It seemed like that phrase was used 100 times in each book, based on the level of annoyance it caused me.

    What I mean to say, in a less rambling way, is thank you for this!

    1. Thank you, Mae!

      The word counts have surprised me, as well, as I was under the impression that all three books were written with different variations of about twenty words;)

  45. I haven't read the books, but read all your reviews on the 50 shades of crap - thank you! So, blissful with the knowledge, I'm browsing through I'net, looking at a few True Blood fanfic sites, and come across another review of EL James' creation. The said review describes it as a true love story and goes on and on about how Mr. Gray teaches Ana about love and stuff. I kinda vomited in my mouth. I can't believe people really take this crap seriously.
    Now, as far as the word count and very limited vocab. As a fanfic writer myself, I can say that these are the very mistakes lots of beginner fanfic writers make. Only small fraction of these writers actually work hard to improve their style and grammar. (By the way, there's such thing as, dear Ms. James, it's free, too.) I'd be probably inclined to tolerate to a certain degree the overuse of words/expressions in FANFICTION and not a published ORIGINAL (not so much) story, BUT the messages in the books are horrendous. Traumatic. Misleading. Dangerous.
    That the books are so successful/selling is very sad to me. Are readers so hungry for kinky, unusual, and weird they miss the total lack of quality?

    1. Have to agree with Seymourblogger, yes. They are.

      Thank you, alphafang! I could forgive this mess for a lot of the things it's thrown at the world, if not for the fact that it was published. Its publication somehow gave people the impression it could be taken seriously. *Sigh*

  46. By the way - the staccato rendering is common in many other works of fiction. Why have they focused on its use here???

    And remember - wash your hands, please!!! ;-)

    1. It's not so much the use itself as HOW it's used in these books that drives most people crazy. For instance, in the third book, Christian utters two entire sentences in staccato with kisses in between each word. One, it's nauseating, and two, it would sound absolutely ridiculous in real life.

  47. Literally dying of laughter right now.

    And by "literally", I mean figuratively because I am not E L James.
    In all seriousness though, I greatly enjoyed all of your "Fifty Shades" reviews.
    They significantly brightened my workday, thank you so much. (:

    1. Well, I'm glad you didn't literally die!


  48. Thank God someone else feels this way! All of my friends are in love with this horrible excuse for a trilogy! It brings others to shame.

    1. "All of my friends are in love with this horrible excuse for a trilogy!"

      I'm sorry.

  49. I just read your reviews on Good Reads and then this one. These. Are. Awesome! What a great way to cap off a crappy (yeah, I said it) afternoon. One verse that drove me nuts but I haven't seen anyone else mention was the 'blood singing' reference. WTF. What does that even mean? My blood was singing. And she kept saying/thinking it. It drove me nuts. Great reviews!

    1. "Blood singing" is just another example of poor editing and unprofessionalism of the writer and the publishers: it makes sense only in the context of a fanfic about gloomy vampires and tasty virgins in love with said vampires.

    2. Thanks, Brenna:)

      alphafang pretty much said it. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it in the fanfic sense, but as a separate story, it just came across as bizarre.

  50. I couldn't stop reading because I couldn't stop laughing. Wonderful.

  51. “Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me. Perhaps I've spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high.”
    ― E.L. James

    ...I don't want to start XD

    1. Sigh. You gave me hope for a moment, there. That statement devolved from possibly the most sensible thing she's ever said right into, well, exactly the sort of thing I normally expect from her.

  52. I love your reviews!! I actually read the reviews before reading the books (I just couldn't help my curiosity). I was sad, though, to see a couple of points missing from your reviews (although these books have so many "fails", to cover them all would be impossible.
    1 I noticed you touched on this in one of the comments: the overuse of the Thesaurus function! At times it almost made the passages unreadable. I was also disappointed to see the word "Fuck" missing from the word count. I don't have the first one on my iPad, but the word count for Darker is 177 and Freed is 237. This is for all forms of the word Fuck...including but not limited to fuck, fucked, fucking, and of course my favorite Kinky Fuckery. For someone who writes so badly, she sure is trying to prove her command of the English language in the most strange way.
    2 EL seems to have no need to "tie up loose ends". There are several instances in the books where a question is raised and no answer is given at that moment. The logical conclusion as the reader is: She'll answer that later in the book...but she doesn't! It became a very frustrating aspect to the books that there were plot holes that were just never filled.
    3 While the sex scenes were not well written, I also noticed that they also seemed unrealistic if not impossible. There were several times that I had to wonder if Christian had grown a third arm or had extendo-hands. His fingers would find themselves in places that he just shouldn't be able to reach. Several times when he had her bound, gravity stopped working (oh, he's good). When he has her on the bed with the spreader bar on her legs and is able to flip her over by just twisting the bar...either this girl weighs about 6 lbs, he's secretly Superman, or the gravitational pull of the Earth just doesn't exist in his bedroom. Of course, maybe I was just imagining it wrong.
    I agree with you on all your other points and found my self laughing out loud when I would read certain parts of the books that you had mentioned in your reviews. You are hilarious and I hope you never stop writing! This is the first book/series where I feel like the movie might actually be better than the book :-P
    I would like to correct you when you said the best part of reading these books was when they were over...the best part of reading these books was when I realized if a publishing house will print this shit, I might actually make it as an author!
    Thanks for the laughs!

    1. I was left with that same realization after reading the first book. If this series could do this well, gain this much popularity and have such a huge following, then my own insecurities as an aspiring author were moot! I read the book during a period of writer's block and was instantly inspired to get back to my own writing when I was done.

    2. You have definitely hit on some seriously good points, DramaQueen, and I thank you for them. I don't know why hadn't included all forms of 'fuck' in my word count....really, it must have just escaped my attention. I'll have to remedy that soon.

      You had me laughing pretty hard with your rant about the unrealistic sex. I think I'd blocked a lot of it out because it just seemed inconsequential to the story. Which is weird since the sex scenes were about 90% of said "story". Anyway, it would be hilarious if someone were to try and reenact the scenes from the book to see if they're even physically possible.

      I too have been inspired. I figure all I have to do is make it sleazy enough for the bored, sexually repressed lot, and I'll have a best seller on my hands.

  53. I love your reviews!

    And I love that I do not need to read this series. People kept pushing me to read it but your reviews have solidified the fact that I have ZERO desire to do so! Well done (:

  54. Loved it!!! You did forget to include "looked up through my lashes." I've only made it half way through the first book (I'm sure I'll have PTSD by the end of it)and I'm pretty sure I've caught at least 4 of those.
    I do have a tiny story involving the supposed editor of that pile of steaming grey shit. An author friend of mine had a request for full ms from a certain agent. After 8 weeks she didn't hear back and discovered that said agent had signed the "editor" of Shades of Grey. Needless to say, my friend (who is actually talented) is now very thankful that she wasn't offered representation by this apparent moron.

    1. Thanks! OK, starting a new list of words/phrases to look up.

      I think your friend dodged a bullet.

  55. Ok so i agree with all of it. But for those of us that did actually like the book can i have one small rebuttal?
    Ana = fruit fly, definitely. Well written? Definitely not. But Christian, you got him just a little bit wrong, wait wait don't stop reading just yet. Yes he's a d-bag, fucked up twit. But just look at it from a different angle. We're human, not spiders, the male of our species is generally bigger than us. In a world where a large portion of the 'bored housewives' get up an hour earlier than their husbands, paste on too much makeup, get the kids up, make lunches, pack school bags, check homework, do the dishes from last night, head off to a full days work, get home, make dinner, clean, organise (I'm Australian) kids out of school stuff, look after the family finances. Meanwhile the 'dominant' male, goes to work, comes home, drinks a beer, pisses off to the pub/golf course/where ever. A man like Christian doesn't look to bad. He's rich, and yes i know that's not everything, but hey i wouldn't hate a new Audi A3, he wants to control everything, he just wants us to sit around looking pretty, he's the alpha. Mix that in with the screwed up adolescent emotional state and you get an argument one second and a awesome helicopter ride at sunrise the next. His horrible birth mother wasn't good to him, so we get to be his replacement mum, feeding the (pathetic) need in lots of women to nurture.
    Now i'm not saying any of this is good, or right, and i wouldn't want to have this as a long term relationship in my worst dreams, but for the 4days it took me to read them, it was a nice fantasy, not needing to do anything, giving up responsibility and control. But 4days would be long enough i think.

    I'd love to see your take on some of Jodi Picoult's books. She's very good it her base line primal characters, with no moral substance.

    1. Just watched the interview on ABC, it scarily looks like E.L James does agree with the complete lack of moral substance in her books. That point of your blog i can not agree with more. It is a dangerous message for young naive girls. Men shouldn't hit girls.

    2. But I HAVE looked at it from the fantasy perspective, and my opinion is still that I find it pathetic to fantasize about an emotionally abusive fixer-upper. Fantasy is fine and good, I just believe in fantasizing about something worthwhile.

  56. To think that so many people like this stuff! Holy craphellcow, we're surrounded! My inner goddess might be puking in the bathroom. Now she's my outer goddess.
    My subconscious whispers to me that the global crisis went straight to our heads and now everybody is furiously trying to have as little control as possible over money, body, life and intelligence. Now that I've said it, I think it very plausible. It's not that the readers love inconsequent invertebrates, it's that they're desperately trying to avoid responsability.
    I've been trying to understand why this book is in every bookshop of the world, and that's my best shot at an answer. Please tell me: WHY?

    In a non sequitur fashion: are you planning to get angry at another book anytime soon? I wish you would. Giffy gifs!

    1. I really think you're right Kino0, this story seems to be some kind of salve to the soul for those who are just plain worn out. I have to say, though, I don't believe I could ever be worn out enough to be OK with...any of that. I could be tortured for weeks on-end and I would still spit in the face of anyone who tried to get me to say I liked these books.

      Like, literally. Ha.

      I never plan on getting angry at books, it just happens because I'm far too open when it comes to literary possibilities. I promise I'll blog about the next one that infuriates me. It's bound to happen.

  57. Do you remember back in the day when romantic fiction was written by people who could write it? I grew up reading Julie Garwood,Nora Roberts and Johanna Lindsey - women who would not dream of having pathetic, submissive heroines. Theirs were feisty and interesting. I grew up watching Buffy and Charmed, strong, powerful, independent heroines.

    Nowadays Twilight and 50 Shades are the norm for heroines. Pathetic, emotionally needy, clingy, suicidal-if-he-dumps-me twits without an original thought or idea in their heads is what young women are subjected to. The next generations are going to be a herd of Ana's and Bella's who think abusive, controlling, emotionally unavailable men are the norm. Some one shoot me now before I have to witness the downfall of the female species!

    On another note, I thoroughly enjoyed your reviews on Goodreads. I commend you because I couldn't get past the first half of 50 Shades of Grey before I had to put it down, I felt my brain beginning to hemorrhage from the utter badness of it. I seriously couldn't understand how people were getting excited over it. Here is my theory. It's a reading level thing. Perhaps those of us who are more well read across a lot of genres and have experienced many different writers see this for what it is, pointless drivel but those who perhaps do not read as much find it titillating (ugh). Either way, I shudder to think that this is what passes for literature these days and to think they're going to make it into a movie.... although, bright side, maybe a script writer can fix this monumental mess into something visually pleasing....but I doubt it.

    1. Thank goodness for all the powerful heroines in Harry Potter alone to counteract this garbage. That series has way more impact than 50 Shades, and probably more than Twilight (maybe not among adolescent girls, but if it doesn't now, it will most definitely have a greater impact in the long run). Hopefully, these will be passing fads, and we will try to push smarter women more than the vapid ones. See: Jane Austen.

    2. I grew up with strong female leads, as well, and I really can't wrap my head around this new fad of protagonists who not only have the mental acuity of moldy bread, but also the will of lobotomized cultists. I really don't get it. I think your explanation of the difference in reading levels directly affecting reactions to these books is apt. Although, it scares the holy hell out of me since so many people in younger generations don't read much. Are we destined to witness more cultural explosions like Fifty Shades merely because we live amongst a populace of functional illiterates?

      *So scared

  58. As soon as I heard this trilogy described as 'Mummy Porn' I knew that, some how, another steaming pile of turd had some how made some how made an invalid with a computer a lot of money. Your reviews have confirmed this for me without having to touch one (which I really appreciate. They must put something in the paper that attracts people because it certainly isn't the content). Thank you so much for that.

    E.L. James should be kept away from pens/pencils/computers/ dirty surfaces that messages can easily be written in for the sake of humanity.

    You, however, should continue with your fantastic work.

    God speed!

    1. Thank you, J!

      "Invalid with a computer" sums up E.L. James quite nicely.

  59. I was bullied into reading this book by my work friends, because, according to them it had "great sex scenes". But I must say that I find it very unlikely (or fucking impossible) that not only did Ana orgasm every single time they had sex, but she came from him merely pulling on her nipples. What the fuck. Is she a 14 year old boy?

    Also, my mother told me that many of her friends said that this book series helped to drastically improve their relationships with their husbands, and that my mom should read it, too. To that I reacted by puking in my mouth a little bit, but I quickly recovered and shared your review of the first book with her. Needless to say she felt no compulsion to read it after that. So for that I must thank you for helping me convince my mother (who has much of a love for literature as I do) not to read this series.

    So thank you for writing these reviews! They were not only hilarious and completely true, but they helped save my mom from reading what I can only call a series of pornographic fan fiction. And for that, I tip my hat to you.

    1. I've seen a number of comments to the effect of, "FSOG saved my marriage!" Yeah, and I'm typing this message through time on the soon-to-be-lost continent of Atlantis.

      I'd love to be a fly on the wall a year or two from now, when all these women who think a critically trashed book actually fixed what was wrong with their relationships. At the exact point in time when the novelty wears off and every single problem they had before comes roaring back with a vengeance.

    2. I forgot about the nipplegasm. So utterly and completely ridiculous.

      I'm both glad and humbled that I could help save your mom from such a terrible fate. And I have to agree with both you and verminjerky; the women who think these books saved their marriages are going to be sorely disappointed when the novelty wears off.

  60. Many thanks, Kat, I must say, I am "ACTUALLY" of the BDSM lifestyle, and am rather grateful that someone has taken such a strong stance against this horrific series of books. Most of the folks that I talk to about this book in My local community are purely livid, as far as this book is concerned. I understand how people are stupid enough to think that this is what the lifestyle is ACTUALLY like, but honestly, why one would take such a poorly written source to be so infallible, My girl has read this set of horrific drivel, she thinks it's trash that should never have been published, let alone read by anyone with half a brain.....aside to edit into something worth reading, or to critique(your wonderful job thereof being rather inspiring, I must say.). I Myself have never held interest in reading this series, and the same goes for the twilight series, an entertaining series, but not particularly well written, I must admit......and My PERSONAL grudge against the series, VAMPIRES DON'T FRACKING SPARKLE GODS DAMNIT!!!!!!!! In any case, I'm getting off topic...I highly appreciate any WELL written material that helps BDSM to become accepted by popular culture, and become something other than a creepy pass time practiced in secret by weirdos and freaks. This however, is shoddily written, poorly envisioned, and as you have stated in most of your reviews of the individual components of this series, it's dangerous, making "vanilla" folk think that they're experts on the topic, and giving them stupid ideas to try that they have NO clue about, let alone that the scent of money is the greatest aphrodisiac ever made, as well as that all Dominants, Sadists and such are rich assholes with the emotional growth of a gypsy moth, not to mention that all submissives, slaves, and so on are all just spineless idiots who're clumsy and have a "captain save-a-ho" complex, of sorts.....I don't like these things, and the ONLY reason I would stoop so low as to read that author's drivel is so that I can bash it to "know it all" vanilla's with a knowledgeable opinion.

    I'll also be pointing those folks to this set of reviews.

    Thanks, Shrapna of the Blackrose clan.

    1. I keep reading insinuations that anybody who doesn't like these books are just bigots who don't like BDSM, by fans who hint they're "in the know."

      What LIARS.

      I'm in the goth scene and I go to the local goth/fetish clubs. Every reaction I've so far heard from actual fetish people has been somewhere between apathy and outrage.

      The apathetic think these books are lame and tame, and that Grey is a rank amateur who doesn't even know what he's doing. Those who are outraged are either spitting nails that BDSM is portrayed as a curable psychosis (cured by the power of true love, no less - gag) or are screaming for the same reasons other women are; the relationship is insane and abusive.

      This crap isn't safe, sane, and consensual. It's seriously misguided, totally psychotic, and largely coerced.

    2. Thank you, Shrapna, it's fantastic to hear from you! I love feedback from those within the BDSM community. Why E.L. James chose to write about a topic on which she obviously knows next-to-nothing is beyond me. There are a lot of things I know jack shit about, which is why I would never write about them. The simple fact is that she took a lifestyle she's almost completely ignorant of and somehow demonized it while at the same time making it out to be some kind of Mickey Mouse play time that one can get into as easily as one begins scrapbooking. Just take a trip to your local "independent hardware store", buy some cable ties and rope, go home and tie up your mate, then spank them with a soup ladle. You are now a Dominant!


      I would really like to make a mock infomercial now; become a Dominant or submissive in 30 days or less following the simple steps in our at-home program.

  61. I thank your 'inner goddess' for writing this! What a piece of crap.

  62. haha, fifty shades of beat the author with a stick. I enjoyed reading your reviews. That shit was about as bad as the "twicrap" saga, the teenage book for women with riotously low self esteem who enjoy being stalked by pyshchopathic vampires and business men who fantisize about beating their crack whore mothers...
    every time she said " holy moses", I wanted to break something.

    1. Hahaha, nice, Amadus. You made me think of a much more violent version of Pooh Sticks.

      I wanted to break something pretty much any time Ana had a thought and/or voiced it.

  63. I posted this to FB:

    "So, am I the only woman in the world that doesn't get this whole '50 Shades of Grey' thing? I mean really? She can't write, I don't care about the characters, I am guessing she has NEVER been here (and I truly feel you shouldn't write about a place you've never been as it is a disservice to the people who live there), the sex is so frequent that it is boring, and it isn't that titillating!!!! I know people in this lifestyle, and it ISN'T about abuse!!!! UGH!!! Hate these books!!! I read the first 2 hoping it would get hasn't...I don't think I care enough to read the last."

    In response a friend posted a link to your first "50 Shades" review. I literally died laughing (sorry, couldn't resist).

    To clarify; I live just south of Seattle. So, there were local inaccuracies that had me raging on top of the terrible writing, sex scenes, and characters.

    We don't have "districts"! We don't live in the sticks! And we aren't surrounded by trees!!! It's "Pike Place Market", or "The Market", or "Pike Place"...NOT "Pike Place District"! Also, condos in area are (and I Googled it) around $1.5 million USD! Also, we don't drive "the I-5"! It's simply I-5, not "the" needed! Furthermore; you CANNOT get from Vancouver to Portland in 5 minutes!!! I don't care what Mapquest says!!! WHEW!

    One of the things that disturbed me most about the first book (paedophelia aside); how Christian "disposes" of his used condoms. He either tosses them on the floor, or he puts them in his pocket!!!! GROSS!!!!! ALSO, when Ana is putting a condom on Christian, he tells her to not leave any air in the tip!?! Has the author NEVER used a condom? You WANT air in the tip so the cum has some place to go instead of out the open end, and potentially into your partner!!! Way to go! Doling out bad "safe" sex advice!

    My BFF posted in response to my FB status, "there is difference between literature, and literary porn". Um, I think I might have to get her into GOOD erotica!

    On the up side; these books DID make me want to have sex with my husband! Only so I could remind myself what good sex really is!

    Thanks for the tearful laughter!

    1. Oh! And while I'm at it...since Ana apparently uses tampons (please refer to disgusting tampon sex scene), she most likely would not have had a hymen for Christian to "rip through"! I hate inaccuracy in writing; especially when all it takes is a quick Google search! Ok...better now. Stepping down from my soap box...

    2. Not trying to bring you down or defend the writing of the book, but many virgins wear tampons. The hymen is *generally* still intact however open in most cases but also very elastic. I wore tampons for about 4 years before losing my virginity.

      Also, making sure there isn't any air in the tip of a condom IS definitely the proper way to wear one as it leaves room for semen only. Says so right on the box.

    3. From Scarleteen: "Additionally, the corona is not an actual barrier that would be capable of physically blocking your entry. Instead, the corona is a very thin, very stretchy membrane. For the most part, it is also no longer fully intact by the time most women become sexually active. The corona wears away over time due to several factors, such as menstruation, hormonal changes, or physical activity. This also means that 'breaking the corona' isn't something that happens all in one go with first-time intercourse. It is a gradual process. And since the corona itself does not have any nerve endings, this process also should not be terribly painful."

      Another article, this one from the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education: "The various myths and the incorrect assumption that there is a covering membrane have given rise to expressions such as "breaking the hymen" and "deflowering." These usually refer to a woman having her vagina entered for the first time, either by herself or by having sex with a partner. What’s actually there is the vaginal corona, consisting of elastic folds of mucous tissue, which can’t be ruptured or broken in one fell swoop by a penis or any other object inserted into the vagina. When the mucous tissue is stretched, minor ruptures sometimes develop and may smart a little. These soon heal, usually within 24 hours."

    4. Thank you, Psyokiwi! It's awesome to hear from someone in the Seattle area, as I've never been and didn't know how many glaring inaccuracies James managed to pack into her book regarding the area. I'm not surprise it was at least as many as you pointed out.

      Your BFF needs help immediately. So much better literary porn out there.

    5. Thank you for those, verminjerky. I already knew that it was a myth that all virgins have "hymens" to break and it's extremely painful, and they bleed, etc., etc. But I didn't know quite all that, and I love learning, especially when it comes to all things sexual. This helps explain why my first time wasn't nearly as painful as some people claim it's supposed to be. I never bled, either. The perpetuation of such myths has caused harm to a lot of women over the years (men accusing women of not having been virgins since there was no blood on the sheets, for instance), and I feel it's up to those of us who care about open dialogue to set some people straight.

  64. geez sheezekebabs
    terminal velocity equals to 0
    gosh..i...have no words

    1. Sometimes it just makes your brain seize up, doesn't it?

  65. ok, so i love you! not in a creepy stalky christian grey way. but as someone who's (sadly) read these books, I was glad to find a kindred spirit who also saw this crap for what it really is: crap. keep up the awesome work!

  66. You are my hero. Seriously, more people should write horrible books just so you can review them and write these awesome reviews for our entertainment.

    1. Thanks, Gingersnaps:) Don't worry, there are plenty of awful books out there, and I'm making my way through them.

  67. thank you for brightening my day. i read all 4 reviews for the 50 shades of whatever, and enjoyed them thoroughly.
    the actual quotes from the book were the death of me, as I laughed hysterically at the office, earning wierd looks from my boss. the cherry on top, however, was the "My anxiety level has shot up several magnitudes on the Richter scale". boy... I cannot describe how I was when I read that. disbelief was etched on my face, as well as a lot of eye-twitching, and thoughts along the lines of WTF?! raced in my mind. that is, without a shadow of a doubt, the DUMBEST phrase I EVER read in a book. and I mean dumbest in the sense of retarded, stupidity galore, the-writer-has-no-clue-what-she-is-talking-about.
    anyhoo, thanks a lot for your reviews. I was thinking about reading the book(s?) to see what the hype was all about (and I'll still probably try to read one, only when - and IF - I finish my to-read list), but at least now I'll know what to expect :)

    1. Glad I could brighten your day, Ero.

      I had the exact same reaction when I read that line. I stopped reading for a minute and was just staring at it like, "What???" I went to my younger brother, read it to him, and watched his face perform the same song-and-dance. Then I said, "Anxiety...Richter" and he just advised me to not think about it.

  68. in the first book I'm pretty sure "medulla oblongata" is mentioned about 3 times.

    also, there's the time her inner goddess does a *triple axel* dismount off the uneven bars....which isn't actually something that exists. I'm not sure why there are so many ballet/gymnastics moves going on in this book except for the fact that simple thoughts seem like mental gymnastics for Ana.

  69. It really upsets me that EL James is making so much money from these books and sad that so many women enjoyed reading them. I, on the other hand, loved reading your reviews, thanks!

  70. I don't know if anyone else has already suggested this, but you could do a word count on "oh-so-happy trail." No book should have those words in it at all, much less more than once.

  71. I thank you. My soul thanks you. My brain thanks you. And if I ever lose all sense of reality and find myself even considering reading this hot mess, I will return to this bookmark and let you slap some sense back into me. Thank you.

  72. How about a count of " We aim to please " ?

  73. Thank. you. so. much. from. the. bottom. of. my. heart.

    These books are AWFUL. Awful. I was sent them by the Danish publisher (why, oh why?!) and I figured, you know, I'll read 'em, se what the fuss is about.

    I still haven't got the foggiest. I especially loathed the tampon scene. Just no. Never is a mand (or woman) to do that to anyone. Ever. So disgusting.

    AM in complete agreement with all of your points.

  74. How many times are the words "growl/growled" and "in a husky voice" used?

  75. i have a theory about why the books turned out this way... maybe the head editor or some sponsor really wanted to publish the book and assigned some junior editor to handle the job... but he probably couldn't even get through the first page and just thought, "nah... this is good enough.. probably won't have much popularity anyway..." and submitted it... haha
    but it turned out the publicist was good and the books became a huge hit and the editor was like, "oh crap."

  76. Interviewer: Why is this such a fantasy to have somebody take care of them...and control them?

    James: We have everything and it's just hard work, doing everything, getting...make sure that dinner's on the table, the laundry's done, and your boss is happy. Sometimes it's just nice to just switch off and let somebody else take care of stuff for a while.

    WTAF. A good, hard spanking followed by some rape is the perfect end to a long day of being confined to the domestic sphere and pleasing your superiors. Obviously!

    Stephenie Meyer, you ruined everything.

    1. Actually, rape is pretty close to the only vile thing not portrayed in this series. Coercion, on the other hand...

  77. Hilarious, brilliant reviews; literally fell off the chair; all three of them on GR and here on your blog.

    I started reading the first book and got so bored.
    The writing is so bad, and the ideas so regressive.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts - you should write a funny novel someday :)

    Btw, have you seen this news item:

    Excerpt from the article -
    "I do not think I can put into words how vile I think this book is and how dangerous I think the idea is that you get a sophisticated but naive young women and a much richer, abusive older man who beats her up and does some dreadful things to her sexually," Phillipson told the BBC recently.

    My thoughts exactly

    1. As much as I sympathize with them, I think burning the stupid things is going too far. I strongly associate that kind of behavior with militant Philistines. When I think of book burning, I think of Nazis and religious fundamentalists burning Harry Potter books for witchcraft.

      No, I think the smarter course by far is to laugh at this series and its fans, untiringly point out their multitudinous flaws, and encourage anyone who's curious to go ahead and read them, but with a very critical eye.

      People burn books they fear, and in doing so, they imbue them with power and mystique. Belittle these works for the trash they are.

  78. Amazing. I enjoyed every one of your reviews. You have literally said everything I have wanted to say/tweeted on Twitter. One question though: how many times was the phrase "touched my sex" uttered?

  79. Thank you for your awesome reviews! Before I bought the books, I asked my friends and they said it's pretty good. It turns out to be a big disappointment. I just hoped that I read your reviews before I spent my money on the best selling crab ever. English is my second language and I don't have good grammar overall but I still find the book rubbish. Especially I remember repetition is a big no no when it comes to good writing. I thought I was the only one that thinks the book is bad but so glad I went and read reviews online. At least I proved to myself I am not alone.

    I can't really give any more opinion on the writings since I am not a very good writer but I can say the story is very poorly developed. I don't know if any of you notice but I couldn't find any climax in the book (or maybe the climax is when Ana comes?). Every time there are some excitement in the story (eg. the ex-sub or the ex boss), they just end rather quickly.
    The romance between Ana and Christian is very immature to a degree that it is like high school fling. Ana loves Christian because he is hot and well groomed. She never liked Christian's demanding, controlling, abusive personality. How did she fall in love wit him at all? Worst is HOW THE HECK DID CHRISTIAN FALL IN LOVE WITH ANA??!?! I understand Ana caught Christian's attention with her appearance as brunette and her attitude like a sub when she interview Christian. But again that doesn't mean love. I don't see what in Ana that Christian sees so special. Maybe some of you could tell me since I am very lost in the book. Also the sex scenes are ridiculously over board. Too much and it makes it boring to read. (BTW, I don't think any girl could come the first time they have sex since it is very painful. I guess this is one of the fantasy the author has)
    A lot of the story is so unrealistic. A billionaire that has so much time to go around and chase this ordinary college girl. I thought he needs to work to maintain his richest bachelor status in Seattle. Honestly, my boss is a billionaire and he has meetings from breakfast to dinner and constantly on phone in between. What did Christian do in the book after he met Ana that keeps him being rich and not broke when he just goes to her almost everyday.

    I wish I could return the book but I bought them on app store so I have to finish them to get my pennies back worth even thou it does not worth that much at all...

  80. I heard a lot of bad press about it before I read the first book, so I sat down with a notebook to critique the first one. Your critiques and mine are almost identical! The odd thing is, for reasons I STILL can't understand, it's addicting...I almost think the more I read, the better it will get, I mean it has to, right? But just stays stupid...I haven't finished the series, but for shits and giggles I'm tempted to. XD Thank you, this made me cackle! You hit every nail on the the fiftieth time she said something like "Holy fuck!" or "Holy shit!" I was about to reach through the pages and strangle her...I also had that question of, "She's an English major and she sucks THAT bad?"...XD Anyway, loved the critique, it totally made my day! :D

    1. Halfway through reading the first book, I put myself on the waiting list for the other two books (with approximately 20 something other people ahead of me, it took over a month). A friend of mine who hadn't read the series yet asked me why I didn't just buy the books. In order to help her better understand, I likened the books to a train crash. No matter how horrible it is, you just can't seem to look away. I just wanted to know what happens next.

  81. I'd love to see a count for "bottom" or "behind."

    Love your reviews.

  82. Just thought I would toss this out there for a few of you. My daughter is heavily into fan fiction- though thinks the whole 50SoG is utter trash as do many others. Since the trilogy started out as fan fiction- someone in the fan fiction circles started writing fan fiction about 50 Shades.

    Apparently this did not sit well with the author and she is now pissed off. My only guess is because the fan fiction of her craptastic trilogy is probably far better than her insufferable crap she spewed into 3 books.

    BTW- Bloggers word verif SUCKS!

  83. I also forgot to say- Your reviews on Good Read were funny as hell and had me laughing the whole time. Of course I had to read all three- how do you think I found my way here?

    Love it!

  84. Here are some of my issues with the book:

    1. Ana is a soon-to-be college graduate studying English Lit and does not own a computer of any kind. Whaaaaat???? I'm sure she could get a really inexpensive computer using a student discount or that the college might even loan them to students. She seriously is a 21 year old that doesn't email or use Facebook? Yet she has an iPod so where does she get her music from???

    2. Their cutesy email exchanges piss me off. "Utterly Smitten CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings" "nuff said.

    3. They have been together for all of 2 seconds and she's already contemplating whether or not anal fisting is her thing?? It's hard to get an accurate timeline but it seems that it's only a couple of months since their meeting and them getting married and having babies.

    4. Speaking of babies. My first thought if I found out I was pregnant with the spawn of a megalomanic (how many times is that used?) would be "shit, I better not let Christian handle the discipline because he might cum his shorts when spanking the kids" Get daddy the flogger because you forget to eat your broccoli!!!

    5. Speaking of shorts, is it necessary to constantly point out that he's wearing black pants and a white shirt or his sexy "playroom jeans"? Mens fashion isn't that interesting.

    6. If he's so insistent that his subs eat regularly, why did he pick such a waif to begin with? Yes, I know that metabolisms are different and I know some people who can eat like a lumberjack and still be annoyingly thin but c'mon!!! I see Christian as the type of guy that would want his women to have some curves (more cushion for the pushin......or caning)

    7. Many times throughout the trilogy I had to consult a dictionary to figure out what the hell they were saying. I have a pretty good vocabulary but when I'm having casual conversations, I don't say shit loquacious or somnambulant. We go from her talking about her "down there" to using ten dollar words.

    8. While we're talking about her "down there" area. If you can't even utter the word "vagina" maybe vibrators and anal beads shouldn't be high on your priority list.

    9. Is Christian an alcoholic? I don't recall him drinking anything other than wine (or the occasional beer or bourbon). He doesn't like Ana getting drunk yet they drink wine with every damn meal!!

    I better stop before my brain explodes.

    1. I just thought of #10:

      Ana is a 21 year old fresh out of college. When she starts dating the billionaire, Christian Grey, she starts eating like she's been used to gourmet food her entire life. Why can't she simply tell him that she would be happy to eat but she wants to order a pizza or get some Chinese takeout??! Everything doesn't have to be a fancy, elaborate dinner complete with a complimentary wine.

  85. I think I got exactly as much enjoyment out of this review as I got blind rage with the Fifty Shades books - which is basically the biggest compliment I can give.

    You are absolutely spot on with all of this, and I can only apologise on behalf of British people everywhere that we are responsible for this.

    Also, where do you get those gifs? They're just brilliant.

  86. wow! I am eternally grateful to you and your intelligence! You have restored my faith in the human neuron! Thank all that is good and holy in this world for the day you were born and your wonderful sense of reason! I look forward to anything you write from now on! you're the gem everyone should stumble upon and hold dear! power to you!

  87. "Magical panty hamster" is a fantastic description. Also, thank you for saving me the trouble of ever trying to slog through one of these books. I wonder how long it would have taken monkeys banging on a keyboard to produce this series?

  88. Every now and again my husband and I will read the same book. On occasion, when he is too lazy to do the reading himself I will read outloud for him. Being an avid fan of erotica but being uninspired to buy FSoG when I read the blurb I stumbled across your reviews (I do like Google search I'm Feeling Lucky). After starting to read review 1 I dragged hubby away from Fox Sports News and we read them together. Then on to reviews 2 and 3. It is always a good night when you can share laughs with someone you are in a loving, healthy relationship with.

    Thanks so much for the last hour of fun and for allowing my conscious to stop nagging about reading the trilogy that is so 'in the news' right now.

  89. Thank you so much for your reviews. I haven't laughed that hard since... well... since I read 50 Shades as a matter of fact. Although, I'm sure I spent more time looking at the ceiling whilst rolling my eyes than I did on the books. Painful doesn't even begin to describe it. I'm thinking (just a thought here) maybe it might have been a little less waste of paper had James not blatantly boosted her word count by repeating herself (the contract) and Ana having telephone conversations with her step-father that were so 'thankfully brief' that they amounted to nothing, not to mention the constant 'oh my''s etc. But what I noted more than anything was the fact that the word count was NOT contributed to much (read: once) by the word 'vagina' and not at all by the word 'penis' or any derivative of it. I often commented to anyone around while I was reading the stupid books that if he hadn't had an 'impressive length' she wouldn't know what it was. Eww! What's that little thing? ha ha So why did I read it? Lessons on what NOT to do when I write, no-brainer such as it is. *sigh*

  90. I did read these books and was shocked that Ana was not dead by the end of the book, primarily because of her severe eating disorder, which is screaming for attention throughout the trilogy. She should be size sub-sub-sub-0 (no pun intended, or is it?) and in a hospital bed hooked up to feeding tubes. The eating disorder issue is huge, because the game they play with food (his insisting she eat; her not eating; his fucking her instead; sometimes stopping her from eating to fuck her) is ultimately deadly. This is not addressed in the book and does not reach it's natural conclusion (death). It romanticizes and glamorizes anorexia in the most horrible way. Auuuuuuuuuuuuuugh!!!!!!!!!!!!

  91. "'You wanted to know why I felt confused after you - which euphemism should we apply - spanked, punished, beat, assaulted me.'

    ^^Not euphemisms^^"

    In fact, dysphemisms in at least two cases.

    Congrats on all the attention these reviews have gotten - you deserved it. I couldn't make it through more than four pages, but you managed to wade through and hold its feet to the fire, so to speak. Or do I mean literally? Oh my.

  92. Why does Anastasia refuse to urinate in front of Fiddy....I think it is the only thing she will not be coerced into...and he seems to back off very quickly with out doing his Fiddy Thang....Is E.L.James a total prude or what ?

    Katrina your reviews are hysterically funny :D

    But I only have one problem now.....I feel like a complete DOUCHE because I enjoyed the trilogy.....and it never incited murderous rage, despite the atrocious writing, the misogynistic themes, the fumbling bumbling anorexic heroine, the rather mundane sex, etc....

    WTF is wrong with me?????? ;)

  93. Don't stop what you are doing Katrina. I have been in a rage since wasting $40 Singapore Dollars on this trilogy. It is even wrapped up in Singapore because it is so TIT a lating. It is, by far, the worst money I have spent on myself, and believe me, I have bought some Crap. The only good thing about the trilogy is YOU. You have made wading through this "book" a laugh a second. I had to re-read all three on the MRT today to restore my faith in humanity, that I am not the only female in the world that thought this was the worst book in the history of the written word. Bless you, and keep the insane humour coming, coming, get it, ha ha. I could write FSoG crap as well! (Says Layna, with a dark, smouldering gaze).

  94. Thank you so much for the good laugh! Your criticism nailed it!

    Your blog inspired me. I've re-written the first book in American English and created a drinking game. The game should make the books more tolerable and possibly less redundant.

    1. Drink every time Ana says, "Oh my!".
    2. Drink every time Ana says something positively British.
    3. Drink every time Ana mentions her "inner goddess" or "down there".
    4. Drink twice every time Ana and Grey simultaneously orgasm.
    5. Chug before skimming the full legal contract.
    6. Eat! every time Christian Grey reminds you of Christian Bale in American Psycho.
    7. Sip everytime you want to slap the editor for grammatical mistakes, wordiness, gratuitous adverb usage or obvious Britishisms. (Careful with this one).
    8. Drink every time the playhouse is mentioned and you picture Peewee's.
    9. Drink every time someone's breath "hitches".
    10. Drink every time Grey says, "Laters, baby".

    The word counter indicates that this game will get you shitfaced.