Awful Quotes From Fifty Shades of Grey

Plus other reasons why you should avoid this horrible, poorly written book.

Oddly enough, the first time I heard about Fifty Shades of Grey was in a tweet from Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan on March 3. Thinking it was some new young adult book, I investigated. The book, dabbling heavily in BDSM (bondage & discipline and sadism & masochism), by E. L. James was anything but. Deemed “mommy porn” by some and “anti-feminist” by others, it was obvious I wasn’t the target audience. But then I began to hear friends and co-workers—who aren’t usually Harlequinites—talking about it. The New York Times wrote about it. So when Entertainment Weekly featured it on its April 6th cover, I had to know: why was this book getting so much attention? Many other novels had focused on similar proclivities, what was so special about this book that it would cross over into mainstream success and even become a New York Times bestseller? After reading it, I still am perplexed. Fifty Shades of Grey is truly one of the worst books I have ever read.

The story—originally written by James as Twilight fan fiction—follows the burgeoning relationship between a college graduate, Ana (Anastasia) Steele, and a late 20s business mogul, Christian Grey. Ana, a virgin, quickly learns that to be in a relationship with the controlling Christian, she must accept his sexual predilections: namely that she be the submissive to his dominant. She signs a non-disclosure agreement, but struggles: She thinks she loves him and wants more. What follows are scenes where fingers, objects and things are inserted into other things, lots and lots and lots of orgasms, and a supposed college graduate who says things like “Holy Cow! I’m on Google!”

But here are the reasons everyone should avoid this book (in no particular order):

  • Grey’s antagonist Anastasia Steele surpasses Twilight’s Bella Swan (aka Pretty Bird) as the more horribly named character.
  • James’ excruciating overuse of the following words/phrases: “hitched his/her breath,” “inner goddess,” “my subconscious,” “medulla oblongata,” “biting my lip,” “cocks his/her head,” and “just-fucked hair.”
  • Like Twilight’s Bella Swan, Ana is a boring, spineless pacifist. Except for being the object of a man’s desire, both are uninteresting.
  • Truthfully, if I didn’t know that the book was a romance, I would have thought that Ana would eventually wake up plastic-wrapped to a table, Dexter-style. Like Dexter, Christian is cold, controlling, overly fond of modern décor and linen shirts, and constantly talks about his need to satiate his desires.
  • James obviously needs to learn a bit more about fashion: constant jeans-wear (“I’m so glad I decided to wear my best jeans,” “I’m wearing my most flattering jeans.” “He changed his jeans. These are older, ripped, soft, and over-washed.”), Christian’s invariable outfit of white linen shirts and pants that always “hang from his hips,” and Ana doing her hair, “I slip a comb in to keep one side off my face.”
  • In the course of a few days, Ana goes from a virgin to a sexually liberated woman, yet can only refer to it as down “there.”
  • The most wonderfully bad, unintentionally hilarious line of the whole book: “I can tell from his accent that he’s British.
  • Supposedly, Ana is a college graduate but constantly seems flummoxed by technology: “I have an email address?” she asks herself when Christian gives her a new laptop, “What would you suggest I put into a search engine?” and “No, I’ll buy it when I get home—over the Internet.”
  • Nothing says romance like a guy asking, “Are you bleeding? Do you have cramps?” Hot.
  • This is an actual line in the book (taken from the trying-to-sound-authentic contract): “The remaining subclauses of this clause 15 are to be read subject to this proviso and to the fundamental matters agreed in clauses 2-5 above.” Oh, and “I can see Russia from my house.”
  • When your main character consistently says “jeez” and “double crap,” I find it hard to believe she would say “profligate” in a sentence.

I’m still unclear as to why this book has become so popular. Again, I recognize that I am not the target audience. And perhaps, as my friends keeps telling me, I won’t truly understand the appeal until I have read all three books. But if a first book is poorly written, why should I spend the time and money on the others? Based on others’ feedback that have read or tried to read the book, I am not alone in my criticism. As one friend pointed out, this isn’t new subject matter. Instead of settling for something poorly written, why not pick up a Henry Miller?

  • disqus_Ahli4yIb9z

    50 shades is the worst piece of sh**** compiled into a book

  • Margot Ailey

    I just wish the #innergoddess would shut the f* up. SO I made it happen: #FiftyShadesBetter blogspot

    1 of 58: My very small #innergoddess sways in a gentle
    victorious samba.

    2 of 58: My #innergoddess glares at me, tapping her small
    foot impatiently.

    3 of 58: He groans again. Ha! My #innergoddess is thrilled.
    I can do this.

    4 of 58: My #innergoddess is doing the merengue with some
    salsa moves.

    5 of 58: My #innergoddess has stopped dancing and is staring
    too, mouth open and drooling slightly.

    6 of 58: I sashay into the house, part of me wanting to jump
    and punch the air. YES! My #innergoddess is thrilled.

    7 of 58: My #innergoddess sits in the lotus position looking
    serene.

    8 of 58: My #innergoddess nods in silent zen-like agreement
    with her.

    9 of 58: My #innergoddess is jumping up and down, clapping
    her hands like a five-year-old.

    10 of 58: My #innergoddess stops jumping and smiles
    serenely. Oh yes… she mouths, nodding at me smugly.

    11 of 58: My #innergoddess shakes her head at me. She and I
    know it’s a lie.

    12 of 58: My #innergoddess glows so bright she could light
    up Portland.

    13 of 58: My #innergoddess makes a very vulgar and
    unattractive gesture at him with her fingers.

    14 of 58: My #innergoddess frowns at me. You can do this,
    she coaxes.

    15 of 58: My #innergoddess jumps up and down with
    cheerleading pom-poms shouting yes at me.

    16 of 58: Christian does not glance at me. My #innergoddess
    is not pleased.

    17 of 58: My #innergoddess is doing back flips in a routine
    worthy of a Russian Olympic gymnast.

    18 of 58: My #innergoddess smacks her lips together glowing
    with pride.

    19 of 58: My #innergoddess bounces up and down like a small
    child waiting for ice cream.

    20 of 58: I squirm. My #innergoddess is panting.

    21 of 58: Oh the possibilities… my #innergoddess roars.

    22 of 58: My #innergoddess is going to explode.

    23 of 58: My #innergoddess looks like someone snatched her
    ice cream.

    24 of 58: My #innergoddess has woken and is paying
    attention.

    25 of 58: Do it! My #innergoddess pleads with me.

    26 of 58: My #innergoddess is prostrate… well at least she’s
    quiet.

    27 of 58: Bewitched… my #innergoddess is staring
    open-mouthed. Even she doesn’t believe this.

    28 of 58: My #innergoddess is lying on, eating grapes and
    tapping her fingers, waiting not so patiently for Sunday.

    29 of 58: My #innergoddess is beside herself, hopping from
    foot to foot.

    30 of 58: Go girl! My #innergoddess has her pom poms in hand
    - she’s in cheerleading mode.

    31 of 58: My #innergoddess is spinning like a world-class
    ballerina, pirouette after pirouette.

    32 of 58: My #innergoddess has a ‘do not disturb’ sign on
    the outside of her room.

    33 of 58: My #innergoddess grins at me. Hell… two can play
    that particular game.

    34 of 58: My #innergoddess sighs with relief.

    35 of 58: Fortunately, he seems oblivious to her, but my
    #innergoddess is smoldering and not in a good way.

    36 of 58: My #innergoddess nods in agreement, a satisfied
    grin over her face.

    37 of 58: My #innergoddess pops her head above the parapet.

    38 of 58: My #innergoddess pouts at me, failing miserably to
    hide her disappointment.

    39 of 58: My #innergoddess is doing the dance of the seven
    veils.

    40 of 58: My #innergoddess glares at me in desperation.

    41 of 58: No my #innergoddess scowls at me, not too
    beautiful for me.

    42 of 58: My #innergoddess is still basking in a remnant of
    post-coital glow.

    43 of 58: My #innergoddess leaps up cheering from her chaise
    longue.

    44 of 58: My #innergoddess gazes at him in quiet, surprised
    speculation.

    45 of 58: Truth or dare time – my subconscious and
    #innergoddess glance nervously at one another.

    46 of 58: My #innergoddess pole-vaults over the fifteen-foot
    bar.

    47 of 58: My #innergoddess is standing on the podium
    awaiting her gold medal.

    48 of 58: My #innergoddess has back flipped off the podium
    and is doing cartwheels around the stadium.

    49 of 58: My #innergoddess – she’s under a blanket behind
    the sofa.

    50 of 58: Jeez, my #innergoddess swoons.

    51 of 58: My #innergoddess is hopeful for one type of mood,
    my subconscious, like me, is fraught with nerves.

    52 of 58: a look of sensual carnality that calls directly to
    my #innergoddess

    53 of 58: I try to connect with my inner sub. She’s there
    somewhere, hiding behind my #innergoddess

    54 of 58: My #innergoddess is swaying and writhing to some
    primal carnal rhythm.

    55 of 58: My #innergoddess closes her eyes, reveling in the
    feel of his lips on me.

    56 of 58: My #innergoddess is endeavoring to look brave.

    57 of 58: My subconscious is shaking her head sadly, and my
    #innergoddess is nowhere to be seen.

    58 of 58: Deep down, a nasty, unbidden thought comes from my
    #innergoddess, her lip curled in a snarl. End of book one.