Fifty Shades of Cray

In Angreads: Reading Mixed With Anger, Books on November 15, 2012 at 10:16 am

Recent Headlines: ‘Woman Divorces Husband For Not Being Sexy Enough, After Reading 50 Shades Of Gray’ ‘Fifty Shades Of Gray Now Grounds for Divorce’ 

most un-sexual category ever!

Okay. I’ve made it this far without commenting on ‘Fifty Shades Of Gray’. I hate to give it another second of attention, because I haven’t been as turned OFF to a book since Oprah’s Book Club hi-jacked decent books, years after their release- and slapped her reverend- like praise all over their covers.  (The only thing worse are movie-adaption covers which should be avoided at all costs. Even on e-books.) 

But now that the book is being cited in actual divorce proceedings…..I’ll reluctantly throw my two cents in.

Before ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ hit the shelves, the book that affected me with such visceral loathing was ‘The Secret’, released in 2006, and touted on Oprah.

‘The Secret’ basically rewarded materialistic people with their own bible of affirmations, not only patting them on the back for being so shallow, but encouraging them to create home-made ‘storyboards’ covered with all of the ‘stuff’ they desired, kind of like a cutesy shopping list for the Universe-(the part of the Uni where wishes go! Wink-wink!) A cardboard Pinterest board, if you will.. Suddenly adult women were sitting cross-legged on the floor, snipping out pictures of cars and shoes from Cosmo and In-Touch, and pasting them onto construction paper in all seriousness. It was embarrassing to watch.

Oprah must have wished for photoshop!

Which brings me to ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’. I can’t tell you how relieved I am that Oprah no longer has her afternoon talk show because I can only imagine the ‘Fifty Shows’ this book would have spawned (and is there any doubt whatsoever that ‘Fifty Shades’ would have been in Oprah’s Book Club?) There would have been the Sex Therapist show, The Sex-Toy show, The Cougar/Pool Boy show, The Frigid Wife-and-or-Husband Workshop, S & M Demonstrations, Real Life Single Billionaire shows, Dr. Oz’s Best Vitamins For Sex show, the cast of ‘Girls’ as Sex Correspondents- on and on ad- nauseam. Then the clips from these shows would spread like the flu, infecting us all.

most awkward Oprah Book-Club ever- and I watched the James Frey one!

But that isn’t even the worst part (perhaps only because none of it happened) In fact, the absolute worst thing about ‘Fifty-Shades Of Grey’ has nothing to do with sex whatsoever. It’s really about THE BAD WRITING, the ridiculous, one dimensional characters and the incredulous plotlines! The fact that so many people who DON’T NORMALLY READ- read this book, and rather than laugh at the lame idea of a handsome, 27 year old BILLIONAIRE as the main character (what are we, twelve?) and the ‘quiet, bookworm’ of a sex-student (do most women see themselves this way despite the fact that so few are even reading? And  isn’t the idea that this guy is a billionaire really what’s making their panties damp?)

I’ve witnessed countless ‘intelligent’ people reading these books, never once even mentioning the bad writing! In fact, many ripped through all three in the series with laser speed. And this rewards an author who turned a Twilight-like YA Vampire book into a  last minute sex romp in a rewrite, spawning a bestseller that has sold a staggering amount of copies.

Which brings us to another problem and it’s that I’m really freakin’ jealous. What aspiring writer wouldn’t be?  It’s the kind of jealousy that mixes with a dull ache, like when you read that the Kardashian’s made 50 million dollars last week,  or when someone in the newspaper wins the Powerball and it isn’t you. It all seems so……depressing? (And yet no-one stopped me from writing a mediocre bodice ripper, except maybe embarrassment, which unbeknownst to me, might have turned into an embarrassment of riches!) 

so much for my theory about where the most intelligent people I know live…

 The ‘wild’ sex scenes seemed typical of  experimentation done by everyone in their early twenties (without all the bells and whistles, billionaire accouterments, and weirdo dynamics)  with a sadly naive young woman, who I’m pretty sure could be sold the Brooklyn Bridge in less than a minute. After all, she was sold the idea that an abusive boyfriend is a good thing- as long as he’s a white billionaire and good looking (and evidently, hundreds of thousands of our fellow female citizens are buying into this bull shiz- touting it even! Can you say ‘dumbing down?’)

 The truth is- I guess I’d rather people be reading anything, than nothing at all. However,  if you’re citing this book as an actual reason that your relationships aren’t working out-just stop. You might as well blame Harry Potter….and my God, at least the writing is better!


  1. What a waste of $15.00 – at least I bought it at an indie bookstore. I kept hearing from people about how great it was. I got three chapters in, tried to skip to the sexy parts and just got bored. 9 1/2 Weeks did this so much better and the formula is tired. No diss to any of my friends who felt this added a little “umph” to their personal life…


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