My friend Shannon Yarbrough has been recapping each chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey on his blog, accompanied by hilarious visuals. Confession: I sent him my copy after finishing with it, wondering what he would get out of it, as a gay man! Turns out, quite a lot of satirical fun, though Shannon has ended his 50 Shades recap in as world-weary a mood as I was when I finished the bestselling … pile of crap. For Shannon, the book points up the idiocy of the heroine, Ana, and the entirely unbelievable straight male dominant “heartthrob,” Mr. Grey. For me… yes, I was briefly sucked into the book but ended up feeling as emotionally bruised as Ana (but by E.L. James’ writing, not by Mr. Grey, I might add!).
What women are reading these books for is not sex, but the love story, that’s clear… And what the love story consists of is the time-old tale of a woman trying to convert a man into making him worship her while he makes plain by some of his actions, if not his words, that he is using her and objectifying her and will drop her quickly if she becomes boring. So her challenge is not to be boring, to be all perky and combative. But sadly, Ana is boring. The book is boring. The sex pretty quickly becomes boring. The only juice in the entire thing is the suspense of the power struggle between these two one-dimensional people. In the cruelty of the emotional power struggle—in Ana’s emotions as she tries to make Grey “love” her—E.L. James does occasionally hit the bedrock of truth.
Anyway, here’s Shannon’s post: