50 Shades of Grey: II
I am up to Chapter 7 and I almost can’t read on – it’s too awful, gauche and badly-written. The fact that this book has nearly sold a million in its trilogy format confirms what I thought. That most people have awful taste and I am glad I don’t. Or that many people will suspend disbelief: one of the two.
There are numerous examples I could pick out, both of jarring phrases and of lines that in male hands would be deemed sexist/misogynist.
There is only really one chink of daylight here. There remains the possibility that this desperately awful narratorial voice is the purposefully designed creation of E L James. Kate and Ana are both caricatures. Ana is desperately immature: and what better way to show this than have her unable to write a sentence without some transgression against balanced, objective prose. It’s undeniable that this is written, mostly, in a first person narratorial. It’s also published by Arrow (Random House) and would have been through several editors.
It must, surely, be deliberate: the gaming of a system full of readers who are, for the most part
–Sexually naive/frustrated and relatively gauche themselves in written form
–Willing to accept that Ana is dangerously deluded and immature and that Grey, despite his good-looks and money, is a manipulative man who goes for young, impressionable women and that this is fundamentally OK
–Attractive to the banal idiom pervading the book, recognising it and perhaps cherishing that it has been given air.