Without exception, Fifty Shades of Grey is the most poorly written book I have ever read. As someone who reviews books for a living, I can't even imagine what I would have written if I had to review this piece of crapola. Just a series of zzzs and a sad face emoticon would do.
The main character was a wet rag. The romantic hero was a cheesy weirdo. It didn't make a lick of sense and seemed, at times, to be taking place in the early 80s. If Ana wrote "Oh my!" in italics one more time as Christian ravaged her yet again I was going to throw up in my mouth. Now that's kinky.
And yet, there were explosive sex scenes throughout the book where Ana had mind blowing orgasms that often left Christian with his teeth clenched saying "Sentences. With. Each. Letter. Capitalized. And. With. A. Period. After. Each. Word!"
From a literary standpoint, this book was a belly flop. I tried to read it twice but I found myself getting frustrated with its sheer awfulness. It didn't particularly turn me on so much as make me laugh, embarrassed that not only did someone publish this piece of shiza but that it's an international sensation. But then again, my secret crush is Alan Rickman and I find guys in wool socks ridiculously sexy so we can all agree my tastes are rather...singular. Ha! Ba dum bump!
But the truth is that scores of women bought and loved this book. And I think I know the reason why.
I've spent some time coming up with an answer since my husband keeps begging to know why everyone seemed to adore a book that I keep snickering at as I insist on dramatically reading him passages aloud when he's trying to sleep.
I think women love the book because all of us moms are way too busy, work too hard, and do too much.
Sometimes I dream of escaping and having an affair one afternoon a week. I picture a gorgeous white hotel room that I don't have to clean. There is a freshly made bed and quiet. No one is pressing me to make a meal or pestering me to design a reading poster. I'm not spackling Hello Kitty stickers off a wall or trying to referee the latest family fight while trying to meet my work deadlines. It's just me, the quiet hotel room and perhaps a book, a nap and room service bringing me a bowl of some kind of delicious cream soup and a giant slice of peanut butter pie that I don't have to share with anyone. There's no other person involved in my love affair. That would defeat the whole point.
To an extent, that's what I think Fifty Shades did for the army of women who couldn't put it down. It introduced the fantasy of man who does everything for Wet Rag Ana. She, as Christian Grey's submissive, has no responsibility whatsoever. He makes all her decisions, from ordering for her in restaurants to picking out her clothes. He chooses her car, and being a stalker he always knows exactly where she's gong to be without her having to tell him, let alone give him directions. Also, being a stalker, he notices everything about her, which is the complete antithesis of the husband who's so clueless he wouldn't notice is you ran around nekkid with your knickers on your head. She's totally witnessed by him! Rather than criticizing her about her weight he forces, FORCES her to eat so that she will be strong enough to withstand their latest round of mind-blowing sex. (That was really the only part that turned me on. When he was instructing her to eat.) And he's amazing in bed and does all the work while she just lays there, since, being tied up she can't really do much anyway. And he's ridiculously wealthy so he pays for everything! That means no arguing about the household expenses.
I think that this fantasy, of the responsibility-free life, where everything is blissfully out of your control (more than Christian's Red Room of Spank), appeals to women everywhere who are constantly over-stressed and overworked. Although...come to think of it, if you're being spanked, you're usually laying down which seems restful. And if you're all tied up than you're not doing mindless dishes or picking up your kid's legos for the umpteenth time. Ah to escape into the sweet fantasy where the only thing on your To-Do List is a hot millionaire. And Ana isn't just Christian's sub, you know. He gifts her with a car, buys her awesome clothes and even flies her to Paris on his private jet in exchange for all the sex and spanking she allows him.
Wait...this makes Ana sound a bit like a prostitute. Oh well, that's a blog for a different day.