When all of the hype first started a couple of months ago, I wrinkled my nose firmly in the knowledge that Fifty Shades of
Shite Grey really wasn’t my cup of tea. Just the fact that it was surrounded by so much hype pretty much meant that I knew I would hate it. So I resisted. But the more the term ‘mummy porn’ was banded around, the more my interest was piqued. Not because I am a sex starved housewife. Pur-lease! Am I the only one to be shocked that such stereotypes still exist?! No, I was just offended that the term had been coined for this dismal attempt at erotica. I mean does putting ‘mummy’ in front of the word ‘porn’ suddenly make it okay to be on the shelves in the supermarket for starters? Or indeed make it perfectly acceptable to shout about it to anyone who will listen to you in the playground? Or does the fact that I’m a mummy mean that I have get my thrills a the hand of a badly (and I mean really badly) written book?
So anyway, I caved. But only because I wanted to carry on slating it and having read it, I would now be qualified to say with confidence how bad it was. I got about half way through. And that was more than enough for me. In fact, I struggled to read that much and I wish I had stuck with my first instinct to avoid it like the plague. It is so badly written that it is actually hard to read. I mean, has it ever even been in the hands of an editor? If I hadn’t been told that it was written by a middle aged woman then I would have thought that it had been written by a teenage boy. Seriously. The same goes for the plot. I mean come on, virginal girl who trips over her own feet is corrupted by an older powerful business man who partakes in a spot of BDSM when he’s not busy being beautiful while saving the world? It’s so cliched that it is actually laughable! In fact, that’s how I read on for so far to be fair. I started to read it in my mind complete with comedy voices and wobbly sets akin to a terrible 80’s soap. But the comedy value soon wore off and I ditched it safe in the knowledge that I really didn’t have to finish the thing to know that I hated it. Don’t even get me started on the repetitiveness of it all and quite frankly even the sex was boring. So not worth the hype.
The whole hysteria surrounding this damn book is just intriguing though. Whilst it might be far from being a literary triumph, there’s no denying that it is a viral marketing success. In fact, like we’ve never seen before. It’s no secret that I have aspirations of being a writer and maybe that’s why the whole thing fascinates me quite so much. I mean, say what you like about the book itself but there is hardly a person alive who hasn’t heard of it, or in fact going by the latest figures, read it. Imagine that? A trilogy of books. Phenomenal overnight success. What author doesn’t dream of that?
But I just can’t help but find the whole thing so terribly depressing. I wish I could just say, hey, it wasn’t for me but clearly millions of other women are loving this crap. But I can’t. I could make a sweeping generalisation that there must be an awful lot of women out there who never normally pick up a book (and don’t have much of a sex life, or indeed much of an imagination come to that) to be enjoying this tripe. But that can’t be right, surely? That’s just far too tragic to even contemplate. I find myself reading opinion piece after opinion piece and putting aside the fact that I am being a terrible book snob, I still can’t make sense of the mass hysteria. I guess the fact that it’s making people who wouldn’t normally read pick up a book can only be a good thing. I can’t help but think though that they are somehow being cheated by thinking that this is a good read because it’s really not by any stretch of the imagination. Oh, and if erotica is your thing? Then there is plenty of good stuff out there so I am reliably informed *cough*