I just read three and one half chapters of Fifty Shades of Grey. There’s a lot that’s been said about how poorly written it is and how the male lead, I feel ok using hollywood terminology as it was that bad, and how the male lead was a bit rapey. He’s also a capitalist prick, but lets not drift into a workers of the world unite rant (but seriously let’s unite).
No, more than talking shit on the terrible writing or the shitty human like characters I want to point out how the writing is bad in an oddly trippy way. Certain words and motifs are used so relentlessly that it’s actually kind of interesting, not an the normal intellectual way in which writing is interesting. No, it’s interesting in the way that if you actually read some of these books it affects you.
After twenty pages or so you get this feeling of the words falling into each other and disappearing inside themselves and then reemerging. The exact same phrase is used, the same observation made, the same “impassive” looks given, that you feel like your chanting a mantra in an attempt to void your mind of all thought and reach some spiritual truth rather than simply enjoying some BDSM porn.
I’ve defended these books without reading them. (I had a professor in college who got pretty upset when we would refer to novels as books. “These are not books, they are more than that. They are the scripture of the modern world, they are the sacred text of truly learned people. These are Novels.” The Grey books are definitely books.) I defended these books because I figured “what’s wrong if its a really shitty book in literary terms? I like porn, and most of the guys I hear saying these books are terrible like porn.” No one’s calling out porn for having shitty writing because we all know its about the dicks in vaginas, and assholes, and mouths, and thumbs in butts, and tongues in vaginas, and… you get the point. It’s about boning, not plot or character development.
The thing is I usually just watch the fucking parts of porn I don’t actually watch the story, if there even is one. A lot of people, however, do actually read the non-boning parts of the Grey books, and I think there may be a good reason to do so.
There are so many odd disjointed things going on in the books that by the time the reader reaches fucking you’re ripe for arousal (I got 50 pages deep in the first book and still no one got balls deep, not even upper shaft deep). The fact that the characters are supposedly young Northwesterners yet speak like middle aged Brits trying to sound sort of young along with improbable circumstances and most importantly the almost buddhist monk like repetition of language all serve to shut off the parts of your brain that process higher thought.
Normally in a novel this is a bad thing, but since this is a book designed to “moisten” women’s britches shutting down reason is good. It’s been proven that when in the midst of an orgasm the human brain goes blank in all the areas that make us that most special of mammal leaving only the animal brain, some awesome happy time neuro-chemicals, and a quickly diminishing chubster if your a dude. The piss poor literary skills of the writer of this world famous smut is actually making it smuttier. By killing the upper registers of brain function before people even start giving out head and HJs she’s priming you for sexy rape-play fuck times. (are there HJs? I didn’t get that far. I hear there’s fisting in the second one… oh my.) So hats off to you random British lady. In your incompetence you’ve stumbled onto an ingenious sceme for upping the vaginal fluid/happy sexy brain chemical output of your readers.