A fascinating blog post has been circulating on Facebook over the last few days, written by a Good Christian Woman who lists all the reasons why other Good Christian Women should not read the erotic mega-bestseller, Fifty Shades of Grey. “I wouldn’t drive my Envoy into the front of an oncoming semi-truck any more than I would open the pages of Fifty Shades of Grey,” declares the author of the post. “I love my marriage, my God, and myself too much.”
What follows in the comment section is a deliciously sanctimonious catfight over whether you can truly call yourself a Christian if you read such a sinful, sinful book.
Well, Mediocre Christian that I am, it will probably surprise none of you that I have read the book. (On my Nook, of course! An authentic Mediocre Christian will only read Fifty Shades of Grey on an e-reader, while carefully assuming the facial expressions of a woman intent on The Purpose Driven Life.) And now that I’ve read it, I have to say that I agree with the basic premise of Mrs. Gresh’s blog post– I, too, believe that God does not want you to read Fifty Shades of Grey. But my reasoning is a little different from hers.
“What is your life?” reads James 4:14. “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James is trying to say that in the face of eternity, life is short. Like, really, really short. I’m pretty sure that God doesn’t want us to waste the miniscule amount of time we have here on earth doing silly stuff like ironing bedsheets, looking at pictures of kittens on the Internet, or reading really bad erotica.
That’s right, girls. Sorry to burst your bubble, but Fifty Shades of Grey is a true horror of bad writing. Right off the bat, the Britishims will drive you insane. British author E.L. James has created a fantasy world of American characters who are all “keen on” carrying a “smart rucksack,” and who say things like “Miss Kavanagh is indisposed,” rather than “Dudes. Katherine’s sick.”
To put this in perspective, it would be sort of like me writing “As she left the gates of Buckingham Palace, Queen Elizabeth waved at the guards and said, “Bye, y’all! I’m fixing to get me some collards at the Piggly Wiggly! Any of you boys want to help me push the buggy?”
Add to this the fact that the author repeats words and phrases like a parrot that lives in a brothel and you’ve got another excellent reason to leave this book on the hold shelf at the library. Check out this research one helpful Amazon reviewer did:
According to my Kindle search function, characters roll their eyes 41 times, Ana bites her lip 35 times, Christian’s lips “quirk up” 16 times, Christian “cocks his head to one side” 17 times, characters “purse” their lips 15 times, and characters raise their eyebrows a whopping 50 times. Add to that 80 references to Ana’s anthropomorphic “subconscious” (which also rolls its eyes and purses its lips, by the way), 58 references to Ana’s “inner goddess,” and 92 repetitions of Ana saying some form of “oh crap” (which, depending on the severity of the circumstances, can be intensified to “holy crap,” “double crap,” or the ultimate “triple crap”).
…Ana says “Jeez” 81 times and “oh my” 72 times. She “blushes” or “flushes” 125 times, including 13 that are “scarlet,” 6 that are “crimson,” and one that is “stars and stripes red.” (I can’t even imagine.) Ana “peeks up” at Christian 13 times, and there are 9 references to Christian’s “hooded eyes,” 7 to his “long index finger,” and 25 to how “hot” he is (including four recurrences of the epic declarative sentence “He’s so freaking hot.”). Christian’s “mouth presses into a hard line” 10 times. Characters “murmur” 199 times, “mutter” 49 times, and “whisper” 195 times (doesn’t anyone just talk?), “clamber” on/in/out of things 21 times, and “smirk” 34 times. Christian and Ana also “gasp” 46 times and experience 18 “breath hitches,” suggesting a need for prompt intervention by paramedics. Finally, in a remarkable bit of symmetry, our hero and heroine exchange 124 “grins” and 124 “frowns”… which, by the way, seems an awful lot of frowning for a woman who experiences “intense,” “body-shattering,” “delicious,” “violent,” “all-consuming,” “turbulent,” “agonizing” and “exhausting” orgasms on just about every page.
This goes on for nearly 400 pages. Reading Fifty Shades of Grey requires a fairly significant time investment, and I’m just sure that God doesn’t want that for you.
That is hours of your mist that you’ll NEVER GET BACK.
Perhaps a woman who
asked demanded to remain nameless (and who is definitely, absolutely, unquestionably not my mom) put it best as we reviewed the various deficiencies of Fifty Shades of Grey on the phone yesterday.
“I’m not reading the sequels,” she told me. “Once you’ve read Fifty Ways to Do It, what more is there to know?”
Learn from those who’ve already traveled the road of really bad erotica, dear readers. I read Fifty Shades of Grey and I deeply regret it. In the time I wasted on this sad excuse for a novel, I could very possibly have achieved world peace, cleaned my entire house, or hand-stitched one of Kanye West’s Tweets.
Thank God you don’t have to make the same mistake.