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July 30, 2012

So I Read The First Chapter or Whatever of Fifty Shades of Gray

I couldn't resist. You can get a sample for free off Kindle. I didn't make it all the way through.

Anyone else try this? I was thinking of reviewing it but I completely forgot what the hell I read about 20 minutes after I read it.

It was uh... seriously amateurish, which is weird, because the woman works in television, so you'd think she'd at least have a clue.

Here's something weird. She lives in London. I mean, for real. Now, London is one of the world's capitals. It's an intriguing city. People would consider buying this book just for its setting. And, living in London, she'd be an natural expert in the city -- or at least it would be easy for her to do some scouting and reading and make herself an expert. If she wants to know, say, precisely what the interior of the upper rooms of the Hippodrome look like (that's London, right?), all she has to do is take a 90 minute trip to scout it. 90 minutes, there and back, plus an hour's worth of notes.

Plus, London works really well for the concept of a sexually bent, controlling man and innocent virginal girl. London has all that Dracula atmosphere, it's a world economic capital of a country that once ruled the seas, and frankly I think all English men are kind of sexually twisted anyhow. (I blame Jeremy Irons for this prejudice. Not the roles he plays in movies -- he once tried to play footsie with me at a gala.)

And even for the innocent angle-- even though all London women are clearly whores (I've seen clips of Ladettes to Ladies), I'm sure there are still middle-class suburbs a few miles out where you can find women who haven't seen more cock than a Perdue distribution center.

So, you get it. It would be both very easy and commercially advantageous for her to set it in London.

Instead, she sets it in Seattle, a city she clearly has no concept of (she spends a paragraph describing the sweeping view from Dr. Moneycock's office, but never says what can be seen in this view, because, I think, she's never seen the city and has no idea if, say, you should be able to see the ocean or mountains from it).

The only reason she sets it in Seattle, I guess, is because that's where it was set when it was a Twilight slash-fic, and she's lazy. And oh god, is she a terribly lazy writer. But she's also dumb, because it should have been easy to switch to London, rather than describe western Washington state so vaguely as a bit of highway, a city, some more highway, and then a beach.

And maybe she kept Seattle to really push the idea that this is really about Bella and Edward (and also Jacob, who I'm told makes an appearance as a budding rapist later).

I could talk about how awful a writer she is, but I won't. I'll just mention that simple-to-fix thing.


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posted by Ace at 02:44 PM

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