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Monday, 25 June 2012
Fifty Shades of Shite
Great retro smut
My generation grew up skimming the pages of Sidney Sheldon,
Harold Robins and Jackie Collins books for kicks and to gain a politically
dodgy sex education. What child had not
plundered their mother’s library book pile and read the goldfish scene in Lace by the age of twelve? The early eighties was still a period in
history when it was acceptable for a man to be master of a woman’s body and her
will. But not now. Not 2012.
No fucking way.
Therefore, in the interests of protecting the public’s
mental health, rather like a twelve year old kid from the eighties but with the
writing skills of an agented author, the academic understanding of somebody who
studied the feminist politics of violent hardcore porn at Cambridge University
and the sexual experience of a forty-year-old who has been around the block a
few times, I have read the first chapter and then skimmed my way right through Fifty Shades of Shite, from one nookie
scene to another. I have done this, so
that you don’t have to.
The writing in this MFI wardrobe of a novel is appalling but
there are other bloggers who are currently taking this to bits very well. I want to concentrate on the portrayal of sex
in the book.
First of all, there are several leit motifs and character
ticks in the novel that crop up time and time again. The most irritating is Ana Steele’s constant
use of, “Holy Crap” and “Holy Cow” and even “Holy Moses”. Holy Cow is used with such regularity that I
began to wonder if EL James was hinting at the spiritual value of beef
curtains. Crap, double crap and triple
crap are the sort of expletives I would expect from Hermione Grainger before
she was legal. All wrong. If you’re going to write a novel with sex on
pretty much every other page, for fuck’s sake, learn to swear properly and do
it with style. Other leit motifs include
nuzzling body parts with your nose, including Miss Steele’s flange, and the
ripping of a foil condom pack. Now I may
be going out on a limb here, but incessant crotch sniffing is reminiscent of
truffling pigs and the act of opening a foil condom packet makes me think only
of basting a Sunday roast. Both are
about as sexy as taking a shit in a bath full of cold baked beans.
Which brings me onto my next topic. Taste.
Mr. Grey makes Miss Steele shove her thumb up her woo woo and lick the
resulting lady blancmange on many an occasion.
She describes the taste as “salty”, as though she’s referring to a
Kentucky Fried Chicken family bucket. Anybody
who has had a go at this will know that fanny batter tastes neither like
hummus, nor like marmite, nor like a bag of soggy Walker’s ready salted. It’s a frankly ridiculous choice of word. And Miss Steele, who seems to have no gag
reflex, unlike 99.9% of all other women, thinks giving Mr. Grey a blow job is
like sucking on a popsicle. Well, we are
already told that his erection rises out of the bath like the giant Stay Puft
Marshmallow Boy of Ghostbusters fame. Interesting
when, in terms of size, most ordinary men are upstaged by a Cumberland sausage. But not only does Steele not gag, she doesn’t
comment that his todger tastes like a cucumber made of meat with all the pissy
aftertaste of a badly filleted steak and kidney pie.
Nor is Mr. Grey’s love juice anything like
the reality of lumpy porridge mixed with PVA, smelling like a cross between a slime
alien toy and bleach. She swallows enthusiastically. Dickhead!
The other preposterous pile of Holy Crap in this novel is
the assertion that Miss Steele is a 21 year-old-virgin but has never touched
herself. Mr. Grey insists his submissive
woman have a shaved kebab. But what 21
year-old virgin is not going to have a Brian Blessed down there? And what 21 year-old has never masturbated
before, let alone embarked on a bad experiment which resulted in frost bite off
that carrot in the fridge? Or at least
tried to fathom the erotic qualities of the back door by shoving a biro up their
bum hole? This text is saying that only
a man can bestow sexuality on a woman. Before
that, she is an asexual blank canvas with no understanding of her own
body. What piss! And don’t get me started on the politics of a
man forcing a woman to go on the pill.
There are elements of the sexual activity that are just
naive. Anyone woman who’s ever done it in
the bath knows two things: soap stings like fuck and any water-based nonsense
ends up in strange soapy wee leaking out of your body for the next 20 minutes
like you’re an incontinent chemical toilet.
I’ve yet to meet a woman who, on the second day of her period, wants to
shag more than she wants to punch someone.
Above all, at no stage does Christian Grey fart under the duvet, wear
his socks during sex or get a pube stuck in his teeth.
No, it seems clear to me that a fourteen year old boy and a
virgin at that has written this book.
The writing is shocking. After
just skimming it, “my subconscious is quaking at the knees” suddenly has new
poignancy. If I ever have to read about
someone rolling their eyes at themselves or having their sex cupped again, I
may eat my own bile. The sex is utterly
puerile and consists only of grabbing a girl’s boob, a bit of wanking, a spot
of missionary and one occasion with her on top.
That, apart from the female character being knocked around a bit and LOVING
it, is basically it. Fifty Shades of
Shite is about as satisfying and adventurous as being fingered on the night
bus. Do yourself a favour...don’t read