Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fifty Grades of Shite

Maybe it's not the worst book ever written. It may also not even be the worst #1 Bestseller ever written. What it is, though, is total and utter crap. I speak, of course, of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Rarely do I put a book down before I finish it. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was the last time I did that, thanks to it being aimed largely at 10 year olds. I like the movies, and I like Stephen Fry reading the audiobooks of all seven, so it's not that bad. The Da Vinci Code, too, was so boring that I can't even remember if I finished it, or if it was the movie that filled in the blanks for me. Fifty Shades, however, is actually that bad.

There is some sense of guilty pleasure to it, how something so bad can actually be good but for all the wrong reasons. A little like Battlefield Earth, which is so uniquely awful you can sit back and enjoy the atrociousness of it all from concept to execution.

"50 Shades reimagines the Bella and Edward love affair set in contemporary Seattle,, with Bella as a young college graduate virgin and Edward as the masterful billionaire with secret sexual predilections..."
So, yeah, it's Twilight fanfic with BDSM thrown in. The main character reacts like a thirteen year old to everything, being completely pathetic and swept up in everything this billionaire BDSM abuser does from breathing autonomously to picking his nose, usually through blushing or thinking Holy crap, Holy Shit, Holy Fuck or, my personal favourite, Holy Moses every five sentences or so.

That's before you even being to enter the strange, anthropomorphised versions of the aspects of this character's personality in the form of her Inner Goddess and Subconscious. The Inner Goddess is a serene free spirit, constantly doing the merengue, lotus position or backflips. The Subconscious is a cross between a library assistant and a mother in law, continually tutting, wagging her finger, looking over her glasses and clearing her throat at inopportune sexy-time moments.

Oh, then there's the sexy times. They're probably the best bit about the book. But that's like saying that itching is the best bit about genital herpes. It would be nice if they adequately reflected, you know, actual sex - kinky or otherwise - but you can't have everything in this book.

You can have an idiotic main character, a love interest who is about as interesting as watching a painting of Superman dry, and some of the worst writing I've ever seen in an actual, physical book. There are better books than this, legally, for free, on the internet. There is better fanfic, slashfic and, to put it bluntly, written porn than this on the internet. Go and Google some of that instead of reading this book.

The only reason to read any of this book is to have one of those all-encompassing, shared cultural touchstone moments, like the way 'everyone' went to see Avatar, or the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. You may even like it - though like me, perhaps not for the reason that was intended.

Plus if you ever murmur 'Happy Graduation' to me and like the fact I laugh, then you'll have a friend for life. Get a few hundred pages into the book and you'll see why.

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