Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bad Literature Bingo: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Hi all! I decided that for this holiday weekend, I'm going to introduce something a little new. It's called Bad Literature Bingo, and I thought I'd use the first two books of the Fifty Shades trilogy for this edition.

Basically, the rules are to find which of the following tropes are used in the book(s) you're reading. This particular one is a little oriented towards Fifty Shades and UF in general, but most of the more overused tropes tend to cross genres fairly easy.

Warning: some spoilers will be discussed.

So here's the card: 

You have the basics here, such as stereotypes, wangst... the works, so to speak.

Here's how Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker measure up:

Is there wangst? Oh yeah. Tons of it. Ana wangsts about how she's not pretty enough for Christian ("I'm not special..."), Christian wangsts about his past (which leads into "the woobie"), and so on. There's obvious gratuitous sex, but there's also some IKEA erotica going on. Some of the sex scenes are pretty un-erotic, to be honest. A lot of what this book checked off were things like cliches, unrealistic flaws, and of course the title drop.

What really got me were the unsympathetic characters and at times, the stereotyping of characters. You get the stereotypically gay side characters, the "silent-yet-deadly" security guard, and the "she's so evil" ex. Other than sleeping with an emotionally unstable 15 year old and introducing him to BDSD (which I admit is pretty sleazy), the ex actually acts fairly nice to Ana. She goes out of her way to try to talk to Ana in the hopes of explaining the relationship and at times, looks to be genuinely happy that Christian is dating her. Then we have her do a complete 180 and go crazy because Ana and Christian are getting married.

As you can see, the first two books got bingo. Twice. If I'd replaced "strawmen arguments" with "babies ever after", I'd have enough to get a third bingo, as book 3 does end with babies. (Haven't read it, but I've flipped through to the end of the series in the hopes that someone gets bitten by a chipmunk and dies of rabies. No such luck.)

So yeah... If I'd been playing this in a casino, I'd have won something. Guess what I win? The right to read book three. Great.


  1. Is the bad literature bingo your idea? It's brilliant! Even if it's not your idea I agree with the review 100% and I'm also going to read the third book!!!

  2. Sort of. I took it from a game we play at work sometimes when we get busy. We'll come up with the most common types of people that come into our workplace and mark them off as they come in. (Wearing cowboy boots, won't/can't speak English, etc)

    Hmm... the third book would definitely hit bingo!

  3. I m excited for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. and i watch Christian Grey's work it is pretty awesome to see on the screen Christian Grey

  4. Thank you so much for the wonderful book! I finished it a few days ago and cannot get it out of my head. It is pure magic. It was everything I hoped it would be and much more. Thank you so much. You are a great writer... EL James.
    Anastasia Steele

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