50 Shades of WTF?!: PART 2

…or would that be 51 Shades of WTF?!… anyway.  So I finished another chapter tonight and in turn have more observations of my journey through a national sensation.  Or epidemic.

Again I was struck by the Young Adult quality of the heroine.  For those of you that have not read 50 Shades (all 5 of you), the main character is Anastasia Steele (whose actually named that anyway?! WTF?!), a woman in her early twenties who is about to graduate from college.  So why is it that all of her “inner subconscious thoughts” seem to be coming from the head of a 16 year old?  Now I understand that we’re supposed to get that she’s this untouched flower and the author is playing up her innocence.  But phrases like “double crap” just really take me out of the story.  It confuses me, as a reader, because I can’t get a good picture of Ana.  I’m seeing her as my 16 year old goddaughter,  not a grown woman.  We’re also supposed to believe that Ana is an English Lit major.  My sister, Lucy Blue (author of My Demon’s Kiss among other things), holds a master’s degree in English.  More specifically, in Literature.  Anyone that’s ever spoken to her would agree that she has a tone that exudes sophistication and intelligence.  Most people that would study such hefty subjects are academics.  Academics have an arrogant wit about them that our Ana clearly lacks.  They’d also have enough foresight to read interview questions before blurting them out (i.e.– “Are you gay, Mr. Grey?”).

Anyway, I don’t mean to rant constantly about how horrible this book is.  It isn’t horrible.  Obviously it’s done something right, as it’s sold millions of copies.  The story is intriguing and I find myself wanting to read more.  Which I suppose is the mark of a good book right?

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4 thoughts on “50 Shades of WTF?!: PART 2

  1. First of all, thanks much, darling baby sis. 🙂 Secondly, I suspect that lack of sophistication and air of academia is on purpose – nobody likes academics any more. They’re just smartypantses who think they know more than anybody else. But I should stop commenting on this thing until I’m actually reading it myself, huh?

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  2. I’m afraid this is one of those things where literature strikes not as an art, but as a form of entertainment conforming to a market. I see no other reason for this book to be so popular.

    As a side note, I’m pretty unfamiliar with American culture, so what is odd about a name like Anastasia Steele? Is it the first or last name? Or both?

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    • Hi Joe,

      I think this book speaks to a very basic female fantasy. To give herself permission to be dominated by another is pretty common I think. I also think it’s hilarious that people think that Erotic Romance and BDSM Romance is this new beast invented by E.L. James. Lots of writers have been writing much better stuff than this for years *ahem… buymybooks…ahem*

      As for the name, Anastasia Steele is just such a romance novely name. It makes me giggle every time I read it.

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      • I see. I know erotic fiction for and by women has been written for ages; it’s just that this entire self-published model has made it more prevalent and noticeable.

        I asked about that name because the lead character in my revenge tragedy is named Lauren Steele, and the last name is a maybe-not-so-subtle hint to the kind of person she isn’t or may have to be. Who knows.

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