Wednesday 20 June 2012

The Earth Moved


An Earthquake rumbled through my hometown last night (no-one was hurt and there was no major damage I believe) but I missed all the excitement as I am visiting family ‘up north’

Can you believe this is what Winter looks like in Queensland, Australia?

I've been lazing around in the sun enjoying the views and getting some much needed doses of Vitamin D.

As I was short of reading material today, Mum gave me one of her magazines called Life Choices, fun for people in their 50s, 60s and beyond.  How depressing. Sandwiched in between a recipe for Lamb rissoles and a tax advice column was an article called, How to stop your husband leering at younger women. Truly, what fun!

Then my cousin gave me the book, Fifty Shades of Grey. She told me it was the fastest selling paperback of all time (take that Harry Potter) and that it is now being made into a film. She swore that I would read it in one sitting and rush out and buy the other two books in the series just like she and all her friends had done.




Just not for the reasons she thought though.

The book was truly DREADFUL. So dreadful in fact that I kept reading it wondering when I would get to the 'best bits'.

Am I alone in wondering how this book could be an international best seller? For those of you who haven't read it I will give you a brief summary of the critical bits.

The plot traces the relationship between recent college graduate Anastasia Steele and manipulative billionaire Christian Grey. 

Ana has an extremely impressive vocabulary. She says "Jeez" 181 times and "Oh my" 172 times. She also suffers from an unfortunate case of Rosacea it seems, as she "blushes" or "flushes" 125 times. Her rosy hue is so intense that it is described as "scarlet" 13 times, "crimson" 8 times, and most patriotically on one occasion as "stars and stripes red". 

She "peeks up", through fluttering eyelashes at Christian no less than 33 times and his "mouth presses into a hard line" 10 times. She thinks he is "so freaking hot" that she mentions 28 times just how "hot" he is. He clearly has a couple of physical issues which bother her slightly as she tell us 12 times he has "hooded eyes," and 11 times that he has a "long index finger". 

Ana and Christian never seem to just talk. They "murmur" 199 times, "mutter" 49 times, and "whisper" 195 times. Then they "clamber" on, in and out of things 41 times. They "smirk" 34 times, "gasp" 46 times and unfortunately experience 18 "breath hitches" which somehow does not result in a 911 call.

Finally, in an effort to keep a sense of harmonious or aesthetically pleasing proportionality and balance, Ana and Christian exchange exactly 124 "grins" and 124 "frowns"...keeping us all happy. Although, between you and me, I am not sure that Ana would really be doing that much frowning given she experiences such "intense," "body-shattering," "delicious," "violent," "all-consuming," "turbulent," "agonising" and "exhausting" orgasms on just about every page of the book.

That's it. Oh, you wanted to know the plot? Sorry, but I could not get past the repetitive language.....

However, I did learn a few things lying out in the sun. First, that erotic fiction is apparently soaring in popularity with females of all ages. Second, that writing crappy erotic fiction can make you billions (I know how to write crap maybe this is a direction I could pursue, lol). And third, that there are apparently surefire ways to stop men leering at younger women. Who knew?

However, I think the biggest lesson of all was that staying out in the sun counting words for no apparent reason can also cause you to feel really freaking hot and go Fifty Shades of Sunburn.

Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey? Why do you think the books are so popular? 
The Author, E. L. James, has a theory that it's because her books provide women with a 'holiday from their husbands' and gives them "an escape from their own boring sex lives".


  1. OldOldLady Of The Hills20 June 2012 at 11:37

    Haven't read it and don't plan to...And no, you are not alone in saying it is really very poorly written.....The "dumbimg down" of the world is quite frightening to me.
    It looks so BEAUTIFUL where you are, my dear Lilly....the Ocean and the Sand---those Beautiful Boats....I wish I were there right now....It looks so very soothing.

    So glad no one was hurt in the Earthquake, my dear....!

  2. Nope ... haven't read it, don't intend to.  At my age I've developed enough imagination/experience to pen a best-selling "1,000 Shades Of Grey!

    I want to spend a holiday 'up north' in your fair country, it is SO time for a return visit!

    Enjoy your holiday, Lilly!!

  3. Yes I've seen the book.  It was the subject of a radio talk show (probably many I'm sure) and my wife told me about it.  I'm no expert  but it provides a graphic description of a woman having some pleasurable moments.  I heard it's much like the old romance paperbacks but maybe with a few new positions.
    I can't believe you actually counted all that usage of the various phrases.  Your analytical review would not be well received by the women devouring the graphic text.
    Hey once again I would appreciate your opinion (but go counting my phrases or word usage) on revealing issues/feelings on blogs.  thanks

  4. Oh crap - my mind went off on a tangent with the book subject - wow good to hear the earthquake did no serious damage.  Better stirred not shaken - right?

  5. Shaken but not stirred eh? Those beachie photos are misleading unless you're way up north; in Sydney no amount of of grey or red nor pink can warm my tootsies!

    Anyway, my escape has more dragons, magic swords and mystic powers. No ropes, cuffs nor blindfolds. Find a good Shiraz and fantasy novel less messy, lasts a lot longer too!  ;)

  6. I am way up North and it is like summer in Melbourne. I would never move here though for lots of reasons but I am dreading going back to Melbourne. Because it will be coats, hats and scarves...

  7. At least the Earth is moving for some he he. I may be the only one that is going to put their hand up and say I have read all three books and thought they were great. They are like junk TV you just don't have to think too much. Maybe you bloggers should get into the market. And i think they can spice up relationships in fact.

  8. So jealous of the warmth and the sun!! Freezing down here in Sydney and my guess would be that Melbourne is worse.

    Oh and the Fifty shades of crap...I couldn't get myself to read it after reading the blurb...why would any self-respecting woman want to read about a submissive woman and like it?? I'm no prude but I don't think I would like erotic fiction. Especially not one like that. And lol at you counting the words!! :D

    It's sad that books like this and Twilight become best sellers. Makes you wonder where the world is headed...

  9. Friends tried to get me to read it, but I didn't like what I had heard about it so I didn't bother.  You're funny.

  10. I had heard about it (but didn´t bother to check out what is was about), that is was a really good book and downloaded it to my Kindle. THEN I heard what KIND of book it was and now I don´t know if I really want to read it.... :)
    I used to really be into romance novels/junk but I have outgrown them and am pretty sure I don´t want to head that way again.

  11. Funny story to share - I turned my own fifty shade of embarrassed as I reached in my chemo bag meaning to pull out my journal and instead pulled out the third book in the trilogy still in my bag! The nurses eyes grew very big- everyone is reading it- just not in public :)  I quickly discovered I could steamroll through the whole lot of them in a couple of days.  I wondered to friends how many times muttered and murmured were uttered- ha- now I can recite it for myself.  Honestly- I think its about not wanting to sound like you live under a rock and didn't read them... and wanting to hedge a bet on who will play them in the movie version... wink

  12. I've read the book.  (cough)  In fact,  I read the entire trilogy.  The main female character does improve by the third book.  She's not as mousy.  And there's a little more of his background to make it more interesting (about his childhood).

    I read the book after Ellen Degeneres mentioned it on her show, saying, "This is called Mommy Porn.... What's wrong with you straight people?!"  

    I was shaking my head in agreement with everything that you wrote in this blog post. I remember my eyes rolling with the duplication of words throughout the book.

    Why is it such a "hot" book when it's not well written?  Because it's easy reading and on a taboo subject.

  13. Oh, but did you count the "Laters, Baby" quote?
    There's even an Etsy site selling t-shirts with the quote.  (though I do like the inner goddess idea... we should all have one Lol)

  14. Cinderella11pm21 June 2012 at 07:12

    Dear Lilly,
    I haven't read the book, it just sounded like another S&M novel to me, and frankly, I read enough of that back when I used to have a sex drive and was too naive too know that erotic 'punishment' actually hurt and wasn't fun AT ALL in real life.

    Your review of it though is hilarious, and shows how poorly written this trashy novel really is.

    Winter in Queensland is GORGEOUS. If the flight wasn't so long, I'd be there SOON!


  15. Oh go on and read it Betty. You might like it, learn something lol or have a laugh.

  16. I know, it's not even the subject matter but it's how it is written. But it has touched a chord with people. They love it.

  17. A friend of mine is raving about Fifty Shades of Grey - she thinks it's fab! Mind you, she's from Aberdeen...

  18. Lol, Mike. Heaps of people do but it is just the writing really. It's hard to get past some of the often repeated words and phrases. You will know what I mean if you read it.

    However, I have to congratulate the author, she really has sparked a frenzy across the world with her work and good on her. She is English I believe. Scotland already has the other biggest selling author already in Ms Rowling! Oops make that two Authors, you of course are the other.

  19. Yes, I wondered whether the books are targeted moreso to teenage audiences - I researched it a bit and found that the buying market is women in their 20s-50s apparently. Yes, Winter is devine and soon I have to return home to the freezing cold.

  20. LOL too many to count Aleta. Actually the tshirt is a cute idea. And yes, the Inner Goddess is something we should all have. Going to check out the tshirts.....

  21. I actually read some reviews Aleta and they said that the third book is actually quite good. I guess the Author just improved as she went. Mommy Porn - ah well if it makes people's lives a little more intersting why not and clearly there is a need for books like that out there. Thousands of books are selling every hour so clearly people love it.

  22. Oh Vicky, you make me laugh. You need a diversion from your treatment and that is one way to do it. Do you remember Mills and Boon books - I used to read those as a teenager and hide them from my mother. They had a formulae that was the same in every one but they work. This is just a more spicier (a lot spicier) version of one of those I guess. Now what are your thoughts about who will play them in the movie version?

  23. Thanks Christine, it was a funny book though. Its is worth reading just to see what all the fuss in about. A lot of people love them and some don't.

  24. There are lots of people that have read them so you are not alone. I like picking up something to read that you don't have to think too much about too. Same with TV. It is a wonder there isn't a blog on a similar subject although it would have to be password protected I guess.  I wouldnt have the imagination I dont think, lol.

  25. It is beautiful here Naomi although you have beautiful beaches where you are too. No, I think there would be far better choices of reading material that this book, that is for sure. At least I read it to see what all the fuss was about.

  26. Something tells me Miss Helen that you so good pen a better book too. And I for one would love to read it. You have and do have a fascinating life. 1000 Shades of Grey, how great would that be!

  27. Yes, its like Mills and Boone with a few more positions and poorer writing, lol. You did a post on revealing issues and feelings? Lisleman? I will have to go and read more....

  28. Cinderella11pm22 June 2012 at 00:27

    Audience of 20 to 50 with shall we say, uhmmmm, those who prefer non-challenging literary material. This kind of stuff is mindless. Not because it's smut but because it's porrly written.
    Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty trilogy used to rattle my cage. These sound like amateurish versions of hers.

  29. Cinderella11pm22 June 2012 at 00:28

    oops, poorly written. See, that was poorly written of me!

  30. You hit it on the head, its not because of the genre it is just because it is poorly written. Really poorly written.

  31. I agree it is written awfully, if she 'explodes ' or 'shatters into a million
    pieces' one more time I will scream! I thought the first book was degrading but
    then she doesn't really go ahead with his request and starts to stand up for
    herself in book two. I'm about to start book three just because I'm nosy and
    need to know what happened. As for the twilight stuff, she said it was written
    as fan fiction but I can't really imagine bella, or edward for that matter, in
    the red room!

    Read more:

  32. This book IS Twilight in a different setting, that's exactly what it is, tweaked
    from fan fiction. Same as Twilight, it's enjoying a ridiculous over-hype and
    sales despite its poor writing and is playing to every cliché going to make this
    guy who basically picks her up for sex perfect in every way. It just boggles the
    mind really how these juggernauts get the brakes cut...

    Read more:

  33. Oh gosh yes, she does shatter into a million pieces, many times over too. Let us know if it gets better by Book 3.

  34. I sure hope the earth stops its shaking down under.  That's scary!  Your winter looks like our winter.  LOL

    I haven't read the book, but I've read a bunch of articles about it saying what a huge hit it is.  I haven't found the time to read a whole lot lately.  However, from your description, it sounds rather tedious.  Thanks for the warning.

  35. I'm hiring you as my agent!

  36. Joanna Jenkins26 June 2012 at 13:20

    I yiyi-- I hate earthquakes.  Glad no one was hurt.

    As for the book--  I haven't read it yet.  Once I saw an interview with the author who even said it was terribly written I decided to pass-- but it's sure got a buzz on it.  

    Enjoy your vacation.  It's sure gorgeous in Australia.

    xoxo jj

  37. Hello Lilly, glad the earthquake was just a rumble.  And your winter looks gorgeous.  And the book, I wish I could have it but I do not think it is available here.  Thank you for the synopsis, it was interesting to read.  I am reading of all things, a Mills & Boon's book!

  38. Haven't read the book but know lots of women who have.  I tend not to jump on the bandwagon when books are hyped a lot.  I have an erotic manuscript I've been trying to get published for several years but it is for adults and women with lusty appetites. 
    Being of a certain age, I remember reading Ericka Fromm (sp?) and her idea of the zipless f**k.  It didn't do it for me either. I also read The Story of O - and it was too violent for me.  Sex - even non-committed sex should be loving to me.   I used to sometimes like the articles in the magazine Viva (I think that was it).  A lot of women I know are into the novels of Zane here in the states but her books always have a morality theme built into them with the bad girl getting redeemed.  Anyhow, nothing I've read about the books makes me interested.  How about a woman with her own sex drive who goes for what and who she wants?  I also like good some of your readers could recommend erotic works that fall into this category.
    As always, thanks for being you with your wit and precision in telling like it

  39.  Fifty Shades Of Grey, has become the first to sell more than one million copies on Kindle. Absolutely amazing and just goes to show you don't have to be the best writer to do it either.

  40.  It's a big seller Kay so maybe I am the exception to the rule. I just found it tedious reading, but supposedly by the third book it gets a whole lot better.

  41.  It is definitely gorgeous here.

  42.  Nothing like a Mills and Boon book. I used to read them once.

  43. The author earns nearly a million pounds a week from this book. Can you believe it?

  44. I really regret buying it! It was a complete load of rubbish that I wasted hours
    reading in the hope that it would get better. It didn't. Someone told me that Tasmina Perry's books
    are very good - exciting storylines too.

    And it would be great to reads your book - apparently ebooks are the way to go on Amazon.

  45. Oh my well hats off to her, just goes to show.


Thanks for your comments.