Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Fifty shades of wank


Literally in some cases. And good luck to those who genuinely get turned on by this tripe.

Reading, as I do, the best seller book lists every Saturday I have grown used to seeing the latest zeitgeisty 'sensation'. I just never thought I'd find myself longing for the days of the Dan Brown assault on the charts. Unmitigated shite they were, written in a style that could only be described as adolescent. The characterisation was woeful, the plot embarrassing. I didn't think we would sink so low again.

This was before the days when children's books became the thing and suddenly everyone was reading Harry Potter on the bus to work. But with adult covers so they wouldn't be embarrassed. JK Rowling's books at least are well written, if rather drawn out.

We were all so happy that people were reading again. To listen to the media at the time would be to suppose that no one had bothered reading a book at all until Harry came along and showed us the way.

Then it was Twilight. Oh dear lord, Twilight. The embarrassing ramblings of a sexually repressed middle aged woman, the most irritatingly woeful heroine known to man (or vampire) and a love story so unconvincing and one-dimensional one was left longing for one of them just to rip Bella's face off and put everyone out of their misery. Oh, just me then?

I'm not sure where the shamefacedness went. Suddenly everyone was happy to be seen to be reading this bilge. This shite that we wouldn't have touched as 15 year olds in my day. We had Interview with a vampire, The Story of O, Lolita. We did it properly.

I detest the Twilight saga with every fibre of my being. From the vantage point of a reader, from the vantage point of a writer, from the vantage point of someone who bloody loves vampires. Once again came the refrain: "at least people are readdddding. At least Stephenie Meyers has got people readddding. It doesn't matter what people read as long as they're reaidnnnng." I paraphrase. Obviously.

A worthy sentiment. But actually total bullshit. Of course it matters. With a world full of Tolstoy, Austen, Bradbury, assorted Brontes, Pasternack, Zola, Blake, Eliot, Hardy and on and on and on, it does matter that people are choosing to waste their imaginations and intellects on this toss. It's crap. No literary value. No good storytelling, weak characters, hackneyed dialogue, awful, embarrassing, naive prose. Teenagers, adults and especially kids deserve better. I suppose that, at least it is categorised under teen fiction.

Unlike the behemoth it spawned. You'd have to be dead to not have noticed the explosion of the 'mummy-porn'franchise, Fifty Shades Of... It has stormed the bestseller charts and currently sits at numbers 1,2 and 3. Like a pestilential plague sore immovably wedged under the skin, oozing pus, blood and green stuff. Depending on your interest in such things, you may or may not know that this huge money-spinner started off as Twilight fan fiction. The author just added in some mild S&M, an 'adult' plot and self-published it on Amazon. Kindle sales rocketed, a publisher signed her up and the rest, as they say, is history.

So let's just look at that again. A poorly written and badly constructed teen-franchise is morphed into a poorly written and badly constructed adult-porn-lite-for-middle-aged-women. Have these avid readers not heard of the internet? I could happily point them towards badly written soft porn for free. Just give me Google and two seconds. I could equally find some old Mills & Boon from the 70s, which is what it reminds me of the most. I used to filch my ma's small collection when I was a teenager and they were full of masterful men, subservient virgins and ridiculous names.

And yet again I saw the phrase: "at least people are readddding again" Guess what? Some of us, a lot of us actually, never stopped. Some of us have ALWAYS read. Some of us delight in the variety and abundance of literature and popular fiction. Don't get me wrong, I like a bit of shite. I even read the first Twilight. That was rather a mistake though, it has to be said. But if this is what it took you to start reading then just stop. Stop now. It's your own time you're wasting.

And for goodness sake, find some proper porn.

1 comment:

  1. Well, it's pretty well known that public taste and good taste rarely coencide. Bestsellers are pretty much shite whether its books, music, videogames, movies etc. Most people look for easy escapes. But I do think it is good for intelligent people, no matter how repugnant they find it, to read some bestsellers. Why? Because you have to know shite in order to know what is not shite! lol I have the 50 shades 1st book on my kindle, not that I wanted to read it, but to try to figure out why OTHER people want to read it. Does that make any sense?

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