Friday, February 13, 2015

Books on Love: 50 Shades of Grey

On the eve of Valentine's Day, I think about love, of course, and the romance books I have read over the past couple of years. I have an initial list to post in the blog and it is quite a long one. I will save it all for tomorrow, but for now, here are some thoughts I have on 50 Shades of Grey by EL James, a very controversial book, that has a movie adaptation. Apparently, the movie is opening in cinemas today in Manila.

Critics heavily bashed the book as a poorly written piece. When we hear or come across such reviews, we immediately think of the effective use of grammar and language by the author. This is true since grammar, when used properly moves the reader to a better understanding of the story or the literature being read. In the grammar and langauge department, 50 Shades of Grey fall short of many a critics standards. But grammar mistakes and lapses abound in many novels. Grammarly has created an infographic that illustrates this argument.

Grammarly: Fifty Shades of Grammar

At the end of the infographic, readers are asked to give 50 Shades of Grey a break. In this case, I will give it a break too for the reason that the book was written as an online fanfiction. In that realm, stories do not go through an editing and revision process. If readers like it, then commercial demand for it to be printed out as a book surfaces. A publishing house who is out there to cash in some earnings will capitalize on this demand. Fanfiction and the writing of online stories have changed the book publishing game.

And, there is the sex. It sells.

Now for my own humble opinion on the book. Is it poorly written? My answer is yes. The characters are underdeveloped; the plot is disjointed; the concept of love is misconstrued; there is no sound exploration of the psychological bases of one's desire for power manifested in sex and lust. There is a better way of using the Cinderella archetype as well as the naive-ingenue falling for the experienced rich and handsome guy trope.

What do I recommend as a well written romance and contemporary romance-erotic novel then? Visit the blog tomorrow for my list! For now, go back to the infographic and review, relearn and rethink a thing or two on correct use of grammar. That's what I will doing too.

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