‘Fifty Shades’ is bad porn and worse literature

I am the first to admit that I am a literary bandwagon hopper. I read the Harry Potter series in elementary school because it was cool (a good decision), “Twilight” in high school (not such a good decision) and this summer I finally succumbed to “Fifty Shades of Grey”.
I heard bad things about the series from friends who had read it but still needed to see for myself. Forty million copies of the book have been sold, so how bad could this mommy porn be?
The answer: very bad. “Fifty Shades” is about a college graduate named Anastasia Steele who blushes way too much and has no real thoughts of her own, except the occasional “oh my”. She lives with an aspiring journalist named Kate, who apparently is Ana’s best friend, but you would never know by reading the book. It seems like the two girls hate each other. Kate gets sick and asks Ana to go interview Christian Grey, Portland’s rich playboy entrepreneur. She goes to his office and, to make a very long (1,625-page series) story short, the two fall in lust and then in love. They engage in a (tame) BDSM relationship which, apparently, is vastly appealing to older women who read the book.
E. L. James based her novel off of her Twilight fan fiction written under the pen name Snowqueens Icedragon (I can’t even go into that), so the resemblance to Stephanie Meyer’s characters is uncanny. Grey is overbearing and manipulative over Ana, and hates her friend Jose who once tried to hit on her in front of a bar. “Twilight”, however, was at least remotely readable.  Fifty Shades makes its mother series look like Dickens. James uses certain phrases over and over again to the point where I sat literally laughing at this book in the middle of a “hot” scene. If I read “I died a thousand deaths today,” “Stop biting your lip, you know what it does to me” or “Laters, baby” ever again, I may throw the book across the room.
Repetition is not James’ only problem. She also uses words and phrases that were popular two centuries ago and never again after that. She uses the word “gamine” on the second page of the book, which was the word of the year in 1899. On page eight, she uses the expression “If this guy is over thirty, then I’m a monkey’s uncle,” which was popular in the 1930s, which is one of her most modern sayings. My favorite is when Ana calls Grey “very high-handed,” which was basically a way of burning someone in the 1800s but also comes from a translation of the Bible.
I did not plan to read this whole series when I picked up “Fifty Shades of Grey” at Target. But by the end of the first book I knew I was going to be hooked into the other two, even though I was completely aware of how bad it was. The plot, though convoluted, is interesting enough with revenge and murder and betrayal—basically all of the elements that would enthrall a middle-aged stay-at-home mom. The whole story line just keeps getting interrupted by these weird kinky sex scenes that last for at least ten pages each. (And by kinky, I mean not that kinky. Bad would be a better word.) I would find myself reading over that aspect of the series as fast as I could, possibly skipping words along the way so that I could see whether Ana was about to get murdered like I hoped she would. That sounds heartless, but I just wanted her to die because none of the characters are relatable at all. At least dying would make her mortal. I can relate to that.
To sum it up, these books are bad. There are moments of intrigue, yes, but they aren’t worth wading through the rest of the muck. If you want a laugh at some British author’s expense or a mediocre—at best—erotic novel, then “Fifty Shades of Grey” is for you.