Friday, June 8, 2012

A More Specific Hatred

So, in my last post I talked about a book I hated. I talked about it in a very diplomatic, namby-pamby, I-hope-this-doesn't-get-me-in-trouble kind of way. I didn't even name it, although I dropped enough hints that a dedicated Google search could turn up its title.

This is not that kind of post.

I'm going to come right out and say it: I hate FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.

I am late to the party in expressing my opinion about this book, mostly because of the aforementioned namby-pambitude. I wanted to let people have their own opinions about it without forcing them to consider mine. Also, I didn't want to read it. But then I got curious. I was given an opportunity to read the original published work--MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE--and see where it all started. It's not every day that I get to chance to read what is essentially the first draft of a bestselling novel.

For those of you who aren't familiar, E.L. James is a British television executive whose noveling career began with a work of fanfiction. Twilight fanfiction. In other words, she took a cast of well-known characters and imagined what their lives would be like in a different setting. In other other words, she borrowed those characters wholesale and wrote a story about them. Then she changed the names and sold that story to a publishing house, who in turn sold millions of copies.

Okay, I'm not speaking out against fanfiction here. I've written some myself. But I did not steal someone else's characters and then make a million dollars off of them. That would be shitty. And the worst part is that MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE is pretty much unreadable due to the complete lack of punctuation. Also, E.L. James seems not to have gotten the memo about "write what you know"--her 21-year-old American character is actually a middle-aged Englishwoman in Kristen Stewart's body.

I could go on for days about these books. Years, even. But instead I'll leave you with this dire warning, courtesy of Ray Bradbury:

"Remember the firemen 
are rarely necessary. 
The people stopped reading 
of its own accord."

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