Friday, June 1, 2012

Department of gripes and observations

Damn, ladies. You sure know how to make a girl feel special. It's really nice to know you haven't kicked my silent ass out of your readers yet. I am firing up my own tomorrow, and will start to catch up with everyone then. Let's see if I still remember how to leave a comment... :)

Meanwhile, I (re)discovered that falling off the blog writing wagon is extremely easy. For example, I nearly rolled off of it in my sleep just now when the little 45-50 minute nap I was allowing myself to take expanded and almost claimed me for the night. (That would've been embarrassing, given my lofty posting goal for the month.) But as they say in the movies and bad sitcomes, I am up, I am up.  Though not enough to get especially thoughtful. So I guess today's post will be brought to you by the gods of small chuckles and unfortunate choices.

Starting with the chuckle. I gave myself one with the juxtaposition of the two books I picked up while shopping last weekend. So I got this

... and also this: 

Um... guess which one's for a book club?

I got them at Costco, along with an assortment of other items, random and not so much. It probably just goes to show that I am easily amused, but the bit that served to amuse me was imagining buying the same two books together online, thereby causing a number of very confused double takes from the hypothetical future customers looking at either of these and seeing the other pop up under "customers who bought this book also bought..."

Transitioning ever-so-gracefully to the unfortunate choices part now. So maybe I am not altogether easily amused because Fifty Shades? It mostly annoyed me. It was picked as the inaugural book for the fledgling book club a friend is starting because it is what "all the girls" are reading now. For the record, that email exchange, where the book club was proposed and the book picked, was the very first time I heard about it at all. Yes, I live under a rock. Why do you ask? (But at least when SNL did a parody commercial featuring the book literally days later I already knew what they were talking about.)

My problem with the book is that it's so very poorly written. It features a narrator who's graduating college with a degree in English Literature. So then why is her language so barren? Why is her vocabulary so limited, why does she utilize the same damned turn of phrase every other page and why, why, why does she repeat words in subsequent sentences or even within the same sentence? Here's the one that made me groan out loud, and I swear I am not making this up. My voice is quiet, unable to hide the anxiety in my voice. No, really, this is in a book. Sold by a major publishing house. A book that made about gazzilion dollars, my $9.99 among them. 

Which is really what burns me-- I paid actual money for this. And, apparently, I am supposed to read the other two books from the trilogy before we meet in two weeks. I am soooooo not paying one red cent more. I am going to be a good sport and read them, but I am planning on borrowing the remaining books. To be fair, email exchanges between the characters are a decent read. But anything that involves even a touch of narration? Teeth-numbing. Too bad I don't have a tooth ache that needs taking care of. (In stark contrast, I started Drift the other day, and ahhhhh... my brain exhaled and said "thank you.")

So spill the beans-- have you read the Shades? Whatdayathink? Either way, see the SNL skit, just not at work.


Tash said...

I too am apparently living in a cave because I had no idea that 50Shades existed until the parodies started rolling in. And I think I'm fine getting the gist through them, frankly. Everyone I know who admits to reading it thinks it's shit, and I'm finding it a a bit amusing that a pile of shit would catch fire. Or maybe that's not remotely surprising now that I reread my metaphor.

But that's kinda what book clubs are for and why I find them fun: you don't always have to like the book to have a great conversation with smart women. (We read Patchett's *State of Wonder* last month and unanimously hated on it.)

You're making me look bad. I have a post I've been re/writing since February and look, still not up. And I'm not even pregnant nor do I have any exciting news to report (relatively speaking). Nice to see you here again.

loribeth said...

I haven't read 50 Shades yet & based on the reviews, not sure I will. If I do -- e-reader all the way, lol (thanks for posting that SNL clip -- hilarious!). Mel did a couple of posts on the book(s) at Stirrup Queens recently that you should check out.

And Tash, good to see you here too! ; )

JW Moxie said...

Well, hell. 50 Shades is one of those books that I wanted to read only to see what hype was, hopefully so that I could hate on it while everyone else raved about it. (I tend to want to do that with things that are instantly trendy.) I can't stand weak narration. I might not read it after all. Maybe if I get bored enough this summer....

I miss you, too, Tash!

Beruriah said...

No interest in 50 Shades, but I really appreciated Drift. I think everyone should read it--and never say that about anything other than R. W. Emerson's Self-Reliance. It didn't tell me anything I didn't know, but reorganized my prioritization of 20th century political, economic and military history. Since reading it, I feel like I don't want to hear anything from pundits mouths this election season other than a discussion of our corporate war making machines.