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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Barry Good Review of '50 Shades'

Dave Barry has read 50 Shades of Grey so you don't have to. Actually, he's read only the first book in the gazilion-selling trilogy by British author E. L. James, and does not plan to read the other two "unless the only alternative is crucifixion." He now offers salient excerpts and plot synopsis:
So the plot is: They have sex, she wants to smooch, he wants to flog, there’s a bunch of talking about this, they have sex again, she again wants to smooch, he again wants to flog, there’s a bunch more talking about this, and so on for several hundred word-filled pages.
OK, here’s one tiny sample of the writing style:
“Did you give him our address?”
“No, but stalking is one of his specialties,” I muse matter-of-factly.
Kate’s brow knits further.

That’s right: This is the kind of a book where, instead of saying things, characters muse them, and they are somehow able to muse them matter-of-factly. And these matter-of-fact musings cause other characters’ brows—which of course were already knitted—to knit still further. The book is over five hundred pages long and the whole thing is written like that. If Jane Austen (another bestselling female British author) came back to life and read this book, she would kill herself.
Barry's  critique, excerpted in Time magazine, is  from his book, You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty, which is a directive I recall hearing from my own father, who I think was joking. -- Barbara Bedway

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