Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

50 Shades of Gay - and I don't mean queer

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It's the book that's sweeping the vanilla hetero world.
She's called Anastasia and she's a college aged virgin and meets a - what else - "deeply disturbed" billionaire called Christian Grey. And of course Christian Grey, the "smoldering" billionaire stranger, must be saved by the virgin college girl Anastasia. No, I'm serious. She really is a virgin and he really is a billionaire and she really does constantly refer to her 'inner goddess.' I think he begins to call her that too. For that alone they both deserve a horsewhipping.

"He looked at me bitterly. ‘The woman who brought me into this world was a crack whore, Anastasia … I am fifty shades of fucked up.’ I slip into a dazed and exhausted sleep, dreaming of a four-year-old gray-eyed boy in a dark, scary, miserable place."

Really? His mother was a crack whore? That's the best the hack who wrote this crap could come up with? A crack whore? And yes, she really dreams of him as a boy in a dark, scawee pwace. Jeezus.

You know in a year or so everyone who is now waving a copy around on the bus/train/etc will be denying they ever heard of this thing.
The dialog is so awesomely bad, so hilariously awful, so stilted and tin-earred it sounds like they never actually get beyond a kind of titillated small talk. But the underlying message seems to be that even good girls love to get punished for things they are dying to be forced to do.
When I saw a haphazard bin full of the hard cover edition selling for "70% OFF!" in a Toronto Walmart, I could see it had finally reached its level. The only slightly interesting thing about this book is it's hysterical popularity, which reveals the depressing mass of unrequited frustration seething within the bosom of what Lenny Bruce once called "The Great Army of the Unlaid."
One thing about 50 Shades of Naughtiness is particularly sad. You can see the writer was careful not to use any big words or big ideas. I kept looking for some seriously hot scene with actual adult conversation that's not your usual cliche fetish bollocks but no luck. It reads like a polite version of the nonsense they used to publish years ago in mags like Penthouse and Gent.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Basil Papademos

Basil Papademos is the author of MOUNT ROYAL: There's Nothing Harder Than Love, published in the spring of 2012 by Tightrope Books, also available as an ebook in all formats from all digital retailers. His earlier novel, The Hook of it is, was published by Emergency Press. His upcoming novel, How To **** Your Psychiatrist, will be published in the fall of 2013.

Go to Basil Papademos’s Author Page