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29August

50 Shades of Shit???

My take on being subjected to the latest literary "blockbuster"

There are very few shades of grey that interest me. I am really a black and white sort of person – I love deeply, I am fiercely loyal and madly creative – I stand up for the under-dog, fight for the fynbos, loathe lies and deception and I have a ferocious streak that sometimes scares even me.

So shades of grey are, generally boring – they need dressing up with a splash of red or a twist of lemon...

As a grading assessor for TGCSA I drive about 3000km a month in my faithful little car. I marvel at the vast expanses of this wonderful Western Cape – thank the Powers That Be on a regular basis for the fact that I don't have to traverse the eroded, crumbled wasteland to be found elsewhere in this beleaguered country of ours, and that each bend in the road opens up yet another Kodak-Moment.

After a few years of singing along to favourite tunes, crying along with beautiful classics, and arguing with the contents of my own head, I realised that I had to do something to stay sane on these trips, so I hit on the idea of listening to books. To be honest, I had considered learning a language, but the closest I have come to educational is immersing myself in the wonders of Bill Bryson's Short History of Just About Everything and Cultural Amnesia. I have listened to wonderful biographies, laughed out loud at Steven Fry's particular brand of madness, Cried along with Morrie and waitind in eager anticipation of the killer being revealed in countless thrillers of various genres.

Lately however, the economic crunch and the fact that my daughter in law can no longer supply me with CD's from the UK (because yay! they live here now) has reduced me to buying the longest listening time for the least Rands.... So when I saw 16 CD's for a paltry price, and a title I recognised from idle chatter I bought it – 50 Shades of boring Grey.

I have listened to 8 of the 16 discs as I traversed the highways and byways during a particularly trying time in my life and this is what I need to say:

Don’t waste your money, your time or your intellect on this unutterable drivel.
Believe me dear reader, I like a bit of wanton sex in a good read, but it needs to be crafted finely – like any good foreplay – not just tripped up and slapped on the rump on its headlong way to the mattress.

But that isn’t what annoys me about this book. No! no! It is the way it is written. It is the repetitive use of the same words again and again (how often can a man have his pants “hanging from his hips”and where the hell else would a man’s pants hang from anyway..?) it is the stupidity of the heroine – the gross stupidity of the girl and the way she peeps out from under her eyelashes at him peeping out from under his eyelashes that pisses me off.

I have developed Road Rage – I have taken to hooting at old ladies and taking on taxi-drivers in the lane zipping situations. I am eating rubbish and chucking the debris on the floor instead of popping the banana skins and nut packets into the little bag that hangs from the cubby hole…

I have, for the first time in my life, quit on a book. I quit. Because I am worth it.

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