I’m jealous of 50 shades of rubbish

COMMENT BY ANN RICKARD: Okay,  I'm fessing up. I've read Fifty Shades of Grey.

But only because it was feature book of the month at my book club.

For anyone who has been living in a cave, Fifty Shades of Grey is the latest publishing phenomenon, the first in a trilogy about sex of the sadomasochistic kind, written by E.L. James, a London-based mother of two.

It's been referred to as "erotica", "mommy porn" and "guilty fun".

It was first self-published and then went on to be sold for an astronomical sum and had a first print run of 750,000.

It is not so much the sordid subject matter that is causing all the talk, rather the fact that it is badly written and woefully edited.

The reviews had been scathing: "treacly", "cliched", "hackneyed", "fifty shades of rubbish".

All correct. Yet there it is, No.1 on the best-seller shelf.

Shameful? Of course.

Even more so that E.L. James is earning more than a million dollars a week from her crappy writing.

Among the myriad complaints about the book is that the main character and narrator, the supremely annoying college student Anastasia Steele, has the maddening habit of referring to her "inner goddess" in every second line and says "holy crap" several times per paragraph.

Anyone with less than average writing talent could have put together a book as bad as this.

But we didn't.

This is not the first time, and will not be the last, that someone writes a really bad book that earns a fortune.

I have a sister who years ago worked out her own healthy eating regime and has remained slim and fit.

Yet when an American nobody brought out a book featuring an almost identical regime, got herself on Oprah and in turn on the New York best-seller list, my sister was outraged.

"I could have written that book," she howled.

"Yeah, but you didn't," I soothed. "You did not sit down and do it."

E.L. James has given every writer and every would-be writer a lesson.

Stop dreaming, wishing and bleating. Get to work on your idea.

Holy crap. Just do it.

Ann is on holidays, so today we offer one of her best from our vault.


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