A Matter of Distaste


I am an avid reader and have been a fan of words, writing and books ever since I can remember learning to read. I could read anything and everything. I literally devoured books and was a member of as many as 4 lending libraries as a child / teenager.There was very little that did not interest me and I went through the stages of Enid Blyton and Classics  through M&B’s and autobiographies to Best Sellers to non fiction and self help books. Even ” comics” as they were called then,  were a source of joy. Newspapers magazines. I loved reading. Period. The typical Bookworm. 

The whole point of the para above is to say that I love books and could generally see good in almost any form of writing even if it was boring or bad. But the moment I saw this prompt the immediate book that sprang to my mind was a recent one – Fifty Shades of Grey. It was like “immediate” … just no other book came to my mind.  

I read it during one of my sabbaticals from work – annual leave as we call it.  There had been so much hype. Pre-orders being placed. All online stores had been promoting it and I was happy when I got my copy home-delivered.  The day I started reading it, I had my cup of coffee and munchies on my bedside table and settled down in my favorite corner, to my idea of heaven – a much-awaited book, hot-off-the-press, so to speak and uninterrupted reading with music in the background.Ah, Bliss!

I spoke too soon….

I was not taken with the prose or the  language from the beginning of the book, but the situations, the frequent emails and texting  were contemporary and I liked the pace of the book. So I continued reading. There had to be a story and I was eager to munch on it. But once I reached the so-called  erotic pages I was turned off, to say the least. As it is, BDSM is just not my cup of tea. It did not and does not appeal to me at all. However I paid attention to the story line and waited for it to develop. Alas, that never happened! The lead pair seemed as confused as I was.The author did not know what to do with them other than write sex scenes with not much relevance to reality. \

Let me hasten to add that I am no prude. Those who know me would know!  I like passionate romances as any other person on earth and have had my share of reading them –  even raunchy ones and erotica. And liked them.  But these scenes just “left me cold”  to use the words in today’s prompt. I did finish the book but was left with the feeling of having wasted my money and much more importantly, my “me-time”. 

My only consolation was that I did not order the rest of the “Trilogy”!! Thank God for small mercies! 

I saw that the book went on to break all kinds of records, was even given awards et al.It is now being made into a full fledged movie, to be released in Feb 2015. On Valentines Day.  Valentines day has definitely changed  from what I last heard of it. 

I may have made a mistake, but that book just did not appeal to me. Nor to any of my senses. Aesthetic, romantic or erotic. 

Having said that, millions of people all over the world cannot be wrong. So let me add once again yes, there may be something that I missed in the book.

No offence to the writer either. You need courage confidence time and talent to write and publish a book. That is given. And to have it become a world bestseller  – its the stuff dreams are made of.  To me however,  the book was a nightmare.

Happy reading, folks!   220px-50ShadesofGreyCoverArt

Matters of Taste

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18 thoughts on “A Matter of Distaste

  1. rajivkrishnan57 August 13, 2014 / 7:02 pm

    Haven’t read the book and after your candid pronouncements, don’t intend to do so either. Knowing your immense love for words in every form, your judgment is seldom contradictable.

    The manner in which the blog has been worded makes even the ‘distaste’ palatabe. Liked the way you gave expression to your experience with the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ripplesnreflectiontimes August 13, 2014 / 9:11 pm

    Thanks, dear. the way your comment is worded , methinks its high time you got back to an old love,reading and a wonderful talent- writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Anita August 14, 2014 / 11:33 am

    i guess most topics, story telling and views are subjective . Target audiences may be different. I These are different times too with people with different tastes.However appreciate how you dared to be different and were bold enough to express your views…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • ripplesnreflectiontimes August 18, 2014 / 6:48 am

      Thanks Anita… I agree completely…… to his /her own….. The prompt was something that everyone liked but I did not …..

      Like

  4. Dr Kiran Nair August 14, 2014 / 3:15 pm

    Aruna, i totally resonate with your veiws..thanks for saving me from a mindless book. There are not too many people who read books the way some of us do(from childhood) and consequently can use our well developed imagination to enjoy the romance in everyday situations in life and in our choce of books..we don’t need titillation !

    Liked by 1 person

    • ripplesnreflectiontimes August 18, 2014 / 6:50 am

      Thanks Dr Kiran Nair……. Great to see you taking the time to comment …its very encouraging…do keep visiting !

      Like

  5. Soul n Spirit August 15, 2014 / 1:40 pm

    Soothing music, hot cup of coffee, a cozy corner……….perfect ambience……but then what a big disappointment it was, the book did not appeal to your senses……Well written and it kept me engaged till last to look for any mercy shown to the author.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Terry Lee August 18, 2014 / 4:08 am

    Your article is pretty good to read. Great!!
    Thank you very much for sharing, I will post it on my Facebook to share to my families?

    Liked by 1 person

    • ripplesnreflectiontimes September 17, 2014 / 6:57 pm

      Please do post it….sorry for the late reply….I saw the comment only today. Thanks so much for the good words. Feeling Encouraged. 😊

      Like

  7. ripplesnreflectiontimes August 18, 2014 / 6:53 am

    Thanks Rashmi…. I do not have the heart to pan a book usually… but this one came naturally!

    Like

  8. writenlive August 19, 2014 / 4:26 pm

    Thanks for the honest opinion on the ‘Fifty shades…’. Never read the book while others were devouring it. And I always wondered if there was something I had missed. Now I know that I have been saved.

    Like

    • ripplesnreflectiontimes September 17, 2014 / 6:59 pm

      Ha ha!! Not sure about that … but am happy you dropped by…thanks. much appreciated.☺

      Like

  9. Aravind August 30, 2014 / 4:26 pm

    Thats a good review. But having read all 3 volumes of Fifty shades i should say that the first book is little more sexual and doesnt reflect passionate romance. But in the subsequent volumes the story does develop showing the love of mr grey and Anastasia
    Anyways Fifty shades is nt a great piece of work, but it has definitely got the pace and ‘spice’.that make a good read

    Like

    • ripplesnreflectiontimes September 17, 2014 / 7:03 pm

      Appreciate your views. And I agree I may have made a mistake not having read the 3 volumes …but will take a rain check on it for now….☺
      Also I want to reiterate that it was not the sexual content per se…. It was the clear lack of a story line. ..😊

      Like

  10. Gerry C. September 6, 2014 / 1:03 am

    Have you ever tried reading a cook book from start to finish? That today is what a lot of consumers try to do when they purchase the latest “successful novel” and hope that the opinion of a particular majority will offer them an insight into the popular works of an author. There are many recipes in the cookbook and not all appeal to the general public. Even Betty Crocker has her critics!

    Eroticism, sex, intimate relationships and being a “human” being cannot be reduced to formulas. Each of us has our likes and dislikes about something. Perhaps the majority of readers who rave about a particular novel are desperately seeking some sort of personal epiphany in their own lives.

    The popular media with its bland offerings of life may have dulled their senses and they seek a form of personal vindication between the pages of the latest how-to or what-not-to do novel that has been brazenly and aggressively touted by television hosts and aggressive advertisers.

    Life, real world experiences and a realistic sense of self ( what appeals to you and you alone) are the only things that matter. If you had a different reaction to a work of art pat yourself on the back and realize that art is a truly subjective medium and that you do not fit into the general profile of things.

    Perhaps your inner self is merely questioning the why’s and wherefore of things. You should be commended for being a reflective , honest and discriminating reader . Don’t put yourself down for being honest!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Minnoo September 19, 2014 / 10:55 am

    What is there in this book for me?
    Nothing!
    To be fair and just, at least not until where I have managed, almost at breakneck speed, in the hope of getting some nourishment. Alas! I empathise with your sense of disappointment, Aruna!

    Well, a lot one reads may not have what one is looking for at a particular point in life, but what these 230 pages have not given ME is the joy of reading, of enjoying the play of words, of moving with the characters. Instead, I feel far removed from them, perhaps alienated culturally(?!) and oh, the repetitive use of exclamatory highs makes me feel low, if I may say so! The racy pace has slowed down the build-up of the plot, the scheme of things as it were, the idea that the writer wished to communicate. She would have had her reasons though and the fact that millions loved it, makes me wonder if I need to experiment..er..with different kind of reading!

    I do wonder though! If I haven’t tried cigarettes, never ‘thought of thinking of’ drugs,have always squirmed at the sound of sushi and the squeakiness of squid, should I turn the page to Chapter 14? Towards a darker shade of Grey, until freedom?

    Liked by 1 person

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