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This book presents a horrible conflict for me. On the one hand it is absolutely dreadful, but on the other hand it is oddly readable.
The storyline, which you are all probably well aware of by now, is about a young naive woman called Anastasia Steele, who finds herself madly in love with the enigmatic billionaire Christian Grey. In case you weren't aware, Christian Grey has a fairly serious S and M fetish. Long story short he introduces Anistasia to his interests and she falls madly in love with him.
So far so predictable. Of course the reason this book is so famous is because it is peppered with exceptionally graphic sex scenes. This is one of the reasons that so many people like it, as it is one of the first mainstream best sellers to address this topic in such a graphic and detailed manner. Normally if you wanted to read about fetish sex, you'd have to go to a certain type of shop.
The biggest problem with this book is that it is one of the worst written books I have ever read. E-L James has, in my opinion very little writing talent. She relies heavily on tired cliches, bad metaphors and a really rather annoying ongoing reference to an inner dialogue. The writing is repetitive and dull. In fact if you get bored of reading this book, a more entertaining use of time to find a phrase and see how many times it is a repeated throughout the book.
Close to the atrocious writing, is the horribly antifeminist and misogynistic sentiment of this book. The main female protagonist is your standard princess in an ivory tower, the only difference is that she is not rescued by a knight in shining armour rather a knight clad head to toe in leather. She then enters into what can only be described as an exceptionally emotionally abusive relationship. And that's before we get to the sex.
The betrayal of the fetish world in this book is dreadful. It displays a worrying lack of research which only adds to my previous point about the protagonists unequal and unfair relationship.
Despite this, and despite the hugely predictable outcome of the book and the wider series, I could not stop myself from reading this book through to completion. As much as I hated myself for it I really needed to read to the end to find out what happened to Anna and Christian.
So, in short if you don't mind all of the points I've made above and you're really looking for a bit of a reading which requires no brain power at all then go for it. But there are probably a thousand other books I would recommend before this one.
I have read all three fifty shades twice. I read them when they first came out and then again when the movie came out so I could refresh my memory. The second time around I loved the books even more and I love the story between Christian and Anastasia. I could just them again (although I tend to skip the first as it s a bit monotonous and skip straight to the second and third book as there is more going on in those books).
Christian Grey is a very well established entrepreneur at the young age of 27 and is extremely wealthy. However he hides a terrible and sordid past and E.L. James keeps this well covered until past halfway of the second book. Anastasia Steele is a literature student who takes the place of the poorly friend to do her interview with Grey. Grey is immediately attracted to Steele and the story begins there. He is a very persistent and controlling character but you see his walls slowly break down as he and Steele get to know each other in more ways than one.
In my honest opinion, the first book is a bit trashy as its all about sex and S&M and you do find you do want to start skipping pages as it can get a little monotonous. Once you get the first book out of the way though, the story builds a little bit and you cannot help but fall in love (or lust) with Christian from what you learn of his past. At the beginning of knowing these two characters, Christian is the controlling one, but as you read on, Anastasia slowly takes a hold of his heart and he becomes powerless to her.
Yes, these stories are very cheesey and fluffy, but lets face it, every now and then, we all need a bit of fluff in our lives!
I have to begin by stating that I'm the type of person who tends to reach for classic literature rather than your airport novels, crime 'thrillers', chick lit or erotic page turners. I decided to read this because my mum bought it after falling for the hype surrounding the novel. After she read it she gave the book to me with a few choice comments about how ridiculous she thought it was.
The book, which apparently started out as 'Twilight' fan fiction, is penned by E.L James and concerns the story of a rich entrepreneur Christian Grey. Anastasia Steele is a virginal university student who enagages with Grey and begins an unusual sexual relationship.
To be honest, based on all of the hype, I expected the novel to be much raunchier and more explicit than it is. If you are reading this for the kinky aspect rather than for it's art, which I'm sure many people will be, then you may be left wanting more. The standard of writing is rather low and that's putting it mildly. It often reads as though written by a confused teenager who is trying to write well but who has no maturity or true voice. I found many of the sex scenes in the novel to be unintentionally funny due to this lack of writing skill. Some of the descriptions are plain trashy and there is nothing in the words to engage either the mind or body of an intelligent reader.
The story didn't please me either and it's been the subject of much controversy. Feminists will probably abhor this novel and the way Ana Steele is portrayed makes me feel embarrassed as a woman. No doubt there is some aspect of the plot that feeds into the secret sexual fantasies of some women but it feels like an insulting portrayal of this rather than a celebration.
I didn't care for any of the characters in the novel and I started to feel like getting to the end of the book was a real drag. Although there are sequels to this novel I certainly won't be reading them. I wouldn't recommend reading this - you could probably write your own novel about your erotic fantasies just as well.
This is my personal interpretation of the book:
This is the first book in the highly anticipated Fifty Shades trilogy. Billionaire Christian Grey likes to being in complete control and keeps his dark past well hidden. Anastasia Steele a literature student who is about to graduate has no idea what she plans to do with her life. Anastasia meets Christian during an interview she conducts with him for the schools newspaper as a favor to her roommate and best friend, Kate. After the interview Christian is so fascinated and intrigued by Anastasia that he creates situations where he can keep on meeting up with her. This eventually starts a very strange romantic relationship between the two of them. Christian likes to be the dominant one and tries to introduce Anastasia to the ways of BDSM. The shocking ending to this unusual romance novel will defiantly keep you at the edge of your seat
This book is not for sensitive readers as the writer goes into great detail, this erotic romance novel will keep female readers intrigued to the end and impatient for the second book in the Trilogy. Fifty Shades of Grey is a must read that will be enjoyed right to the last page.
E.L James is a creative author who is not afraid to add the shock factor to a book, she keeps you interested through the entire book which makes you want to read until you have reached the final page, with her unique writing style and great storyline she has created an amazing read.
Review also posted on Ciao
I decided to read this book as I work in a library and try to keep up with what our patrons are reading and what books are popular at the moment. As someone who works in a library it is also very important for me to not judge book before I have read them, so I do try to read books people say are bad or 'controversial', such as Satanic Verses or Lolita.
I guess this is a fun book to read if you have time to kill, but if you are after more serious and heavy things to read, or you are a normal person with common sense, avoid it.
What immediately struck me when reading this book was how poorly written it was. Endless repetition of words, expression and phrases, no variety to the language whatsoever.
The story and characters were not believable either, and this is fine in a work of fiction. But in this book the story and characters are just too out there for anyone to be able to relate to them. Take Ana. A young lady at college who has never had sex, even thought about sex or a sexual encounter prior to meeting Christian. Really? And Christian. A 24 year old, dastardly handsome, fabulously rich singly guy who can cook. And fly a helicopter. And play the piano. Apparently. These are not characters that appear in anything but a young girl's daydream, in my view.
And the sex in the book is just not quite there either. It sounds like mummy porn; multiple orgasms, orgasming the first time Ana ever has sex, sex always and in every encounter done flawlessly and without a hitch or giggle. When does this happen in real life? And don't even get me going on how Christian treats Ana outside of the bedroom.
I a guessing sex sells and that is why this book has come so popular. I cannot see why it would sell so well otherwise. I would only recommend this to a friend if I knew they were into BDSM, and even then I'd tell them to read it with a pinch of salt.
Having heard my friends rave on about Christian Grey on Facebook and Twitter, I have to admit that I was somewhat intrigued. Being an avid bookworm anyway, I was ready for a new book and thought "why not!".
Fifty shades of Grey is basically a love story with a twist. We are introduced to the characters, Ana and Christian and the initial scene with Ana and Christian at the interview sets the tone of the book quite well. Christian is compelled by Ana and it seems that she is mutually attracted. However, the kind of relationship that Ana wants is quite different to what Christian Grey has in mind. He wants to make her his new submissive! Without ruining the story, I will add that not all is what it seems and the story has a few twists and turns on board.
I felt that the story was good in places but at times, seems to go a little off track. It's far too repetitive and nearly had me tearing my hair out at Ana biting her lip on every other page! The erotic scenes are mainly very good but in places somewhat predictable and again repetitive in places.
In summary, it's fine for a light summer read but I personally wouldn't be interested in reading it again. I have however, read the following two books so therefore it does have an ability to keep you interested.
After reading several reviews from other dooyoo users, i was a bit surprised on the outcome that it appears a lot of people didn't actually enjoy reading this book - considering i only ended up reading it because of the massive hype circulating the trilogy, and deciding after most people had read the books a few months previously to finely conform and download the book on my kindle.
i wasn't entirely sure what the books were about but after reading countless status updates on Facebook about 'how amazing christian grey is' and 'the best mummy porn out there' i knew that they were somewhat 'erotic' not realising that they actually focused on BDSM. I was half way through the book when the reader discovers the 'red room of pain' and christians haunted soul, although a little shocked i decided to continue reading.
i found the relationship between christian and Ana interesting, the desire as a woman, to want to nurture someone who is i guess you could describe as 'damaged', and that someone so independent and powerful as christian grey is attracted to 'normal, geeky' Ana and how he also wants her to help 'change' him.
in terms of the writing, the author portrays the clear electricity between christian and ana by the fact that she seems to climax on every page. i ended up skipping through a lot of the sex scenes as they became incredibly repetitive and to be frank, a bit boring.
the constant reference to the book title actually ended up making me giggle a couple of time. - my 50 shades...' 'he really is 50 shades of fucked up..' etc etc. it was stupid basically.
saying that, i didn't read this book for its literacy accuracy, i read it because i am a hopeless romantic, wanted to read something a bit different, and most of the time, it was quite entertaining. obviously it is a fictional novel, so some of the story lines did seem a bit far out there and ridiculous but hey it is no different to a story about something like mass zombies taking over the world?!?
I was a little late jumping on the grey wagon as I tend to be one of those awkward non conformists types who try to resist the temptation of becoming part of the herd for as long as possible. When I eventually caught up with the rest of the world, I found myself bitterly disappointed. What I had hoped to read was a mature and expertly done piece of fiction and yet this was far from the reality of what I actually got.
The book reads like it was written for a much younger audience than what the subject matter allows for. The language is simple except for the occasional word where the writer has clearly used a thesaurus. For any friends fans I likened this to the episode where Joey had used a thesaurus on every word, including his own name, which became baby kangaroo.
As for the 'plot', I struggled to find it, n fact when my kindle died half way through the third book I had still not discovered it and I can only imagine it was buried in the last half of the third book. There was little in the way of subtext and any attempt at drama was quickly squashed with a 'never mind false alarm'.
I realise I am part of the small minority of people who have not managed to experience the delights of the series but having given it a good chance by getting through all 3 books (almost) I feel i can justify my distaste and hope to discourage others from wasting their time as I have.
This is the book that hit the mainstreaming charts with a hit. And not surprising too, as the book contains no academic value at all, making it the perfect read for just about anyone. On first reading the book it took me a while to get passed the poor grammar and just how it was generally structured. However, if you can get passed this, the whole concept of the storyline is very fascinating if not a little bit over done by various other authors. The whole business man and young student with added dom and sub scenario has been around for years, however none which got so much publicity as this. The more fascinating part is that E.L.James not only managed to get this in the charts, but also another two follow up books, leading the storyline further into the lives of the main characters showing how they developed their lustful relationship into something of a more serious substance.
Like most people, I decided to read Fifty Shades of Grey purely to see what all the fuss was about and so I could better understand my colleague's tongue-in-cheek comments, making fifty shades references about everything from her keyboard to the water cooler.
This book must be amazing, I thought.
While I don't pretend to be any sort of literary genius and I often read simple, good-page-turner-not-much-substance type books for nothing more than pure escapism, this book annoyed me. It annoyed me because it was supposed to be amazing and it wasn't.
Not only in the sense that it was an anti-climax after all the hype but it's actually a really poorly written book. I'm sure I couldn't do the job any better but I don't pretend to be able to and haven't been transformed into a multi-millionaire off the back of something so badly crafted. But, EL James herself is probably completely awestruck by its success too. I don't blame her for misleading me, I blame the publicity machine surrounding this book.
In a nutshell, the characters were unbelievable, there wasn't any substance to the plot, the language and sentence structure is appalling and once you've read one BDSM sex scene you've read them all; it becomes repetitive and a chore to read.
But, sex sells. And so-called "mummy porn" just so happens to be in this season.
There can be no other explanation as to why this book has been so successful.
I don't normally read books just because I'm too busy or too tired, and the only time I read book is when I am relaxing on holiday because I don't have much to do except relax and get a good tan!
I only reason I bought this book was back in 2012, when EVERYBODY was writing statues on facebook about how they cannot put this book down and everyone was talking about it. So I decided to buy the book just to what the hype and fuss was about.
I saw an offer in Morrisons for £3.99, and the next day when I went to buy it, the whole shelf with that book being advertised was empty! That's how popular it was at the time - but then I went to WHSmiths and had to pay an extra four pounds, I was hoping it was going to be a good read like everyone said it was or claimed to be.
The story is about a young, final year student, named Anastasia Steele who has to take the role of an interviewer because of her friend's Kate's illness. Which does not do either of them a favor as Anastasia has final exams approaching, putting more stress on Anastasia, but helping Kate out as she is too ill to do her job. It turns out that she is interviewing a man named Christian Grey. Christian Grey is a wealthy, young, attractive, successful entrepreneur. As the story progresses, Anastasia starts to fall for him and develops feelings for Christian as they start making regular visits with each other, with Christian spoiling her rotten and meeting/picking her up in exclusive cars and helicopter rides, after Christian turns up at a store where Anastastia works.
Anastasia learns that Christian is more than just being an attractive, wealthy man but has a very sexy side to him which has to be kept distance between them and making this secret between them, and Christian makes a contract with this relationship. Anastasia just wants more of him, more than just friends with benefits. This man is what any girl could dream of, and this book will keep you gripped to the pages wanting to read on and find out more...
My overview of this book is that it is probably the most sexiest book I have read, since reading Secret Diary of a Call girl, it is very tensions and very cliff-hanging which makes you want to read on more, I will admit I read up to two or three chapters a day! The best bit is around chapter eight - chapter nine. Very tense, I had the unfortunate luck of reading this on a train and I couldn't read it without feeling awkward.
So I could see why there was a big hype about this novel! A film is due to come out next year, so there's going to be a bigger hype than the novel!
After months of listening to people 'big up' this book and hearing all the hype, i decided to give in and give it a read. How i really wish i hadn't.
there really isn't much of a plot to this book, perhaps Ana's eventual acceptance of Christians lifestyle? other than that there is hardly any plot development throughout the entire book. as an erotica book, obviously there was going to be mentions of sex in the book, but the sheer amount is ridiculous and not even tactfully used. It is also slightly unrealistic and far fetched. i think there is a sex act or reference to sex on at least every other page.
the language is very simple, with no clever lexis or other types of high quality grammar you would expect to find in a published book (metaphors, pathetic fallacy etc).
unlike other books, this really hasn't lived up to the hype, with it not really being gripping or a page turner. it was honestly more of a chore to carry on reading, with the notion that id endured so much i owed it to myself to finish it. it felt like the author didnt really have an idea about writing a good quality book with substance, and instead just filled the majority of the book with sex, believing in the saying that 'sex sells', which unfortunately in the case of this book series it has.
i only dread the upcoming release of the film and hope that the directors have more tact than the author
Honestly, what seemed to have propel the novels standing in the world of litreature was hype.
Firstly, the novel had very little plot. The novel centered mainly around sex - which I believe was overused. There must have been a sexual act occuring on almost every page. This got boring, very fast. The novels plot, albeit a lack of plot, was very thin, quite corny and overused. They are together, he is damaged, wants the female protagonist solely for sex, falls in love and there is an obsessive stalker. The obsessive stalker, in my opinion, was just something added in - it was utterly useless. It was akin to adding spices to an already spicy dish.
What mainly frustrated me was the triology. It was definitley not needed. The novel could have been done in one book. There was definitley no need for 3 novels - this caused the sexual aspects of the novel to become overused and utterly tedious. After all, how many times can we read of the same act occuring, with the same two characters?
What I really vehmently disliked was the fact that the male protagonists sexual preferences were put down to his childhood. This was also not sufficently explored, in my opinion.
Overall, the book has a lack of plot and is too sexualised - which gets boring very quick!
I was really excited to buy this book after hearing how it was the book of the decade and an abolute must read, I was very disappointed. It really could have been written by a child or a teenager doing a mock exam, was no clever writing, no indepth content, characters weren't believable or likeable and I found reading it actually quite boring. The benefits are that it is extremely easy reading so requires no thought or effort. It's a book you can unwind to in the bath or when you're wanting to relax but if you are wanting something gritty and to get your teeth into then this book is not for you.
The sex scenes in it are scenes you can find in any book, nothing like they are made out to be all shocking and new, really just the same kind of stuff that authors have been writing for years. I wouldn't bother reading this again.
This is a book that has become essentially very famous of late for its no-holds barred description of erotica and BDSM; it is has been labelled groundbreaking in the way in which it appeals to female sexuality as perhaps no other novel before has done?
That said, this is not a well-written book. No-one is alleging that. It's clichéd, trite, at time excruciating and of course it was originally Twilight fan-fiction so don't go into it with hopes high for a literary exploration of female sexuality.
That said, it is very educational insofar as sex goes: if you wish to know what you're missing or spice up your bedroom life then this is an excellent route into further erotica. It's extremely readable and it's probably a good idea to skim through it before its film adaptation this year.
However, it's probably a good idea to buy it new or on Kindle. Enough said, I think.