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Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy,…

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy, Bk 1) (original 2011; edition 2012)

by EL James

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4,828488958 (2.98)5 / 260
lit_chick's review
I succumbed (poor word choice, perhaps!) to Fifty Shades of Grey because I was curious about the hype and craved an escape read. The novel scored on both counts. First, the hype: sex, check; more sex, check; romance hookup, check. Second, escape read: a disarmingly gorgeous billionaire with an outrageous sexual appetite, a dysfunctional past, and a penchant for control falls hard for a virginal college student and rescues her from reality in an all-consuming assault of lux-living and sensuality. Check.

Yes, Anastasia Steele has finally fallen for a man. Christian Grey is a “hot, sexy billionaire.” (Ch 6) He is charming, and “His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel … or something.” (Ch 2) He has “beautifully chiseled lips” (Ch 2 ) and he repeatedly reduces Ana to “a quivering mass of raging female hormones." (Ch 2)

In case it is not already painfully obvious, there is no literary merit to Fifty Shades of Grey. That said, I’m planning to read the next in the trilogy, and probably the third. How to rate such a train wreck, then? Well, I can hardly give it less than one star while planning to read more. And “obsessive diversion from report cards” is not really a legitimate criteria. The writing, um, speaks for itself ... ( )
6 vote lit_chick | Jun 9, 2012 |
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“Well, if you were mine, you wouldn't be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday.”

I don’t normally read these kinds of books. Erotica isn’t my forte and I admit it, I’m a bit of prude. I don’t particularly like reading sex scenes, because I find them awkward and kind of mechanical. In any case, 50 Shades of Grey was super popular when it came out in bookstores. Mom’s bought them, teens bought them, SNL did a spoof on it, and the amount of articles written about it was crazy.

So I was curious. I knew that this was a Twilight fan fiction turned novel, which isn’t really that big of a deal for me because I liked the first Twilight novel. It was a cute teen love story where a vapid, shallow, live and die for my man, type of girl falls in love with a guy who considers her to be food. It was good, not amazing, not earth shattering, but it was good. Fluffy, but good.

Knowing this, a grown up Twilight didn’t seem all that bad. Only, it kind of was. It wasn’t so much the erotica that bothered me, mainly because I didn’t get that far. And the writing was bad, while bad, wasn’t the worse thing I’ve read. That honour belongs to Sleeping Roses.

The problem I had was that Christian Grey sounded like a psycho. This didn’t make me side eye all the people who love this book, and are eagerly anticipating the movie, but it did make me annoyed and kind of angry. It wasn’t the book, but just what Christian represents. Seeing all of these women saying how they want him and desire him made me question why. Why would someone want someone so controlling, so overbearing, and so threatening in their lives?

"I will punish you when you require it, and it will be painful."

Sure, its fiction and people can dream about whatever scenario they wish to dream about. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with that at all. My issue is that as a Muslim female, I’ve read article after article about how I’m oppressed because the males in my life are controlling, overbearing, and threatening. I can’t wear what I want, because my dad (or husband, or brother, or uncle, or son, or whatever male in my family) tells me what to do. I can’t do “normal” stuff, because my life is restricted to what they want. If I make a wrong move, then I’m punished.

This isn’t true for most Muslim men, but just like any guy in the world, there are a few bad apples. Humans, in general, are kind of cruel, stupid, and horrific if you look closely enough. It doesn’t matter if they’re religious or not, if they’re male or female, cruelty has no boundaries. Of course, to paint humans like this would be stupid because there are many wonderful things about them too.

But the stereotype is there and so while reading 50 Shades I started to question why anyone would like someone like this? I mean, everything he’s saying is classic signs of an abuser. As I read more, I then had my answer.

Hot Guy Syndrome

Hot Guy Syndrome is when a male MC is incredibly handsome, so much so that he can get away with murder, abuse, and possibly even rape, and it would be okay because his eyes are dreamy and his lips are simply to die for. Hahaha, this is the reason why I don’t like New Adult novels by the way. Too many of the male MCs are exactly like this.

"How did you find me?"

"I tracked your cell phone Anastasia."

Oh, of course he did. How is that possible? Is it legal? Stalker, my subconscious whispers at me through the cloud of tequila that's still floating in my brain, but somehow, because it's him, I don't mind.

I had to stop reading this before I started to break things, because really now. Really?!?!?!! Just like how the stereotypical Muslim man is considered an abusive douchebag, Christian Grey would be in the same league as them. You don’t meet someone once and then say, “Hey, you know what would be fun? To place a tracker on her phone and then chastise her when someone she considers as a friend tries to make a move on her.”

That’s a guaranteed restraining order right there. GUARANTEED, no questions asked. I wouldn't smile and wish that he kissed me. I'd run away, dropping my phone in the process.

Once again, this behaviour is seen as charming, when it's scary. Mad scary in fact.

The stereotypes for Muslim men are just that, stereotypes and gross generalizations. I don’t deny that there are men out that who use religion to abuse their wives, but I also know that they don’t represent the religion. Never have and never should. Men abuse women everywhere (and women abuse men too) and no group is free from that sadly, but to paint men from a religion that encompasses so many different races, cultures, and places, like this is just ignorant.

Sadly, in the case of Christian Grey, he is described likes these Muslim men and then some. He’s controlling, he’s stalkerish, and he likes to tell women that he’ll physically hurt them before he introduced his fetish to them. The only differences is that rich, handsome, has a freakishly large index finger (think ET), and has a dark moody past that makes you want to protect him. Other than that, there's no real difference. At least, none that I've see.

Overall: I don’t get the fascination with 50 Shades of Grey or with Christian Grey for that matter. I resent that he is considered a god sent to women while men from my religion get bashed to high heaven for being perceived in almost exactly the same way. This may be a stupid reason for hating a book, but it is what it is.
( )
  pdbkwm | Sep 8, 2014 |
LOL ... Okay so this is definitely a series I have to start reading soon ... Although these books are not in stores here in Belgium, they did make it in the news today! Apparently, they're such a success in the US and Australia, that all stores have run out and can't keep up with the demand! Damn, now I'm curious ... :-) ( )
  Tinne.Joosen | Sep 8, 2014 |
This series is literally the worst I've ever read, and I've read a lot of books. The writing is lackluster, there is zero left to the imagination, words are used and re-used. I skimmed the first 100 pages, got to a sex scene, and those weren't even worth all the hype. To put it directly, if you're on the fence, don't cross to the other side. Not even remotely worth the time. I gave it 2 stars because there is a slight story behind all of it, so it's not all sex, sex, sex. But, if you're looking for erotic stories, there are better out there than this drivel. ( )
  pennylane78 | Sep 6, 2014 |
Wow. More than I imagined. Now that's it's morning and I don't need sleep, let me review this a little better.

When these books first came out, I was told (by another author) that the story line came from the Twilight series. I read the first 2 Twilight books and 1/2 of the 3rd one before I called it quits. I couldn't handle it, didn't like it so there was no way I was attempting these.

Since their release, there has been so much hype and I'd heard enough that I decided to take this book with me on vacation ;) - yes, for that reason and I was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed it - even if her "inner goddess" annoyed me at times. The only two similarities I could even come up with between Twilight and Fifty Shades is that apparently both Edward and Christian are perfect and Bella and Anastasia are both completely obsessed.

That said, I guess I need to start Fifty Shades Darker. ( )
  Sharn | Sep 6, 2014 |
I really hats that I want to read the next book. All I can think as I read this is I want to throw a thesaurus at her face! I'm glad I didn't purchase them but I already have the second book on loan from a friend. ( )
  pennylane78 | Sep 5, 2014 |
When Anastasia Steele walks into Christian Grey's office, her world tilts, literally. A strong minded man, a naive woman, what could possibly they see in each other? Christian wants to very much introduce Ana to his world, but on his terms. Ana just wants to get to know this enigmatic man. And what lies behind closed doors, well, that's only a plus in her book. ( )
  Wendy_Nettles | Sep 4, 2014 |
Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James
Wanted to read this book when a book I loved written by DJ Wilson was compared to the female counterpart of this author.
Starts out with Anatashia and she has to step in for the editor and get an interview with Grey who runs a huge company.
Christian Grey is under 30 and has fascinated her. She knows nothing of him but has the interview questions to ask him.
He runs a teleco company and is in charge of many people and loves the power. Chapters alternate between the two of them.
The agreement has many rules and she must obey them. I found this to be a bit over the top, it's just not normal to me, being whipped, tied up etc.
Grey has an erotic taste and a dark background full of demons. Hard to follow at times as I'm listening to a book on tape. not sure when it's a thought or if it was spoken out loud.
Like the back story more as it's about her working in the publishing field. Surprised at the ending as it goes into the next book.
. ( )
  jbarr5 | Aug 27, 2014 |
What the hell did I just read.

...seriously. I'm making a inhuman effort not to curse this book with swear words because, after all, I have already read worse things, but I can't imagine what makes people like this book so much. I mean, I understand why Twilight is so popular among teenagers. It's not such a nice book, but it has mystery, it has romance and some sort of fantasy. This one? It has annoying characters and lots of sex scenes.

I can't even properly think of what I have to say about this book. "Boring" is not exactly the word. I admit it, I read it non-stop, but the motivation was more like the eagerness to finish reading it as soon as possible so that I could move on to a better book without having a guilty conscience. The impression that I get is that Fifty Shades of Grey was written for those women who thought that they had found their prince charming, got married and now that their prince charming is fat, bald and lying drunkenly on the couch, can't find another way to consummate their innermost desires other than reading cheap erotica. Only that can be the reason why this book is so exhaustively repetitive. Remember the "oh Edward perfect eyes perfect body mysterious smile yaddle yaddle yaddle"? Replace the sparkling vampire for a ridiculously rich CEO and there you have it. Fifty Shades of Grey in all of its glory.

The worst part is that I almost liked the book in the beginning. The main character, Anastasia Steele, was slightly silly (and which youngster isn't?). The hot guy, Christian Grey, was handsome, powerful and rich. What kind of woman wouldn't want this kind of man in her life? The beginning of the book is almost cute: girl falls in love with guy, guy shows interest for the girl, gives her all the expensive gifts a girl would ever want, guy appears to be a knight in the shining armor. But beware, for he has a secret, dark past! Ooh, shivers.
Nah. That's just the initial feeling. After the first sex scene, the same mood shifts just keep repeating over and over and over again. In the middle of the book I felt the insatiable urge of just abandoning the book. I felt like I was reading the same thing a hundred thousand times. There are no interesting conflicts. Christian's story is barely told properly. Anastasia doesn't know what she wants. And the deepest conversation they had was a meaningless boyfriend/girlfriend chit-chat. Gosh, just... no.

I find no purpose in this book. It doesn't really seem to have anything to tell me. But again, this is the first official "erotica" book that I ever read, so I don't have any grounds to make any comparisons. People who like cheap romances in the best of Twilight's style will probably love it. This is definitely not for me. ( )
1 vote aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
With an ending like this, I would usually be sad, devastated or something along those lines. However, one star goes to this one because instead of leaving me in tears, I laughed. It is beyond silly. That never happened before. It is not a case where a reader hates where the characters are going. I don't give lower ratings when that happens, but I don't like when a heroine is this stupid. It isn't about the big picture at all (what she allowed or did not allow, that doesn't matter). It is about her reactions, thoughts and comments to the things she saw and experienced.
( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
Worst piece of poop I've ever read. I knew this wouldn't be my cup of tea. Going into it, I thought there had to be something behind this hype but NO. The only thing I can take away from the experience is the social question of why did so many people like this book? What an enigma? Even people who enjoy romance novels, myself NOT included, would know this is the worst written book out there. Maybe, the hype revolves around the fact that the book is so horribly written? It could go down in history as such. The characters suck, the plot is hardly there and the book is so predictable... along with the writing, I stand by my first statement. I've read many "beach" books and enjoyed them so my issue is not with an enjoyable guilty pleasure book. This book is FIFTY SHADES OF CRAP!

Oh, and I never read the last 40 pages... I couldn't, just couldn't. ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
I really found Ana to be annoying and the dialogue was not realistic. "Perhaps I shall cook now?" Ana said Jeez and Holy cow/crap in just about every paragraph. The ending took me by surprise, but overall, I didn't like it much. ( )
  booksniff | Aug 20, 2014 |
I really found Ana to be annoying and the dialogue was not realistic. "Perhaps I shall cook now?" Ana said Jeez and Holy cow/crap in just about every paragraph. The ending took me by surprise, but overall, I didn't like it much. ( )
  booksniff | Aug 20, 2014 |
I really found Ana to be annoying and the dialogue was not realistic. "Perhaps I shall cook now?" Ana said Jeez and Holy cow/crap in just about every paragraph. The ending took me by surprise, but overall, I didn't like it much. ( )
  booksniff | Aug 20, 2014 |
I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about, turns out it's just mainstream porn. Better written than those that are hacked out for a few hundred each - maybe. Girl gets her cherry popped & finds lust with a kinky guy into dominance. Whee. Not my cup of tea nor is it particularly new.

Something about the hysteria this book has wrought kept tickling an old memory. Like the junk drawer it is, finding stuff takes a while at times, but eventually it turns up. Back in the 70's, I remember a similar outpouring over [b:Story of O|40483|Story of O|Pauline Réage|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1344368703s/40483.jpg|2462307].
It's similar in a lot of ways, although the author was a chick & it was supposed to be better written. There's also a lot of similarities to some of the [a:Marquis de Sade|6156306|Marquis de Sade|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1342901975p2/6156306.jpg]'s stuff. I don't much care for the little bit of his that I've read, although he does have a funny short story. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
I cannot process the mass hysteria that has swept the nation with these books. To each his own, sure, but WTF is appealing about a creepy, rape-y douchebag with a pen and a contract?

Please sign your vagignity (vagina/dignity) away here. And here. There. There as well. Congratulations. You are now the proud owner of nothing. Allow us to retire to my creepy, rape-y rape room.

I'm far from a prude, so it isn't the thought of "taboo" sex that repels me. It's the thought of any form of sex with a nasty, pompous, creepy, rape-y loser like Christian Grey. I don't like slippery snakes like him. Not in RL and not in my books. That women across America (including some of my own close friends - *shame*) are falling over themselves for this filthy bastard of a character, makes me extremely sad. I'm also embarrassed for them.

Additionally, I hated Bella with a passion, so why the fuck would I like Ana who is just the older, more idiotic version of that TSTL character? And why the fuck is she always biting her lip? The bitch is also clearly schizophrenic, as she spends a lot of time talking with, being talked to, and being chastised by her "inner goddess" and her SUBCONSCIOUS. That's right, folks. Ana has a conscious subconscious. So, just to make sure that this is clear as day: Ana, Ana's inner goddess, and Ana's subconscious act as 3 separate entities. They all converse in her head. Just do the world a favor - slip, fall, and die AnaBella.

What's worse is that the sex in these books is CORNY! It's so amateurish and silly when it isn't downright disgusting and dirty in the germy way, not the good way.

I cannot fathom why women everywhere are fanning themselves over this crap. I'm not a huge erotica fan, but even I have read some amazing erotica that will leave you wanting more. It's out there ladies. No need to condescend to rape-y douchebags to enjoy it.

Rather than finish reading this pornographic drivel, I have been religiously reading this author's blog and following her daily chapter-by-chapter recaps. Fucking hilarious.

Also, if you want a taste of this monstrosity, check out this hilarious shit right here:


A parody that will bring you to "orgism" again and again. ( )
1 vote JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
Waste of time ( )
  sorinbiriescu | Aug 13, 2014 |
I spent the weekend rereading this lovely book. Spending time with Mr Grey is always lovely. Lol ( )
  Tiffy83 | Aug 11, 2014 |
well what can i say about this book.... i´ve heard everyone talking about it so i have to give it a try... this is the first erotica type of book that i ever read an i really liked it. this is not just a story about sex ( altough it does have a lot about it) but it really has a good love story. christian has some serious problems about himself and some really weird ways to kind of let himself go but i actually felt in love with the character.... as you go through the book you really get to understand him and you want to learn more about him... in the other hand anastasia is really new to everything and at some point it really anoyed me with her inner goddes thing!!... what ups with that?!! i didnt get it at all!... apart from that i really liked the book it has an interesting story line and very good characters ( )
  angie.arciba | Aug 9, 2014 |
I don't know what to think, as much as I'm repelled by this book, I also couldn't put it down. ( )
1 vote meggarrett0609 | Aug 6, 2014 |
OK, let me just clear some things up. Yes, I am currently pursuing a PhD in English. Yes, I agree that this series of books is totally terribly written and is just weird Twilight fan fiction smut. No, there's no real plot, and yes, the erotic scenes are so painfully unsexy that when I read a page out loud to my partner he begged me to stop so we could talk about something safe instead, like cooking.

I don't care, I still read all three.

Why? Because it's a bizarre descent into a psychedelic world where a girl in her 20s can still be 100% unironically in love with Jane Eyre and not know how to use a computer. A world where a girl in her 20s says (and thinks (constantly)) phrases like "holy cow! I'm gonna meet his folks!" A world where a 28-year-old guy can spend exactly none of his time running a company that does, as far as I can tell, absolutely nothing at all, and make three million dollars a day or whatever. A world in which that man says about two different vehicles (one of which is his own personal helicoper), "It has the highest safety rating in its class." A world in which everyone drinks Cristal (for the discerning palate) and wears Converses with Ralph Lauren while listening to Toxic by Britney Spears on their iPod and chatting away on their BlackBerry.

I don't know where this world is, but I can't get enough of it. Sue me, I'd rather have fun than get the PhD anyway. ( )
1 vote joceloon | Aug 5, 2014 |
This book was a pleasant surprise. I feel like I’ve heard so much about the book, and most of it not all that good. There are so many reviews out there about the bad writing, that it’s too juvenile, that the story is too weak. Or on the other side, so many people said the book was too grossly erotic. I think this book was pretty good actually, and can’t understand why it got so many negative responses. Actually I can – it’s topic, BSDM, is almost taboo isn’t it? And a lot of people have a hard time accepting what they’ve been told all their life is evil, unmoral, or unnatural. I did not think this book was that erotic. I’ve read much worse myself. I also did not think the book just about sex alone. There was a good story behind the sex. Maybe the writing wasn’t very loquacious but again, I have read so many books that are at this level which received high ratings. Again, I think the problem a lot of people have with the book is the BDSM. It’s not something I think a lot of people really understand. I didn’t see erotica here, I saw romance. I saw two people trying to make two different lifestyles work. I enjoyed the honesty I found in this writing. I have to applaud the author for writing this. Trust me, this could have been much worse. I think the book deserves much more admiration than it’s received. More superficially, the book does end on a semi-cliffhanger. I am eager to get to the next book sometime in the future. ( )
  Kassilem | Aug 1, 2014 |
Loved This Book! Couldn't wait to start the next. ( )
  Debbie97462 | Jul 16, 2014 |
How is this lauded for any literary merit.I can't even conceive of how many books have been sold. I understand the romance aspect, because I am an avid romance novel consumer myself. It is the worst romance novel I have ever read. A pitiful attempt at literature; it is an incoherent diary entry of a stupid girl who is probably schizophrenic. The most vapid nonsense I've ever read. ( )
1 vote aliterarylion | Jul 14, 2014 |
22-year old Anastasia is just finishing her degree when she meets Christian, a 27-year old, extremely wealthy businessman. It's obvious from the start that Christian is a control freak, but Ana is drawn to him, anyway. Though Christian initially tries to dissuade Ana from her interest in him (and tries to deny his own interest), it doesn't work. What Ana (who's never had a boyfriend) doesn't know is that Christian is into BDSM. That's all Christian wants, no “relationship” for him, just kinky sex, agreed upon with a contract, but Ana wants more.

I've never read erotica before, but I was surprised how much I liked this. It had a good story, I thought, and moved quickly. Though I mostly hated control freak/stalker Christian, I felt for Ana. I will definitely be reading the second book in the trilogy. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jul 8, 2014 |
After hearing nonstop about this book for the last million days (or at least so it seems), I managed to borrow a copy of this book and read it in a very short three days.

I'm nervous to write anything but a rave review about this book since there are so many people--women--who would defend this book to the death. But it is difficult to write highly of it. Before I picked it up, I asked my friend, "Does it have a plot?" Eagerly she responded that it did...but I'm afraid I didn't find a very strong one. This is the first romance novel I've ever encountered, so maybe that is just the way they are?

I'll plan to read the rest of the series, but I am not holding my breath for anything incredible. ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
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