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

by EL James

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5,226515849 (2.98)5 / 281
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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While I cannot recommend this book because of what I classify as amateurish writing, I do have to say that I feel the huge backlash against it is unwarranted. Yes, Grey is a creepy rich man who uses his money and influence in questionable and stalkerish ways... but his attitudes and procedures regarding BDSM contracts and rules is, in my opinion, exemplary.

Though, I hated the way BDSM is portrayed as sick and twisted. No, it is certainly not for everyone, but neither is it cruel.

Ana is innocent and naive, and I have to say that she is the wrong character to use to explore an introduction to BDSM. ( )
  HippieLunatic | Feb 20, 2015 |
DISCLAIMER: This is a review of an audiobook.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

“Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James is the first book in a romantic/erotic trilogy Fifty Shades. The story centers around a rather strange yet enthralling relationship between a recent college graduate Anastasia Steele and a young, handsome and insanely rich entrepreneur Christian Grey. Anastasia is beautiful and smart but, despite a handful of admirers, she has never been interested in a man. That is, before she met Christian. But Christian is, in his own words, “fifty shades of fucked up.” He is an intimidating control freak with a dark past and singular erotic tastes. Yet he cannot stay away from Ana either.

THUMBS UP:

1) Intoxicating love story.
Yes, there are a lot of graphic sex scenes in this book, but, buried beneath all that pornography, there is also an intoxicating, heart-fluttering love story, which I absolutely loved. Yes, it is a “Twilight”-type love story, but hey, I loved Twilight too.

2) Realistic and relatable characters.
It might be a by-product of love story intoxication, but I actually cared about the characters and found them flawed but realistic and relatable. Yes, Christian sometimes can be rather creepy but, given his upbringing, he could have turned out much worse. Besides, he is so protective, attentive and respectful towards his family and Ana (*siiiigh*). And Ana… yes, she might seem a little bit immature, but give the girl a break - she is in love!

3) Convincing (almost).
I agree that it is rather unrealistic that a smart, good-looking and apparently highly desirable 21-year-old American girl has never been interested in a boy, let alone kissed one; but other than that, I found the plot of “Fifty Shades of Grey” to be quite convincing. The events didn’t seem forced or rushed, the reactions, emotions, thoughts, expectations and doubts seemed natural and reasonable, and you could really see the characters gradually falling in love with each other.

4) Beautifully narrated and captivating.
Becca Battoe’s passionate narration and colorful intonations suited the story perfectly. I especially loved her imitation of a husky male voice. Now, I have seen tons of criticism towards James’ writing, but, even though I wouldn’t call it exceptional, I genuinely don’t think it’s horrible. It might be due to the fact that I was listening to the book rather than actually READING it, but I found the story captivating and didn’t notice any major problems concerning author’s writing.

COULD BE BETTER:

1) Sex overload.
Although I loved the main story, there was way too much sex for my taste. However, it has nothing to do with the fact that “Fifty Shades of Grey” propagates kinky sex (all that BDSM business); I am just not a fan of explicit sex scenes in general. Call me childish but I found the sex scenes rather repetitive, and soon enough they became the boring part of the story. What can I say, I guess erotic novels are not my cup of tea.

VERDICT: 3.5 out of 5

Although “Fifty Shades of Grey” has way too much sex for my taste (it’s an erotic novel after all), I was absolutely enthralled by a heart-fluttering “Twilight”-type love story and thus temporarily lost my critical thinking abilities. I know, I know… Don’t judge me, I’m a hopeless romantic. ( )
2 vote AgneJakubauskaite | Feb 17, 2015 |
I've had this book on my ereader for a while now, and only decided to read it as it suddenly was on the bestsellers list so I was expecting it to be good.

As other reviewers have noted, it is poorly written and has loads of annoying turns of phrase. The story isn't very realistic so if you are looking for a realistic read, this book is not for you.

I can understand why it is a bestseller as the description of Christian Grey's mannerisms and persona is very similar to Edward Cullen, and that seems to appeal to and make most of the female population weak at the knees. The sex scenes however are dull and can be somewhat bizarre! (I refer to the tampon bit in this).

It was however very easy to read, but seemed really drawn out. Nothing really happens. I have a sneaking feeling that the author could have written all three books as one quite easily.

Needless to say, I won't be reading the series any further... ( )
  KittyBimble | Feb 12, 2015 |
The hype took me over and I cracked... I just finished Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James on Friday. I've let it settle in my brain, and I don't know how I feel about it. I am torn between despising and adoring Christian Grey. I am torn between admiring and loathing Anastasia Steele.

First of all, it took me over 200 and some odd pages to even enjoy the book. I didn't like it from the get-go, and I felt like I was just waiting for the magical "ooooh I love it!" moment. That moment did not come for me. However, by time the last 50 pages came- I was hooked. I needed to turn the page and I needed to know what was going to happen next. But then it ended. And I was left wanting more.

See why I am so torn?? I didn't even really care for the book, yet here I am thinking about going out to B&N tonight to pick up the next two books, just so I can see what happens next.
I hope that after reading all three books, I may be able to form a review and a more concrete feeling about it all. It is a phenomenon after all.
Maybe by time next week rolls around, I will have a totally different opinion on the matter.... so for now, I will leave it at this: torn. (but craving more) ( )
1 vote littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
While my initial instinct is to dis this book, I won't. Is it misogynistic, cliched and largely a Mills and Boons, but with porn? Yes. But I believe it serves an interesting function. The story line is broadly 'Beauty and the Beast' meets 'Cinderella'.In that it does nothing more terrible than a hundred million other pop and pulp fiction books do. But it expresses sexual desire and control from the point of view of a woman. It may not be Delta of Venus. But I thought it was racy and entertaining in a trashy way. As for the fact that it captures a very misogynistic idea of desire, I seriously thought about it and then wondered if I was being narrow-minded. This version of desire also exists. It is someone's reality. Is it so terrible if they want to write about it? In short, it's not a great book, but approximately in the same way as Pretty Woman isn't great cinema. ( )
  swati.ravi | Feb 9, 2015 |
Okay... where to start?

I think all of the other 1 star reviews have pretty much nailed the issues with this book so I'm not going to retread.

My only tuppence worth is that it's not about BDSM... it has nothing to do with BDSM and anyone who says different really should seek help. Christian Grey is an abuser, Ana is a complete idiot and her only redeeming feature comes at the end of the book when she tries to leave (damn shame she goes back)
I'm also shocked at how a book with such godawful writing hit the bestseller list. It also manages to make porn boring.

I'm also annoyed that Ana is a 21 year virgin who knows absolutely NOTHING about sex.. Christ, I was a virgin at 21 but by all the Gods I certainly knew about sex. Hell by the age of 21 I know about BDSM (I watched the Boorman documentary on Pandoras). Ana wasn't brought up in a cult without access to a TV or books, so why is she so clueless. (answers on a postcode please)

I can't say anymore about this book without getting ranty... It's awful, let's just leave it at that.

( )
  Claire.Warner | Feb 8, 2015 |
Okay... where to start?

I think all of the other 1 star reviews have pretty much nailed the issues with this book so I'm not going to retread.

My only tuppence worth is that it's not about BDSM... it has nothing to do with BDSM and anyone who says different really should seek help. Christian Grey is an abuser, Ana is a complete idiot and her only redeeming feature comes at the end of the book when she tries to leave (damn shame she goes back)
I'm also shocked at how a book with such godawful writing hit the bestseller list. It also manages to make porn boring.

I'm also annoyed that Ana is a 21 year virgin who knows absolutely NOTHING about sex.. Christ, I was a virgin at 21 but by all the Gods I certainly knew about sex. Hell by the age of 21 I know about BDSM (I watched the Boorman documentary on Pandoras). Ana wasn't brought up in a cult without access to a TV or books, so why is she so clueless. (answers on a postcode please)

I can't say anymore about this book without getting ranty... It's awful, let's just leave it at that.

( )
  Claire.Warner | Feb 8, 2015 |
I love the potential for this story. I even grew to appreciate Christian and Anastasia. But GREAT ZEUS - the writing is just shit-awful.

If this is your first foray into the wonderful world of erotica, please PLEASE don't judge based on this nonsense. So many great authors out there! ( )
  aznstarlette | Feb 4, 2015 |
Dismal. The other 1/2 star reviews pretty much say it all.
Sincerest sympathies to writers of quality erotica who are probably burning their typewriters round about now. Actually, sympathies to any writer who has something more original to say than "Oh my" and "Down there". ( )
1 vote paulinewiles | Jan 26, 2015 |

Oh my God. This book was, without a doubt, fucking hilarious.

First of all, lets get one thing straight: I'd rather shit on my hands and clap before reading this again. The fact that I decided to read it in the first place is demeaning enough. After seeing the hype about it on Facebook, I thought, "Might as well" considering EVERYONE said it was AMAZING.

AMAZING is not the word for it. STUPID, SHIT, RIDICULOUS AND HILARIOUS are the words for it!

So say hi to Anastasia Steele, the 'innocent', 'independent', 'free spirit' main character. She meets the 'enigmatic' Christian Grey when she interviews him for her University paper. Christian Grey is 'handsome', 'beguiling' and 'totally unreachable'. He decided he wants to screw Ana and, ooh-la-la that's what they do!

Literally. Take away the sex scenes from the book and the story line is as wide as my pinkie nail. There is NO DEPTH to the characters at all, there is NO STORYLINE and I SWEAR E.L. James pretty much went with whatever was going through her head at that given moment.

How is it HOT or even OKAY to think that Grey likes whipping and hurting girls during sex because they RESEMBLE HIS MOTHER?! It's fucked up and sick! Seriously, that's what he says! " Anastasia, I like whipping brown haired girls like you because you all resemble my mother " THAT'S HOT?!

Anastasia is meant to be this innocent girl who waits for the right person to give her virginity to, and then she just falls into bed with Grey because she can't resist him. IT'S EASY TO RESIST HIM. HE HAS A RED ROOM OF PAIN. WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU WANT TO GO IN THERE?! Ana is probably the whiniest, most annoying and STUPIDEST character I have ever read about.

She's first introduced as clumsy and pure and whatever other shit, and then literally ALL OF A SUDDEN she's sex mad (she gets turned on by using his TOOTHBRUSH. WHAT.) and SOPHISTICATED. How is that even possible?

AND OF COURSE all of a sudden EVERYONE WANTS A PIECE OF HER. She suddenly has a mile long line of guys knocking at her door, and even more OF COURSE Grey can't stand her going out without security or her even MEETING HER FRIENDS WITHOUT HIM THERE. This book is the epitome of abusive relationships. I mean, no one can TOUCH him but he can whip and beat girls during sex and THAT'S OKAY?

The writing is so repetitive as well. She CONSTANTLY looks at her hands, CONSTANTLY blushes and CONSTANTLY says, "because I love him so." WE GET IT. YOU'RE A FUCKING TOOL.

Grey is meant to be this amazing, alluring man that no one can keep their hands off. HE HAD SEX WITH HIS MOTHER'S FRIEND BECAUSE HE COULDN'T STOP BRAWLING WHEN HE WAS 15! AND SHE INTRODUCED HIM TO THE BDSM LIFESTYLE.

AT FIFTEEN IS THAT MEANT TO BE OKAY?!

He makes girls sign ridiculous contracts before he fucks them. He makes them COOK on weekends. THEY HAVE NO FREE WILL. HOW IS THIS OKAY?! HOW IS THIS HOT?

I can't even put into words how angry this book makes me. I had a bit of respect for Ana at the end but then as quick as she gained that respect, she lost it too. She leaves him at the end of book one cos he whips her with a belt. BUT OF COURSE SHE GOES BACK TO HIM IN BOOK 2. 8 PAGES IN AND THEY'RE SCREWING AGAIN. And get this: THEY GET MARRIED. They've been together a month and THEY GET MARRIED.

How on earth this got published, I have no idea. And how on Earth people find it hot and romantic, I have even LESS of an idea.

It's about abuse, and sex and abuse and even more sex and that's all they do! There isn't a scene where you think, "they won't fuck here" and they do. EVERYWHERE. They have sex at his parents house the first time she meets them (nice impression there, girl), and on a boat, on a plane, in an elevator WITH PEOPLE THERE. AND THE FUCK WHEN SHE'S ON HER PERIOD. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.

Honestly. If I could gather all the books and bury them, I would. If I could give E.L. James a wake up slap and scream, "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!" I would. It's ridiculous. It's shallow. There is literally NO SENSE TO THE BOOK. Ana hates the fact that he spends money on her, but then asks him for a SPORTS CAR FOR HER BIRTHDAY. Obviously don't hate his wealth that much then!

ARGH. I actually want to hurt someone because of this book.

HOW ARE THEY GOING TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT IT? IT'LL BE PORN, WHERE A MAN WHIPS HIS GIRLFRIEND TO SHIT AND LIKES IT.

Anyone who reads this and likes it obviously has something wrong with them. And I mean, seriously wrong. It's about an abusive relationship. That's all. An abusive relationship that Ana likes referring to as 'kinky fuckery'. WHAT.

She NEVER sees her friends. The entire book is revolved around Grey. THEY NEVER LEAVE EACH OTHER IN PEACE. Either they're at his apartment, or eating out, or in a car, or at her JOB but I think in total she spends a WEEKEND WITH HER FRIENDS WITH HIM THERE. I swear, if my boyfriend did that, I would dump him on the spot. How is it all right not to see your friends because your boyfriend doesn't want you to? ABUSE.

Ugh. I could go on for hours.

GOODBYE, PIECE OF SHIT OF A BOOK. Ugh.

( )
1 vote Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
Modern fairytale. Innocent girl meets handsome and wealthy prince but instead of marrying, having children and living happily ever after, they have wild sex and lots of fun. ( )
  HendrikSteyaert | Jan 24, 2015 |
Not really a good book. I personally think this book is just overated that's pretty much it. I could not even finish it, yeah it is very explicit which is great but the romance in general is just boring, has nothing special nor anything that makes it different from all the other stereotypical romance stories. The only thing that makes this book stand out i believe is just the usage of erotism but besides that, there is nothing special about this book. Without the erotism this book has nothing. Unfortunately it made lots of sells due to the huge propaganda it had.
I regret so bad buying the series!
Save yourself time and money. ( )
  karlapre | Jan 7, 2015 |
A 10 year old could write a better plot (minus the sex of course...oh wait, that was the plot). Read it to see what all the hype was about. Finished the book just to see if it got better, it didn't. Book 2 and 3, never. There are just too many good reads out there to waste my time. ( )
1 vote NHNick | Jan 5, 2015 |
I am not ashamed I read this. Not well written but good entertainment value. Lousy ending. ( )
  lincolnpan | Dec 31, 2014 |
Once you read past the physical passions there is an amazing story. I read the entire series. ( )
1 vote GospelChick | Dec 30, 2014 |
Juvenile drivel. Can't believe a middle-aged woman wrote this. Cinderella with BDSM. How many times does Ana blush and look at him from underneath her lashes? If millions of women loved this book, we men are in trouble. Utter crap, but E.L. James and her publishers are laughing all the way to the bank. But she makes a point - if you're going to write garbage, put it in first person present tense narrative. ( )
2 vote BBcummings | Dec 24, 2014 |
It's twilight fic, so it was never going to be great. I'm not really sure how to even rate this, as the writer is a novice and it's badly in need of editing and someone to write real dialog.
  echoindarkness | Dec 17, 2014 |
*Sigh* I knew it was going to be bad, I even read an excerpt and it confirmed what I already suspected but my damn morbid curiosity got the better of me. Also I wanted to avoid the "well you can't say anything bad about it because you haven't read it" bullshit, as if the one page of garbage wasn't proof enough. So without further ado..

What in the actual fuck?!

I seriously cannot wrap my head around why this piece of tripe is so popular. The writing is terrible, the editing is terrible and the oh so hot (sarcasm if you can't tell) sex scenes are- guess what- TERRIBLE. Someone please explain to me how someone going oh jeez, oh jeez every two seconds during sex is hot? And what 20 something year old refers to her vagina as "down there"? I seriously expect her to giggle after she says that. In closing, this garbage fan fiction deserves zero stars.

Oh and if you're one of the 50 shades cultists coming to attack me for having a different opinion, you can go on ahead and fuck right off & we'll have to agree to disagree, you're entitled to your opinion and i'm entitled to mine. ( )
1 vote reigningstars | Dec 4, 2014 |
Received this book as a birthday gift as I kept hearing good reviews. Also, I wanted to read the book before the movies come out since most often the book is more enjoyable then the movie. Sadly, I am very disappointed. To me, Ana reminds me of an older version of Bella (Twilight). I did enjoy some of the Freaky Sex parts but after a while the book becomes too overwhelming. I had a hard time believing Ana's character and by the end of the book, I'm like "Really". ( )
  momei | Dec 1, 2014 |
I read this because I was wondering what all the buzz was about. Still wondering ... ( )
  CathrynGrant | Nov 21, 2014 |
You've got to be kidding me. ( )
2 vote | Tarklovishki | Oct 31, 2014 |
A so-so book with some realistic things and some VERY unrealistic things. Author should have researched more about the lifestyle and tried it out before she tried to write about it. Just as actors do when they are getting prepared to play a part, authors should NOT be excused for writing about something they know nothing about or have not experienced. ( )
  AMKee | Oct 24, 2014 |
A so-so book with some realistic things and some VERY unrealistic things. Author should have researched more about the lifestyle and tried it out before she tried to write about it. Just as actors do when they are getting prepared to play a part, authors should NOT be excused for writing about something they know nothing about or have not experienced. ( )
  AMKee | Oct 24, 2014 |
A so-so book with some realistic things and some VERY unrealistic things. Author should have researched more about the lifestyle and tried it out before she tried to write about it. Just as actors do when they are getting prepared to play a part, authors should NOT be excused for writing about something they know nothing about or have not experienced. ( )
  AMKee | Oct 24, 2014 |
A so-so book with some realistic things and some VERY unrealistic things. Author should have researched more about the lifestyle and tried it out before she tried to write about it. Just as actors do when they are getting prepared to play a part, authors should NOT be excused for writing about something they know nothing about or have not experienced. ( )
  AMKee | Oct 24, 2014 |
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