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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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5,874555713 (2.97)5 / 312
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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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... ( )
  4everfanatical | Feb 5, 2016 |
Ok, this book isn't the greatest when it comes to plot or prose, but I have read far worse- both in the romance genre and just in general. It's at least twice as good as Twilight (upon which is was based) with a less irritating heroine. I also didn't find the sex especially shocking, but there is loads of it. Probably much more than needed in this already quite long book. All that being said, it was quite the page turner and entertaining enough for me to continue reading the rest of the trilogy. ( )
  lovelypenny | Feb 4, 2016 |
OMG, someone gift this writer a thesaurus!!! How many times can people murmur?! I started counting on page 242 and she used "murmur" 80 times, as much as four times a page, for criminy's sake. Not to mention all the hitches of breath, staring at of hands, and mouths set in hard lines. And all the "oh my's" made Anastasia sound like a flustered schoolmarm. Arghhh, truss up EL James in the red room of pain and flog her with a dictionary! ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
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. | Jan 28, 2016 |
Like everyone else did, when this book hit the world and everyone was talking about it, I simply had to give it a try. The writing itself is not that great, the storyline has good potential. ( )
  samjgregory | Jan 24, 2016 |
I read this to find out why my wife was suddenly so in to reading. Not my normal thing and it is loaded up with plenty of stereotypes (with a kinky twist...)- Beauty and the Beast, The Ugly Duckling, poor naive pretty girl meets handsome rich guy etc - but saying that i enjoyed it. The characters came accross well and made you want to keep reading.

Definately not up with the literary giants but an enjoyable read all the same - if you can keep an open mind... ( )
  Nergal | Jan 24, 2016 |
I'm not sure what to say about this that hasn't been said in our various discussions. I will still try to put my thoughts down & tender my apologies for any repetition as this will also get posted on shelfari.

I was prompted to read this by another member of the facebook 'pass the book' group who asked if anyone had read it yet. I'd seen all the hype & had considered reading it to find out what all the fuss was about - the question was the last push I needed. I'm kind of glad I did as, if nothing else, it satisfied my curiosity.

It's a terrible book. Christened Chic-porn by one of the wittier folk in the group, it's an attempt at romantic erotica that fails on both scores.

There's an excellent review by a Waterstones bookseller:
http://reviews.waterstones.com/4921-en_gb/9096363B/reviews.htm?reviewID=16581285
that sums it up far better than I can, and he makes an excellent point: why, so many years after the Female Eunoch, are millions of American (& now British) women fantasising about being spanked by a billionaire with commitment issues?

So, the 'story': Anastasia Steele is a student sent to interview the enigmatic millionaire Christian Grey. She falls head over heels in love & is whisked off her feet by him. He has a dark side - he's into BSDM and wants her to sign away permission to let him do, pretty much, what he wants.

The romance is all 'ooh my inner goddess was doing cartwheels', 'ooh my subconsious was hiding behind the sofa', 'My isn't he handsome, what does he see in me', 'swoon'.

Pass me a sick bucket!

The erotica was anything but & pretty tame. Nothing to get excited about. You'd be far better reading Fanny Hill! It doesn't work as romance or erotica... the worst of both worlds. On top of all that (spoiler alert) it doesn't even have a proper ending... cue two further volumes which, incredibly, along with this one are the top three bestsellers as I type!

Nope, it's dire. The only interest is on an academic level: the increase in sales of erotica for women as kindle sales increase (on a kindle, no-one can see what you're reading!); Do women really want their fantasies to be based on this sort of premise? Are they harking back to the time when the man was always in charge or is it escapism?

Finally one last quote from our Waterstones Bookseller. "Reader she shagged him. A lot". Sums it up perfectly! I'd much rather read more from the reviewer than the author. ( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
With all the fuss surrounding the movie I decided to read this and what all the fuss was about. Saying anything good to say about this book is difficult. Articulate zillionaire finds young articulate graduate and all he wants to do is inflict pain on her. Moreover she puts up with...almost. Enough said ( )
  DCarlin | Jan 22, 2016 |
Ugh. I am completely willing to read a not-so-brilliant book if the story captures me and draws me in (The Da Vinci Code, anyone?), but this was just a slog. Terrible, terrible writing (do we need detailed accounts of everything you're eating?). ( )
  AmeliaHerring | Jan 22, 2016 |
Total ripoff of the movie Secretary. Really, even naming the main character the same name? Get a little creative! ( )
  kosana | Jan 21, 2016 |
Total ripoff of the movie Secretary. Really, even naming the main character the same name? Get a little creative! ( )
  kosana | Jan 21, 2016 |
Good read if you like porn and romance novels. I found this as an e-book from the library with no wait to check out so thought I would find out what all the hype is about. I finished it but wonder why i bothered. It isn't even written all that well. I will not be reading the rest of the trilogy. I really don't care what happens to these pitiful characters! ( )
  becka11y2 | Jan 19, 2016 |
Bof... que dire qui n'ait pas été dit?
Dommage, ça partait bien: j'avais été intriguée par les personnages, il y avait quelques scènes que j'avais trouvé intéressantes, et j'étais accrochée. Puis arrive cette histoire de contrat. Et là, on vire au ridicule, et cette sensation ne s'en va plus. Soudain, la lecture devient laborieuse.
De plus, j'ai un sentiment de déjà vu (ou déjà lu, en fait ;)) sur les scènes érotiques. Elles me rappellent étrangement des fanfictions sur Buffy que j'ai lues bien avant l'écriture de la 1ère version de cette histoire... ( )
  CathCD | Jan 16, 2016 |
Fifty Shades of Grey
★★★

I finally succumbed after all they hype about this book, the latest this week is its caused a baby boom, and to be honest while I got into it much more in the second half the first half was a bit so so for me.

Yes it does feature a lot of sex but while a lot of people have been finding it erotic I dont think it was gratuitous you needed it to enable the story line to move forward.

For me Ana was unbelievable as a character, a college leaving virgin whose first sexual relationship is with a Dom? just didn't ring quiet true for me I mean most sexually experienced people would run screaming let alone a virgin, she also wound me up with constant use of "oh my" and "my inner goddess" I mean who really thinks like that?

For me the best relationship interplay was over the emails where Ana and Christian flirt and tease like a normal couple.

I must admit by the end of the book I was getting interested in the relationship and where it was going and I will read book 2.

Diverting enough but not outstanding. ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Didn't finish. Not my cup of tea at all. ( )
  Natalia_Sh | Jan 14, 2016 |
Fifty Shades Of Grey, by E.L. James


Synopsis: When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana's quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too--but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success-- his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family--Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey's secrets and explores her own dark desires.
In A Sentence: Be prepared for a rant because OH.....MY.....GAWD.
First Off, Wow. This Was Waaaay Out Of My Comfort Zone. Okay so I took this month's challenge theme seriously and picked the one tag on Shelfari I would never willingly go to: erotica. This book was the most easily accessible and I wanted to make fun of it. But wow, I didn't realize exactly how erotic this book would get. I mean, I knew I was going to read about some kinky sex, but I think the BDSM stuff was more than I was prepared to handle. I mean, seriously, you need to create a contract between the dominant and the submissive to avoid going too far?! I think needing a contract to have sex has already gone too far!
Now I've read romance novels before (well, just Nora Roberts), and I thought they were pretty descriptive when it came to the love-making scenes, but while Nora Roberts' novels may be rated R, this book is totally X-rated. The love scenes were much more detailed than I was expecting. My husband kept laughing at the expression on my face when I was reading this.
Twilight Anyone? So on the publishing page it says, "This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental." This should have included fictitious persons as well. I kid you not Anastasia ("Ana") is Isabella ("Bella") Swan. She's clumsy, innocent, wide-eyed, and loves classic literature. And Christian Grey is soo Edward Cullen, with the same hair, a dark secret, and is so perfectly beautiful. I'm surprised there wasn't any controversy about that. I found the similarities to Twilight really irritating; I was hoping for some more original characters.
Mr. Grey and Miss Steele: Anyone Else Make That Connection? The names are really similar to each other. That's annoying. 'Nuf said.
Stop With The "Oh My"'s!: Seriously, what's with that phrase? Ana Steele must have said "Oh my" almost 200 times! I just wanted to shake this fictional character and say "Oh my God! Shut up!"
She's A Virgin?! Aw, Come On!: I thought the sex was a little unbelievable, especially when Ana gets an orgasm on the very first try! Seriously, can any girl say that their first time was just as amazing?! And by the way, Christian's character isn't all that believable either!
One More Thing... I'm not so sure about this BDSM stuff. Reading about it made me extremely uncomfortable. Out of curiousity, I researched it on Wikipedia (like Ana did) and got even more uncomfortable. Some of the things that these people are willing to do each other...ick! What Grey did was actually pretty tame in comparison. It was certainly an educational experience, one that I don't think I'll personally look into any further. Everyone has their own tastes, mine just go along different lines.
Oh, and by the way, Grey was breaking all of the BDSM rules. People who actually like BDSM must absolutely hate this book!
Thank God It Wasn't As Bad As I Thought It Would Be. Overall this book was a lot like Twilight: the writing isn't so good, the plot is okay but doesn't seem to go very far, and the love-making parts made me squirm and blush profusely. To top it off, it didn't finish well: it was very open-ended (I know it's a trilogy, but still). On the other hand, there were some small parts that I was able to enjoy. The relationship dynamics and how they developed were different and intriguing, and I enjoyed reading the e-mail exchanges between Christian and Anastasia (they made me chuckle). So maybe it's not all that bad, but it's still pretty bad. Not a series I'm willing to pursue.
And my rant is done. Forgive me if I was harsh at times, but at least I'm honest. ( )
  Spirolim | Jan 13, 2016 |
Not as bad as I expected. Easy to tell it's by the writer of Twilight fanfic, but at least there are no sparkly Doms :) The sex was hot, the kink was very 101. ( )
  killerX | Jan 8, 2016 |
I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to read this again... I guess ultimately it's so I can review it thoroughly this time!

So this is not fifty shades of grey...it's one shade of fucked up!

OMG, I was bored out of my mind with Ana, she's so annoying, whiny and so over the top plain Jane. Christian on the other hand, is too possessive, intense and over the top dark knight. Together, both of them are so one dimensional and boring. One minute they are all business like (so formal and what not) and the next minute they are hot for each other.

Their emails... too many emails, all of which are not witty or entertaining, just plain boring and full of none sense. The interaction between these two are either cringe worthy or way too intense (the sex scenes are meh). Especially that infamous tampon scene, I think enough people have talked about it, so I'll leave it at that. But I have to say, it wasn't all that great and super pointless in the book.

Ana's inner goddess...can we totally toss her out of this book?! She is annoying, such a drag and makes me want to knock some sense into her in a really bad way. Like enough of that plain Jane act, and stop biting your lip! Quite frankly, I would love to see these two "love birds" locked far away from the literary world since what they have isn't love, it's their messed up version of romance.

Just because Christian is rich, charming and handsome does not mean he can get away with being obsessive and possessive! That is the making of a stalker! Showering gifts on Ana to convince her to be his sub, and make her his, only for things to come to a screeching halt because they want different things. Now I don't have any issue with dom/sub, I'll keep an open mind, but honestly he's flip flopping so much on it with Ana, it's like OK get this over with already!

Overall, don't know why some people are so into this book. Save yourself the trouble....DON'T read it! Atrocious writing, super flat and one dimensional characters and predictable results. ( )
  Dream24 | Jan 6, 2016 |
Okay, I read it. And like others before me, I'll say it's shit. Please, please, please read The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty series if you want real BDSM erotica. This book does NOT have it. The contract sounds really interesting and that's what it should be, but they do NONE of that shit in the book! The contract is a total tease. And oh my god she is repetitive. Editor, anyone? She can't write for shit. The sex scenes are many and have the potential to be hot but when she says "down there" and "my sex" and "his erection" it totally ruins it. I mean, come on! Is this a Harlequin romance?? I will not be reading the sequels. I will admit I wondered what happened to them but seeing as it WASN'T A REAL DOM/SUB RELATIONSHIP, it was just morbid curiosity. But, I read the summaries of the sequels and found out what happens and that's good enough for me. I don't need to subject myself to bad writing to find out. ( )
  faerychikk | Jan 5, 2016 |
Okay, I read it. And like others before me, I'll say it's shit. Please, please, please read The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty series if you want real BDSM erotica. This book does NOT have it. The contract sounds really interesting and that's what it should be, but they do NONE of that shit in the book! The contract is a total tease. And oh my god she is repetitive. Editor, anyone? She can't write for shit. The sex scenes are many and have the potential to be hot but when she says "down there" and "my sex" and "his erection" it totally ruins it. I mean, come on! Is this a Harlequin romance?? I will not be reading the sequels. I will admit I wondered what happened to them but seeing as it WASN'T A REAL DOM/SUB RELATIONSHIP, it was just morbid curiosity. But, I read the summaries of the sequels and found out what happens and that's good enough for me. I don't need to subject myself to bad writing to find out. ( )
  faerychikk | Jan 5, 2016 |
Intriguing Mr. Grey, innocent Miss. Steele. Intense, intimidating romance. ( )
  Chiththarthan | Dec 29, 2015 |
Difficult time getting involved in the story ( )
  mlabradore | Dec 27, 2015 |
The first book in the trilogy is very readable. The author's descriptions of how the characters do things have not been worn into the ground yet, so I can see why so many people like it, though even here, the repetitions are noticeable: his tucking her hair behind her ear and tugging at her chin so she doesn't bite her lip, her biting her lower lip. In the later books, these gestures just grow to be really annoying as the author uses them again and again. ( )
  heathrel | Dec 24, 2015 |
After having 4 ex-girlfriends write to me and ask if this book was about me and the name had been changed to Christian - I had to see what it was all about.
I hate to say but I see the parallels they were seeing - but I do not know the author and am pretty certain I never slept with her. ( )
  bashour | Dec 24, 2015 |
I finally succumbed to peer pressure, and read Fifty Shades of Grey. Like our heroine, Anastasia Steele, I was torn. Part of me wanted to read it, if only to find out what all the fuss was about; part of me wanted only to hide in a disused mineshaft until all the hype had blown over. Like Anastasia, I finally gave in.

What was it like? Not nearly as satisfying as the fictional sex was, I’m afraid. Still, despite my less-than-ecstatic 2 star rating, it might be worth a read; it has a few laugh-out-loud moments, though I suspect these are probably unintentional, and it could just about save your life if you were trapped in an airport overnight.

Part of the frustration I feel with the success of Fifty Shades of Grey is due to my sense of unfulfilled promise. Fifty Shades could have been so good! The premise, after all, is intriguing: an innocent young student meets and is seduced by an older, worldly businessman with a penchant for BDSM; they begin an affair, despite Ana’s internal conflicts; it all goes awry when she finally finds out that her lover’s liking for inflicting pain goes far beyond anything she wanted or desired.

It sounds good, and it really could have been good: it could have been a revealing examination of the shifting power dynamics in a BDSM relationship, or a moving study of an affair that seems doomed from the outset. It could, at the very least, have been a little harmless titillation. It could have been good – if only E.L. James were a better writer, or a good editor had got their hands on the novel before it was published.

Put simply, the main problem here is that E.L. James’s writing is a little below par. A few examples:

‘His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel … or something.’ (Yes, that is an actual sentence in the book.)

‘My appetite has become uncertain again … more … more sex … yes, please.’

‘And then he’s inside me … ah! Skin against skin … moving slowly at first … easily, testing me, pushing me … oh my.’

And then there’s the repetition – oh, the repetition. ‘Oh my’; ‘Jeez’; ‘Whoa’; ‘Holy crap’. All repeated again and again. We’re told countless times that Christian Grey’s trousers hang off his hips in a peculiarly sexy way; that Christian Grey has nice hair; that Ana is a klutz who can’t walk and talk at the same time. Oh, and all that ‘inner goddess’ nonsense – if I hear or read that phrase ever again, I’m going to scream.

Oh well. To be fair, I don’t think even Fifty Shades' most ardent admirers would ever claim that it was meant to be great literature, and for unintentional (I think) comedy it’s actually sort of great. It’s just that, with writing this bad, it’s hard to accept it even as a bit of mindless fun. Like Ana, at the end of the book I felt like I’d just had a very severe beating. Unlike Ana, though, I don’t think I’ll be going back for more. Sorry, Ms James.
( )
1 vote MariBiella | Dec 6, 2015 |
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