Sunday, 14 February 2016

'Fifty Shades of Grey', by E.L. James

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
Author(s): E. L. James
Release Date: 25th May 2011
Publisher: Vintage
Genre: Romance, Erotica
Source: Bought

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.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.


I really didn't want to review this at first, because I got so frustrated while reading this "book" (calling this horrid coming together of words on a waste of over 500 pages a book sounds pretty insulting, but I don't know what else to call it without resorting to profanity), that if I started writing down everything that is wrong with it, I'd end up with a freaking essay. However, I feel like warning people of the monstrosity that this book is should be considered public service, so here I am.

Just to start: the horrid character development. Everyone knows that this was once a Twilight fan fiction, and on an act of inspiration that I must assume was brought upon her with the use of some really heavy drugs, the author thought that it was good enough to be worth killing millions of trees around the world to publish it as a book. I'm not against the publishing of fanfics as books, since I myself have read several fan fictions way better that a lot of books out there, but you can't just change the names of the characters and be done with it. This book has no character development whatsoever, because as soon as you read their description, you know their Twilight-world equivalent, and therefore you need no more, since you just assume that they are, pretty much, the same. It's lazy, it's wrong, and it's cutting corners as a so called author.

And then, comes the plot... If we can even call it that. You have a Literature student that can't pick up a computer to research a famous entrepreneur to save her life, or even use it to do more that just check her email. Apple guy that delivered her Mac in the middle of the book, I feel your pain, really. She is also apparently bipolar, because she has a strong habit of talking to an "inner goddess", that by the looks of it is an Olympic athlete, and her "medulla oblongata". Yes people, she can't use Google, but she can name the portion of her brain that controls her automatic and involuntary bodily functions. This is Anastasia Steele, everyone. Or Bella Swan, as you may also call her. How she was able to get to the end of the book with her lower lip intact, I have absolutely no idea, because every other paragraph she is trying to bite it off like a velociraptor.

As the cherry on top of this awfully baked cake there's the gorgeous, rich and successful business man, Christian Grey, aka Edward Cullen. He seems like a pretty decent guy, until you find out that he likes his sex with a side of spanking and a glass of violence. I swear I never thought I'd read a male lead character as twisted and just plain wrong as Edward Cullen, but I found it on Grey. How he manages to develop any kind of affection for Anastasia, I have no idea, bur screw it, they start dating. And he reveals to her, only a few days after meeting her for the first time, his twisted sexual tastes. Any normal and sane grown woman would just run away as fast as she could, but since Steele is none of that, she just plays along with it. And the whole book is completely filled with plain wrong sex scenes that seem to be written by a virgin with completely no notion of what she is doing (really, Steele was a 20 something virgin that had NEVER had an orgasm or felt any attraction towards a male human, and the first time she has sex, she experiences no pain, has multiple orgasms, and becomes a sex goddess that ashames the most experienced users of the Kamasutra? I mean, REALLY??), and worst of all, the absolute worst portrayal of a Sub/Dom relationship I've seen in my life.

A Sub/Dom relationship is, above all other things, pretty much about TRUST. Both parties give themselves to one another in a manner that shows they trust their well-being in the hands of their partner. It's about being in control and controlled by another person, yes, but in such a way that they are both comfortable and fully aware of their boundaries. This is not, in any way, what is portrayed in the book. Grey is just a guy that hides behind the concept of a Sub/Dom relationship to avoid the fact that he just likes to spank women. He can't be in a normal relationship with another woman, he uses the women he's with purely for sex (the way HE likes it), when in a normal relationship of this kind, the couple can have what we call a "conventional" relationship in their daily lives, and have the Sub/Dom aspect restricted to their sex lives. But no, Grey is a control freak that goes to the length of stalking Steele constantly (even if he himself admits that she is in no way a submissive, she agrees, and by some act of God they stay together), and even following her across the country when she had told him numerous times before she wanted to be away from him for a while to get some perspective. Yeah, that lasted 24 hours.

I could go on and on about everything that is wrong with this book, but I think what I already wrote is enough to convince you to keep as away of this as possible. Don't even poke it with a stick. This is one of the worst pieces of writing I have ever had the horror of reading. And yes, I read the whole book. Because I am one of those human beings that can't look away from a disaster, and I had some faith that somehow, it would get better. It didn't. It's awful, just, awful. I feel sad and lost a bit of my faith in the female population of this world that think this is romantic and a great love story. It's only a portrait of an incredibly abusive relationship, between a complete psychopath and a girl that should know better.

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