Author: E.L. James
Title: Fifty Shades Of Grey
Genre: Erotic Romance
‘When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind – until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.
Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.’
Right. Well. I’ve had my rant and I suppose now that I’ve read the book I’m free to talk about it without feeling like a judgemental bitch-queen.
First of all… I don’t hate it. Its not Twilight, which I hate purely for how it has trashed vampires and made them into something they are not. This book… though its hyped up to be an exploration of ‘kinky sex,’ is really just a standard love story. With some sex scenes thrown (carelessly) in.
I’ll say I’ve read far hotter scenes coming from the Six Sentence Sunday crowd; they have been able to excite and titillate me with six sentences. Just six…! Erika failed to do so with an entire novel to play with. Pity, as the idea has potential.
As a writer…
The piece needs an editor. It needs to be slapped with a big old red pen of doom and ironed out. Its too long, there are scenes that are clunky at best, utterly unnecessary at worse. Anastasia is almost as irritating as Bella Swan (almost) and seems flat to me. She lacks depth and instead seems host to a strange cluster of traits that don’t compliment each other at all. She confuses me. She also blushes too damn much. Hell, if anybody in the real world spent that much time blushing, I doubt there would be enough blood left for the rest of their body. There must be another way to express her embarrassment/fear/lust/confusion/anger… but no… its all done with a series of blushes and flushes.
Christian is broken. And not in a good way. From what I understand of the BDSM Community he is a jumble that makes no sense. His manner and his method seems in the face of one of the most important principles of BDSM play… SSC (safe, sane and consensual). Nothing about his freakish stalking tendencies strikes me as sane and it certainly wasn’t consensual. In a brief spoiler, Christian invades Anastasia’s privacy in a way that boarders on criminal, which is not what the community is about. It feels to me as though Erika could have done a bit more research into the world she was trying to represent.
The plot did become a bit predictable. Self indulgent sex scenes aside, it was too easy to second guess at where the tale was heading. The only thing remaining was to guess at what point events would unfold. I felt very much as though the writing handed everything to me on a silver platter. To paraphrase comments from my writer’s group ‘I had nothing left to do.’ That principle of ‘show, not tell’ was utterly ignored.
As a fan of erotica…
Well, like I said, I’ve read better. The descriptions became repetitive and, despite themes of the sex, it actually got a bit boring. There was no heat in it, at least that I could feel, and the passion came off as forced.
With that much sex getting thrown around, I didn’t really have time to care about the characters, which would have made the sex better. In truth, less is more. People underestimate how true that is.
As someone who enjoys books…
I didn’t engage with the characters as much as I hoped I would and the story was too long for me. It took ages to get going and then I found myself skim reading over certain aspects because 1) I didn’t need to know that detail and 2) it was just a bit boring, for want of a better word.
That being said, it was an incredibly easy read. I tackled the book in about three days, baring in mind that I’m already half way through two other books (Call of The Wild and Game of Thrones) and I’m looking after my babies. For something a bit mindless to while away the time before its safe to go back to sleep at 4am it certainly did the trick.
In all, I don’t regret reading the book. I’ve now formed my opinion about it and feel safe in expressing myself when people ask me what I think (because people do… regularly). I can base my opinion on what I have read, rather than what I have heard, and that is always valuable to me. I’ve even started on Fifty Shades Darker, which is the second book in the trilogy.
That being said I’m not holding out much hope that the second book will be any better than the first. I would expect that Erika will remain of the same level as she progresses through her trilogy, though I would hope that she improves. Time will tell on that score.
*picks up Kindle, begins to read*