Book Review – Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Book: Fifty Shades of Grey10818853

Author: E L James

Paperback: 385 Pages

Genre: Adult Fiction, Erotica

Date Published: First Published 2011


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.

About the Author:

E L James is a former TV executive, wife and mother-of-two based in the leafy suburbs of West London.

My Review:

** spoiler alert ** This review contains spoilers.

Okay, first of all, Do not run behind books based on the hype around you. That’s the first lesson I learnt. For some goddamn reason, everywhere around me I just saw Fifty Shades. In trains, buses, at work, with friends, around strangers it was just talks about Fifty Shades. I guess I must have gone mad to when I decided to read Fifty Shades dropping everything else. You must have noticed that I’ve piled it up on my total-time-waste-shelf.

Saying that I hated the book to the core would be an understatement and injustice to my feelings toward this book. Well, let me think, there are so many reasons for this attitude.

Firstly, it is nothing but Twilight in disguise. Might as well, call it Twilight by E L James. Okay, so not all of it but almost all through the book I kept shouting – “There she goes with another ‘Twilight thing'”. With the stay-away-theory, multiple-dissolved-marriages, breathtakingly-beautiful-male-protagonist, baseball-golf-lovers, etc. etc. etc. You are bound to turn back to the cover and check again whether you picked up ‘Twilight’ or ‘Fifty Shades’.

Everything you will see replicates with instances in Twilight.
So, in brief, the story revolves around the ever-so-queer-but-rich-wealthy-CEO of Grey Enterprises Christian Grey who is adopted by Grey couple and has faced a tough life not to forget that he is molested by her mother’s friend in earlier years of his life that turns him in E L James’ term mysterious, complicated, closed, stringent, not to forget his queer sexual desires and tastes.

Anastasia Steele is a college senior attending WSU with her best friend Katherine Kavanagh. Kate writes for the college student newspaper and has to interview the millionaire Grey. But Anastasia has to fill in for her since Katherine falls sick on the day of the interview. Following the interview meeting, she runs into Grey quite few times like at the hardware store, and after she misdials his number when she is drunk at the bar one night. While one of the casual meets, Grey expresses a desire to have a sexual relationship with Anastasia but basis she signs a contract, the rules of which Anastasia finds absurd and harsh. She starts to discover a side of him which is all too dark for a man like him and starts to get away and avoid him until she meets him again on her graduation day where he is the speaker. Finally, she agrees to sign the BDSM contract.

Well, the start itself was a total turn-off. Now, what kind of girl has ‘Anastasia’ for a name? Sounded like one of those pharmaceutical products I studied in my academics during graduation year. Apart from the weird name, there is no description about her character, looks etc. but definitely loads about the male protagonist Grey. Now, this for a person like me is important as I like to imagine what the main characters in the book look like. E L James seems to be very fond of Christian Grey and keeps harping upon ‘how hot’ or ‘how yummy’ he looks! Gross! Would’ve loved to hear some about ‘Anastasia’ too.

Grey keeps asking Anastasia to stay aloof and uses similar statements which to my surprise are probably just a copy-paste effort from Stephanie Meyer‘s Twilight as you might agree when you’ve tortured yourself through the shitty 250 odd pages.
All through the story, I couldn’t just bring myself to fall in love with either Grey or Ana(short for Anastasia). Phew! Was there anything to even like about them?

Grey is a weird disciplinarian with weird desires for sex out of his sexual experience with his mother’s friend (his molester who he keeps calling a close friend all through the story). E L James has actually driven herself through a hell lot of a pain and expects the readers as well to go through the same while she introduces terms like ‘Submissive’ & ‘Dominant’. They are her terms to describe the kind of sexual assault the person has to suffer who agrees to be a submissive(Anastasia, in this case)for pleasure with the dominant(Grey, in this case) by consenting upon a contract. I couldn’t believe my eyes and heart when I actually read through the all-shit-and-dung contract E L James’ has introduced.

All, I remember about the book is the various places, various ways and various forms in which Grey keeps traumatizing Anastasia sexually(not that she minds in the least as she is all head over heals with his looks and wealth). I wanted to yell, bash and hit her just like Grey did at numerous instances but for some good sensible reasons. Is her self-respect and self-dignity totally dead? First, she is not organized mentally and keeps enduring him all through the book which is utter disgusting. I actually wanted to throw up at her.

Well, I know it is damn easy to criticize something and equally brain-turning to appreciate. But, quite honestly, I believe and ask myself “Was there one-thing I liked about the loads of shit in there?” I guess not.

One-thing I would definitely recommend, E L James should be awarded with a Nobel Prize for the number of times she has used ‘Holy-shit’ or ‘Holy-crap’ or ‘Holy-cow’ or Jeez’ and Anastasia should be awarded one for the number of times she flushes and bites her lower lip. Boy, I could count them which was more than a hundred times I am sure. And I definitely should receive one for managing sound and sane through all the BDSM crap. Just not my type-or-taste!

Well, I couldn’t put the book down and read through day and night alike screwing my sleep as I couldn’t wait to finish the crap-load and start with something worth my time. I am absolutely happy to have managed to get it off my hands in a day’s time. Equally, reluctant and skeptical about reading the other 2 books in the trilogy. But I will yet read them just to see if anything gets better with James’ writing style or maybe because I believe in finishing what I start.

Recommended to those who haven’t read tooth-grinding shit in a long long time and have a hell lot of time to waste. In other words, to no-one.

Well, that’s my take on the book. Read for yourself to judge it better and don’t forget to write a review. I would love to know how you liked it.

– Asha


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ste J says:

    Haha, this made me laugh loads, you got it totally right though. The contract was so cringe worthy that I don’t think anyone in there right mind could have read past that…except for us intrepid reviewers and people really into that…I encourage to get annoyed at more rubbish books now for my amusement please!


  2. marjma2014 says:

    Totally agree. Your review is spot on!


    1. Asha says:

      Thank you. 🙂


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