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Customer Review

17,912 of 18,750 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bestseller? Really???, March 25, 2012
This review is from: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I enjoy erotica and heard so much about this book that I had to give it a shot, but I'm five chapters in and just can't take it anymore. This has to be the most appallingly atrocious writing I've ever seen in a major release. The pseudonymous British author sets the action (such as it is) in Washington State... for no reason than that her knowledge of America apparently consists of what she read in "Twilight"... but the entire first-person narrative is filled with Britishisms. How many American college students do you know who talk about "prams," "ringing" someone on the phone, or choosing a "smart rucksack" to take "on holiday"? And the author's geography sounds like she put together a jigsaw puzzle of the Pacific Northwest while drunk and ended up with several pieces in the wrong place.

And oh, the repetition...and the repetition...and the repetition. I'm convinced the author has a computer macro that she hits to insert one of her limited repertoire of facial expressions whenever she needs one. According to my Kindle search function, characters roll their eyes 41 times, Ana bites her lip 35 times, Christian's lips "quirk up" 16 times, Christian "cocks his head to one side" 17 times, characters "purse" their lips 15 times, and characters raise their eyebrows a whopping 50 times. Add to that 80 references to Ana's anthropomorphic "subconscious" (which also rolls its eyes and purses its lips, by the way), 58 references to Ana's "inner goddess," and 92 repetitions of Ana saying some form of "oh crap" (which, depending on the severity of the circumstances, can be intensified to "holy crap," "double crap," or the ultimate "triple crap"). And this is only part one of a trilogy...

If I wrote like that, I'd use a pseudonym too.

Like some other reviewers, what I find terribly depressing is that this is a runaway bestseller and the movie rights are expected to sell for up to $5 million. There are so many highly talented writers in the genre... and erotica is so much more erotic when the author has a command of the language and can make you care about the characters. For examples, check out the "Beauty" trilogy written by Anne Rice under the pen name A.N. Roquelaure, or any stories by Donna George Storey or Rachel Kramer Bussel. Just stay away from this triple crap.

*UPDATE*: Thanks to the many other perturbed readers who have shared their own choices of the most annoyingly overused phrases in this masterpiece. Following up on their suggestions with my ever-useful Kindle search function, I have discovered that Ana says "Jeez" 81 times and "oh my" 72 times. She "blushes" or "flushes" 125 times, including 13 that are "scarlet," 6 that are "crimson," and one that is "stars and stripes red." (I can't even imagine.) Ana "peeks up" at Christian 13 times, and there are 9 references to Christian's "hooded eyes," 7 to his "long index finger," and 25 to how "hot" he is (including four recurrences of the epic declarative sentence "He's so freaking hot."). Christian's "mouth presses into a hard line" 10 times. Characters "murmur" 199 times, "mutter" 49 times, and "whisper" 195 times (doesn't anyone just talk?), "clamber" on/in/out of things 21 times, and "smirk" 34 times. Christian and Ana also "gasp" 46 times and experience 18 "breath hitches," suggesting a need for prompt intervention by paramedics. Finally, in a remarkable bit of symmetry, our hero and heroine exchange 124 "grins" and 124 "frowns"... which, by the way, seems an awful lot of frowning for a woman who experiences "intense," "body-shattering," "delicious," "violent," "all-consuming," "turbulent," "agonizing" and "exhausting" orgasms on just about every page.
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Tracked by 31 customers

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Showing 91-100 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on May 11, 2012 2:17:57 PM PDT
From the comments alone, I'm beginning to wonder if the author has read any erotica. I was going to purchase the book, but upon reading this review I think I'll hold off and maybe borrow it (assuming my friends read erotica). I think I may go and re read my copy of O.

Posted on May 11, 2012 4:58:23 PM PDT
Could anyone see how many times the word "said" is used compared to "murmer"

Posted on May 11, 2012 6:23:08 PM PDT
M. trout says:
What amazes me is how unbelievable it is that a college senior could be soo niave. I mean, really, never got drunk once or at least got to second base?? And we're supposed to believe she is hot????? Good review. It made me LOL!

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 9:57:30 PM PDT
gadgetgirl says:
My sentiments exactly, not to mention how quickly she got over her initial soreness. I knew a girl who had to get stitches, talk about soreness...and this one is ready for more....really?

Posted on May 11, 2012 10:05:09 PM PDT
gadgetgirl says:
Loved your review!!!! Are you sure his long Index finger was only mentioned 7 times, or was that just in one chapter? Because I am sure it must have been more! I have to say that I find all these reviews and comments far more entertaining than the book itself, which like any horrifying event, I couldn't keep away from and am actually reading the God-awful piece of junk. I guess it's just one of those things you have to see for yourself to believe that it's as bad they say and it's true, it horrible. And God help me if she refers to her "sex" one more time. Did we get a number on that? Oy vey!

Posted on May 12, 2012 7:07:23 AM PDT
I can't stop laughing with your review. Now I'm torn if I should read the book to laugh at it or not. LOL!

Posted on May 12, 2012 10:01:39 AM PDT
Joan Reeves says:
EL James tries to hit you over the head with Anastasia's innocence (Jeez, jeez. infinitum). She should quit assuming her audience needs this, and get a damn thesaurus. Oh, the next time she wants to write in an American POV, she should do some research and listen to Americans talk to one another.

Posted on May 12, 2012 12:52:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 12, 2012 12:55:55 PM PDT
J. Grant says:
Thanks for the informative and funny review. Thanks for your due diligence on the Kindle search function. Facts to back up the hypothesis make a big difference. Derivative and repetitive is unfortunately what sells these days. Most folks don't have the attention span for a truly good read.

Seems to me you have far superior writing skills to the author, just based on this review alone.

Truly sad to hear how popular this drivel is. Sometimes I just don't want to live on this planet anymore.

Posted on May 12, 2012 1:26:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 12, 2012 1:34:41 PM PDT
Jean Kelly says:
So, a dear friend of mine tried to warn me not to waste my time and money on this book (too late I'm afraid) but also mentioned this one review with nearly 100 comments. Your review is perfect and quite frankly, like a surgeon general's warning on cigarettes, it should be plastered across this book before the seal is broken. Sadly, however, warnings are rarely heeded by compulsive, addictive, herd mentalities. Anyway, as I scroll through these comments, I see not one, but two references to the book Who Got Liz Gardner which I discovered and read almost two years ago.
Here's what I find whack - that garbage such as this finds its way to the top of a bestseller list, while "Liz Gardner" - a far superior read on every level ( especially the SEX) goes largely unacknowledged and unnoticed. I've also heard this book referred to as "Mommy Porn" simply because Ms. James is a mother of teenage boys. The author of WGLG is also a mother of a teenager and wrote a very sexually charged novel. The DIFFERENCE is, the sex in "Liz" ( wow, that sounds rather risque) is well written, often fun and never gratuitous. Oh, and there is an actual plot. The universe has jumped the track. Ugh, I could rant on, but I think I'll just go reread my copy of "Liz" to get the bad taste of "Shades" out of my mouth.

Posted on May 12, 2012 1:37:10 PM PDT
Liz A Beth says:
You had me at, 'most appallingly atrocious writing I've ever seen in a major release'. Your review sums it up perfectly, so there is no need for me to say more!
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