Customer Review

17,459 of 18,248 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 32 customers

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Showing 1421-1430 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on Dec 30, 2012 7:15:09 PM PST
Kaylee sc says:
damn, you beat me too it! i was planning on counting the numbers of times she thought "oh my", "jeez" talked to her subconscious and inner godess, or the number of times someone "blanched". How often do people really gasp and blanch? And Ana and Christian seem to di it at the most ridiculous times. E.L James repeats sentences and phrases so many times, sometimes in the same page. Ana drinks Christian in, Christian does something that takes no prisoners. The writing became unbearable. Thank you for actually counting out everything, I was really curious! Great review!!

Posted on Dec 31, 2012 5:47:47 PM PST
Don Reed says:
Believe it or not, Random House used to be an upright place to work. Now it's obviously a cesspool.

Posted on Jan 2, 2013 8:27:59 PM PST
Laura says:
I LOVE this review. I like bawdy books (Slammerkin), but I'll save my $ and skip this one. Seems like this book is a feat of marketing!

Posted on Jan 5, 2013 7:37:27 PM PST
More fun reading this review than the actual book. For me, my inner goddess, my subconscious, my conscious, and my unconscious.
Was it me or was Christian a needy bitch?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2013 8:10:46 PM PST
miss B says:
Three fava beans shy of putting lotion on its skin. Definitely a large whiny vagina who needed a kick in the crotch.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:29:31 PM PST
Lunazen says:
I love your review. I already had no interest, given what some have said about her atrocious writing. Just saw an article about the movie deal and thought I'd read some reviews. Thanks to your wonderful description, I really do think I have to pass. Thank you for enduring enough of the book to be able to so eloquently warn the rest of us off!

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 9:05:45 AM PST
Jim Davidson says:
Brilliant reviews, but at the end of the day.....
1)Author is laughing all the way to the bank
2)Like free porn on the internet, you cant get too picky
3)True this was not think Amazon will want to give me a refund ?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 9:36:11 AM PST
History fan says:
I have bad news for you: it IS free. You can download it in its "original" form, a Twilight fanfic ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 9:47:37 AM PST
gadgetgirl says:
You are a little late to the party, not only has that been mentioned, but I have sent the free version to whomever wants it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 10, 2013 9:50:34 AM PST
History fan says:
Oh, I knew that (and I think I've mentioned it before too), but it seems Jim Davidson didn't ;) Besides that, I think it bears reposting it so nobody else gets trapped into this nightmare of "book" (if only because of curiosity...)

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3.5 out of 5 stars (31,825 customer reviews)
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