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Fifty Shades Freed: Book Three of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Fifty Shades of Grey Series) (English Edition) Paperback – April 17, 2012
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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING FIFTY SHADES Trilogy
"In a class by itself."
About the Author
E L James is a former TV executive, wife and mother of two based in West London. Since early childhood she dreamed of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, but put those dreams on hold to focus on her family and her career. She finally plucked up the courage to put pen to paper with her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.
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Top Customer Reviews
About half way through the book, I looked up the author to see if she was a teenager. I really did because the characters are out of a 16 year old's fantasy. The main male character is a billionaire (not a millionaire but a billionaire) who speaks fluent French, is basically a concert level pianist, is a fully trained pilot, is athletic, drop dead gorgeous, tall, built perfectly with an enormous penis, and the best lover on the planet. In addition, he's not only self made but is using his money to combat world hunger. Oh yeah, and all of this at the ripe old age of 26! And on top of that, he's never working. Every second is spent having sex or texting and emailing the female character. His billions seem to have just come about by magic. It seriously feels like 2 teenage girls got together and decided to create their "dream man" and came up with Christian Grey.
Then come the sex scenes. The first one is tolerable but as she goes on, they become so unbelievable that it becomes more laughable than erotic. She orgasms at the drop of a hat. He says her name and she orgasms. He simply touches her and she orgasms. It seems that she's climaxing on every page.
Then there's the writing. If you take out the parts where the female character is blushing or chewing her lips, the book will be down to about 50 pages. Almost on every single page, there is a whole section devoted to her blushing, chewing her lips or wondering "Jeez" about something or another. Then there's the use of "shades of". He's "fifty shades of @#$%% up," "she turned 7 shades of crimson," "he's ten shades of x,y, and z." Seriously?
The writing is just not up to par, the characters are unbelievable, and the sex verges on the comical. I don't know what happens in the remaining books and I do not intend to read them to find out. But given the maturity level of the first book, I imagine that they get married, have 2 perfect children, cure world hunger, and live happily ever after while riding into the sunset, as the female character climaxes on her horse causing her to chew her bottom lip and blush fifty shades of crimson. Jeez!
Keeping to all of the God-awful stereotypes set by the vampire series, I found nothing to like here. The protagonist has all of Bella Swan's bad traits: a ridiculous level of clumsiness, a good dose of bitterness, and a downright nasty attitude towards women with blonde hair. The hero is a stock-standard Romance Hero. A place-filler for readers' ultimate Fantasy Man. This means he is not particularly compelling, and not particularly memorable.
Too weak to satisfy erotic romance fans, and too out there for the conservative Twilight crowd, this has to be the most over-hyped book since the original with the sparkly vampires.
Add to that the poor writing, repetition, and use of British English by American characters (but hey, American historical romance writers are guilty of Americanising Britain all the time - maybe this is payback!), there's really little - if anything - good to say about this book.
If this is your first taste of erotic romance, you might be surprised in a good way. Everything is exciting the first time round. But once you're able to swim without those floaties on your arms, go check out a better erotic romance writer - Cherise Sinclair is my top pick.
50 Shades reminds me of a song that starts just above or below pitch, and the singer never quite finds his/her way. Pleasant moments in between make you forget momentarily that something is...not right, but the overall feeling at the end is a letdown. I liked the story more than I thought I would, but big problems with the theme and the writing somewhat overshadowed what, with some major editing, could have been a very good romance.
I want to begin with the idea that this is erotica and that, thanks to this book, the genre has been given new life. 50 Shades of Grey is not erotica. To write it well, you need variety. The sex is the same every time, and it is quite vanilla. She runs her fingers through his hair--every time. He pulls her hair back so she can look at him--every time. The coupling is the same--every time. To write erotica well you need visuals, you need feelings, you need to make your reader tingle and tighten right along with her, or him. The reader of 50 Shades learns that when turned on, those tingles reached Ana all the way `down there' (italics on 'there' are the author's, not mine). For some reason, the author felt that having Ana's `inner goddess' and her `subconscious' rear their clueless heads throughout the book in lieu of learning Ana's true feelings was the best route. In fact, I believe the author was hiding behind these props because the idea of writing the more erotic names for genitalia was undoable for her. And, I'm sorry. In erotica, this language is essential--otherwise, it's romance.
Sadly, the reader is not treated to what Ana is feeling during all the generic-same-sex, during which she climaxes every time (congratulations) in the exact same way. The author did not feel obligated in any way to switch things up, make each scene a bit different, maybe introduce some oral sex, some anal play--something else besides inserting tab A into slot B. From the kink standpoint, the scenes in the Red Room of Pain (silly) were too quick and, frankly, very dull and generic for those familiar with BDSM. The author breezed through the scenes (only 3) so quickly that I didn't have time to get into the scene myself. It all just got glossed over somehow, in favor of the romance and the psychological twist that is Christian. The book would have been so much better if we could have seen how twisted Christian was, instead of being told.
Christian as a true Dominant becomes a hard sell once he threatens to spank her and then does not follow through. For fans of erotica, BDSM and spanking in particular, this was incredibly unsatisfying. For me, from that first error in judgment, the book became a formulaic romance with (gasp) a troubled, tortured hero and the seemingly normal woman who tries to save him. Nothing unique here. The author's unfamiliarity and obvious discomfort with a subject matter like BDSM was evident in so many ways; the most glaring to me was the heroine Ana's reference to a spanking Christian gave her as 'hitting'. A Dom would immediately correct her on that, pointing out the cavernous difference between hitting and spanking, yet Christian used the term 'hitting' himself toward the end when he punished her for some transgression. For a Dom to say, 'I am going to hit you...' is so wrong, that the only conclusion I could come to is that the author did not do her research--or she did, and it made her uncomfortable. So, then don't write BDSM erotica. Write romance. But, for God's sake (and ours), get it right.
Now I'll move on to the biggest disappointment about 50 Shades, and that is the writing. The author has not met an adverb or an adjective she doesn't love, and so as not to play favorites, she uses them all with equal vigor, which takes the reader immediately out of the story. `Greatly relieved' (is there any other kind?), `blond woman smiles pleasantly...' (is there ever a smile that is unpleasant?) These are juvenile mistakes that I hope the good editors at Vintage will correct. The other habit the author must be broken of is her references to her `inner goddess' and her `subconscious'. It's irritating by the third reference, and downright cringe-worthy by the 333rd. The author also filled a lot of page space by the innumerable `oh my's, `holy cow's, and the constant reminder to the reader that Christian was good-looking and that Ana was into him. Take all the above out and you have a novella, but a good one. Oh, and it's OK to be British in Seattle. Both characters are so obviously British; so introduce them as British. To NOT acknowledge that, yet pepper the book with so much Brit-speak, AGAIN, takes the reader out of the story.
I could go on and on, but what's the point? This is review number thousand-and-something, and I'm saying the same things many others are saying. That this is the book that is getting wives back into bed with their husbands is wonderful but somewhat surprising, given the very generic subject matter and the immature writing style. I have to say that I would re-read after Vintage gets hold of it, just to see what changes they make. It will be interesting to see what the motivation was for Vintage to pick this book up. Was it to produce a good book and promote a somewhat promising author, or was it to ride on the back of a horse that has already crossed the finish line? We shall see.