- Series: Fifty Shades of Grey Series (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 528 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; Reprint edition (January 29, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385537670
- ISBN-13: 978-0385537674
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 84,639 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy (Fifty Shades of Grey Series) Hardcover – Deckle Edge, January 29, 2013
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Ghosted"
Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart. Learn more
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About the Author
E L James is a former TV executive, wife, and mother of two based in the leafy suburbs of West London. Beginning in January 2012 her life took an extraordinary turn with the runaway success of her novels, the Fifty Shades Trilogy. Since early childhood she dreamed of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, and now, thanks to millions of readers around the world, that dream has come true. She is currently at work on her next novel, another adult, provocative romance.
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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!
I think if you look at how everything seems to balance each other you will be able to watch the characters grow as the story progresses.
Until Next Time... Tabi
And now the positive. I was reading the book, after being recommended it by someone I have a lot in common with book wise, and wondering what the bug deal was. But soon I was absorbed. The text flirting back and forth was what drew me in. Loved the exchange. And the mystery as to why he is so mercurial was intriguing. And then I could see they were both in love and I was hooked. When first book ended I instantly NEEDED to read books 2 and 3 and couldn't wait for the movie to come out.
Are they great books? No. But there is something about them. I'm definitely used to much better written books. But these did draw me in and keep me hooked.
Spoiler alert! We have a meek and clumsy heroine, who meets an unbelievably handsome and wealthy male. They are inexplicably compelled to one another, and despite his warning he is not good for her and dangerous, she stupidly insists she can handle herself and keeps coming back for more. They fall in love, marry within months, and become pregnant shortly thereafter. The pregnancy is a shock, but despite the young age of the mother is almost instantly embraced and nicknamed by her; the father being a combination of revolted and terrified, and closing himself off emotionally from his new bride. Somewhere in between, a danger is randomly introduced a good chunk into the stories, and is cleanly and conveniently finished off before the happily-ever-after conclusions.
The biggest difference in the series is the "mature" content, namely sex, although both series do parallel here again briefly during the honeymoon phases when the respective bride awakes with bruises and the groom is ashamed of himself.
"Shades" however deals with much more intense and mature content. We're not just referring to some sexy sex scenes, but a man that was horrifically abused as a small child and carried with him into adulthood violence, desires to punish, and a will to dominate in and out of the bedroom. And of course, copious sex scenes that I admittedly grew quite bored reading after the first few and found myself skimming those paragraphs thereafter. These scenes appear every few pages but honestly I don't think I missed much.
In "Shades". we find our heroine, a young woman with no previous relationship or sexual history, incredibly reluctant and afraid to participate in this man's well-disclosed lifestyle, but finds herself willing to do almost anything anyway to get and/or keep the man. Obviously, I have a huge problem with this. Her parents should have raised her better. I am hardly a prude, but reading the first sex scenes that involved whippings and other tortures were enough to make even me cringe and wished I could drag the heroine out of that room and talk some sense into her.
During the weeks of their "courtship" for lack of a better word, the man's childhood traumas are shared with the heroine, who does in my opinion react appropriately and provide encouragement and loving support. However "Shades" expects the reader to believe a man with such a past that is in his late twenties is recovering from his twisted, violent ways because of our heroine in a matter of months, and is "all better" because of her (although he can never let go of his over-protectiveness).
I care not what two consenting adults do for pleasure in the privacy of their own rooms, but the reader was invited into this bedroom (and bathrooms, cars, planes, sexual torture chamber, etc.) so I will pass judgement. The heroine's rightful hesitancy and putting her better instincts aside for the chance to obtain a man are just outrageous to me. Man or woman, most of us have dated that "fixer-upper" and it probably did not work out, for a reason. Although in most cases I find no reason why an emotionally ill person cannot eventually develop a stable and loving relationship, the ability to do so should come from oneself (and therapy or whatever), not based on the other partner being a sexual panacea.
Domestic violence and unsolicited sexual acts have always been a hot point for me. Sure, it's just fiction but quite frankly I am concerned that this unrealistic story may encourage that abused partner to stick it out for a little longer and try to cure the relationship, or someone to attempt a new relationship they are uncomfortable with because hey... in "Shades" it all ended happily. Any man or woman that insists you "have to" or "cannot do" something because of their own issues is just not worth having around.
Unoriginal storyline, mediocre writing and excessive repetitive sex scenes? Not recommended. A lot of people are going on about how the book is not about kinky sex, but about the "journey" of recovery. Through sex. In a few weeks. Years of trauma healed. I don't think so.