Fifty Shades of Grey
E L James
This book is one that has been on bestseller lists everywhere for a while, and seems to be the modern woman’s novel of choice. I wasn’t that captivated by it, but then maybe I’m reading it for the wrong reasons *wink*
I found chapter one sort of irritating. I don’t believe in cosmic connections or being overwhelmed by masculinity. I’ve never met a man I felt overwhelmed by. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places! But Ana was willing to just go with it all, despite reservations. Why does every woman feel that she can change a man?
Ana has far too much insight into Christian from the beginning, and I don’t understand how someone who is such a clutch, and obviously rather socially inept can possibly attract him. I can understand why Ana is attracted to such a relationship though! She seems like she can be pushed into anything very easily. Again, this changes throughout the book.
The first person present tense narration is a style I don’t usually read. Although it I found myself constantly frustated by stupid references to her subconscious and inner goddess. This is her mindstream! Of course she’s going to have different opinions in each part of her, they don’t need to be named. Complete with eye catching italics too.
The readers anticipation moves with Ana’s. As she feels drawn into Grey, the reader also feels that attraction. It’s not particularly well written, but I did feel compelled to read to the finish. Sometimes I just thought she was a complete and utter idiot. The Mrs Robinson storyline was sort of pathetic until the end. Apparently this is something developed more in the second book, which I would hope for. It’s almost enough to get me to read the second book, but we’ll see. I’d rather read a detailed synopsis without the sex scenes and get it over with.
The dialogue is stilted. There, I said it. Things such as ‘I’m not a hearts and flowers kind of man, I don’t do romance’ just seems very set up. I know that this is the kind of man that Christian Grey is, but I still didn’t feel it. And I certainly couldn’t understand the animal attraction Ana feels for him with such stunning lines! Or perhaps it was her unforgettable and awkward lines, such as ‘What is the time?’. It just didn’t fit in with her as a character.
I found myself grossed out by some of Ana’s thoughts. I’m not a prude by any means, but ‘I eye Christian’s toothbrush. It would be like having him in my mouth.’ is just wrong. She’s going to use a toothbrush of a man she’s basically just met and fantasise about it! Ew, she’s just spent some of the night vomiting, and then eaten breakfast, and now she’s going to brush her teeth with someone else’s toothbrush and spread her nasty germs. Healthy. This is a cheap novel. It made me feel cheap reading it. ‘Two orgasms… coming apart at the seas, like the spin cycle on a washing machine’. Statements like this kicked me out of the narrative, sexy as it was. It made the novel seem very amaturish.
The rules Ana must follow are laughable. Of course these things are likely to come up, but to see them written down in plain print. Sorry, maybe I’m just not a romantic, but I can’t believe that a woman would want to subject herself to that! Seriously, exercise 3 times a week? And it’s laughable what Christian is dictating when he has already told Ana to do things.
The sexual domination storyline which seems to be the major draw card for this book was transparent. Although Ana seems clueless (and a virgin), the reader can almost tell straight away what Christian is suggesting. I feel that it’s not even my foreknowledge of this book that told me that. p. 57 starts it all in an elevator!
I’m not sure if the PDF copies I obtained from the book club I am part of were sanctioned by E L James – I doubt it. This book is available in all the usual places (affiliate links to Amazon and TBD), and I’m sure you probably already own a copy or can obtain one even more quickly from a concrete store! I’m more interested in hearing what other people’s ideas are on it – too sexy, or just right?