Thursday, August 2, 2012


This week I really sunk my teeth into the book “50 Shades of Grey”, written by E.L. James.  She was a television executive across the pond and I really am not aware of anything else about her.  The “Shades…” series began as fan fiction based on the “Twilight” books.  Upon hearing about some of the subject matter and the reaction from the media, I asked my girlfriend if she was a reader and had she read the book.  Not only had she read the book, she devoured it and was currently working on the second!!  She let me borrow her copy but after KT picked up and started reading “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, I felt that she was also sophisticated enough to pick up on “Shades”.  So I would end up purchasing my own copy to read when I was free from prying eyes and would find the motivation to finish the book.

As someone who wants to write a book, I felt a twinge of jealousy at the author.  By glomming onto the “Twi-hard” fan base, she already had a market that was ready for more in the Edward-Bella saga.  But I was able to suppress my “hateration” and with my girlfriend enthused with the story, I was able to give the book a go.

No, it is not great literary reading BUT I do think that you get what you are looking for when you pick the book up.  It is more of a relationship story than it is one of debauchery, and that is what keeps the book moving along.  Like with many fantastic romance novels, there are some poetic licenses’ that are near their expiration date but they are not hard to overcome.

The story begins in earnest when the protagonist in the story, Anastasia (Ana) Steele doing her roommate Katherine (Kate) Kavanaugh a favor.  Kate is the editor of a student paper at the university they both attend in Washington state and is too sick to do an interview with the reclusive billionaire Christian Grey.  Pleading with Ana, Kate convinces Ana to go and off she goes to Christian’s offices near Seattle.

From there the story is about what you would expect from the circumstances.  Billionaire becomes madly infatuated with the young college student, filling in for a friend.  And while he is a billionaire, he is not that much older than the object of his infatuation, so it does not seem like a stretch for him to be attracted to her and vise-a-versa.

After a brief game of “cat-and-mouse” Ana finally consents to a date with Mr. Grey over her reservations.  Their first romantic encounter was very appropriate and the vagueness that was left regarding Christian’s sexual appetite was just enough to keep me interested in what the big fuss was about!

I have to admit that I thought it was going to be more erotic and debaucheries, “Shades…” is a simple love story with a squeeze of kink to provide some flavor.  I have seen and read some of the critiques of the story, beginning with the young billionaire kink and the virgin college senior, and I think that comes from the unimaginative and crappy lives of the critics!!  Personally, I have had a “cup of coffee” with several aspects of the storyline and that is what I found intriguing.
While it is teased out (in a way that shows the author’s inexperience in story telling), the level that I am familiar with BDSM did ring true, but as with the “real” Edward and Bella, the story does get to be tiring.  So I suggested that after she reads this trilogy that my girlfriend do some Henry Miller and see what is up with that!!

Now one particular thing that I noticed was how the dynamic seemed to be between the two main characters, Ana and Christian.  Christian never seemed to be the dominating character that I expected him to be.  While he does not lavish Ana with gifts (he does buy her an expensive book and new Audi) or really flaunts his money, he still seems annoying vulnerable and petulant when compared to the more detached and in control Ana.  That does not seem realistic but then again, this is not a BDSM story as much as it is a love story with a couple of paddling’s thrown in.  Sure, there is the typical dark secret to why he is the way he is and that, along with his family history you will have to read about.

Anywho, just because I said you will get what you expect from reading “Shades…” does not mean that I would recommend that you read it!!  Since my girl is into the trilogy, I guess that means I need to get into them!! 


Ken Riches said...

Pretty far down my reading list, if I live to be 150 perhaps?

Beth said...

Although I have not read this trilogy, based on what other avid readers (and a few published writers) have said, I think I'll find other books to read! If you want to read some well-written erotica, get Anne Rice's Beauty trilogy rather than this stuff. It is beautifully written, and is available at Target...of all places!

FrankandMary said...

A friend had it face down in her living room so I picked it up while waiting for her. Read only 5 pages, but it did not pull me. I've heard both great & who cares comments about it, & I suspect I would fall into the latter. ~Mary

mrs.missalaineus said...

i read the first two chapters- and i've seen better written ads on craigslist.