I’m going to start by admitting that I can see the allure that Fifty Shades Of Grey holds for the average woman (it has been noted that it is usually middle aged women that are reading this). I can say with great confidence that it is certainly much different to what most of us would experience in our every day life. The author, E.L. James has herself said her books offer a “holiday from their husbands”.
If you have not yet heard of this book and the two books that follow it (Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Free), you must have been living under a rock. It has recently been named the fastest selling paperback ever – even beating Harry Potter (not cool) and is currently taking the female population of the world by storm. It has been tagged as “mummy porn” and that is precisely what it is.
The story revolves Anastasia Steele, 21 years old and soon to graduate from college. As a favour to a friend, she interviews the exceedingly wealthy Christian Grey. CEO of his own company, devastatingly handsome and disturbingly enigmatic. From this meeting, Anastasia proceeds to spiral into the dark life of Christian Grey, one that is extremely different from her own and one that she never envisioned herself in. It is a world of money, power and enticingly exotic sex.
Did I like it? I wouldn’t be human if I said that there weren’t some parts that I found quite intriguing and I constantly found myself wondering what kind of research the author did for this book. But in terms of it being a literary masterpiece, let’s just say that it won’t be winning any prizes in that area. Let’s face it, if you take out the pages and pages and pages…and pages of sex, there’s not really much of a plot. I found the characters to be quite irritating most of the time and by the end, I was over the sex – if it was real life, I would have feigned a headache and said, “sorry, not tonight”. For the most part, I was a little bit disturbed by this book. I know that there are people out there who partake in some of the activities described in this book and while I don’t begrudge people their hobbies, it’s really not my thing and not something I would normally read about. Unfortunately my curiosity got the best of me with this one.
Overall, I thought the book was quite laughable – and I don’t mean the lifestyle choices of the characters. It seemed to me that James was trying to create a feeling of romance in between all the bondage and I really don’t think she was very successful. Christian was always wearing white linen shirts, which made me think of Mr Darcy, but a really disturbed Mr Darcy. I often wondered how Anastasia didn’t pass out from a lack of oxygen as she was always forgetting to breathe in heated moments. And show me one 21 year old who constantly (as in every second page) uses the phrase “oh my”. I’m not a professional writer, but I have read a crap load of books in my time and this probably is the worst written of all those that I have ever read. Like I said, without the sex, there’s not a lot else going for it. But I know for a fact that any women reading this right now that haven’t yet read Fifty Shades Of Grey, will completely disregard everything I have just read and will go ahead and read it anyway. It’s like seeing a car crash – you just can’t look away, which is why I will probably read the next two books.
RATING - 2 out of 10. One point is for the sex (even though there was WAY too much) and another point is for numbing my mind enough to trick me into reading the other two books in this trilogy.
WHO SHOULD READ IT - No one of the male persuasion.
WHO YOU’LL LOVE - I wouldn’t say I loved this particular character, but Kate seemed to be the only sane person in the entire book.