Fifty Shades of Grey (Paperback)
Short Description for Fifty Shades of Grey When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind - until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.
- Published: 29 June 2012
- Format: Paperback 528 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780099579939 ISBN 10: 0099579936
- Sales rank: 4
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Reviews for Fifty Shades of Grey
Ever so slightly better than anticipated...
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana's quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success - his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family - Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.
Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.
Do you ever find yourself disliking something without ever having given it a chance? Maybe you form an opinion about certain things before really experiencing them properly. Unfortunately, I sometimes find myself unjustifiably against something. However, when I feel this way I try to make a point of giving said thing a chance. That way, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised and have a change of opinion. Or, I'll be justified in my dislike and be able to back up my slating with truth.
Fifty Shades of Grey was one of those books which I would have been quite happy to never pick up. Ever. As far as I was concerned it was a fanfic/masturbatory aid for older women. But then people started raving about it. I kept hearing that the characters were actually very well rounded and the narrative was engaging.
So, I decided to splash out and buy the book. I felt like I was selling out when I pushed the "Buy" button, but also felt good about the decision to put aside my prejudices and try and read the book I was so ready to slate.
Honestly, it was just slightly better than I had anticipated. It wasn't hugely similar to the Twilight books, though the inspiration was evident. But it still wasn't great. There was a story there and conflict and all the necessary ingredients for a book, but it was just kind of ... meh.
Most of my concerns about the book were justified upon reading it. Many of the character-flaws which irked me in the Twilight books were magnified, especially where Christian Grey (Edward Cullen) was concerned. In Twilight, I often thought Edward was a domineering chauvinist. In Fifty Shades of Grey, this is exacerbated drastically as Grey is into BDSM in a big way and likes very much to be in control.
Now whatever your own kink might be, that's just dandy in the right circumstances. But when your control issues extend beyond the bedroom and result in subjecting women to what is basically abuse, then it's time to get some meds. Grey's "quirks" are explained away by saying he had an emotionally abusive childhood. But I don't think anything justifies sadism. A bit of kink is just fine, and if blurring the pleasure/pain boundary is your thing then knock yourself out (pun intended)! But emotional and physical abuse isn't sexy.
I've always hated it in fiction when the love interest is "broken" and in need of "fixing". I think too many real-life bastards end up having their every whim catered for because their lover thinks they can change them. I just felt like Grey was a glorified abusive partner in the first book of this trilogy. Perhaps things change, but even if love does fix him, is that a good message? Does that negate his dark proclivities? I might have to read the rest of the books to see how this plays out... but I just don't know if I can be bothered.
Ana, the first person protagonist, was okay. However, I actually preferred Bella. Bella certainly had her annoying moments and is forever soured by Kristen Stewart, but she was always able to come up with a plan when the going got tough. She had faith in Edward which was sort of justifiable because, even though Edward was capable of being a monster, he kept himself restrained. And what human being doesn't have the ability to hurt another?
The most irksome aspect of Ana's character was how often she says "Oh my". It is impossible not to read it in a George Takei voice, which made many of the love scenes unintentionally hilarious!
Christian Grey, however, indulges his darker desires and causes pain to others. He's big on charity work and sustainable technology, but then Hitler had his philanthropic moments too. To me, Grey was more of an animal than his vampire inspiration ever was.
Overall, this story did have its moments. The chemistry between the two main characters was tangible and, at times, enjoyable. It's a shame that there was little more to this book than just some fairly cheesy sex-scenes and characters who I felt as much empathy for as I might a soggy sponge.
This gets two stars. I read it, I might read the others to see if the fuss over these books becomes justified, but mostly I just didn't love or even like it much. I didn't hate it either, it was just okay. Mostly, I'm glad I read it because now I can eviscerate it justifiably! So there's a plus! by Laura Williams