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Fifty Shades of Grey


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Ok I've read it, remember I said perhaps it would be ok, I mean it couldn’t get much worse could it? do you remember that utterance of hope well lets just say I was wrong, so badly wrong Oh dear god it could get worse and did!

 

I’m not sure what to say now that I have read it, I am speechless, (which for anyone who knows me is a rare occurance, I have an opinion about everything!) where do I begin, it was just truly awful, to be fair - admittedly there were some positives, there was no inner god or subconscious which was a huge plus before we even start, that was frankly a stupid addition to the last books which didn’t need to be there, and it showed us the vulnerability of the man, through his dreams, thoughts and flashbacks, and he came across as a caring but flawed and broken man, but it was that which is where it all fell apart, it was because of that very fact, it just didn't fit with the way he was portrayed in this book, let me explain, in FSOG he came across as a cold ruthless business man who was nothing more than a heartless sadist, but when you read in this version that actually he is quite human with his staff and clearly respected and admired by them that jarred with his persona as a Dom and it just didn’t work, and it didn’t work because Ms James doesn’t have the writing ability to make it work, it could have been spectacular showing the persona Christian Grey showed to the world compared to the man he really is and that is what she was trying to do, after all in my opinion she has managed to create one of the most interesting male characters in literature for years with depth and layers and with so much potential but she just hasn’t got what it takes to capitalise on it and show the full potential of the character, and instead she concentrated on the sex which has been done once (to death)and as a result it just falls flat and was a crass disappointment.   It was quite telling that the stand out part of the book for me were the chapters at the end after the original book ends and he examines his life and comes to the realisation that he has fallen in love, and how he struggles to come to terms with that fact but even they fell short of what they could have been as they were so poorly written.

 

The piss poor repetitive writing was back with a vengeance whenever Ana did something interesting, surprising, gratifying well anything at all really, Christian’s reaction was “Whoa”  when Ms James was telling us what he was thinking, nine times out of ten it started with the word whoa.  Now it has been established in the story that Christian Grey is a business genius, a highly intelligent man with a varied and extensive vocabulary, surely he would think something a little more than whoa every time something happened.  Also when describing how Christian felt when Ana said or did something which made him feel good about himself , we are told that he felt ten feet tall, it was a good analogy the first time I read it, after about the seventh -  not so much!

 

The story itself is a mirror of the original book so the majority is basically fifty shades of grey with she replaced with he and him replacing her with a few extra bits where we see what he was doing when the story was concentrating on Ana in the original.  We have the pages taken up with the contract details which was quickly skipped over, and page after page of increasingly tedious sex, this time through his eyes.  I think the main thing is that there was nothing really in the first book worth reading from his perspective until you got to the end. The original story ended with Ana leaving him after he whipped her but this carried on showing him falling apart and then resolving how to win her back and as I said earlier whilst the best part of the book for me, it did not reach its full potential.

 

I would assume that she will also rewrite Darker and Freed from Christian’s POW and I have no doubt that they will also sell well amongst the fans, I will admit those two books are full of situations which I wouldn’t mind reading what was happening on the flip side, but after reading this I won’t go out of my way to bother.

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I just picked up the original recently to see what all the fuss is about.  So far it seems interesting to say the least.  I borrowed all 3 so well see how far I get I guess.  Apple thanks for the review on Grey, I can't for the life of me figure out why someone would do this with the exemption of making more money.

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I just picked up the original recently to see what all the fuss is about.  So far it seems interesting to say the least.  I borrowed all 3 so well see how far I get I guess.  Apple thanks for the review on Grey, I can't for the life of me figure out why someone would do this with the exemption of making more money.

I'm a sucker for the underdog and this author has certainly had major criticism but manages to sell millions. I read such bad reviews and am guilty for echoing them, "everyone says its bad so it must be bad" seems to be a mantra.

If people are encouraged to read by herd mentality is it a bad thing?

Would do it for a BGO group read but "adult chick lit" not my cup of tea.

Well done Apple for bravely venturing where no BGO member would go :) 

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I'm a sucker for the underdog and this author has certainly had major criticism but manages to sell millions. I read such bad reviews and am guilty for echoing them, "everyone says its bad so it must be bad" seems to be a mantra.

If people are encouraged to read by herd mentality is it a bad thing?

Would do it for a BGO group read but "adult chick lit" not my cup of tea.

Well done Apple for bravely venturing where no BGO member would go :)

 

This was originally a hit by word of mouth on the internet where it was available for free. As it grew demand for paper copies (hooray!) was such that it was printed rather quickly and sold extremely well. I read the first page or so of the first book online when it was still available and decided independently that the prose alone was not for me.

 

To Apple the bravery award for actions above and beyond the call of duty. BGO thanks you.

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I'm a sucker for the underdog and this author has certainly had major criticism but manages to sell millions. I read such bad reviews and am guilty for echoing them, "everyone says its bad so it must be bad" seems to be a mantra.

If people are encouraged to read by herd mentality is it a bad thing?

Would do it for a BGO group read but "adult chick lit" not my cup of tea.

Well done Apple for bravely venturing where no BGO member would go :)

I would like to answer that if I may, I as you know had the original books forced on me to read, I have a friend who I got into reading - she always professed reading was for clever people to which I pointed at myself and said excuse me, thick as sh*t person standing in front of you - and I continued to encourage her to read books I lent her books I had read and enjoyed and eventually gave her one of my favourites to read - Wuthering Heights and she was worried at first that she wouldn't understand it but I told her she would and she did, and she loved it. So every time she reads something she likes she will recommend it to me.  Now Fifty Shades was a kind of phenomenon.  Well I hated it (please refer to my original post) and when my friend brought Darker and Freed I refused and said no but when she said more back story comes out and you find out more about the character and he becomes more likeable - which has been a big gripe of mine.  I asked if the writing was any better and I was assured it was a bit better (it wasn't) but as I said there were parts of the second and third book which I did enjoy and which got into my head. But I will admit I actually knew nothing about the book or the hype surrounding it when I was given it to read and it was only then I discovered that practically every woman at work had read them and the majority were in raptures saying how brilliant they were so I was more than willing to give it a go, as it had never actually been on my radar, so I read it without seeing any reviews or comments and only going on the recommendation of my friend so i wasn't swayed by other bad reviews, but when you read it it is blindingly obvious where the bad comments are coming from. 

 

I would like to add that I found an interesting pattern which formed, people who didn't normally read books loved it and thought it was brilliant, but people who do normally read found the flaws and were not so impressed and a then there were a few who loathed it - like me. So in answer to your question, it would have been better if it had been a well written story, but no I personally don't think that if a large proportion of people read it and enjoyed it simply by following the crowd it is a bad thing, I mean a proportion of those people may have then gone on to read more books who knows, and I think that could only be a good thing,

 

I have to say though that I believe that this was a calculated money making exercise cynically timed to coincide with the release of the film on DVD, catapulting both into the media spotlight and ensuring good sales it will be interesting to see if further installments come out with equal careful timing.

Edited by Apple
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  • 2 weeks later...

So I read it and as someone who was emotionally abused this book caused all sorts of triggers and I could see very many red flags.  For me this would have been better if it was written as a horror novel with a tag line as such (SPOILER ALERT):

 

An emotionally abuse billionaire finds the perfect victim.   He tries to mold her into his creation, she knows no better due to her lack of reference for a relationship both from a parental point of view and her own.  Watch as the victim disintegrates under his constant stocking and pressure tactics.  The victim finally manages to escape in the end when she regains her senses...but how long will her clarity last?

 

This man is emotionally abusive in every sense of the word.  Some of the sex scenes are interesting I give it that.  But I really hope that no woman or man if they are reading them too uses this as a model of a healthy relationship.  The scars last a lifetime.  Emotional abuse is really hard because it lends people to further victimize the victim which draws the person back to the emotionally abusive partner.  They get you to really believe that it is your fault that they have to treat you the way they do and often isolate you from anyone who may be able to convince you otherwise.  Aside from myself I had another family member who went through it and although it was painful I am so relieved that my family member was able to confide in me despite the partner's tactics.  That I was able to be there for that person and help the person see that the fault wasn't with the person but with my family member's partner.  People around this person shouted at them to snap out of it and did other things to further victimize my family member.  But in the end my just like Anastasia my family member was finally able to snap out of it and realize that the partner was no good for them.  

 

Emotionally abusive partners need help but they are really good at manipulating people so its not good for the victim.  Often times in joint sessions even the therapist is insensitive to the emotional abuse and victim gets further victimized.  It's horrible and truly awful.  50 Shades of Grey should serve as a warning to avoid emotionally abusive partners.  Yea they might love you in his or her own way but this person needs help and the best thing you can do is remove yourself from the emotionally abusive partner before they consume you.

Edited by Biochemisty-n-Classics
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  • 3 weeks later...

I am beginning to view the whole Fifty phenomenon as a great evil unleashed on the world. I watched the film, I really can watch any old tripe, and it was the worst pile of poo ever. Absolutely no chemistry between the characters/ actors. I shouldn't be surprised really.

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  • 2 years later...

Once again I find myself on the FSOG thread, this time discussing ‘Darker’ which is Fifty Shades Darker written from Christian’s perspective. I thought that the whole concept had been shelved as I hadn’t heard any more about further books after ‘Grey’ but then my friend came to me and told me that Darker had indeed been released, she had read it and she offered it to me to read.

 

I have to say I took it without a fuss this time as you may recall that it was halfway through this instalment of the original books I said that something changed, something got into my head about the character and I also said there were parts of this book I wouldn’t mind reading from Christian’s point of view. So I took it and I read it and what follows is what I thought of it.

 

Darker by E L James

Shock, horror, and total gobsmacked surprise, it wasn’t too bad, (either that or I have become immune to the awful writing of Ms James). But the truth is it didn’t seem that bad this time, she was far more descriptive and not nearly so repetitive, although there were still a few ‘Whoa’s’ and Christian did feel ten feet tall a few times... a few, not too many though.

 

At one point though I actually wondered if she had got someone else to write it for her, because of her new found descriptive writing skills she also seemed to forget what she had previously written and for the parts which are a mirror of the original book we get far more dialogue and stuff which just wasn’t said in the original book, which I have to admit did throw me somewhat, and thinking I’m sure it wasn’t like that in the original book, so much so I found myself looking up the original book online to check I wasn’t going mad and sure enough some parts were distinctly different.

 

There were a lot of flashbacks and memories in this book to Christian’s wretched childhood and I felt that was a good thing as it gave more depth and understanding in the character and showed why he was the way he was.  The parts which I had wanted to read from his perspective didn’t disappoint me either, they were enlightening and quite emotional and they were written in a way which made you care about him, and there was something else throughout the book which I didn’t expect and that was it showed the destructive manipulative influence the woman who sexually abused him in his teen years and who introduced him to the BDSM lifestyle still had on his life years later, something which is there but you don’t really notice in the original books until right at the end of the second book but is a running undercurrent throughout Darker.

 

Everything all seemed to come together well in this book, and the things that didn’t work in Grey, really did in this one because the persona of Christian in the original book was so different from the man portrayed in Grey Ms James couldn’t make it work but in this one she managed it, possibly because in the original story it was this book where you saw Christians more vulnerable side emerge and this expanded on that.  So, all in all, it was quite an odd experience reading this as I was expecting to hate it, I was expecting it to be complete drivel – and it wasn’t and now I have finished I’m not too sure what to make of it and I find myself in the position where I am actually looking forward the final instalment and wanting to read it.

 

 

 

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  • 3 years later...
Posted (edited)

FREED By E L James

 

Well, it had to happen.  The book Freed by E L James has been released, which is the final instalment of FSOG told from Christian's perspective and if you read my previous review you will see I was actually looking forward to this one.  Mainly because Fifty Shades Freed was the book which made me realise that this could've been a fabulous story if the author had any writing talent at all and going right back the beginning this book actually got into my head a bit.

 

In Fifty Shades Freed of the original trilogy you saw just how vulnerable the character of Christian was and how damaged. That came across loud and clear and so I was interested to see how that played out in reading the story from his point of view.  It was totally different from the other two.  The first one was basically the same story with she replaced with he a lot of the time and there really wasn't much else to say.  Darker was better and this one, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. (I know!) Don't get me wrong, the writing wasn't brilliant, but compared to the others it did at least look like it had been edited but it was quite jarring in places as the new stuff was much better than the original so when you were reading about situations which had previously been written but had to be there as both characters were present with the familiar dialogue from the original books you could really tell the difference.

 

The story was familiar of course but the opening chapters were totally different and told the story of what happened between the time of the proposal and marriage (the second book ended with the proposal and the third started with the honeymoon with flashback of the wedding ceremony).  It was actually quite heart-breaking to read in places as Christian was portrayed as a man totally in turmoil most of the time and trying to hide his vulnerabilities and present to the world a person who was totally in control. You read how he was terrified that something bad was always going to happen.  These fears manifested in nightmares and seemingly unreasonable behaviour. It was quite upsetting sometimes to read, seeing how deep seated his issues were and how his mental health was totally damaged by his life experiences and also the hold his abusers still had over him. I'm glad I did read it though and finished what I started.  I will say though, if E L James had been a better writer the whole series could've been a complete masterpiece and a fictional textbook showing how mental health problems manifest themselves. But sadly because the original books were so badly written and too much emphasis placed on the never ending sex the real story behind the superficial never got chance to come through - until you saw glimpses of it in the third book, so in a way Darker and Freed rectified that even though there still was pages and pages of unending sex.   

 

In conclusion, not brilliantly written but far better than anything that she has written previously. Not so repetitive, and far more descriptive, but that jarred with the sections of original dialogue. This particular book was head and shoulders above the others (I am uncertain if that is because Fifty Shades Freed was my favourite out of the original trilogy or because it was better written or a combination of both), but I would say if anyone was curious about FSOG don't read the original trilogy, read 'Grey' 'Darker' and 'Freed' instead.

 

 

 

Edited by Apple
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