I very recently finished all three book in the Fifty Shades trilogy written by E L James. Are you wondering why these books are such a big deal, why everyone who reads them can’t put them down, even though the general consensus is that the writing is not that good, why SNL did an entire skit about what every Mom wants for Mother’s Day is Fifty Shades of Grey?
Possible Spoilers, read at own risk!
I got the book for Mother’s Day, well I got a Nook simple touch for Mother’s Day, with all 3 books loaded on it. Babu has this thing where because he is an IT guy almost very gift giving occasion I get something electronic, with mixed results. The Nook has been his most successful gift yet. He’s been trying to get me to try an e-reader, I had no interest. basically he tricked me into using it with the Fifty Shades carrot, it worked. I haven’t stopped reading on that thing since Mother’s Day. For the record Babu calls it frustrated SAHM porn, he isn’t far from the mark.
Let’s just cut to the sex…
So why are these books such a big deal? Basically it’s because it’s a modern-day Beauty and the Beast Fairy tale, with lots of kinky sex. It’s not just sex, it’s soul encompassing, passion fueled, power struggle, constant hot sex. The way she tells the sex portions are well done, even if her descriptive writing could use some work. I’ve written better sex scenes to gone wild boys and ex boy friends, but she goes into lots of technical and intimate details without being overly vulgar or overly chaste. I imagine it was a fine line to walk. Due to the amount of BDSM, toys, places they do it and biological details she presents, it almost feels educational. I actually learned some things from these books. One opinion among my circle is that it would be pretty amazing if our guys would read these books too, from a get ideas perspective. It’s not just all about BDSM. It’s not just the kind of sex, or the way the scenes are written, it’s also that they freaking do.it.all.the.time. She is constantly coming, and he is constantly coming immediately after she does, or they are coming together, more than once, sometimes more than twice. Now I’m not saying I’ve never had sex like that, but seriously, who has sex like that all the time? No one, that’s who. If you do then kindly make arrangements for me to come and personally shake your hand. If you are married and have kids of the still living in your house age, then I may just buy you a drink too. Well done, you are living the dream, most of us don’t. Christian and Anastasia have the kind of constant, take me now because I’m wet just thinking about you, sex that only happens at the beginning of relationships. They live permanently in a lust filled swoon of condoms and crying out each other names, then snuggling and sleeping together in each other’s arms. That kind of sex that causes cysts to burst, UTI’s to form and yeast infections rage. None of these ailments ever plague Ana of course.
Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele
Christian is an emotional infantile, broken, scared, 50 shades of fucked up control freak who also happens to be a billionaire with his own helicopter, jet, multiple homes and severe mommy and touching issues. The dude is written as gorgeous, young, successful, with a huge penis and a never ending supply of reasons why he doesn’t love himself and is incapable of loving anyone else. At 27, he has had ZERO relationships that didn’t involve a contract, a non-disclosure agreement, a trip to the Rack Room for new supplies and his temper. He is a sexual sadist with don’t touch me issues. He was horribly abused as a child. He is a broken, sad, scared little boy inside with no capability of dealing with his emotions or having real emotions for that matter. For the first one and a half books I kept waiting for him to turn into Paul, who I often referred to as the Beast, to his face. Christian isn’t a sociopath, he’s a broken hottie bad boy in need of just the right woman’s love. He is ugly on the inside, she makes him beautiful again. Fairy Tale…
Anastasia Grey is a 22 year old virgin, bookish, smart, strong, feisty, emotionally stable and outspoken, She is written all goody two shoes style with the I’ve never even kissed a boy more than a little bit before she falls, literally, into Christians clutches. When I first started reading I was all ready to be really pissed off that there was yet another book about some stupid spineless naive bitch who doesn’t get a back bone until late in the third act. I loathe characters in books and movies written as weak and whiny, lucky for Anastasia she is neither of those. She gives him a run for his money from the word go, and doesn’t stop fighting and making good choices throughout the whole series. I’m not saying she never comes off as stupid, pouty or obstinate, but the depth in which El James takes her makes her almost glow with her beautiful flaws. I adore Anastasia, well done El James, every girl wants to be some one’s Ana. Also a Fairy Tale
This is a fairy tale because men that fucked up just don’t magically open up and allow their experiences with your love and personality to heal their life long wounds in a matter of weeks or months, then marry you and whisk you away to multiple week vacations on yachts in the south of France. If this has happened to you or someone you know then please see above re: shake your hand and buy you a drink, golf clap, well done. In general men and women don’t, can’t, and shouldn’t “save” each other. Fix your own shit, it’s your job to own your life and fearlessly be yourself. I’m not saying another person can’t be a catalyst for change through love, patience, therapy or whatever, but not.like.this.book.
In order to ensure that all your spidey senses are on super high alert while reading E L makes sure to take you on MULTIPLE adventures involving people out to get Christian and/or Ana. Reading this book is like riding an emotional roller coaster, I was always on edge. Even when things were going ‘well” it never lasted for long before some other ridiculous bad thing was happening or being dealt with. As soon as a crisis resolved, another physical or emotional one was right on the horizon. It was eerily similar to the ride I took for 22 weeks with Paul from an emotional perspective. I desperately wanted to get comfortable and breathe, relax, trust that everything was going to work out ok, be happy for them. All that crazy wore me out, it was too close to home from a girl’s love saves broken boy perspective. And not in a boohoo way, in an oh please this is complete fiction way. The added layer of villains nestled in among the power struggle between Christian and Ana, and his working on emotional issues just led me to be continually on edge. I will completely admit the book also amped my sex drive temporarily way up. The horny wore off very early on in book two because a girl can only get turned on reading that much about sex for so long before it becomes formulaic and boring. Oh look, he is tying her up again, oh look they are coming together again, aww they did it on the piano. If you are into these books for the sex drive boost factor only I suggest you try very hard not to succumb to the story and ration all 3 books out over a period of weeks or months so the writing doesn’t lose its effect. Additionally it would be good idea to make sure your sexual partner of choice is readily available to reap the rewards of what this book will do to you libido. There is precious little respite in these books.
I’d give the book a C+ or B-. If you’re the least bit curious, I’d recommend reading it, if only to meet Ana or spice up your sex life, or both. Please just don’t take it very seriously, It’s basically mediocre Mommy porn dressed up as girl saves boy.
- Fifty Shades of Grey is no one-handed erotic read for me but … | Emer O’Toole (guardian.co.uk)
- 50 Shades of Grey (Matter): How Science is Defying BDSM Stereotypes – Huffington Post (blog) (huffingtonpost.com)
- 6 Actors Who Could Play Christian Grey (collegecandy.com)
- Why You Should Read Fifty Shades of Grey (ashrinkslife.com)
- How “Fifty Shades of Grey” Ruined My Soul (bearpursuit.wordpress.com)
- Power, Sex & Fairy Tales: Decoding the Popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey. (elephantjournal.com)
- Erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey sparks UK bondage fad (theweek.co.uk)
- Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (csilibrarian.wordpress.com)