Review: 50 Shades of Grey

50 Shades of Grey
by E.L. James

Well, I could not resist all the hype surrounding this modern day bodice ripper-cum-page turner. Originally marketed as an e-book and print-on-demand in June 2011, 50 Shades of Grey is the creation of E.L. James, a British television producer who has apparently made herself wealthier than her entrepreneurial character Christian Grey.

In this first person narrative, Anastasia Steele, a soon-to-be graduate of Washington State University meets the object of her affection Christian Grey, a handsome young Seattle business tycoon, when she interviews him for the university newspaper as a favour to her over-achieving roommate. The predictable transpires, but the road is particularly bumpy for the inexperienced Steele who has just spent four years curled up in an armchair reading English classics and living vicariously through her roommate's love life. Christian Grey is a demanding, moody, charismatic man with particular sexual tastes that would frighten off the vast majority of women. Ana is warned by her friends to stay away, but she can't help herself. She is too easily disarmed (and disrobed) by the mercurial Grey.

The first installment of this three-part trilogy spans only a few weeks, but the relationship and by extension the reading are intense. Although I'm ill-versed in this genre, I must admit that if you are even slightly interested (and . . . you are) then this book is worth picking up for a number of reasons. The author creates sustained tension through very high stakes for the naive Anastasia, who is attracted to the brooding, winsome Grey. However, the more time she spends with him the more she risks falling in love. The author further ups the ante by endangering the protagonist's safety with Grey's sexual proclivity for BDSM, and of course, she has to face the inevitable: he will never be able to reciprocate her love.

All the ingredients of a bodice ripper you say, but...

Into the narrative, the author successfully weaves Ana's voice of reason (her subconscious) and her voice of desire (her "inner goddess"), which accurately reflect the seesaw of emotions that a woman might actually experience in her situation. The author also offers some inner monologue that complement the other two voices. This combination makes the characters and this unlikely story readily accessible and credible. What's more, the first installment focuses exclusively on the sexual experience of Anastasia: you know, the other side of the sexual equation that we rarely hear about or see in mainstream media.

Not everything is perfect in the book. For one, only a TV producer could dream up this much product placement. Steve Jobs will undoubtedly meet E.L. James at the pearly gates with the latest iPad. There was also some grating prose bordering on purple, in addition to some annoying repetition. For instance, I thought I'd scream if I heard, "My breathing hitched," or "Oh my" one more time...but maybe that was the point. Equally annoying was the repeated reference to Icarus flying too close to the sun. But other than that, the writing is tasteful.

50 Shades of Grey has caused quite a sensation. It hit number one on the New York Times' bestseller list at the beginning of March. It has been suggested that the book's popularity may be because it can be downloaded to an e-reader, away from prying eyes. The book has also elicited some hilarious knee-jerk reactions from the usual suspects. Here are a few headlines:

Racy, disturbing novel '50 Shades of Grey' gains cult followingFox 31

'50 Shades of Grey': What is the appeal? Christian Science Monitor

Erotic novel '50 Shades of Grey' unites gals, unnerves some guysFox News
It's all porn to me: One man's review of '50 Shades of Grey'New York Daily News

Man Proclaims 50 Shades of Grey 'Deeply Unappealing to Men'Jezebel (Poking fun at the previous review.)

Other book reviews:
The Return by Dany Laferrière
Meet Revolutionary Mother
Review: Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter
Interview with Carmen Aguirre, Chilean Resistance Fighter
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Antagonist by Lynn Coady
Irma Voth by Miriam Toews
Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeleine Thien
Going Down Swinging by Billie Livingston
Incendiary by Chris Cleave
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell 
The Girl Without Anyone by Kelli Deeth




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Gregory G. Allen | April 29, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I'm trying to wrap my brains around this phenomenon. It rolled until it became an avalanche and now people believe they MUST read it. I'll even admit: I've begun to point out the soft-erotic scenes in my latest women's fiction book too...just to let reader's know it occurs in other books and you can also get a story through the journey. I've loved going to different websites and reading people's thoughts on his book. Thanks for sharing your review.

Heather | April 29, 2012 at 8:34 PM

I really think that e-readers are key in this situation. You can read it on your commute, and no one will ever see it on your bookshelf. Erotica will definitely be a much bigger hit now with e-readers.

Anonymous | May 2, 2012 at 4:24 PM

I don't like to read. But this book is very good.

Heather | May 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM

There are a lot of people saying the same thing. I'm not much of a reader...but

Anonymous | May 4, 2012 at 1:01 AM

It is different, exciting, out of the box, off the wall, uncomfortably fantastic trilogy. Must have an open mind to understand how great these books are. It's not porn, it's specific and sexual but the psychological factors are endless. No twitching palm needed for this woman! Wonderful job Ms. James!

Heather | May 4, 2012 at 7:37 AM

I agree that it's a phenomenon. We can all learn a lot from it. For one, the book is a complete escape. What are the ingredients that make it so unputdownable? Two, the writing does not have to be that good. I think that EL James did a great job of capturing how a woman might feel in these sexual encounters, both the vulnerability and desire. Or maybe I'm wrong? What is it that makes this book resonate with so many women?

Anonymous | May 7, 2012 at 5:21 PM

I'm on book 2 and it's just as good as the first one I can't wait to start book 3 this is not porn I've had my share of books and there are some out there way worse then this I do think it should be in the adult section and with that said you must be 18 or older to buy as for everyone else try to be open minded don't be so quick to judge

Heather | May 8, 2012 at 7:57 AM

I'm ill-versed in erotica, but apparently according to other reviews, 50 Shades is very tame in comparison. A lot of people are worried about being judged. That's why they chose to read 50 Shades with an e-reader. Thanks for your comment. Heather

Anonymous | May 8, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Did anyone else notice how many times the author uses the sentence "I stared down at my hands" I started keeping track just to amuse myself. I'll finish the first book but I don't think I'll be reading the other two..........

Heather | May 9, 2012 at 7:03 AM

There was a lot of repetition in the book. I didn't notice that particular sentence, but I did notice others, like Icarus flying too close to the sun, "oh my," etc. There's a lot to spoof in the book, but I think there's still a lot to be said about the degree of escape the book offers. That's what fascinates me. Regardless of the language or the predictability of the story, the book still had me turning pages. Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous | May 9, 2012 at 3:52 PM

It's a page turner indeed. Very intriguing. And there are worst books out there....ZANE....others? I am an avid reader and I know them WORST! I am happy the big deal they made out of this book with the banning and all give EL James some money in her pocket!Will get the others.

randi | May 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I've only started reading last night and made it to chapter 4 before I couldn't take the repetition any longer. I paid for it, so I'm going to finish it - but next time I'll read the reviews before I buy into the hype. I find it extremely annoying so far how the characters constantly say each other's names at the end of every sentence. No one speaks like that, and I KNOW who the characters are at this point. I don't need the little reminders, thank you very much! Maybe it's just me, but there are some very poorly written sentences and it sounds as if it were almost written for a teenager. Again, only on chapter 4 - but hoping it gets better.

Anonymous | May 11, 2012 at 2:53 PM

At first I could not understand how a girl who is so inexperience want to subject herself to Sub. I guess this is because i would probably be the Dom. I find Ana's character a bit annoying at times, but as I came to the end of book one, I have come to understand the characters making this read more intesnd. Land of erotic has taken over.. atleast for a few more days.

Anonymous | May 11, 2012 at 11:59 PM

this book makes the twilight series look like classic literature. it's poorly written, boring and sailing along on hype. james is no anais nin.

Heather | May 12, 2012 at 7:37 AM

LOL! You're funny. But I bet that many people would identify more with the Dom than the Sub. Sometimes an annoying character draws us in more because at least she is causing a reaction. Better than a flat, boring character.

Randi, I hope you get to like the book more. Yes, the tags were a bit much at times. When I come across something annoying like that, I usually start to scan until I get to something more interesting.

I, too, am pleased that EL James is making some money on this. I think the 50 Shades phenomenon is shedding some light on the publishing industry, namely that women like reading erotica, that the writing does not have to be that good to sell copies and that we all enjoy the total escape, regardless how likely, that a page turner offers.

Anonymous | May 13, 2012 at 9:27 PM

I have to agree. I read all three books in 6 days I couldn't put them down and you really have to be mature to read them. Some are saying that it is porn and a disguisting book but if you really read the book there is such a story to it all the underlying issues

Anonymous | May 14, 2012 at 1:36 AM

Are you people crazy? Is this some kind of hoax? This is the worst price of writing I have ever seen in print! And no, I'm not a prude, it has nothing to do with the sex, I've read erotica and have no problem with it. The author has the writing skills of a seventh grader. How did this make it past an editor? If I had edited it, I would have slapped the author with her own manuscript. Am I the only one who sees this? The repetition? The rip-off of Twilight characters? The inane BritishIsms coming from the mouth of a Georgia native? The implausibility of a college woman in the year 2012 not having her own computer and never kissing a boy or even wanting to? The fact that Mr. Grey uses fucking emoticons

Heather | May 14, 2012 at 9:02 AM

Hmmm...No, her writing skills are better than a seventh grader. And no 50 Shades is not literature, but that's part of what makes it a phenomenon. Do we all want to read literature every time we pick up a book? We all read for different reasons, and some people just want an escape. All your arguments have merits, but I disagree with the part about the emoticons. That's what makes the book real. ;-) LOL! Thanks for your comment.

Stephanie | May 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Alright so everyone's allowed to have an opinion. Personally I really liked the books. No the writing isn't top notch but there's nothing wrong with it. If you want to write hate mail and post opinions that are not respectful it clearly means you have nothing better to do. Obviously you're jealous because this writer happened to hit it big in something that a lot of other people could have done. She just happened to get there first. Congratulations E. L. James, you've seemed to have captivated thousands of people. Whether they like it or not you're still getting great publicity.

Anonymous | May 14, 2012 at 2:47 PM

i would allow myself to be the submissive one i would loved to be tied up and spanked they only thing i dont agree with she HaS to wear what he wants her to wear but anyways i got so into this book and i think she has done a very good job

Anonymous | May 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM

I thought this book was absolutely wonderful!! I enjoyed every word of it, from beginning to end!! Its amazing how this story can make you feel alive inside and out...awesome job E L James ;-) I hope she writes another one in the future

Anonymous | May 14, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I bought all 3 books right away. I'm 1/2 way through the first and I love it. Yes, it's basically Edward and Bella the way we all wanted to read about them but with an even edgier twist. There isn't a husband alive is upset his wife is reading these books. If you don't like them than don't read them. Got to love the haters :)

Heather | May 14, 2012 at 7:24 PM

I couldn't agree more with you Stephanie, there are plenty of jealous people out there. We've allowed the big names in publishing to tell us what is good for too long. Now with our new found ability to self-publish and reach a critical mass, we're seeing that the escape-factor may trump good writing and maybe the big publishers have never really known what the public wanted all along. Thanks for your comment. Heather

Heather | May 14, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Yes, I've heard plenty of times how this book is greatly appreciated by married couples. And you're right about Edward and Bella, people love that well traveled story line. You just have to change up some things. Thanks for your comment. Heather

Heather | May 14, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I'm sure she would be pleased as punch to know that her book has made you feel alive inside and out. I'm happy to hear it myself. Cheers.

Heather | May 14, 2012 at 7:33 PM

You're right! That part of the deal I would have bargained harder. I hate when someone tells me what to wear. Thanks for your comment. All the best.

Anonymous | May 15, 2012 at 12:01 AM

I have read different erotica novels, but this one just delves into a deep, dark psychological dysfunction of eroticism. As a reader, I become very involved with the main character, and with the spanking and her being held down while receiving those violent and painful ministrations, I had to take a time-out. I was wincing, and I was imagining myself grabbing some pocket knife and stabbing the bastard relentlessly to make him acknowledge that I will not be subjected to such humiliation. I felt disgusted. And I'm no prude.

Heather | May 15, 2012 at 5:41 AM

I'd never considered that 50 Shades delved into the deep, dark psychological dysfunction of eroticism. Interesting. If this is the case then I'm sure other readers might have had the same reaction. Thanks for your comment. Heather

Anonymous | May 15, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Ok people, its time to lighten up and open your mind to a fantasy read. This book is fantasy.....come on, it is meant to open your mind and facilitate discussion between you and your partner. If we all look past the sex, it is truly a love story. Christian Grey has baggage, and so does everyone else, but maybe not to his extreme.People with baggage, emotional damage and demons deserve to be loved. Reading about the deep dark fantasy of Mr. Grey and Miss Steele (and it is obvious that she is enjoying what is going on and is in complete control of the situation), has allowed me to explore personal fantasies with my partner, that I may never have had the courage to discuss, had it not been for this book. BRAVO E.L. James!! Thank you for opening my mind!!

Heather | May 15, 2012 at 8:11 PM

There you have it: Fifty Shades has helped yet another couple! Glad to hear that the book was more than a fun read. Thanks for your comment and honesty. Heather

Ve-gal | May 16, 2012 at 12:51 AM

I just read the first fifty-four pages through the iBooks sample and as much as I'd like to get to the 'juicy bits' it was hard for me to read this novel because the writing is so rudimentary. The cliches and simple language was too distracting. I don't think people who criticize E. L. James are jealous. They're just stating their opinion and I agree with them. I actually think a seventh grader could do better!

Heather | May 16, 2012 at 5:57 AM

Hi Ve-gal! Not so sure. I was a middle school teacher for 10 years, and still think that this is beyond a 12 y/o's capacity. But, of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and as I've said before, we all read for different reasons. Some for escape, some for the beauty of language. Yes, I have friends who would turn down this book because of the language. Fifty Shades reminds me a little of the 1990s Celestine Prophecy and its "synchronicity." The writing was not great, but it resonated with so many people because it made us believe that "things" happen when they happen for a reason. People looked at the events in their lives in a new way and asked "is there a reason for this?" If a book makes you imagine something new in your own life, isn't it worth it? I think that might be the escape that many of us are looking for. What do you think?

Anonymous | May 16, 2012 at 8:02 AM

No prude it because a friend recommended it. She said it spiced her up. I think i offended her when i told her I was kind of outraged by it. I didn't like it at all - but then i'm a strong, controlling woman. I would NEVER want to be in that position. I saw it as very classic mental abuse and would be horrified for anyone I know and love to be forced (whether by physical force or emotions) into BDSM when they clearly aren't comfortable with it. Ana was obviously in lust, not love with Christian, and he used it against her. I am not saying "burn it!", and again, I'm not a prude. I'm happy some out there enjoyed it - I just personally did not like the "love" story - thought it was everything but. That being said, it was a fast read for me, and I did want to find out the ending, but it did not turn me on in the least. People are free to perform whatever (legal) forms of sexual practice they would like, it's just not my thing - at all. I also was not a fan of the writing and the repetition...

Heather | May 16, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Interesting! Yes there was definitely some psychological abuse in there, and you're the first person to mention it. Thanks for your comment. There's some food for thought. Heather

Anonymous | May 19, 2012 at 3:49 AM

Cant see what the fuss is all about, average writing style, nothing particularly edgy or particularly original about it. Characters are severely underdeveloped. Its target audience might be 15 year old girls living in 1973.

To sum it up in two words. Over rated.

Heather | May 19, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Yes, there's been a lot of discussion about the writing and writing style. Yes, the characters are underdeveloped, maybe even archetypal. But 50 Shades is an introduction to erotica for many readers. I think that might be what all the hype is about. I hadn't thought about the retro audience though. You may be on to something. I did read LA'56 (true crime) right after it. Nostalgia and a sexual coming of age may also contribute to its popularity. Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous | May 19, 2012 at 5:23 PM

How many times is the word grey used...It's annoying!!

Heather | May 19, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Yeah! The editor should have decided on just one spelling too, grey or gray. She jumps around a few times. :-)

mepamelia | May 20, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Great review. I'm an avid reader and loved this book (and it's sequels) despite the very apparent lack of editing done (the original publisher took the fanfiction and did little more than swap out the names of the characters)--- still it was a very emotionally engaging read.
If you think publishers don't know that women like to read stories with erotic content maybe you aren't aware that the hands-down best-selling genre of fiction is ROMANCE. You also might not be aware that the modern romance novels tend to contain a lot of erotic content. There are also some very good writers in the romance genre (Loretta Chase, Laura Kinsale, Meredith Duran and Courtney Milan all write fantastic historicals, Julie James and Victoria Dahl write great contemporary books, Cherise Sinclair, Joey Hill and Maya Banks write erotica with kinky elements.)
I hope readers who are not familiar with the romance/erotica genre and who read FSOG will explore more (especially as e-readers make it possible to conceal some of the truly embarrassing covers that the romance genre still insists on using!)

Heather | May 20, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Thanks for your comment. Yes, I was aware that the best-selling genre of fiction was ROMANCE, but it's not something that I'd pick up. I'm not a fan of Romance novels, and only if I had nothing else to read and found the writing engaging would I pick it up. But you've got me asking myself why? And it all comes down to my own prejudices from the romances I read as a teen. I remember enjoying the escape, but I got fed up with the more-of-the-same content and the purple prose. So why did I pick up 50 Shades of Grey and how is it any different? Well you've got me there. I guess it was the headline in the high-brow newspaper of the low-brow book. But if I were to want to read a romance/erotic novel, I wouldn't know where to start, as the genre is overwhelmingly vast. Thanks for giving me and all my readers some authors where we can start. Again thanks for your comment. Heather

Anonymous | May 21, 2012 at 2:33 PM

I'm sorry, but you can't "hear" your subconscious. It's your conscious that you "hear". Just one of many problems with this book.

Heather | May 21, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Nothing to be sorry about!

Anonymous | May 22, 2012 at 1:29 AM

I bought the books due to the hype. I'm reading them as I figure something more has to happen, but the repitition is killing me! The writer uses the same phrases over and over and over again. I don't know if Ill be able to stand all three books. As for the sex....again repitious! I'm waiting for a story, enough with the sex over and over and over again!

Anonymous | May 22, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I bought into the HYPE and now I am soo dissapointed, the book is not exciting at all, they seem to be having sex all the time and no plot seems to develop because of this, they eat have sex, they get dressed have sex, they go out have sex, she wants to be spanked, then she doesn't like make up your mind so repetative, I have even skipped the sex sessions because it is all the same scenario same thing ...when does the book get excitting...when does something happen? Boring book ...Christian Grey is a Hero to a Whiny little girl who says dont buy me this, dont do this for me, "The man makes 100 grand an hour" like let him do things for you is OK....

Heather | May 22, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Wonderful! I just love to hear different takes on the same book. Yes, Ana Steele could be considered whiny, but maybe her not wanting him to do or buy things for her is her way of holding onto the little bit of control that she still has.

Yes, the repetition is a bit much. I just started the third book, and lets just say, I've had no problem putting it down, but I still know that I'll finish it.

Thank you both for your comments. Heather

Anonymous | May 23, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I agree. I'm 30 and the characters seemed so childish. I thought I would give them a chance but after the 2nd book I was scanning over the sex and the flirting just to finish the story. Why can't a book have scary, rough and unpredictable sex AND an awesome, twisty storyline?

Anonymous | May 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM

I just finished the first book and I loved it! I am not a reader and it takes me months to finish a book but I finished this book in 1 week. I agree with all the comments that there is alot of repitition.....BUT what gets me is that I am not fascinated about the sex parts, I am actually dying to find out about his past....Another note: for the people out there that does not think that things like this actually happen in real life, well they do and it is very interesting to explore a side I have heard about but never really known....I think it is a great story line but people with negative comments are allowed to have their opinion. This is not for everyone, but it is most definitley for ME!!! LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT

Emerald_Reel | May 23, 2012 at 2:18 PM

Ok I Agree With Most Of these Postings... Yes U Can Tell The Writer Is New IE: mistakes repetitiveness..From the hype it was this phenomenal book that u have to sneak and buy to read in the dark behind closed and lock doors... Not at all to me! I've read some HOT books and I compared it to (Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty Series) and This Was no Beauty... I like it enough to get through it I found myself putting it down way more then picking it up if it wasn't for Ana's Inner Goddess I would Have Gave Up.. I'm A Die Hard Reader And It Took Me A Week To Get Thru The First Book ... And Now There's Talk Of A Movie Hmmmmm How Is That Gonna Play Out Hopefully not 3 movies to tell this story . Overall It Was an Ok if u can get through the first 10 chapters:)

Heather | May 23, 2012 at 2:24 PM

I was just reading an article today about how people want to talk about the book they have just read and how readership usually falls away after the second installment, as was the case for the Hunger Games. As a book lover, it makes me happy when people like what they read because I know how wonderful that feeling is. Glad you liked the book. Heather

Anonymous | May 23, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Alright, it took me 5 days to read all three books(i'm a wife and mom). The writing is nothing to "bite your lip" over but I've never read a book for such a reason.
The characters of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey are not incomperable, in fact i'd venture to say quite the opposite. We are not prevy to peoples deepest thoughts,desires and needs, that's what's so tantalizing about these two people.
You are in her head, you know what she wants and you feel her insecurity, her hesitation and foremost her desire. Haven't we all experienced similar electrical pulses when we've incountered our "Christian Grey". I know I have and i releashed it then and did so again reading this story.
Though their sexual encounters seem to be reperative, it's through that repetition that your are made aware of just how "Fifty SHades" he really is,and (isn't it wonderful)what these two characters learned from each other.
Don't make things complicated when they don't have to be, take it for what it is- an erotic story that will take you out of your life for just a little while, think of it as a mini vacation from your life(that's what it felt like to me)and I thoroughly enjoy it.
Don't brood over the writing(inglish idioms),spelling errors and so forth, it's a story.
I'm waiting for my reading friend to buy the books so I can re-read them with her and discuss the details.Love the sex and eroticism in the book. Women need to stop being so afraid of SEX and be willing to explore their sexuality.
I read fom an ereader but that was pure coincidinse, in fact I went out and bought the hardcopy, their is nothing to be ashamed about. IT'S A NOVEL READ AND ENJOY IT.

Heather | May 23, 2012 at 5:33 PM

And I'm very happy you enjoyed it. I agree with you on all your points. I really feel that the author was successful at bringing the reader into Anastasia's thoughts. I couldn't agree more with your thoughts about this novel being an escape, taking us away for the everyday details of our lives. Thanks for your very generous comment. Heather

Ariza | May 24, 2012 at 9:06 AM

i am now reading this book and finds it really 'entertaining'. i am just glad that i am reading this through my kindle where i can instantly check the meaning of the word used otherwise i would have just deleted my me headaches with all those unusual words haha ...i read in one of the book reviews that we should seriously hide thesaurus away from EL James and i couldn't help but agree now. i can't imagine two people talking in such a very thesaurus way lol.

the word fuck is also all over the book which i really don't mind and yeah too many adjectives, so much description, words or phrases seem to be repeated more than necessary.

but to rate the book i would say 8, i couldn't help but laugh at ana's reaction on everything, their exchange of emails. and yeah i'd like to order 1 christian grey please, with his pants hanging, in that way, off his hips (whatever 'in that way' means :)) )

Heather | May 24, 2012 at 1:12 PM

What about the grey flannel pants? I would have run screaming in the other direction. How are they supposed to be sexy?

Anonymous | May 25, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Her wording does get redundant. It kept me entertained but I'm glad I didn't pay the $16 cover price. You could tell the author was not an American. American women don't have pubic hair anymore.

Anonymous | May 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

What a book...I am almost completed the 2nd one and I just can't put it down....while I agree the repetition is annoying sometimes...I am really enjoying only comment would be that there is a little too much of describing the actual sexual act over and over again....and Ana doesn't own a computer or blackberry?????? strange for a college
Nevertheless, I can't wait to continue reading.....and would be very interested to see what the movie turns out to be.....happy reading all....

Heather | May 25, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Funny you should say that she isn't American. In fact, she is, from Georgia originally. I think she may be one of those people who has lived overseas in Britain for so long that she has been assimilated...almost.

A number of people have commented on the strange fact that she doesn't own a computer or a blackberry.

Thanks for your comments, Heather

Anonymous | May 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I am on book 2 and am sad at the thought of the 3rd being done also. It is a mindless read so if thats not what your into don't read it. It releaves the stress of my day and lets our minds wonder to a place we wouldn't normally go.With a little extra! And for those who think a 7th grader could do better, I needed wikipedia to get through the first book and I'm 33!!Didn't have a clue what have the contract meant. All I know is , I can't wait for her next book!

Heather | May 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM

If you get a kindle all you have to do is highlight the word to get the definition. One definite advantage. Especially because it doesn't take you too far from the story. Thanks for your comment. Heather

Unknown | May 25, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I heard about the books from my best friend who heard bout them on the radio I ordered the first, before finishing it I had already order the other two books and in less than 5 days read all 3 books. I was hooked and wanted more. Every person man or women finds someone in life they hope to changes and have a happy ending, and yes I am NOT a reader and I did read twilight, I wanted edward and bella to go to this level but its different writer's style. People need to stop being so negative about things life is too short and allow people to enjoy happiness. If you dont like it dont read it, and keep your opinion to your self. Props to writer Ill read more of these books coming from someone who hates to read. GREAT JOB EL JAMES

Anonymous | May 25, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Having been fortunate enough to have some first hand experiences in the BDSM lifestyle, I find the book a fantastic read that resonates with that part of me that loves the "bad boy". The unreachable characters that you want to love so badly. For a lot of people this will be their first foray into the BDSM lifestyle. It's safer for some people to experience this lifestyle by reading between the pages instead of first hand between the sheets. Well done, Ms. James!

Anonymous | May 26, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I thought this was great! I couldn't put them down and finished within 5 days. I absolutely loved them and can't wait to read them again, but it was very interesting to me to read everyone else's opinions.

I was relieved to find out that it did start as a twilight fan fiction! I was nt aware of this when I had stared and thought they seemed so similar at first! The innocent girl, the bad boy who's no good for her. But being a fan of twilight I figured t was in my head :p

Anyway, I thought they were great! Not classic literature but definitely something that I enjoyed reading every day as an escape! :)

Anonymous | May 26, 2012 at 7:19 PM

I read all 3 books in a week or so. Enjoyed the first book with eagerness. But midway through the first book, the repetition began. Even the lovemaking scenes became predictable, although I have to admit Mr. Grey was somewhat mildly unpredictable at times, which was entertaining. Then like many others, I skimmed through the love scenes looking for the story. It all could have been included in 1 book, rather than 3. A nice story, however, writing could have been more titillating and tantalizing than it was. Good for the writer though. She gave it a great shot....and through word of mouth....wolla. A huge hit!!!

signing off,
Still Looking for a Mr. Grey

Anonymous | May 27, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Omg I was thinking the same. Im annoyed with the repetition. What a dumbed down snoozer.

Anonymous | May 27, 2012 at 10:48 PM

OMG I agree with those who spoke of Ana's repitious lip biting, her looking down at hands, and worst of all her inner Goddess doing back flips. a supposedly gorgeous college student that had two boys in love with her, but never had a real kiss or wanted one? Did she fall out of a time machine? I thought I was going to learn some real racy stuff with all the hoople over the love scenes, really? What a unrealistic snooze. Guess it doesn't help when you can not stand the heroine, Anastasia is an idiot.

Anonymous | May 28, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I just finished he book today, and have to agree that I was not a huge fan of Anastasia. She was whiny and just overall unlikable. Her incessant nagging towards Mr. Grey had me wanting to scream at her to shut up! I found the repetition in the sex scenes, as well as the biting of the lips and staring at hands a bit hard to take. That being said, the book was relatively entertaining, and I actually enjoyed the e-mail exchanges between the two main characters. While this is obviously not a display of literary genius, it is a good escape. However, in my opinion, it didn't live up to the hype.

Heather | May 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM

And there was a lot of hype. It would be hard for any book to live up to all those expectations. Nothing wrong with the email exchanges. If anything it made the relationship more realistic. It might not be in the high-brow epistolary tradition, but email is our modern day version of just that. Thanks for your comment, Heather

Anonymous | May 28, 2012 at 4:54 PM

I really disliked Ana. I found her unrealistic and extremely irritating. All the whining and self-consciousness, jealousy over exes, etc. just reminded me of a high school kid. I did not relate to her character at all. I will say that I loved Christian. Where can I find one of him??? I wanted to know more about his past with his lifestyle, and the other girlfriends. EL James should write about that! Maybe something from the point of view of Leila? There was not a ton of background or information about her, but I found her more interesting than Ana!

Heather | May 28, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Yes, I found Leila interesting too. When Grey had to rush back to Seattle, I thought that it was going to be to reassure Mrs. Robinson. It was almost like James considered Mrs. Robinson first but then threw in Leila at the last minute, as though Mrs. Robinson would have been too much of a match for innocent Anastasia. Your thoughts?

Anonymous | May 28, 2012 at 6:14 PM


Anonymous | May 28, 2012 at 6:20 PM

You nailed it. I am convinced that all of the hype is coming from women who have never had wild amazing sex so they're rating the book with their vaginas and not their heads.

Heather | May 28, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Hey OR "STOP BITING YOUR LIP"! You're my 69th comment. How a propos...

Heather | May 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Although it might be in part that the hype is coming from "women who have never had wild amazing sex," I think that hype has an up cycle and a down cycle, and now we're heading down. The book has reached well beyond it's intended market and now it's not living up to everyone's expectations. Judging from some of the comments though, some women did have wild amazing sex as a result of this book.

Anonymous | May 29, 2012 at 3:05 AM

Totally agree about the repetition. Not just the phrases but the sex, how much they love each other. Everything moves so slowly. Occasionally, something happens but so much lag in between.

Anonymous | May 29, 2012 at 3:09 AM

Agreed! No suspense and not much of a story.

Anonymous | May 29, 2012 at 3:18 AM

These books did nothing to turn me on. Couldn't get past the repetition.

Heather | May 29, 2012 at 8:21 AM

Looks like we're definitely in the hype down cycle. So what should EL James' follow-up be? Should she let us see Anna be pulled into the BSDM lifestyle and let us see her darker side because, well, everyone has one. Or should the author explore the character of Leila a little more and have Anna discover a horrific side of Christian and his treatment of Leila, thus threatening their relationship. There's tons of areas she could develop. What do you think readers?

Anonymous | May 29, 2012 at 8:40 AM

first of all i managed to cram all three novels into 2 days. and woooweee. let me tell you I'd certainly like to be spanked by christian grey.
I liked the book for the aspect that it reminded me of my relationship with my husband. No elaborate sex rooms or anything but every moment with him I wanted him.

Ana was however extremely annoying. christ. if she doesnt want him i'd certainly take it.

and honestly this "inner goddess" and "my sex" crap. I thought this was meant to be erotic!!! SAY VAGINA FOR GODS SAKE!!!

Anonymous | May 29, 2012 at 9:07 AM

This book is all about f---ing. But actually has nothing to do with f---king. Men will never understand that.. Great read.

Heather | May 29, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Okay...? ;-)!

Anonymous | May 29, 2012 at 1:08 PM

My mother, actually bought the trilogy from the get go and there was so much hype I was curious. I have read the first book and into the second. The repetition is really annoying especially his quirks about her eating (which is mentioned about 100 times) and the sexual acts, which seem to go mostly the same way each time with alittle apparatus thrown in. Also, who has that much sex? I'm alittle sore for her.Is this about the lifestyle or nymphomania? Alittle oevr the top. It didn't merit almost 500 pages of it. I feel I got the point the first five times. I like the story and wanted more it. Hopefully the second and third book will bring it.

Anonymous | May 29, 2012 at 1:51 PM

Christian's hot! Rich, intelligent, good looking, wild in bed, faithful, adventurous and respectful even though it's in a twisted way, though irrelavent since it's by your own free choice to participate. A bad boy? There are tons, too many to count, millions of men and women for that matter that are complete control freaks even though we don't know what goes on in their bedrooms. I know the lifestyle isn't for me because I don't bow to any man and never will but realistically,this is a story of power and control, taming the beast so to speak, women either want to or had to so all women can relate.

Heather | May 29, 2012 at 4:04 PM

You're definitely right. This is all about power and control. So when does abuse enter the equation?

Anonymous | May 29, 2012 at 9:06 PM

I think next EL James should write focusing on Christian's previous endeavors with his women. From casual conversation I have had with those who have read the book, Christian seems to be the more interesting character of the two main characters. A lot of people seem to find Ana very annoying..myself included. I would like to know what things were like for him before Ana. Leila, for example, would make a very interesting story. Did anyone else wonder about her and her relationship with Christian? I for one was far more interested in that than I was with Ana's constant whining and jealousy, and EL did not include many details about it.

Heather | May 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Yes, a book about Christian in his pre-Anna days would be interesting. Yes, I too was more interested in Leila's character, and it would be interesting how much of her relationship with Christian was responsible for her going off the rails later on. I would also be interesting to know how she got involved with him in the first place. The bad boy attraction, his good looks, his money or all of the above.

Anonymous | May 30, 2012 at 9:57 AM

I read all 3 books and they were pretty good. The writing I must agree, wasn't the best, but the substance was there. I also have to agree with the repetition of things...the words "mutter" and "murmur" were used A LOT. I don't find "muttering" to be a sexy thing, but that's just me. Ana did get annoying to me and it's funny, but I agree...Leila sounded more interesting to me. I loved, loved Christian! I would have preferred the book to have been from his perpective. I would have definitely found his version much more interesting. Overall, I liked it. I blame the editors for not changing some of the writing because she admitted that she was not a writer. But I don't think they knew how big of a hit the book would become. I still recommend the book to my gave me great ideas to spice things up a bit in my own bedroom. ;)

Anonymous | May 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM

I also loved Christian! I have a friend who really reminds me of him, actually. I would like to have heard it from his point of view too. I think EL James is going to have to write about Leila! What did Christian do to her to make her so crazy?? He had to have a hand in it somehow.

Anonymous | May 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

AKAmamma...all control is about abuse because control freaks need victims, or in this case "subs"..willing "subs" which is why Christian's character intrigues people. Most want to know what makes him tick, can the reader find empathy or sympathy towards him to justify his need for control. Most readers are female wanting to understand the dynamics of how this mind works from a book not necessarily to live it.

Heather | May 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM

My guess is yes; he plays a role in creating Leila's madness. But we'll have to see how EL James plays it.

For the next commenter: if a sub is willing, then falls in love w/ Christian and continues to play along even though she no longer wants to be the sub, when does this situation constitute abuse or does it ever? Could this be what happened to Leila?

I agree that a lot of people want to know what makes Christian tick? Seems to me EL James sort of gave it to us with his drug addict mother. He had no control as a child, so he needed absolute control in his adult life.

Anyway, enjoying all your comments. Heather

Anonymous | May 31, 2012 at 12:09 PM

People enjoy this book because they feel just like Anna. They think its a little wrong to be reading this book but enjoy it. The same way she thought Christian's strange ways were wrong but enjoyable.

Anonymous | May 31, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I really love this book. People who don't like it are crazy! I honestly don't think it's that much of a porno at all. I mean com'on. She calls her vagina her sex. Lol. Great read can't put it down. Have recommended it to so many people ( as long as they aren't prude!)

Anonymous | June 1, 2012 at 1:48 AM

I loved the 3 books-loved the 2 main characters, enjoyed the sex immensely. Wanted to
know everything about why Christian Grey was 50 shades f----- up, just like Anastasia did.
Have recommended the book to friends, customers (I work in a bank), have loaned the
books out, read & reread them. Enjoyed their love story & the twists & turns of the plot.

Anonymous | June 1, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Was it just me, or did anyone catch eating disorder themes in this book? I'm in school studying nutrition, so that may be why, but a few things really stuck out to me, whether they were written intentionally with that in mind I don't know, but I noticed, so just wondered if anyone else did.

Anonymous | June 1, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Okay, so I to fell into the hype trap. I made the mistake of getting a 'preview' from Kobo which were the first 5 chapters of Fifty Shades of Grey. I was hooked, had to have it. Purchased the e-reader version of the 3 box set. The first book (Grey) was different in a good way. Very erotic, I enjoyed it. The second book (Darker) was drawn out and frankly stupid. Story line was very repetative, the crap that happened was rediculous and always, I love you crap. The third book (Freed), total waste of time. Sex, more sex, kidnapping, accidents, too much to even believe. For a 21 yr old virgin having sex 3 - 4 times a day is completely unrealistic, never mind the kinky fuckery that the writer wants you to believe she'd be on board with. She'd be so sore after the 2nd time per day she wouldn't be able to have sex let alone orgasm every single time. So, my review, 1st book good, 2nd book pass, 3rd book burn it, don't waste any more time on these characters.

Anonymous | June 2, 2012 at 1:16 AM

This story is based in fan fiction and thats what it will stay. A badly written piece of fanfiction whose author had the balls to actually go out and try and get it published. If you take more then 10 seconds out of your busy day you could no doubt find better fanfiction that has more depth and just as much erotica ( or more!) on anything from Twilight to Shakespear on the internet. Money saved. You're welcome.

Heather | June 2, 2012 at 6:14 AM

I caught the eating disorders. Anastasia, like many broke students, doesn't eat much. I found Christian annoying in his constantly pushing food on her. In fact, I found that more irritating than his wanting to tell her what to wear.

Regarding the waning interest in the trilogy, ie, the first one is good, the second is okay and the third one sucks. This drop-off phenomenon is well known in the publishing industry. Getting readers to pick up the second and third story is more difficult.

For instance, I loved the Hunger Games, but was unable to get through the second installment.

Glad to see that many of you adored Fifty Shades of Grey and Christian Grey. Thanks for your comments, Heather

Anonymous | June 2, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Agree! Well said! Great escape! Because it's not your typical literature, that's why it is attracting so many people who dont regularly read. Obviously, we aren't the only ones who think it's great;)

Anonymous | June 3, 2012 at 5:08 AM

out of curiosity i have read reviews on about 30 different sites wondering when someone was going to speak on the underlyings in this trilogy.( i am going to blubber so please try to stay with me)1= There was the open communication that you hardly see in relationships.2=people tend to tip toe around 80% of ongoings in relationships but both ana and christian were heavyly intuned with each others actions and non actions and spoke on them at that momentinstead of waiting months, years or whatever to bring them up 3=Christian made sure ana knew exactly what he wanted to do beforehand and ana had multiple opportunities to walk away ...must i add she had very supportive fam,friends around her so it wasnt like she couldnt escape and feel safer had she felt unsafe in the first place 4=Nothing went unsaid (again, that was so damn intriguing) 5=the intimacy those two encountered has to be on millions of peoples minds including my very own and it was done safely 90% of the time and consensual. We all have fantasies and wish to bring them to the surface in a safe way. How many people would love to enjoy their desires with a clear, leveled, open minded consenting adult under contracts, safe words and condoms safely? just saying. 6=it wasn't the catering that got me because i could care less for that sort of turn on, it was the protectiveness he showed. Here he was a ridiculously rich man whom could have any woman he pleased and he was protecting this one with everything he had. his faithfulness made me feel so evolved that even though this is fantasy i want that! been wanting that before this book was written. 7=How christians adoptive parents raised all three of them was exemplary. How many people have children and dont expand thier damn minds besides getting them a new foreign electronic device! 8=how they were so erotic outdoors, christian did not hesitate and neither did ana. 8=The control christian had over her orgasms and making her wait and good lawd he was skillful. he actually took the time to become an expert (hence he implied he paid for sex as well) not only by mrs robinson. how many woman can justify as a man not knowing (us neither sometimes)where, how, what, why,and when to touch us and with what and vice versa. My hand is straight up in the air.9=He was so into her that he thought ahead, not right in front of her niether. He didnt pick the phone up and call the hotel and ask for x,y,&z. no he did it when she was sleep or to his assistnt or some unknown way e.l. never shared with us.10=my eyes are so more opened because of this book. 11=how many less predators of all types do you think we would have on our hands (usa especially) if we would stop looking down on sexual appetites. scared to talk about it amongst ourselves, to our children when they are old enough and just plain anywhere. its such a friggin taboo. so sickening and scary at the same time to watch the after effects of its tabooish title. i believe as long as you have a consenting of age partner and not causing unwanted harm then be yourselves together. People got thier own noses so far up thier butts they can not see where theyre rolling ;-)----------------well to sum it up i understand its fantasy but alot of it could very well be realistic. I wouldnt need a bizzillionaire but i would love a partner that has a decent income or atleast a plan in motion for one, knows what he wants and tells me openly up front, gives me the option of choosing, thinks things through, is skilled in the intimacy area, invests in me for real, loyal, (and vice versa)....i could go on and on but hey, i guess millions of other men, women, and couples could as well. Oh, sorry for the mispelled blurbs for the language detectives!!!

Heather | June 3, 2012 at 10:10 AM

You've raised some great points. I think you're right. Relationships do take a long time, and people usually do not express their desires openly, especially after knowing each other just a few weeks. Regardless how much we wish this weren't true, it is. We do tiptoe around things, trying to figure out what is going on with the other person.

But dating, relationships, intimacy and sexuality are tricky and extremely complex. Personally, I found a few things about Christian Grey repulsive: his controlling behaviour regarding Ana's diet and his telling her what to wear for starters. Let's not get into the grey flannel pants. Yuck! But these things might not bother other people. We're all very different.

Our culture offers us a few narratives that we think might reflect reality, but they rarely do. Every relationship is different. That is why we have the Romance Industrial Complex. Publishers sell more romance books to women than any other kind.

But I must say, judging from the comments I have received and how much women love Christian Grey, women should be trying to get more men to read this book, particularly book 1.

Thanks for your very generous comment.

ekaete | June 3, 2012 at 3:45 PM

o my god. what women love christian grey? he is a controlling, immature ,jealous freak who should not be celebrated. in real life, anna would have to have a restraining order against him as he could snap anyday,,.i think everyone is going crazy over nothing..i found the books, boring, annoying and stagnant. the characters dont evolve, the sex scenes are long , repeatitive and misleading.the plot is weak and i struggled through the second book.maybe if she had kept it at one novel, it could have been better. i kept looking for a story in the midst of all the sex as all they do is have sex and obsess about the that what a real relationship is about? no wonder our divorce rate is rising!!!mommy porn indeed, if this is what we teach our daughters, then God help us.w

Anonymous | June 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM

I found the book cheesy. Poor moody, rich, handsome, well-endowed, mysterious, young corporate magnate. Poor delusional, self-deprecating, romance-novel-loving virgin who believes she can change him. It's ultimately a lesson in self-respect. Couples engaging in consensual, perhaps non-mainstream, sex is nothing new. Ana has the rude awakening that a lover wanting to hurt her doesn't bespeak love was her coming-of-age. Writing had shades of Bridget Jones' Diary but reading it was like sitting in the midst of a pigeon dropping festival: "crap" "crapola" "double crap." Which kind of describes the writing!

beenhereallalong | June 3, 2012 at 9:33 PM

I think e.l. was very smart to add obivious repulsives in the storyline to sidetrack people. I never even truly paid attention to the list. I wouldnt have gone along with the list either. Honestly, I didnt even read most of the sex scenes. There were waay too many. What intrigued me was the fact that Christian was willing to atleast admit his issues, Ana found her sexuality and for goodness sakes she actually had someone to fulfill them. I swore i was into intimacy more then my last 2 partners and they were older. I seperated from them both for thier love of porn, other women or etc. I swear our culture believes that certain intimacy actions can only happen in thier minds or with strangers and not with the partner they are with. It is such a fear, you can see it when you catch a man/woman doing or looking at something (supposedly) taboo. I believe that was one of the main things that readers loved and love about this book. I could care less about the repetitions, the poor writing (hence mines is sooo much worst) or the controling behavior. I know better so i guess i only would worry more so if there is a person reading the book whom believes being treated this way is ideal and gets abused. thats the only iffy part. other then that i am totally with running background checks, knowing where my mate is and vice versa, getting medically checked out and so forth. Sounds weird to others but like aka mamma stated, relationships are tricky and extremely complex so to each its own. There are so many other things to do in a relationship so getting those important things out the way and understood would help the relationship go much more smoother. Lastly i have to tap on one more subject. I believe alot of negative critics and non open minded critics (reviews) are from beings whom are somewhat stuck in thier lives or with little effort to even try to think open minded. This comment i am giving is somewhat like poitics, you know the type of comment that might be true but if you say it out loud then hundreds of ppl hurl thier insights at you at 90mph just because politically they can combine against your honest opinion and pretend they dont agree. so actually i will end it there. Happy readings everyone and let that darn twitching finger calm before you type that next half truth.

Anonymous | June 4, 2012 at 4:41 AM

LOVED IT. point blank

Anonymous | June 4, 2012 at 11:07 AM

I didn't think Christian was abusive as a couple of people stated above. After all, he was having women sign a contract, ask questions about it, etc. so they knew exactly what they were doing. He appeared to have had many women who had been willing to enter this kind of relationship with him, and when Ana didn't like it, he made a serious effort to cut back because it wasn't her thing, even though he still liked it. Some people like those kinds of sexual interactions. It does not mean they are being abused, because precautions (safe word, etc.) are taken to make sure that they are ok and comfortable with the situation. It was obvious that outside of the bedroom, Christian was taking care of these girls in every aspect-for example buying them all the safest car that he could. It may seem weird to those who are not interested in alternative sexual lifestyles, but it is not as abnormal as many people seem to think it is. It's just not something that most people openly discuss. It is certainly not for everyone, but then...vanilla sex isn't for everyone either!

Anonymous | June 4, 2012 at 2:50 PM

responding to ekaete....1st= u said books, which means you read them all so that speaks for itself. 2nd=if im not mistaken you believe our divorce rate is rising because of the way they were obsessed over the relationship? (clearing throat)...our rates rae rising because more couples are around like yourself whom dont obsess nor (probably) communicate clearly nor address the little things that go unspoken and couples then buy choosey glassses. you know those glasses that only see what they want to see. also, our divorce rate is rising because people didnt do a dang background check, get medically checked out, speak openly and truly know what it was the mate wanted for themselves and expected in return and what they wanted to offer and didnt feel safe enough to stretch their limits so divorce is the way out the front door because they usually rushed in through the back door (backwards). whomever you are i want to tell you that you seem like your glass is continuously half empty. You were looking for a storyline but couldnt find it? Someone once told me that us as humans make things more difficult then they need to be. Guess what? this book was simple, so was he storyline. No need for tons of theatrical storylines to make us feel brighter. I have never felt so impulsively better then the way i felt reading these books. Im not a nimcumpoot! i know how to scan past something if it not my interest. I just went ahead and found what triggered my spirits in this book and obviously so did/do millions of others. Go on E.L.! Let the negatives have thier say for this is a free country but i swear some of em need to be in a meditation class or two so they can hear thier truthful inner voice deep within.

Anonymous | June 4, 2012 at 3:02 PM

I think alot of wives will be running for the hills after reading this trilogy. Thier husbands are going to come home to an empty home. Like WTF!!? Women will take the kids as well. If your relationship is beyond being in the shitters then you read these books, you might get a little angry. Start looking around your house/apartment and looking at your life and see that you are no where where youd like to be. This thought makes me sad yet happy all at once. How many women got to relive thier virgin moments by reading this? it may not have been taken the same way but still those thoughts came rushing back.The story made you feel young and touched on your creativity trait as well. then you look around and say to yourself..."what happened"...smdh. I loved how the book made me feel, loved how it made my lady friends feel and how much more sexually secure we all are thanks to e.l...also It was adoring to see Christian open up. I damn near cried. Not for this fictional creature but just the fact that this was a bonafide true man breaking down. That felt good to imagine some of the men around me whom are still afraid of breaking or opening up. Well back to the subject at hand, as i said i am quite some women are heading for the hills. I just hope they packed thier confidence, self esteem, tear buckets,thier no bullshit radar gun, health, spiritual warmth and maybe a toy or two to keep them occupied. ;-)

Anonymous | June 4, 2012 at 4:33 PM

This book was recommended to me by 2 women as it had spiced up their relationship with their spouses. I decided to seek out reviews to see if there was something wrong with me or I was missing something as half way through this book am deciding not to waste any more of my time. Annoying to say the least!The book is quite immature for the audience it is obviously attracting (30-45yr olds). I am finding it difficult to continue, like a bad movie, turning the page in hopes it will get better. Being a woman, listening to an idiot's experience and that of her inner goddess, I feel like taking a whip and beating her myself. As for the attraction to Christian, the only thing that is attractive is his confidence. But, when you are continually reminded that he is 28 you realize that he has no clue about life either!! Had the book centred around more mature character's, one's with more life experience ie, marriage, children, etc. the book would have been more palatable. If Ana was a confident woman, one who knew what she wanted and eagerly chose to enter this lifestyle, wow what a phenominally erotic book this would be despite the poor writing. But for a weak woman, an inexperienced one, one who doesn't know who she is it is just plain annoying. She has already been a "sub" her entire life! This book is overrated, overhyped nonsense. As for BDSM, no issues there if that is what you enjoy or wish to explore but if you are already a "sub" then you really aren't role playing are you? To the 2 women that recommended this book, PLEASE put the sequels down, go reconnect with your husbands and find your own inner Goddesses!!

Anonymous | June 5, 2012 at 8:47 AM

If you think these books are good, you have no idea what good writing is. I'm ashamed this is the best seller.

Anonymous | June 5, 2012 at 1:58 PM

It's a book....a fiction book. Reading is an escape for many people. Take it for what it is and enjoy the ride!

Anonymous | June 5, 2012 at 6:29 PM

You could take the book in a literal sence or just read it understand that it is make belive and that stuff like that is just fun to read about...In no way did it make me hate my life or husband...Shure did make me want to jump his bones and he loved it...I love the youth and playfulness of the wrighting..and that it is fiction.. the caracters can be what ever the author makes them embrace it or do not read it...I read all three books in two days...And loved them...and seriously what ever maybee you did not like them but thousands of others do...Same as twlight some did some don't...if they make a movie i would love to see eric from true blood as christian...

Aunt Jackie | June 6, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Lazy as it may seem, I have been listening to the Audio Book version of this, read by Becca Battoe-- As some have stated in the other comments, the writing is pretty cheezy in places, and this is magnified by Becca Battoe's unrelaxed way of narrating the story. I am not even close to finishing the story yet, and already I am insanely fed-up with hearing "Holy Crap!" and "Double Crap", "Crap!!" and similar crude exclamations.

The storyline has me interested enough to finish, but I wish that the voice was more natural and erotic sounding as to make it more worth my while.

Anonymous | June 6, 2012 at 10:21 PM

I was absolutely engrossed with this book. I couldn't get enough of it. Ya, there were some lines that were repeated to death but the story itself was intoxicating, as Christian would say!
Could someone please enlighten me about Leila? I can't recall the reference to her and I've since lent out my copy to a friend and can't check it out. Just as well as I'd probably re-read it and another 2 days would go by where nothing gets done in my life. I've ordered the 2 other books in the series and can't wait to see where their realtionship goes. Its a hot and steamy piece of fiction that isn't going to be a classic but take if for what's it worth and enjoy!

Anonymous | June 6, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Well stated. He is crazy and she is lame for saying yes to a crazy man. In writing no less! If we have to have a contract... Run like hell in the opposite direction!

Anonymous | June 6, 2012 at 10:49 PM

I agree that the characters themselves and their pasts hold more interest for me. Focusing on that and the impact on who they are and less on the repetitive sex would make for classic literature. There is so much potential. It is just wasted. The sex and her thoughts are disturbing. It is a parents nightmare is all I can think. I pray that my daughters will be stronger, wiser, and more discerning than Ana. Give him a card to a good shrink not your virginity. There is something to say about loving someone from afar.

Anonymous | June 7, 2012 at 11:02 AM

ok, I made it to the part where she has finally made up her mind to do it, (that only took 321 pages to get there!!! oh my...). I couldn't take much more about how exhausted all that sex was. PLEASSE, try having kids, husband, elderly dependants, a house, yardwork, work full time, kid sports, your sports, etc. etc. etc. and THEN tell me how tired you are!! Poor dear little pathetic Ana, my heart bleeds for you, oh my!!!!

Anonymous | June 7, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I am having a hard time reconciling the author's choice in character. If the purpose is to introduce BDSM to women and to focus on a target adult female audience why would you choose to have an inexperience young, foolish girl that we cannot connect with?

Likewise, if the author wanted to target a younger audience, experiencing their first sexual relations why would she introduce BDSM? It would be no wonder that these girls would be confused about their sexual preferences after relating to a "heroine" like this one!

I don't understand why if she is writing about BDSM to promote an erotic novel that it becomes a lifestyle for these characters instead of a different sexual experience. Really strange, conflicting thematic currents in this book.

Know who your audience is and then speak to them! I would hope that my fellow women feel the same as I do; confident, secure, and free to make decisions easily without second guessing themselves; especially sexually. Power is feeling good about yourself without the influence from others. BDSM is sexual role playing and I would think it shouldn't be who your character actually is. There has to be a fine line that isn't established here. This is the message that is fundamentally missing creating a sense of pathos towards the characters.

This book had so much potential but simply just fell very short. If you want to read a romance novel pick up any old Harlequinn book. If you want to learn about BDSM pick up a non-fiction book. And if you want to read a well written intriguing novel, following the lives of 2 strong women with real issues, read Khalid Hosseini's book A Thousand Splendid Suns, ISBN#978-0-14-305440-5.

Anonymous | June 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Leila is in Book #2... keep on reading. I just finished the trilogy last night and I feel sort of sad( kinda like when a long running TV series has ended and you don't want it over). I never expected the books to have such an impact. I was totally absorbed when reading the 3 books-- they provided my late night escape from reality. I agree with early comments as to wanting more about Christian's life before Ana.

Anonymous | June 7, 2012 at 3:17 PM

ok finally finished reading the book. Just finished the last sentence and am dumbfounded as to what the whole point of this was. If you wanted a romance novel; one-sided. If you wanted erotica; 2 minute video would do the trick. If you wanted to get closer to your husband; countless councelling sessions money better spent. If you wanted to explore who you are; be honest with yourself. If you want to read the sequels or reread the book; shake your head. If you wanted to waste your time: priceless!

In all fairness, the hype surrounding this book has definately made for a wave of discussion, good or bad. And for that it has accomplished what most books never will! Well done!

Anonymous | June 7, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I loved the Twilight movies because of the romance and repressed sexuality. So when I read the Fifty Shades trilogy, I was amazaed at how much the author took from the Twilight characters and story. I also loved the Fifty Shades characters because she delved so much into how their pasts shaped their present relationships. I was disappointed that the author chose the sterotype of drug addicted, crack whore for Christian's natural mother but was happy that at least the author pointed out that Christian finally realized he loved his natural mother despite his abuse and neglect. I would like to hear how an adult adoptee feels about Christian's characterization. This book was indeed my favorite read in a long time.

Anonymous | June 8, 2012 at 2:08 AM

Just finished the series and I loved them. I fell in love with Christian through Anastasia's eyes. You feel for this man and you understand how he succumbed to that lifestyle and you champion for him. Plus he is so dam hot, sexy, rich and experienced. He can be dominant and sweet all at the same time. The one thing that will ruin this for me is iif they cast the actors fromTwilight, so so wrong. These books are so much better than Twilighf. I a thinking Bradley Cooper would make a hot Christian.

Archana | June 8, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Hey! Almost similar views from me - my review's at:

Heather | June 8, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Just checked out the above review, and the blogger actually counted how many times EL James used the expression "Oh my," which really got up my noise. No less than 186 times. Check out the table with the most repetitive expressions. Cheers ReadingAfterMath!

Heather | June 8, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Dear Bizzaro Aunt Jackie:

I'm glad someone bought the audio book. I'm sure some of those expressions would really get up your N-O-S-E. Had to spell it out this time, wrote n-o-i-s-e last time. One of means writers revise their work is by reading it aloud, and the author really should have revised her work much more thoroughly.

Heather | June 8, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I wish some of the commenters used names. I love the comment about Ana being exhausted from sex! Oh please, por favor! or pitié! Yes, exhaustion comes from being a wife, mother, employee, taxi driver, caregiver for elderly dependants and just for being good old me. Great point! And I applaud you from here! You rock! Heather

Heather | June 8, 2012 at 9:54 AM

I just love that readers have such strong reactions to this book from loving it to despising it. I don't think that I have had any comments where someone said, "it was okay!"

Thanks for your comments. I love hearing them all. Heather

Anonymous | June 9, 2012 at 5:28 AM

this book is too much like my own real life. he is exactly that: rich (in knowledge), criminally good looking (tall, dark, handsome), dominant, controlling. his mother is a real coke whore. i was exactly what you would call naive. desperately in true love but couldn't figure out what was what. i'm not a literature major but have written over 10,000 pages. we met in 2008. both of us are spiritual. this book was published on his birth date. he and i have never been together, sexually, but spiritually is quite another matter. to be aroused and sex withheld, prohibited is the same as outright torture. it has been a twisted form of bondage for me, but i was too stupid to know it. this book's existence is a spiritual sign for me. i've been horribly fooled by a man i genuinely loved who couldn't resist playing his game. his dick is a weapon and he was never interested in scoring access to my pussy. like he said to my face - "if i wanted it, i could've had it any time i wanted to". i'm glad you all love him so much. he sure is something. gorgeous like you wouldn't believe. radiant light that cannot be tolerated. exquisite to the point of being near criminal. me? i'm your ana. i'm still slave to the pen. still writing it all out, figuring it all out. coming to terms with who he is, who i am and how this weird, supernatural world works. still condemned to go fuck myself, in this wretched forced celibacy - with no hope or chance in hell of marrying for love and living happily ever after. it is tragic beyond measure. this "student" had no idea that she would learn lessons that she had no interest in knowing. am i shamed now, for discovering that i'm what's called "vanilla" (romantic monogamous) or shamed for being unwittingly caught up in sexual bondage that isn't marriage and will never be consummated? it has been torture, but i promise he tells an entirely other story. for him, "the greatest pleasure of his life". says he "gives me good and plenty". the man has never laid a finger on me. the pain makes me want to rip my body off. i'm not the masochist to his sadistic wish that i was. word to the wise: NEVER play games with true love. he warned me though, said i "couldn't afford him". he was right, much too costly to have gotten myself hooked by him. king player, throw him a crown or two. he won.

Geraldine | June 9, 2012 at 10:02 AM

No offense here. I'm glad I don't give in to hype. ;) I've read reviews in Amazon and I'm surprised with the mixed reviews. The book seems to draw two camps: the extreme pro vs the extreme anti. I enjoyed reading chick lit with good storyline and I don't rant on writing style; it's not easy being a writer. A writer writes. It's up for the reader to like it or not. But I've read reviews and comments saying there are a lot of sex scenes here and bdsm content, with poorly developed character. They say it's soft-porn. I just hope there is 'story'. Because 'story' is what matters most.

Anonymous | June 9, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Like AKAmamma, I too am surprised at the wide range of views that this book has evoked. I happened to love it. Not for its writing obviously, as I thought I would scream if I read one more time how her "breath hitched."
I think for me, it was an escape. After being married for 29 years, my life has become quite predictable and boring. I was able to live vicariously through Ana for a few days. I was surprised at me reaction to the book. When she went to visit her mother and was so teary, I cried with her and then at the end, I actually sobbed; with her because of his need to inflict pain upon her and then for both of them when she left. The back jacket of the book did warn me saying that it is "deeply moving, it will obsess you, possess you and stay with you forever." I cannot wait to read the next 2 books!

Anonymous | June 9, 2012 at 11:35 AM

i have read this book and having been in an abusive relationship for 20 years, i found it really really disturbing.
i could see the same behavior patterns in Mr Grey of an abusive partner.i think if the book ever revisits Ana in 20 years time she would have been completly destroyed by this man, jumping like a frightened mouse always trying to second guess what he wants to stop being beaten by him!!

Anonymous | June 9, 2012 at 11:20 PM

You are addicted to him. We as humans get attached to some crazy things/people...... and walking, running, getting away from it/them takes time, u making a conscience decision to do so and some guts. You seem as though you need to vent about it/him which is part of the process and part of healing. Acknowledging it is power within itself. I wish to tell you not to be shamed for nothing! you are human and mistakes are unavoidable. matter of fact, you want to make them so you can become wiser. i know this seems far fetched but his power will diminish if that's what you aim for. as far as your life being in comparison to this book please remember this book is fiction 100%. if your life is somewhat like it then thats a coincidence but dont take it to heart because you feel connected to the fictional character ana. the odds are against you for a happily ever ending ....hence the coward guy you speak of (hence,him saying "you couldnt afford him ", and him saying "he could have you anytime")May I add that we have tendencies to self sabotage ourselves into defeat. You/we know something/someone is not good for us but you/we stay anyway. walk away, its scary to do it, scary once you're alone but i swear it gets better as long as you believe it will. I advise you take back your heart/power,cry if u need to, find something to occupy ur time/efforts in the meantime while you heal and Enjoy 50 shades for whats it worth...fiction, and finally create your own story because u can definitely have love and marriage. it starts with... realizing, believing, healing and drive. as for the celibacy thing i can not speak on for you, but personally i will just say i am fine by myself (hint=try an intimate shop after you heal) until mr. right comes along. Get your heart, mind, all together YOU right and trust me he will show up when ur probably no longer looking. Good luck, happy healing andhappy readings (writings)

Heather | June 11, 2012 at 7:38 AM

Dear commenter from June 9, 5:28 am. I'm assuming you're British because no one would be up at this hour. WRITE A BOOK! It sounds like you have the makings. In my experience, if it's happened to you then it's happened to someone else. Get that book out there and see what your feedback is. Heather

Heather | June 11, 2012 at 7:45 AM

Dear Anonymous commenter of June 9, 2012, 11:35 am. I, too, was in a short-lived abusive relationship, and I'm surprised that I haven't heard more comments like yours. In my gut, I think that Christian would not be able to pass over from his usual Dom side to a loving partner, as he has done here. That transition would not be without a few fierce, possibly violent, episodes of acting out. Heather

Anonymous | June 12, 2012 at 12:37 AM

I just finished this horrible book. The main characters are extremely underdeveloped, repetitive, and frankly, boring. Ana is a ridiculously unbelievable character-- I'm sorry, but it is impossible to for ANYONE to go through college without owning a laptop. Not only that, but the author cannot seem to distinguish the fine line between sex and love. I would never recommend this book to anyone.

Heather | June 12, 2012 at 7:22 AM

We`ve all wondered that. Who out there made it through university without owning a laptop? Our last comment indicated a strong dislike for 50 Shades. What about you: love it or hate it?

Priscilla | June 12, 2012 at 8:39 AM

i have just finished reading the three books, I couldn't put them down & read for hours into the night and although I don't usually read this type of book, I loved the story. Anna & Christian feel like friends that I will want to keep in touch with for years. I am 53 with two grown up kids, married for 30 years, and tertiary educated. It is pure fantasy & escapism & has made me feel excited exhilerated & alive, & not only for the sex. I think I have enjoyed this trilogy more than any other books I have read, & I read a lot! I think it is the honesty & immediacy of the reactions, it is like a story being told by your own subconscious. It is simple & not overworked. I liked the use of emails and their absolute devotion to each other, I think that is the most appealing part of the fantasy & I can understand why sensible, educated middle aged women are loving the story.I think everyone would like to be loved like Christian loves Ana. I can't wait for more writing by this author & would love to read the story from Christian's viewpoint, with a bit more abut his pre-Ana life. I would also unlikely & far fetched, but I couldn't put it down & read for hours into the night like to read a sequel after they have been together a while. And more baout Taylor & Mrs Jones.
Yes, the writing is unpolished & immature, and the story is but then so is "Gone with the Wind" and everyone loves that too!

Anonymous | June 12, 2012 at 9:17 AM

I haven't read this book. My girlfriend had brought this book home and started reading it because so many people recommended it to her. She is constantly reading the bondage scenes to me in hopes of getting me riled up. It does rile me up. To think that these scenes are being described in this way and people, particularly women, are fawning all over it makes me sick. We are both in the lifestyle of BDSM, and to think that this would be erotic, sexy, and edgy to someone, literally makes my blood boil. Obviously he has no respect for his sub, and simply relishes not only his dominance, which is accepted, but his ability to cause pain, which is not. I greatly implore every woman who has read this book to visit a BDSM club to see it firsthand. Your views on this book would turn very quickly indeed. This is not an erotic novel of Dominance and submission, this is one woman making a mockery of our lifestyle, and chashing in on it. Very deeply disturbing.

Anonymous | June 12, 2012 at 8:19 PM

I think many of you are over analyzing the books. Fun read by the beach with your husband/boyfriend not too far. I had lots of fun sex while reading them! My inner goddess came out!!!

Melissa | June 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

I hated this book. I don't often say I "hated" books, because usually they will have some redeeming quality. This book has none. If you want to read a lot of hot sex scenes and can somehow turn off your voice of reason while reading them, then enjoy. I, however, cannot read another page of characters murmuring, saying "Oh my", or their breath hitching. It is so distracting that even if there was a decent story hiding underneath, you'd never notice. There is a saying I heard in undergrad called "Murder your Darlings". ie- if there is a phrase or term you like to use a lot when you write, GET RID OF IT, or it will end up in your final draft >200 times. Ridiculous. I was seriously hoping all of the characters would die in a horrible plane crash by the end. No such luck for me.

Anonymous | June 13, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I also think that its like reading a good Mills and Boon. Not sure what all the hype is all about....... I can imangine it to be a good film..... Watch this space.....

Heather | June 13, 2012 at 10:52 PM

How very interesting Anonymous from June 12, 2012, 9:19 am. I'm guessing you're male but not sure. We know so little about BDSM. It would be interesting as a feature to know something more about the lifestyle. It sounds as though, EL James was well off the mark from your perspective.

Anonymous | June 14, 2012 at 7:47 AM

I am just in the middle of the first book and thoroughly enjoying it for what its meant to be - chic lit with a good dollop of erotica thrown in! And while the repetition is a little annoying and the writing not the greatest, it was never meant to be a literary masterpiece. With regards to the story and characters, he hold he seems to have on her is a little disturbing, especially since it is her first relationship - its like she is being groomed without her knowing it, as she has nothing to compare the relationship to. Looking forward to a large glass of wine and a good read this evening!!

Anonymous | June 14, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I loved the books, I couldn't put them down everytime my husband saw me I was reading them. I read one book in three days. It had me hooked I just wanted to see what happened I hope there are more to the story coming soon.

Anonymous | June 14, 2012 at 2:26 PM

This book is really crap. Written for 11 year old girls, but obviously not meant for that audience. Just very, very bad writting...

Anonymous | June 15, 2012 at 2:03 AM

Read the first and couldn't wait to go back for the other two books! Read all three in five days and loved all of them!

Yvonne | June 15, 2012 at 2:18 AM

This will open the minds of all ladies and gents about romance, sex and relationship per se. It gives me a whole new understanding about being a woman. Ms James isn't a writer to begin with, rather a producer. However she knows very well her target consumers. She knows where to start and when to attack. These books gave us a very unique perception on what is going on in a modern sexual relationship. All I can say is that her books pave way to the reality of the "now" and how to deal with it come to that situation

Anonymous | June 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM

I don't read what so ever, but these I can't get enough. Love them!!!! :)

Julie | June 15, 2012 at 5:22 PM

I loved the emails between the characters...I've been married for 35 years and hot steamy emails can go a long way to keep things interesting! Great summer entertainment, loved all 3 books! I'm ready for the 4th and the movie...

Anonymous | June 15, 2012 at 8:24 PM

loved the books i read them all in just under 4 days, cant wait to see what other books she has to write..

Anonymous | June 15, 2012 at 9:19 PM

To me I would rather read life changes its amazing by moreen Ebdy much better then this crap

Anonymous | June 15, 2012 at 9:57 PM

We are completely obsessed with these it is not great writing, yes it is definitely an escape, but its more than that. I am fascinated with the psyche of Christian and the love story. I am college educated and I read about a book a me, it's about two people who are going beyond their comfort zones...and they are pushing each other beyond their comfort zones, her physically and him emotionally. I don't se it as porn at all and to me sex was secondary. I' ve read many books, mostly mystery/ suspense stories with a romance embedded in it that had more racy, erotic scenes than this book. I just started the second one and am thoroughly enjoying them!

Anonymous | June 15, 2012 at 11:47 PM

All I have to do is write a book about what goes on in AA couples bed room and call it "Fifty Shades of Black"?

Anonymous | June 16, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Nice review -I didn't see it 'til now- it got a push up the list? The over the top prose is the point I thought. First person- unrehearsed - how people speak. Its all in the story anyway. And its for ordinary women- who are not interested in literary technique. I understand how it would be a problem for the trained eye but a bit if a curse too- so much is spoilt because you are forced to see the flaws

Anonymous | June 16, 2012 at 3:07 AM

I. Love. This. Book ;) I mean, I dont even read but I'm already on Fifty Shades Freed. I'm in pure love with this book. I wish the world could just see how wonderful...sigh. If they make a movie, the cast better be good.

Christian Grey-Tom Welling or Zac Efron
Anastasia Steele-Emily Rossum


Heather | June 16, 2012 at 7:10 PM

LOL! Fifty shades of black!

Yvonne: I agree. She's not a writer (yet), but she certainly knows her target market.

Anonymous | June 16, 2012 at 8:07 PM

excellent I loved every minute try not to over think just ENJOY

Anonymous | June 17, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Excellent! I enjoyed all three books. They were not I expected but I loved the characters, the playfulness and the suspense. I couldn't put the books down. I wish, I had taken my time to read them because now done and I still want more of Christian and Anatasia.


Anonymous | June 18, 2012 at 1:34 AM

Same. Cant wait for book two and three to arrive.

Anonymous | June 18, 2012 at 1:36 AM

Agreed :)

Anonymous | June 18, 2012 at 1:40 AM

I love the book, but I can relate to both the characters, which helps.

Anonymous | June 18, 2012 at 1:52 AM

To be honest I never got into Twilight. I read the first five pages and went to do something else and never picked it up again. I dont hate it. It just didnt interest me. I do however, love 50 Shades. I think its very different from most things I have read in the past. Im looking forward to books two and three.

Anonymous | June 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Re Anonymous saying, "[...] I was not a huge fan of Anastasia. She was whiny and just overall unlikable. Her incessant nagging towards Mr. Grey had me wanting to scream at her to shut up!"

AGREED. She came across as a brat that would be divorced before her kids were in college, if not long before that, when Christian found someone with Ana's good qualities and not her unpleasantness. Because of that, it just wasn't realistic that he'd chosen her.

I also didn't like that she freaked every time his subs came up. Listen, girl, if you want a Dom (or ex Dom, as the case may be), you get the history that goes with him, too... ya can't have it both ways. I have been in a D/s relationship. There is NOTHING like it on earth, and that that bond (at least from me to the Dominant) will NEVER not be there (speaking 10 years after the fact here, so I think "never" is pretty accurate). See, if you've never been in that kind of relationship, put your trust in someone and been repaid by incredible learnings about how strong love and attachment can be, you don't really know how much someone in that situation gives if they're really submitting honestly and without reservation, and of the chemistry (naturally there or created by the Dom, that's up for debate, but it was real) that there has to be between those two people for it to work. It made all of my other relationships look like amateur hour -- and I've not had another serious relationship after that one, because nothing else has come near to measuring up. NOWHERE near it, and I've had vanilla men that all my female friends have swooned over. Betcha many subs have similar stories.

So from the standpoint of a sub, Christian seemed believable (albeit highly distasteful when he spoke so dismissively of his subs later in the trilogy), but Ana was not. Except possibly in the sense of him being talked into "going for someone 'normal'" to get him out of the D/s world (like sometimes gay men have been talked into finding a woman, to be 'normal'). She just wasn't the kind of girl any Dom I've known would think was at all interesting.

Anonymous #N had it right when he said, "Obviously he has no respect for his sub," See my previous comments about how he spoke and acted dismissively regarding his former subs, and seemed to be justifying it by saying that they were just subs, and Ana, not a sub, is Different and Better and the love of his life -- gee, thanks for telling me I'm worth less than someone who isn't into D/s, and that even someone who was into me when he was into D/s would undergo a conversion due to being "fixed" and then not be into someone like me any more, you know?

The magic of D/s, for me, is in the communication on more than one level -- be it verbal or non-verbal -- because so much of it taps into and leverages off more primal, unconcsious elements of ourselves. And parts of 50 Shades, I think, managed to give readers and inkling of the fact that it can be amazingly cool. So while I don't think the author got it quite right, she probably opened a lot of eyes to a lot of possibilities.

Anonymous | June 18, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Anonymous said, "Leila, for example, would make a very interesting story."

Having been Leila, of a sort, though I certainly never stalked anyone let alone broke into their home or brandished a weapon, I have been tempted to write "Sheila's Story" with a similar but of course not identical context (fan ficion, and all).

I've had my schooling paid for by a multi-multi-millionaire. I've had a job quietly arranged for me when I was unemployed and low on funds (and no, I did NOT know that at the time or I never would have taken it... the manager in question mentioned it A YEAR LATER, in the context of, "he seems to think the world of you... ever thought about dating him?" Uhhhhh, yeah, as a matter of fact, been there, done that, and if you knew how many people who DIDN'T know we had been together for a while had suggested the same, you'd be stunned, was my unspoken response. ;-) I've had a car long term loaned to me. I've been given a desktop (in those days, laptops were under powered). I've been on the receiving end of a work trip to Europe after he nagged my manager (at a different job, not the one he got for me) to send me on it. Etc. I haven't had the private jet, as he wasn't THAT well to do, but -- honest to god -- I know a sub who does travel in circles where that is "normal", and had a number of conversations with her, so I know how someone would react in that situation.

I spent the first 6-8 months of knowing my Dom friend screaming to my friends that this CAN'T be really happening, how can all these opportunities be mine that weren't there just 6 months ago, and after my Mom had spent years telling me that Cinderella stories where you get plucked out of obscurity and basically get your hearts desire don't happen in real life, really be there? Yeah, it took 6-8 months to believe it and really start experiencing the relationship for what it was, rather than "why me?"ing constantly. So much for Christian's 3 or 6 month sub contracts....

Thing is, because the story it would be about two characters with the BDSM kink, a lot of potential readers would be scared away, who weren't scared away from 50 Shades because Ana is vanilla.

Anonymous | June 18, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I finally gave in and read the first book. I was less than half-way through when I threw it down in frustration, as I was disgusted with the overall bad writing. I felt duped. THIS is what all the fuss was about??? Really!!! Really??? So I Googled, “Bad reviews of 50 Shades of Grey,” to see if there were any other like-minded individuals out there and I was delighted to come across this post. I was so inspired by your assertion that E.L. James uses far too many ellipses, that I sat and counted all of the ellipses in the first book. The grand total (give or take a few "…") was 887! Or, in numerological terms: 887= 8+8+7= 23… Or 2/3=0.666 (The Devil’s number).

There’s your sign.

Anonymous | June 18, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I didn't know of these books until I noticed my younger sister passing the first book to my older sister. I inquired, "Is it a smutty novel that she usually reads?" And they both laughed. I used to read romance novels when I was younger. In addition, I was never a big fan of erotica, however, that went out the door when I downloaded the sample, "Fifty Shades of Grey" on iBooks and then downloaded the entire book because I was curious if he was really screwed up and would introduce her to a way darker path. I was wrong. It was tastefully done to where there was no bad aftertaste if they did any of the hard limits.

Over-dramatic at times? Yes especially on Ana's part but's a novel.

Does it take you to the dark side? Somewhat with a quirk in your eyebrow like Ana's inner person.

After I found out that it was a Trilogy, I downloaded the other two right away to see how it would end.

All I can say is this--besides the "romance scenes, I actually enjoyed the psychological part of the book as well as the music! Did anyone search the music and play it as you re-read a certain portion of the book?

Seriously, who doesn't like reading about a couple who bares all, has freaking mind-blowing sex (I will never look at an elevator the same again) and looks out for eachother.

Yes, she's irritating at times but aren't we all?

As one commentor shared, it is a novel. Just read and enjoy. It takes you away for the moment but any mature minded person will's only a story.

I just want E.L. James to hurry up and finish the remaining part of "Meet Fifty Shades" of Christian Grey's version.

Anonymous | June 21, 2012 at 5:33 PM

I'm 40 years old, successful career,married, with three children. Use to read many mills and bone as a teenager....I'm part of a book club now and this is the first erotic book that the club has ever read...
I found it very entertaining,couldn't put it down(all three)yes there were some repetition in the writing, but who cares? It was an easy read and a great escape for women who have so much going on and with an e-reader no one really knows what you're reading ;-) looking for a "Ben-wa" :-)

Anonymous | June 21, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Great, my mother's romance novels crossed with my father's porn. I've been over both since about the age of 17. This is what's taking America by storm? Pathetic.

Anonymous | June 21, 2012 at 10:50 PM

She uses the word gray to described the color and she uses grey for the last name.

Anonymous | June 22, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Pathetic for sure. There's so much better literature out there - if you're a busy mom who doesn't have much time to read, why wouldn't you choose some quality writing? The story actually isn't bad, but the characters aren't believable, their conversations are ludicrous, and the descriptions are unoriginal and trite. But the worst part is the repetition - if you're going to write a book, please come up with some other way to express surprise -'Oh my!' every 5 minutes just doesn't cut it, especially when you're listening to the book.

Gloria | June 23, 2012 at 11:38 PM

Despite the flack this book is getting, I sincerely hope it opens up the market for erotic fiction. I've epublished a book called "Anything For Georgetown And Other Stories" on It is a collection of four stories that focus on the fetishes of spanking and tickling. The title story is about a teenage girl at a Catholic school. She's a bit of a bully, and a princess. She has wealthy parents, she's gorgeous, and to earn even more money, she hosts strip shows for the boys at her school. She is dying to get into Georgetown, and the new guidance counselor at her school is freaked out by her behavior. He is also an alumni of Georgetown. He promises to get her into her dream college if she gives up the strip shows, her slutty behavior, and quits bothering other students, AND agrees to be punished "his way." Which is lots of spanking and tickling. I posted excerpts on and they've received nearly 20,000 views. When I uploaded the first part of "Anything For Georgetown" when the story went live, it was being viewed at the rate of once per minute. One comment said: "Sensational! A well-crafted story, beautifully written." My fiction isn't the "he shot his hot love juice on her huge jugs" type of writing. And unlike "50 Shades" this is NOT fan fiction. This is totally made up, from my imagination. You can try out 20 percent of my book at It's also available at Barnes and Noble.

Anonymous | June 24, 2012 at 4:37 AM

I love it! You can tell that the writer is British. All those funny, quotes the British say. They have such great humor.
The book I can't seem to put down it really takes me to another world. Ana is a little bit naive but it draws you into her character .Christian well, I would love to spend a night with him. What more can I say a great book, keep up the good work E L James

Anonymous | June 24, 2012 at 6:51 PM

I think some people have a hard time remembering this is a book. It's not's a fantasy. No it may have not been the best written novel out there, but I have to say, I enjoyed it for that reason! It was one of my favorite novels I've read and I will probably read it again...I'm sure my husband won't complain :)

Anonymous | June 25, 2012 at 8:35 AM

I enjoyed these books. I read all three. I think you need to read to all the books to understand their relationship and how far Christen has changed since being with Ana. Its fiction, its erotic and its fun reading.I agree with one comment about how any women would love to loved by a man so intense the way he loves her. The story is overwhelming. I too would love to read more about his point of view of the whole relationship. I enjoyed the books. I got a bit lost in them, and that's what reading is all about.

Anonymous | June 25, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I really enjoyed books 1&2 and just started book #3. The books are lol. I love Ana's inner goddess.hilarious! I've read all the Twilight novels and loved them. The dialog between Ana and Christian reminds me of a conversation between characters in a Jane Austen novel, very old fashioned.I liked their e-mails to each other. Yes, there are alot of repetitive phrases(Oh My)but I just overlooked it.its escapism.its fun and sexy. its just a book. its not Austen, Dickens or Shakespeare. its not suppose to be. its entertainment.

Anonymous | June 25, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I'm looking forward to the movie. i think Zac Efron would be perfect for Christian. while Bradley Cooper is gorgeous, he may be too old fo9r the role. possibly Jackson Rathbone from Twilight would be a really good choice, too. And Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars would be perfect as Ana.

Anonymous | June 26, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I love that 50 Shades has so many scenes in hometown and where I have lived nearly my entire life! I particularly love the Heathman references, that's been one of my haunts since I was a kid (I used to have birthday parties there as a child, have dinner there with boyfriends in high school, and now I often visit the bar). Can't help but look for Christian when I go there these days! Someone above wrote that they had an experience with someone who really was like Christian, and also wrote that she knows more people that are with people like him (private jets, etc.) where do you find people like this? I want to know!
I didn't find the books to be particularly well-written, but I wasn't expecting them to be a literary masterpiece. The story was entertaining to me, and that is what I was looking for!

Jessica | June 26, 2012 at 4:48 PM

I am 30 years old and due to my career, my husband and commitments, I have only read 1-2 books per year for the last 6 years. It is very hard to find the time.

That was not the case with these. I read all three in a seven day period and would kill for a 4th..literally. I want a 4th, a 5th and 6th. Not to mention the end of the third, Christian's point of view, I could read all 3 over from his prospective.

I am amazed at the fact that I could not put these down. Just the fact that they captivated me and held my interest so much was a breath of fresh air.

I despise reading negative comments about the books. If you don't like them, don't read.

My credit to the author for consuming me. My husband was not neglected at all during this time period, might I add. I read a review calling this "mommy porn"! Ha- I am 30, have a very active sex life with my husband and no children, this was in no way "Mommy porn".

I am currently trying to figure out how I can possibly beg and plead with E.L. James to keep going and give me more with Ana and Christen. I loved every character of the book and miss them in my life this week.

I didn't mind the repition, that is how real life is. Read through your own emails or record your own thoughts- you tend to cling and use words that are familiar to you. I thought every part was believable. Maybe they were not, but I bought into it and that is all that matters to me.

Wonderful Job!!

Anonymous | June 26, 2012 at 9:14 PM

I am half way through book 3 and I feel like crying, cuz I dont want it to end.I love the characters so much! Great job Ms.James for writing such a fun, sexy trilogy. Christian is so dreamy and Ana is adorable. Please please please write another book with Mr. Grey's point of view.

Anonymous | June 26, 2012 at 10:18 PM

I'm struggling to get through the first book. Everyone I know seems to think the series is wonderful but I find it tedious. At this point I'm amusing myself by keeping track of the British words and phrases used. I'm amazed that so many people think the books were well written.

Anonymous | June 27, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I just finished reading the triology, loved the first book, but started getting annoyed with Ana, how weak her character was. Her "oh my" and continuous biting of her lip. Come the second and third book, I just got bored even with the sex parts, they were just too much. Christen's insecurities were getting ridiculous and his possessiveness was just unattractive. The couple seemed just too needy and insecure in their relationship, it just was mundane and boring after a while. I was hoping to like the books, but this just isn't my cup of tea. I like romance, erotica, mystery, i don't like whiny, overbearing, insecure, nerotic. I found these to be a big disappointment.

Katie young | June 27, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I read all 3 in 3 days and as u have said you cannot put them down! I'm a girl who loves to read and put all the sex scenes aside it has a fantastic story lime. Well done E.L James.

Heather | June 27, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Every time I think that the popularity of this trilogy is subsiding, I get another handful of comments. And there seems to be no fence sitters: readers either love the book or hate it.

Elizabeth | June 27, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Just finished all 3 and I'm already in Christian withdrawal! Aaaahhhh! I fell in love with his character and actually shed tears at certain points when he was struggling with his past and/ or fearful of losing Ana. I truly felt his pain and to me that's what makes a great book! No one ever claimed it was written's not literature, it's fiction and fun! And I totally agree with the comment above....I want a 4 th and 5 th, etc!!!

Anonymous | June 28, 2012 at 10:58 AM

What I like most about the first book is how much both the characters change. And although I am so tired of reading
- heady concotion - I do intend on reading the second book.

Anonymous | June 29, 2012 at 2:01 PM

The book, as far as Erotica, was boring. If you want real Erotica, read Zane. Her novels will have you wanting more. As far as being a love story it is nice.

Natalia | June 29, 2012 at 10:34 PM

First i saw these book in my sister-in-law's (71 y.o. btw) house. I saw and didn't even think twice about the books. Then on my way to Germany i suddenly finished the final book of " The games of thrones" , and having kindle just opened the amazon store and this book appeared as the leader in selling. so i bought it. What can i say? I can say even I who is not a native English speaker can see that the book is very poorly written. The language reminds me the Twilight saga. The same repetition: they keep trying to find their " equilibrium" and keep " rolling eyes" and over and over again doing the same thing...but it's very erotically stimulating, and gives some women out there a dream to dream. Still wondering about my sister-in-law though:)))

Mic | July 1, 2012 at 5:57 PM

I was pushed into reading this book by many of my friends. I feel copy and paste was used quite frequently, repetition was horrendous, take away all the smut and you have predictable poorly written books. I feel the writer may be best with sex help books and her editor should of read more closely and picked up on the continued repetition. Or maybe this is what they wanted? On one hand they make the book easy to read, sentence structure similar to the teen audience books but the contents is definitely aimed at the over 18! Writer needs to make her mind up who her readers are.

bames13 | July 2, 2012 at 5:15 PM


It's no big secret its that he is rich and powerful. If he were a janitor and tried to start this kind of relation and behavior with her most women would be repulsed by the story.

This book along with Magic Mike have done a nice job to highlight that women are just as shallow as men =)

Anonymous | July 4, 2012 at 1:47 AM

Wow! Before finishing reading #1 book I wasn't thinking about buying #2-#3 book but I still have so many questions---On which I definitely need answers. I'm not a reader but this book definitely caught my eye...finished reading it on 2 days. "Mr. Grey" really makes me wonder, do people like him exist??? That's actually a scary thought---at least for me. And being Ana, I would never sleep with a guy that has a contract, I usually don't let people control my actions. For me that's having a no so! Overall I do recommend the book, it kept me entertained for hours of no sleep.

Anonymous | July 4, 2012 at 9:07 AM

So much potential.... So far short.
From secretive alluring Dom to pathetic broken puppy doing all the meek 'oh my'' virgin silks pouts and generally whinges and manipulates until she gets her own way.
In depth views for book one and two spanning their 9 week relationship to rushing through years in book three attempting to hold readers with the boring repetitive rubbing of her sex and insertion of his fingers.
The sex 'scenes' very rapidly became boring, stale and possibly worse predictable, the ' Dom' side also I felt rapidly declined into nothing more than an over controlling husband nagging.
I wouldn't describe myself as into extreme kink or the BDSM lifestyle but I personally found it all a little tame especially when it has been marketed as this almost taboo boundary pushing read.
I found the writing repetitive and myself longing for a " cock, pussy or even a vagina" instead of the mundane over use of his intentions and her sex and thigh junction!!
Enjoyed book one- well enough
Book two skim read to see it it could get any worse
Book three realized it could and didn't bother...
The deal breaker for me..... A book/ s for the enjoyment growth and titillation of older women and yet the heroine as per usual save the poor mans soul, make him love her, change his ways, get married, spit out kids and live happily ever after....
With a bit of extra grit some better writing a whole lot more realism and not treating your demographic like desperadoes for happily ever after it might have worked... Thankfully I borrowed the books not paid bought them.....

Anonymous | July 5, 2012 at 5:12 PM

I have just read through all these comments and am AMAZED!!! - dumbfounded actually - that no one pointed out the absurdity of the ease and speed at which this virgin girl is able to orgasm. Ya...right. Her first orgasm ever was through nipple stimulation? Really??? Multiple orgasms after being spanked and taken from behind? Orgasm in her sleep. All sexy shit I get it - but inject a bit of realism here. She comes again and again...always before holds barred...easy peasy blow on it and oh oh oh my God I'm coming! really? Unlikely story. Frankly this is what eventually lost my attention. Ya there were some good fucks etc. but the author really blew it for me when she gave this character the gift of orgasm on demand. Pfft. He barely had to work for it - and considering she was a VIRGIN... And a comment above really hit it on the head...this man is a BOY!!! 27? What the hell does a guy that age know. It's hard to appreciate and take seriously when the characters have no credibility. Oh, and as for how everybody in the story is always "cocking" their heads...

Ultimately, this would be a much more amusing read if it included some story line in between the orgasms...and adults.

Heather | July 5, 2012 at 10:33 PM

You are absolutely right! I think all women somehow believe that they alone are slow to achieve orgasm. Great point about the orgasm on demand. It's also true about the 27-year-old. How could a man at that age be so adept. Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous | July 6, 2012 at 12:32 PM

I usually don't read these types of books, with that said, I enjoyed the books. It made me laugh at times and cry at times. As for Christian only being 27 a boy and not knowing at that age. Well I believe he was taught by Mrs. Robinson an older woman. I do believe you have to be mature to understand the story. I thought is was very good, I could not put it down. I really felt that I could relate to him and her and what they were both feeling. Good Book!!!

Heather | July 6, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Glad you liked it. Yes, indeed. I had forgotten all about Mrs. Robinson.

Audrey | July 7, 2012 at 9:33 AM

I love your write up. I've read all three. I did not love it nor hate it. It is one of those fictional, easy read that we all book lovers can resort reading to sometimes. So, this book is heading to Hollywood? I hope they get Ian Somerhalder to play Christian Grey, though. LOL!

Sharon | July 7, 2012 at 3:49 PM

I read book 1 and was looking forward to reading book 2 after the cliffhanger left in book 1. Unfortunately i found book 2 very slow. I am hoping book 3 is a lot better or a disappointed lady i will be.

Anonymous | July 8, 2012 at 2:30 AM

This was fiction? No, I'm sure this really happened and the real names have been changed to protect privacy.

playsexlove | July 8, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I disliked this book beyond description. To describe it as an easy read or no-brainer-entertainment is putting it lightly. I wrote a review on my website here:

Anonymous | July 8, 2012 at 10:38 PM

I guess that's assuming Steve Jobs and the author will be at the pearly gates.

Anonymous | July 9, 2012 at 6:51 AM

I don't understand how glorifying abuse of a 15 year old turned abuser got so big. How someone who is a controlling obsessive stalker, and who chooses to physically and psychologically hurt women who resemble his crack whore mother, got idolized is beyond me. This book gives a horrible message that anyone be ok with abuse as long as the partner is good looking and rich. How an educated, independent, and sexually inactive and inexperienced young woman freely accepts the role of a Sub after knowing the guy for a week or so is not a good message. And him becoming a family man after such a short period of time is unreal. Point is, the physical and emotional abuse of anyone, be it male or female, child or adult, should not be glorified.

Anonymous | July 9, 2012 at 10:37 AM

I started reading 50 Shades and soon realized this was not my usual reading preference. I was taken aback by Grey's character, but the author did a good job of humanizing him as the books went on. My initial reaction was "yikes", but I continued reading. Now, after reading all three books, my opinion is, these books should be required reading for all men over the age of 21. Wouldn't all women like to have a Christian Grey! Just my humble opinion.

Anonymous | July 9, 2012 at 11:16 AM

I'm sorry but no one is being glorified. It's a fictional novel. I just read the Hunger Games about abuse! This did take me on a mini vacation, though. Lucky girl to orgasm on command!

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