When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.What is it with trilogies and series? They just seem to be the "in" thing at the moment for authors now. I guess it's the most lucrative move you can do with the supposed flailing of the publishing industry.
The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.
Anyway, Fifty Shades of Grey is another trilogy that's making waves in the book world. I was hesitant to pick it up, after reading an article that E.L. James was fantasising about Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart while she was writing this. But seeing as I have a love-hate/guilty pleasure attitude towards Twilight, my curiosity won out in the end. Thankfully, I didn't see R-Patz and K-Stew (oh you clever gossip writers!) in my head while reading this book.
I'm not such a big fan of the writing itself. Some of the dialogues were unrealistic, in that they didn't sound like every day conversation. Ana's inner monologues sounded too British, not to mention far too mature, for a supposedly young American woman (i.e. does a typical 21 year-old American go around thinking "Oh my," excessively?). I think this was something E.L. James' editor should have picked up on immediately.
As for the story, I can understand why quite a few people would think it's depraved. This is not for the prudish. It's the story of two people who have very deep psychological issues, and are immensely attracted to each other. They want to try and have some semblance of a romantic relationship, despite Christian's dark view of things. Ana has her own issues as well, her self image quite warped, her decisions questionable.
Yes, there is lots of sex. The book would be considerably shorter without the sex. It possibly couldn't pass itself off as a trilogy without, if the next two are anything like this one. But I don't understand the hype that has surrounded the trilogy. BDSM is not a new topic, it goes as far back as ancient Rome, and surely this isn't the first time someone has written a romance novel about it?
In spite of the grammatical errors and the one spelling error I found (oh yes, I'm that nit-picky), I did find it an absorbing read. Probably because I personally haven't read anything about BDSM before. The complexity of Christian Grey was intriguing, Ana's dilemmas were agonising and at the same time understandable.
So, not bad for something that was originally a Twilight fanfiction? Oh, let's not go there. That's a whole other kettle of fish.