When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—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 family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.
I am generally not a fan of anything that is hyped, never mind uber-hyped, and I can honestly say that I had absolutely no intention of reading Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. However because the book has become the fastest selling work of fiction of all time, outselling even the magical Harry Potter, I decided to see what all the fuss is about! Of course I was not without my reservations – I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read a book that has been dubbed “Mommy Porn!”. But I needn’t have worried! Yes its fruity (think strawberries dipped in melted chocolate), but I’d dare to argue that the level of kink would be tame to those of you who are familiar with, say, Pauline Réage’s 1954 novel, Story of O! For me Fifty Shades is ultimately a series of romance novels, and the inclusion of sexual content in this genre is not new concept; nor is it pornography!
Fifty Shades starts well. I enjoyed James’s no-faffing writing style – straight away I felt immersed into the lives of the protagonists, Ana Steele and Christian Grey. The descriptions of the of Worlds they inhabit are detailed and intriguing and the plot is mature, dark, and provocative; but ultimately for me it was strangely refreshing. James takes real life happenings i.e. physical and emotional abuse and pedophilia – happenings that many of us would rather not think about – and tentatively explores the possible consequences to the human psyche of exposure to each.
I love the complexity of the mysterious, rich and handsome Christian Grey; with his piercing ‘gray’ eyes and deep-seated need to dominate and control. I found that this alpha male evoked in me a vast spectrum of emotions that started with loathing, and then evolved into curiosity, shock, pity, sympathy and finally unadulterated delicious desire! That’s right by the end of book three, Fifty Shades Freed, I wanted my own Christian Grey (much to my husband’s bemusement!!). For behind this character’s dark and pathological exterior is a typically old-school hero with a desperate needs to protect the woman he loves .
And the woman he loves, of course, is Anastasia Steele, a young and innocent university graduate. I really warmed to Ana for she is reminds me of my younger self – ambitious, strong, vastly lacking in self-esteem with a tendency to blush – often! I enjoyed her journey of self-discovery, particularly the contributions from her sub-conscious and inner goddess, which shed light to the often dark situations she found herself in. This coupled with Ana and Christian’s emails to each other provided a fun and unique twist to the Trilogy.
All in all, I can honestly say that the books provided more than I’d hoped they would – they took me on an adventure where boy meets girl, boy loses girl and boy wins girl back – a good old-fashioned recipe for romance (with a kinky twist!). And I’m absoloutely delighted to have explored and enjoyed a genre that I wouldn’t ordinarily opt to read. Would I read the books again – most definitely; an evening or two with Mr Grey is not be dismissed! Whilst media reviews of this book have been extremely black and white (and ironically lacking in shades of grey), I would implore you to make up your own mind and read this!