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6,486 of 6,772 people found the following review helpful
on 24 June 2012
Oh My, I mean really, Oh my, oh my, oh my......No readers, I have not just been whipped (pardon the pun) into a bosom heaving wreck by the size of my partner's "impressive length". I have in fact, just dragged myself through to the final page of this ludicrous nonsense and found myself almost speechless. Almost...

The main character, Christian Grey, is quite obviously deranged. This does not however, deter Ana, who for some inexplicable reason, has spent so long with her head in a book that she has never looked in a mirror and noticed that she is a "total babe". A "total babe" who also happens to be a 21 year old virgin. No, Ana, in the space of 3 weeks, falls so crazily in love with "Mr Grey" that she manages to bypass the whole deranged thing and instead concentrates all her efforts on a) going from virgin to porn star faster than Hussain Bolt off the blocks and b) deciding whether to let him hit her with stuff. As you do.

As for Mr Grey, obviously, readers can't be allowed to see him as simply a deranged, manipulative psycho so let's give him smouldering good looks, a few zillion quid to throw around and hey, and this is the clincher, the ability to love art and music (y'know, like Nazi's do in the war films). (Note - the bit where he plays the "haunting" piano piece, semi naked, with his eyes closed actually made me laugh so much that I almost wet myself - in a non-orgasmic way. Check it out....enjoy! ). As if that wasn't enough he also has a personal and financial interest in saving the world from famine. Just that old world peace and cancer to sort out and then hey, job's a good `un. I mean really, how did the world ever shamble along without him? So what made this beautiful, charismatic and talented man so brutal? Could it be a traumatic childhood perhaps? Why, yes I think it could...yaaaaawn....

So, the 2 beautiful people come together (Oh my, another pun) and the rest of the book is basically about Ana wondering if she should let him hit her with stuff and then letting him hit her with stuff and Mr Grey wondering if he should stop hitting her with stuff but still hitting her with stuff while she whines on about wanting "more" love and less of the hitting stuff and he whines on about how he doesn't know how to give "more" cos he has only ever hit people with stuff.

In between these nonsensical blatherings they have lots of sex, which, like piano playing, speaking foreign languages and making zillions of quid, he possesses boundless expertise. Obviously. Luckily, virginal Ana also has her "inner Goddess" to guide her on the art of sex play and soon becomes an orgasm machine, chucking them out all over the place in a rampant, fevered haze of lust. So much so that she overlooks Mr Grey's general bastardry and bends over nicely for a few beatings. She is also too enraptured to take much notice his incessant stalking, which would have got lesser men arrested. Oh, and his `feeder' tendencies that, if successful, would have surely added a good 10 stone onto Ana's lovely buttocks which in turn would have incurred the cost of a refurb' to the `red room of pain' when his ceiling shackles needed reinforcing. Luckily he can afford it.

As many other readers have noted, the writing is appallingly poor and, if you removed the sex bits, would resemble a love struck teenager's diary. It's all been said before so I won't dwell on it. I will just say, if you are looking for erotic fiction, look elsewhere, if you are looking for an unintentionally laugh out loud bit of fluff and nonsense then crack open a bottle, put your feet up and prepare to be amused. Personally I would just say that there goes a day of my life that I will never get back. Oh my!
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1,343 of 1,420 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2012
"So" he asks, looking at me with his grey eyes "what did you think of the book?"
I bite my lower lip, looking at his beautiful face.
"well?" he asks. I roll my eyes and blush and have an earth shatttering orgasm as I see his trousers hanging in.... That way. My inner goddess faceplants.
"oh my" I say.
We bonk for a few minutes.
He points his long finger at me. "you haven't answered me yet."
Holy crap I mutter.
He spanks me, I have an orgasm which makes me shatter into a thousand pieces then burst into tears.
Him and his twitchy palms. Ooh and his white linen shirt.
He tweaks my nipple. I orgasm again. From virgin to sex kitten in less time then it takes most people to clean the fridge. Not bad!!!
We have earth shattering sex AGAIN.
And again

Repeat until authors pen runs out.
The end.
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1,980 of 2,096 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2012
I downloaded this one morning whilst listening to BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour and hearing E.L James being interviewed.

I'll confess: I did read it from end to end, and I must also confess that my Trollope took a backseat for a couple of days. But when I'd finished 50 SoG, it was a relief to go back to some proper literature, feeling saddened, cheapened, almost used, by having read it. Make no mistake: 50 Shades of Grey is utter rubbish!

The central theme is that a rather naive college student, Ana, is swept off her feet after a chance encounter with a fabulously wealthy business man, Christian Grey CEO. (He's ok though because his company sends aid to Darfur.) Not only is he immensely rich, but he has the looks to match - of which we are constantly reminded. He has "two penetrating gray eyes". Yes, that'll be both of them, and they combine to give him a "penetrating gaze"; he has "beautifully chiseled lips" and a square jaw. This together with the way his gray sweat pants hang off his hips "in that way", leave the poor girl wobbly at the knees.

His penis of course is equally magnificent. Indeed it scarcely ever appears without her being bowled over by its "impressive length". His erection (permanent, it appears) is "impressive". And of course he only has to enter her for her to have an an orgasm that causes her body to "convulse and shatter into a thousand pieces". Next time she "shatters again into tiny fragments", before "her traitorous body explodes in an intense body-shattering orgasm". She wonders will her body withstand "another earth-shattering moment". At least he is polite enough to comment in a moment of untypical post-coital congeniality, "You're shattered, aren't you?".
And so it goes on. The book does not reveal the mechanics by which the tiny fragments of the orgasm-shattered Ana were constantly put back together again. The secret of this process might have served Humpty Dumpty well.

The twist in the tale is that Christian is a sadistic sexual dominant who likes to tie his women up and thrash them before intercourse. It's not entirely clear whether this is consensual - but having been gagged Ana doesn't manage to say "no", so at least it's not rape. The agonising decision that Ana has to make is whether to lose him, or sign a contract submitting to his perversion.

As an undercurrent there is a suggestion that Christian himself was abused as a child, and this may explain his brutal treatment of women. Although she discovers that she is his 16th submissive partner, his own sad childhood engenders sympathy in Ana's mind - and so being whipped, spanked, gagged, tied up and forcibly screwed is the least she might do for him.
The man is not totally thoughtless: he arranges for her to be seen by his ice-cool, blonde doctor who prescribes contraception. After all, what fun would it be thrashing a woman who was pregnant? In the meantime he carries an endless supply of condoms, referred to by James as "foil packets". So he "grabs a foil packet"; releases her hair in order to rip a foil packet; and this delightful passage:
"You want it, you got it, baby," he mutters producing a foil packet from his pants pocket while he unzips his pants. Oh, Mr Boy Scout. He rolls the condom over his erection and gazes down at me. "I sure hope you're ready," he breathes, a salacious smile across his face. And in a moment, he's filling me [...] I groan... oh yes. "Christ, Ana. You're so ready," he whispers in veneration.

Again it would be wrong to traduce Christian while ignoring his good points: he replaces her ageing and much loved Beetle with a new Audi and takes her for a trip in his helicopter; and he buys her a first edition of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Yes, he's not a total arse: he likes Delibes and Pouilly Fume and can play the piano with haunting melancholy - before his thoughts inevitably turn to sex. ""Maybe on my piano," he whispers. Oh my. My whole body tightens at the thought. Piano. Wow." I kid you not.

The story is desperately thin: poorly written, repetitive in its descriptions (there is an almost unbelievable amount of eye-rolling and lip-biting - both offences that lead to a spanking), one dimensional characters, and it's frankly stupid. Nothing really happens: rich man woos innocent women; he shags her; he beats her; she wonders if she is doing the right thing. That's about it.

Apart from using orgasms as some kind of punctuation, the book also features unbelievably tedious e-mail exchanges between the two characters. After reading a couple of lines I found myself skipping the rest. They are just puerile. You are, I suppose, to take note of some of the subtleties of these conversations: his use of "shouty capitals" and the funny way that he signs himself "Christian Grey Palm-Twitching CEO" after he has given her a good spanking. Oh dear! So endearing.

At a risk of sounding repetitive myself, how many times do you think an author might use the expression "my inner goddess" in one book? Once or twice might suffice, but Ms James uses it 65 (yes, 65) times. Example:

"Ha! My inner goddess is thrilled. I can do this." (She manages to get the Impressive One into her mouth.)
"My inner goddess smacks her lips together glowing with pride." (He gives her an 'A' for swallowing.)
"... he looks at me hungrily. Jeez, my inner goddess swoons"; (He "squeezes carnality" into her name. At least that is one you can try at home.)
"My inner goddess polevaults over the fifteen-foot bar" (she didn't wear her panties when she meets his parents for dinner);
"My inner goddess is still basking in a remnant of post-coital glow. No - we are all clueless. I towel-dry my hair...".
By the end of the book I was ready to strangle the inner goddess and the external part too.

The book ends inconclusively. At first I thought that maybe the author had got bored with the whole thing and decided to pack it in. Then I discovered that there are two sequels. I also didn't realise until later that the book had originally been posted as fan-fiction. I don't pretend to know much about this, but I guess it may explain the lack of structure and the repetition. If you are turning out a couple of hundred words at a time for serialisation, maybe there is no imperative to write well.

As a piece of titillating light-hearted fun, this might keep you amused for a little while; but as a piece of literature worthy of the author making the hallowed interview seat on Woman's Hour, NO! It's awful.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 25 June 2012
I only read this because everyone kept telling me I really should and that it was fantastic. I had read reviews on here and decided it sounded like a book I really didn't want to read. During a conversation with a friend who was of the opinion as me we decided to be able to judge the book we needed to read it. Being less than £3 on Kindle I decided to read it.

Oh how right I was. I have never read such a badly written book! Talk about repetition. I thought basic writing skills included trying to avoid too much repetition of the same words and phrases. Ana murmurs and mutters constantly, its a wonder anyone can hear her speak, oh and he wears a white linen shirt every day. Whether this is to show of golden tanned skin I'm not sure. Christian has long fingers and dark grey eyes we are told every couple of pages or maybe it seemed like that because I skimmed so much of the book trying to find the 'exciting' sex scenes.'Persevere'another friend said. I did, by skimming the boring bits again and YES SIR!I eventually found The Red Room scene and it only took reading 2 thirds of the book for something to happen.

Really not one to read and I just don't understand how so many women can read this and enjoy it. Regardless of the sex the writing does make you laugh out loud as some of Ana's thoughts and phrases used are so ridiculous. Well that's my opinion anyway.
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2,060 of 2,182 people found the following review helpful
There are hundreds of reviews here and people are clearly split into two camps: the 5 stars `loved it', and the 1 star `hated it'. I'm in the latter (forced to read this for a book group). But for all the leaden, wooden, repetitive, frequently juvenile-sounding prose, and the profoundly unerotic sex scenes, this book is so awful that it's brilliant... in an unintentional kind of way.

Read aloud in the pub over a bottle or two, this provided hours of fun as our `heroine' took one look at Christian Grey's gray eyes (yes, really) and his messy hair, and the way his trousers hang "in that way" (what way?) and literally falls flat on her face in front of him. Clearly smitten by her cute innocence, Christian of the grey eyes, sculptured lips, and spicy scent is soon whipping out his little "foil packets", his riding crops and hand-cuffs, and giving our previously-virginal Ana multiple and seemingly instantaneous orgasms, all of which are "shattering".

We particularly enjoyed the way Christian manages most of his sexual exploits either fully-dressed (just a quick unzipping and a coy fiddle with a "foil packet") or with his shirt (always white linen) still on, while Ana bit her lip, and breathed `oh my!' for the umpteenth time.

So, really, this IS as bad as people say - but for barely more than two quid it managed to provide hours of derisive laughter.
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175 of 185 people found the following review helpful
on 23 June 2012
I gave into the hype (inserts shamed face ) or my inner goddess shouts to me 'holy crap!' Several of my friends who are adult intelligent women bought it so I thought I would give it a try. I made it to Chapter 10 when the mother arrives! Not literally of course - although the book is so full of unsubtle innuendo I began to wonder.
I was already skimming the terrible unrealistic sex chapters by then and was bored beyond belief. The characters have no depth at all. Ana wasn't sympathetic or kooky she was a mindless foolish character to be used by a dominant. Horrible.
In my teens I read more sophisticated Mills and Boon books. Angélique, the Marquise of the Angels by Sergeanne Golon is a masterpiece in comparison.
The worry is the awful dreadful dominant Christian. How on earth would any woman in her right mind find him attractive after the red room of pain or whatever it was ? She really should have ran for the hills.
I do get that women like a man to be protective, handsome and rich and a bit naughty in novels but Christian is alarming as all he seems to want is to get Ana to a point where she is ready to receive physical pain which will of course please him
But of course :(
How this passed as a romance staggers me. I have no idea what the author was hoping to achieve.
That's it no more of this utter tosh. I will not read it. I am so relieved to see other reviews giving it the thumbs down too.
Agree ~ don't waste your money
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2012
I read this as I wanted to see what all my friends on Facebook were banging on about. I now regret that decision as I will sadly never get those hours of my life back. Or the fiver I spent on this tripe. Or the brain cells I fear it killed off.
Just how many times can one person call someone 'baby' in one book, how many orgasms can a virgin have and how many times do we have to read about how incredibly incredibly good looking this man is?!
If I ever met anyone like Christian Grey in real life I would tell him what a complete pr**k he is and then tell him to jog on.
My conclusion? All the women reading and loving this book have Daddy issues. CG talks to Ana like a child. I think there are so many broken homes and absent fathers nowadays that people are confusing their craving for a bit of authority with something they get off on.
Oh dear.
I lasted until page 148 but could take no more torture. Of me I mean, not bloody Ana.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2012
I have literally just finished this book. I like stories that make me feel good and feel complete...this book left me feeling very sad, unsettled and as if I've been left mid story. Well of course i have as the author has written the rest in two other volumes.

If you strip this sad narrative back to its bare bones and focus on the male protagonist; what you're reading about is a tragic, highly damaged man whose preying on a vulnerable, younger woman continuing a cycle of sexual abuse he has clearly experienced himself. I would add I'm not ad libbing here - the author refers extensively to the characters' own highly damaged childhood so dark he barely speaks of it which renders him revolted by the idea of his partner touching his bare chest which is covered in scars. It is this abuse we are left to surmise that has led him to be incapable of truely loving anyone including himself!

When the above dawned on me, I could understand why I was left feeling so utterly hollow having read this. This it NOT romance or erotica its a depressingly sad tale of two people trapped in a miserable cycle of sexual abuse. The sex scenes are frankly irritating by the end - littered with repetitive prose!!!

There is no actual story line beyond this obsessive 'love/sex' affair instigated by one sexually abused man inflicting his depravity on an innocent younger woman thus continuing a cycle of sexual abuse.

If you want to feel like you've checked out of the real world and entered the mind of the depraved - carry on and read it. I'm not entirely sure who I'm more concerned for; the character Christian Grey or the author who created him.
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256 of 272 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2012
I have just done a Masters degree in Publishing where we were taught that in the world today, publishing houses are so desperate for the next best thing that they will literally kill their own mothers to plug a book they think will be a bestsellers. Well written, non-sensational books that provide excellent writing, good characters and a whole heap of imagination and skill are being shoved to the bottom of the pile and stamped 'QUITE NICE, BUT WON'T MAKE ANY MONEY'.
This is obviously what happened here. Someone went 'Oh my! This is a scream! It will revolutionize bedrooms! It will redefine the boundaries of eroticism! It will trounce those saps at Mills and Boon! And more importantly, it'll make us shed loads of cash!'

It is patently clear that the book has never seen an editor - because why would any self-respecting editor let it go? Where would any self-respecting editor even know where to start? Shouldn't someone, at some point, have said, 'Er, look, EL James, we really like what you're doing here and it's all very saucy and a bit rude, tee hee hee, but we've got a bit of an issue with repetition. You see, at the moment, Ana Steele says 'Holy crap' 230,493 times, and says 'Oh my' 1,435,500 times, which we think is a bit much. Great work, an' all, but do you think you could cut a few out?' That obviously never happened. Instead, they shoved it all in, gave the book a snazzy, sleek cover, which is a million times classier than the book itself, yelled 'It's mummy porn!' from the rooftops in the hope it would catch on, and there we have it, a record-breaking bestseller.

Quite aside from the frankly ridiculous sex scenes - no one, and I repeat, no one, has that much fun losing their virginity - I was actually shocked by the writing. Reader, it is so bad. I knew it would be bad, but I didn't know it was that bad. Let me give you an example:
'Sunday at the store is a nightmare. We are besieged by do-it-yourselfers wanting to spruce up their homes. Mr and Mrs Clayton and John and Patrick - the other two part-timers - and I are besieged by customers'.
I was on the train when I read that sentence. I actually went 'You are joking!' out loud, and looked around wildly for someone with whom to share my outrage. Where was the editor? Where was this editor who was supposed to say 'Sorry, EL James, do you think you can use a different word to 'besieged', as you have used it twice in two sentences and, as we all know, word repetition is a classic sign of terrible writing'??

I'm sorry, reader. But reading this book made me feel stupid. I actually feel that, while my knowledge of sexual exploits may have been vaguely lifted, my reading age has plummeted. If you want some cheap titillation - for that's all it is - then go for it, it'll make you smile, it'll make you raise an eyebrow or two - but if you can get past the God-awful, horrendous, basic, dreadful, atrocious writing style, then you've done better than me. It's a shame - a real shame - that a book of this standard has broken records and made a lot of people a lot of money. What hope is there for the talented writers who don't want to write about genital clamping?
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on 3 July 2012
Firstly I beg anybody who is considering buying this book (surely there can't be many people left!) to read the one star reviews on here first, many of which are far better written than the book itself! If morbid curiosity wins please borrow it from somebody instead of lining the pockets of a writer, I use the term loosely, who should never have been published.

So on to my review...

I confess I fell victim to the hype and only wish I read the reviews first. I actually finished the book over two weeks ago but was so infuriated by it that I had to wait to write my review in fear of it containing nothing but expletives. I feel like my IQ has dropped several notches along with a chunk of my vocabulary disappearing. I make no exaggeration in saying that this is, by far, the worst book I have ever had the displeasure in reading. It is not trashy, just plane old trash and it actually depresses me to think that this piece of rubbish is now breaking all sales records. I have read some of the five star reviews by people saying ignore the bad writing and enjoy the love story. If a writer is going to be making over £860k a week off the back of them I expect her to be good at her job. Trust me it is not just the poor writing that make this book so so bad and it is also far from a descent love story.

I should have known how bad this book was going to be from the instant I read 'my sex' and 'just...there'. In my opinion if you can't describe something without the use of italics or the actual names you shouldn't be writing adult fiction. I certainly don't mind some good erotica but this book simply isn't written well enough and despite the nature of the sex it doesn't read like a book aimed at adults.

Now as so many before me have also highlighted, the constant repetition is beyond annoying. For the life of me I never want to hear the words 'subconcious' and 'inner goddess' ever again. It's just pure laziness on the writer's part - I wonder if she had a word count to hit? To give you an idea of just how bad it is I've taken a few examples from a review on amazon.com (they used the Kindle's search function) Ana says 'oh my' 72 times and 'blushes' or 'flushes' 125 times. The word 'murmur' is used 199 times as is 'whisper'. The characters also 'grin' 124 times and when they're not doing that they 'frown' 124 times. The lists goes on, and on, and on and there are some immensely funny reviews about the repetition.

After all that there's the story itself. I understand that part of reading fiction is to fantasise a little but to do so you have to base your story on some underlining truth. The very characters themselves are just too hard to believe in and are straight out of the pages of a teenager's diary. You have Prince Charming - the amazingly gorgeous, intelligent, mega rich, self made business man and CEO of his own massive company (no pun intended) who also happens to be a classically trained pianist who can dance, speak French fluently, fly (both helicopters and gliders no less), sail a yacht and perform sex on a level equalling to godliness (although it never lasts long so I'd beg to differ). Anyway on top of that he is also a humanitarian trying to end word hunger, all this by the ripe old age of 27, not bad going eh? Never mind that he's adopted due to a traumatic childhood and as a result is now damaged despite his success, fear not however, suprise suprise Ana, and only Ana, can fix him. Which reminds me we also have the damsel, Ana, the 21 year old graduate who has only ever kissed two guys, never had sex, never had alcohol and doesn't realise she is 'totally gorgeous' even though she has men throwing themselves at her. Despite this within hours she becomes a sex goddess (sorry!) with no gag reflex and seemingly endless stamina. She's having 'all consuming, 'mind blowing orgasms' that 'shatter her into a thousand pieces' at the blink of an eye (literally). I found her character whiny and she acts like a spoilt child at times. If I didn't know better I'd think this was a Mills and Boon parody. I don't want to include any spoilers but the whole thing, from initial meeting to let's say a very serious relationship, is set over a matter of weeks. Surely for somebody as damaged as Christian is meant to be this just wouldn't happen. Oh and the speed of their relationship is apparently of no concern to Mr Gray's therapist, personally I think he should get a better one.

After all this there are also plot holes, several Britishisms from so-called American characters and some serious issues with time (unless travelling at the speed of light has been invented and I missed it). I really could go on but I think the rest of the reviews cover what I've missed.
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