Thursday 2 August 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L James


Setting: Seattle

At 21, college student Anastasia Steele has never held hands with anyone let alone had sex. So when she meets attractive and rich CEO Christian Grey her shock at his unusual erotic ways leads to a relationship she never dreamt of entering. While Ana slowly understands the world that Christian lives in, she is torn between giving into her desires or finding what is right for her.


Perhaps Fifty Shades of Grey is not suitable for someone my age but these days it seems everyone is reading it, regardless of how old they are. E.L James originally wrote her novel as a fan-fiction based on Twilight. A few chapters in and you can see the resemblance. Most parts of the novel are exact mirrors of events Stephanie Meyer plays out, minus the erotic scenes.

There's not much positive that comes out of this book. Not from my perspective anyways. I'm not a literary genius but I've read enough to know what's good and what's bad. Overused words and phrases, frustrating terms (double crap ..) and strange expressions, James' writing could do with some improvements. It becomes a distraction from actually reading the novel itself - so much that the plot is lost.

The characters resemble those of Meyer's Twilight series. It becomes easy to pick out the parallel characters between each. It's either you like them or you don't. Personally, I feel no connection to any characters. Maybe only a slight likeness for the minor roles. Both Ana and Christian are characters I grew to dislike.

Fifty Shades of Grey is centred around the erotic activities between Ana and Christian. I understand that James targets an older audience but even then, the idea behind the sexual relationship they have is truly shocking. As a young lady of the 21st Century, the fight for equality between both genders is at a crucial turning point. While it has not been achieved yet, but there is more awareness towards the issue. Yet, here we have a novel on the dominating stance a man wants to have over a woman. Even worse, the woman succumbs to it. What's more, he is attractive, wealthy and powerful - the perfect catch despite his 'condition'. It seems just a little degrading, that somehow ones morality cannot preside over the shallow desires of many.

Only towards the end of the novel did I really find it heading somewhere. So far, there was never really a solid plot. All it was was just sex in every kind and every way. Perhaps it has a more promising field in the second novel.

E.L James' Fifty Shades of Grey is definitely a page turner despite its flaws. It's entertaining and very different, outselling even J.K Rowling. It just didn't fit my liking, maybe it will yours.

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