49./50. Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed

Well I finally finished them.  They nearly bored me to death and I wasn’t sure to finish them. I kept picking them up and putting them down.  I still think the same thing about these two as I thought about Fifty Shades of Grey.  Wow is the writing to be desired!  I’m sure her vocabulary isn’t as limited as she makes it look in this series. I can’t believe whoever edited it didn’t notice or didn’t even bother to try to propose new words, expressions, and scene changes.  As far as character development is concerned, there isn’t any.  The characters still remain one-dimensional.  Christian is an arrogant, insufferable, controlling, sex-crazed, ego maniac all the way until about page 460 in Fifty Shades Freed.  This is a spoiler free review so I’m not telling why but I’m sure you can figure it out.  Fifty Shades Freed is 579 pages and to be frank it’s 250 pages too long.  The series does get a little better overall concerning the story.  Something other than sex does happen.   Unfortunately, there is too little of it.  I did like the way EL James ended the story by having us read accounts from Christian’s point of view such as an earlier scene in Fifty Shades of Grey when he meets Anastasia in the hardware store where she works.  I can see why critics and journalists are calling this “Mommy porn”.  It’s seems to be clear that middle-aged women all over the UK and the US are the ones who have found this series to be nothing more than a charming, sexy love story.  I would say there is more sex than story.  I wonder if Christian would have been described as an attractive thirty-something minimum wage mechanic that had a penchant for BDSM if all those women would have still found the book to be a sexy love story.  Somehow, I think not.  I keep hoping that the majority of women are smart enough not to get sucked into a relationship with a controlling, attractive, billionaire dominant because he’s rich and good-looking.  It’s said that women desire a man who can take care of them and that knows what they want.  This is not a story for feminists, nor for impressionable young teenage girls.  I feel women should be able to choose what kind of sex they want to have and not have it forced on them in a manipulative way.  I just wanted to slaughter Anastasia’s inner goddess and got sick of hearing how hot Christian was and the both of them not believing the other was in love.

Anastasia is made out to be unbelievably naive and has no idea what she wants. Of course, she needs Christian to tell her what to eat, what to wear, what job she’s going to do, etc.  In Fifty Shades of Grey, she doesn’t have an email address, doesn’t know what a Macbook Pro is, and has never shaved herself.  It’s only in the last two hundred pages of Fifty Shades Freed  where she miraculously becomes intelligent, knows how to fire a gun, and saves the day.  Things are wrapped up in a neat package at the end of this series.  You’re going to think it’s a fairy tale.  It’s done much too perfectly.  It’s not possible that someone with the difficult background of Christian Grey won’t need some lifetime therapy to succeed in his family life.  He’ll need more than a pretty, young, fresh girlfriend, who will do everything he wants.

As for EL James, she got lucky on this one, staggeringly lucky.  How many expert erotica authors are out there trying to get their first real break?  I haven’t got a clue but they are all wringing their hands trying to figure out how someone can get published for a poorly written trilogy full of boring, repetitive sex, marketed as BDSM and get famous for it; so famous that she’s sold more copies of her books than the Harry Potter series.  We’re all reeling from this conundrum.  I’m sure it won’t happen for her again.  In another year we’ll have three movie adaptations to look forward to and more occasions for EL James to make even more money off the Fifty Shades series again. Click the link below and you’ll get a good idea about the frenzy of the Fifty Shades series, who is head over for it and how EL James absolutely doesn’t understand at all the frenzy around it.  The You Tube clip is a funny video of the comedian Gilbert Gottfried reading an excerpt from Fifty Shades of Grey.  Enjoy! It’s pretty funny.  Happy holidays and Happy reading!


Easy reading is damn hard writing.

                                 —-Nathaniel HAWTHORNE

25. Fifty Shades of Grey

I got so sick of hearing about this book that I had to read it to see what all the hype was about.  It’s everywhere – You Tube, television shows, book reviews, etc  I’m living in France and Fifty Shades of Grey hasn’t come out here yet, but I’m sure when it does it will probably make just as much hoopla.  As always books that contain sex in small or large doses no matter what kind, in this case BDSM, always seems to make it to popularity.  Of course popularity leads to the New York Times bestseller list – combined print & e-book fiction and the paperback trade fiction and probably some others too.  Fifty Shades of Grey is number 1 and has been for 20 weeks, Fifty Shades Darker is number 2 and has been for 20 weeks, and Fifty Shades Freed is number 3 and has been for 19 weeks.

The book is said to be a love story and begins with Anastasia Steele taking her roommate’s place to interview mysterious, billionaire entrepreneur Christian Grey for her college newspaper.  There is an immediate attraction between the two, an explosive “lust” at first sight.  Christian is extremely attractive, arrogant, controlling, and has a dark side.  He’s a dominant.  Anastasia however is 21 years old, naive, shy, and a virgin.  Together they explore and experience each other through Christian’s love of BDSM and the romance begins…

Now I’m not sure this book is for everyone and of course I’m talking about those of you over the age of 18.  There were things that annoyed me.  Firstly the writing wasn’t brilliant but I actually suspected that.  I don’t think I’ve ever read an erotic novel that was well written (not that I’ve read a lot of them). Suggest some below if you know any.  Another thing that bothered me were the constant repetition of the following words and phrases:  my inner goddess, eyeball rolling which everybody seemed to be doing in the book, Anastasia’s mother included and she was a minor character, he’s hot, he looks like a god, he’s so perfect, pants hanging off his hips, running fingers through his hair, biting her lip, I blushed/I blush/she blushes.  I had enough of those phrases because they were constantly repeated.  When Anastasia compares Christian to a god it reminded me a lot of Bella in Twilight, which apparently EL James read over and over and loved.  That’s what gave her the inspiration to finally put pen to paper.  There were also a few things that didn’t make sense to me.  For example I didn’t understand how Christian didn’t suspect that Anastasia was a virgin, since she was blushing all over the place and he hadn’t even touched her yet.  Not to mention, when he shows her his red room and how she doesn’t bolt for the door.  There are problems with realism although she seemed to do her research on the BDSM culture.  There’s a full list of  sex acts and toys to educate us all.

The good thing about this book is that it can play up to some people’s fantasies.  The sex is hot as Anastasia would say.  The story moves along and reads quite quickly and you do want to know how this unlikely duo will fair in the future.  For that you’ll have to read books two and tree.  The character analysis is a little minimal but the intensity of the relationship is well described.  The story takes place in Seattle which is not the sexiest city in the US but who knows with the success of the book it might get some attention.  I give this book 2 stars which means if you’re curious read it and if you could care less don’t.  It also depends on what you feel like reading.  In essence it’s a light fast read or even a beach read if you can avoid blushing in public. Oops I said that word again, as I roll my eyeballs…Arrghhh!  Otherwise don’t bother and wait for the movie.