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Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James- Opinions/Reviews
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pwm in mi



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:34 am    Post subject: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James- Opinions/Reviews Reply with quote

Hi all,
In looking over the 2011 Annual Poll, I saw that 50 Shades of Grey tied for best Romantica. I was wondering for those who have read it, what you thought of it. I found out about the book from my sister, as her book group is reading it. Given the clubs selections are usually books like The Help, I was very surprised.
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bethaboo



Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read 50 Shades of Grey when it was a Twilight fanfiction, and I will be frank--it was something me and my writing buddies would read for entertainment value and snark when we were bored. This book has a lot of insane fans, mostly leftover from when it was a fanfiction, I think. I do not believe she did any revisions at all, except replace the names.
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LeeF



Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am almost afraid to respond after the craziness that the F review triggered over on Dear Author. YIPES! 115 comments so far! Much seems to be tied to the author and fanfiction and the Twilight saga, none of which interest or involve me.

Anyway, I really liked all 3 of the 50 Shades books. Yes, there are grammatical and writing errors. Yes, there are Britishisms. I don't care. I thought it was crazy and awful and romantic and uncomfortable and...well, it definitely took me out of my historical/comtemporary romance comfort zone.

Weirdly, I identified with the "heroine", Ana even though she did seem beyond out of touch for a young woman in this day and time. I was the same way back in MY day and time (the 70's) so I vicariously enjoyed her naivete, adventourous spirit and smart mouth. I understood the heartbreak of loving someone who is so screwed up.

As far as Christian and the BDSM aspect- I don't care. I didn't buy this book as a manual or encyclopedia of kinky f***ery and I won't judge anyone who is into BDSM by a fictional character. I liked and hated Christian and his crazy, messed up way of dealing with the world. Couldn't wait to see what he decided to do next.

One aspect that surprised me was how much I enjoyed the secondary characters- almost wish Ms. James would write a follow-up for Kate, Elliott, Ethan and Mia.
****SPOILER ALERT***SPOILER ALERT*****

Enjoyed the epilogue- glad to see an HEA for a couple of FICTIONAL CHARACTERS who took me by surprise and made me care about them.


Last edited by LeeF on Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nicole



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 469
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm staying away from this book. I've certainly noticed all the hubabaloo about it on the blog circuit and at goodreads. After reading some of the reviews (both negative and positive) I don't think this is my kind of thing. I actually like BDSM and erotic books, but the pricing is unattractive. I'm not paying 10 bucks for something with grammatical errors and in need editing. I've also read that the author does a lot of repeating of phrases with things like "her inner goddess" and lots of mentions of the subconscious. Those are sorts of things that annoy me while reading. So, yeah, I admit that I'm curious about the book, but I'm still not willing pay the money for the book.
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Nicole



Joined: 23 Apr 2007
Posts: 469
Location: Las Cruces, New Mexico

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Surprised I just saw that the digital price of the book came down to $6.99. I'm still not sure I want to buy this.
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pwm in mi



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 364

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I read 50 Shades of Grey when it was a Twilight fanfiction-


It seems I am a little late to the party re: this book and it's origins. Just to be clear, are you saying that the H/h were originally Edward and Bella?

I told my sister I was posting this inquiry and would keep her updated re: the response. Never did I imagine I would find out this golden nugget. She LOVES the Twlight series. I wonder how this will change her reading of the book.
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pwm in mi wrote:
It seems I am a little late to the party re: this book and it's origins. Just to be clear, are you saying that the H/h were originally Edward and Bella?

I haven't read it and don't intend to, but my understanding is that it was originally a fanfic titled Master of the Universe with Edward and Bella as the main characters (see the DA review and comments for details). I'm not sure at what point in the process the names were changed.
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bethaboo



Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pwm in mi wrote:

It seems I am a little late to the party re: this book and it's origins. Just to be clear, are you saying that the H/h were originally Edward and Bella?

I told my sister I was posting this inquiry and would keep her updated re: the response. Never did I imagine I would find out this golden nugget. She LOVES the Twlight series. I wonder how this will change her reading of the book.


Yep, 50 Shades was a Twilight fanfiction called Master of the Universe. Or at least the first part of it is. I know the original story was ridiculously long, so I think she split it into a trilogy. As far as I have been told, the only thing that was changed were the names. The rest is exactly the same.
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erika



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 504

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was an awesome read. It was my first ebook. Bought the other 2 after reading 50 Shades of Gray. Read the original fanfict too.
I luved that Christian wasn't the usual fake alpha bad boy hero tho bdsm isnt my thing to read.
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aiven



Joined: 11 Nov 2009
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hated. It.

It's been awhile since I read it, so I might be fuzzy on the details, but yeah. Not so much on the 50 Shades love train.

I don't have a problem with the subject matter--I read loads of bdsm/erotica, good and bad. I'm not entirely opposed to publishing fanfic with new names--I've read some excellent fanfic in my day. I just thought this was an ugly, badly written, unromantic book about stupid, hardheaded people. And not romancey hardheadedness--annoying, frustrating, wallbanging hardheadedness. For example: The heroine, a character I despised, couldn't even do simple things, like not use e-mail to send potentially damaging personal information to the hero at his corporate address. And he, the dumbass, kept up his side of the conversation WHILE repeatedly asking her not to do this stupid thing. And Christian has this crazy-weird-damaged relationship with his first lover, one that's obviously messed up, and he absolutely refuses to see this despite all the overwhelming evidence. Plus all the inner goddess crap. And about 100 other things.

tl;dr: The writing was lazy and repetitive, and once I knew it was Twilight fanfic, I couldn't unsee it. Plus I hated the H/H--him for his crazy immature behavior, and her because she's TSTL.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 525

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe that people are paying quite a bit of money for such a poorly written and poorly edited piece of fan fic dreck.

Of course the writer is laughing all the way to the bank.
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bethaboo



Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aiven wrote:
I'm not entirely opposed to publishing fanfic with new names--I've read some excellent fanfic in my day. I just thought this was an ugly, badly written, unromantic book about stupid, hardheaded people. And not romancey hardheadedness--annoying, frustrating, wallbanging hardheadedness.


this. you said it better than I ever could.
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sbmrb1



Joined: 05 Feb 2010
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:54 pm    Post subject: The Fifty Shades Series Reply with quote

There are a million reviews, analyses, opinion pieces, all over the websites, blogs, goodreads, you name it. EVERYONE has an opinion. So why NOT read it? I purchased all three books, read them and, quite frankly, was annoyed, enthralled, happy, annoyed again, but got a lot of entertainment value out of the books. I have paid many times over for many historical romances, romantic suspense, PNR, etc., that I have forgotten easily as soon as I finished them - but you will NOT forget these books, no matter where you fall on the love/hate spectrum. My friends who normally will not read this type of book (they are usually chick-lit - which is too much introspection and girly bonding for the most part for me), have all read this series based on the word of mouth, and now all want to talk abou it! I am not sure I am brave enough to have any discussion OUT LOUD with them about the content of the book - but I am certainly brave enough to read the books and laugh that everyone I know now has a least one of the books in the series. Even my husband heard about the book series (from his secretary of all people) and asked me about it today. In fact, he seems interested in reenacting a few (hopefully milder scenes). Its a lark to read, and imminently discussable if you dare to actually read them. Perhaps you may actually like them?!
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sbmrb1: thank you, you expressed so well what I am feeling about these series too. I've read books 1 and 2 so far and though I loved the 2nd book less than the 1st one (it lacked the tension and the energy of the first one for me and some of the repetitions started to bug me, like how many times you can say "this beautiful man", etc.), still I intend to buy book 3 and read it in the next two weeks.

I am surprised as is sbmrb1 at how many people condemn this book without reading it and also I am a bit upset by pronouncements of some of these people or those who read it that there's something wrong with people who loved it or that only people with poor taste could love it or how people could vote for this book on the annual poll, etc.

I don't consider my literary tastes poor by a long shot and I am not apologetic about loving this book AT ALL. My reaction to books is mostly visceral - I give it an A or B+ if I could not put it down, could not wait to pick it up and could not stop thinking about it afterwards. Of course there are tons of fine literary books that produced this reaction in me - Lolita, the Lymond Chronicles, The Hireling by L.P. Hartly and many more. But there are authors that are just not for me, like Leo Tolstoy, Henry James, and some others.

The same goes for romance. I love most of the books that are considered well-written and great stories like those by Anne Stuart, Judith Ivory, Sherry Thomas, etc. But some others well loved and considered great by others either fall flat for me or I even hate them.

So I think that the problem here is not that the novels are badly written (maybe they are not very well edited, I admit, especially the 2nd one) but the eternal phenomenon of different tastes.

Jamie: you call this book
Quote:
a poorly written and poorly edited piece of fan fic dreck
and you have a right to this opinion if you have actually read this book just as I have a right to say that I consider "The Countess Below Stairs" by Eve Ibbotson a poorly written piece of dreck. Seriously, why does she get away with all her one-dimensional characters and all her repetitions? Other well-liked romance that are in my bottom five are Unveiled by Courntey Milan and Here Comes the Groom by Karina Bliss (which I called anti-romance).

I had never read any Twighlight books, any fanfic of any kind and bought FSoG after I saw it on top of many Goodreads lists. The reading was immensely absorbing and as soon as I finished it, I knew I was going to buy the 2nd one (I made myself wait 5 days, by the way I bought the books on the publisher's website for $8 each, money very well spent).

As soon as I finished the book I immediately wanted to reread it. That's the best grade for a book for me - that's an automatic keeper.

One of the things that I loved about this book was the conflict between the hero with BDSM makeup and the heroine without any desire to be a submissive. This makes for a very fresh and interesting conflict.

I am not at all into BDSM but I read erotic romance and erotica, some of it BDSM (out of curiosity). Just before this book I finished Breaking Free by Cherise Sinclair which is considered a very good BDSM ER. I liked it, it was gook but it was more my mental reaction. I hardly ever thought about his book after I finished.
Maybe because I cannot relate to any submissive heroines (or heroines that just discover they are submissives in like a span of a night), I had not loved a single BDSM book before. The conflict in E.L. James's books is very well written, I could easily relate to the heroines feelings about it and the sex scenes with BDSM elements are one of the hottest I've ever read (especially two scenes in Fifty Shades Darker).

At the same time, after I read FSoG I was not sure if it was erotica or not, for me it was just a great book that made me think and feel and I was not thinking of the sex scenes but of the h/H relationship in general.
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erika



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 504

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaime wrote:
I can't believe that people are paying quite a bit of money for such a poorly written and poorly edited piece of fan fic dreck.

Of course the writer is laughing all the way to the bank.


It was well worth the price and a much better read than Judy Cuevas' Bliss.
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