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Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James- Opinions/Reviews
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Claire



Joined: 01 Apr 2007
Posts: 1309
Location: around Atlanta

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read the first three chapters on amazon and I'm thinking of buying it. I didn't know it was originally Twilight fanfic but that doesn't bother me. I think it's really good! It reminds me of the old school Harlequins ...sure there's a lot of stereotypes but it's like putting on an old pair of comfortable shoes. Mind, I haven't got to the bdsm parts. It's interesting that no sex has happened yet and it's chapter 3. I like a little build up. This book seems like a refreshed version of what I've always loved about romance...

Btw, I found out about the book because it was on the Today show this morning. Dr Drew Pinsky actually kind of said this book was dangerous ...like maybe women will want to go out and I guess be victimized?! It's fiction! Rolling Eyes I can't believe he thinks women can't discern reality and make believe.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Claire wrote:


Btw, I found out about the book because it was on the Today show this morning. Dr Drew Pinsky actually kind of said this book was dangerous ...like maybe women will want to go out and I guess be victimized?! It's fiction! Rolling Eyes I can't believe he thinks women can't discern reality and make believe.




Yes, this AM, I saw that piece on The Today Show. Dr. Pinsky also said...and I can't quote his exact words, but it was something along the lines that child abusers are attracted to this type of "violence" in books and that makes it dangerous. *huh?* Then they show a group of women who read it in their book club. They didn't look dangerous to me. The book was referred to as a "bodice ripper" and another person on the panel said that bodice rippers are back in style. Okay...
I hadn't really heard of this book because I hadn't read the thread here and don't really read reviews at the blogs where this was reviewed. I should hop over to Amazon to read a sample. See what all the fuss is about.
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LikesBadBoys



Joined: 11 Jun 2008
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like Dr. Drew is making the same arguments people have been making about romance for years (that's it's going to confuse and corrupt the women folk), but with a focus on abuse. He sold his soul to MTV, so luckily I tend to think that most people take what he says with a grain of salt anyway.

I guess I don't get how this book is more controversial than any other books that have very dark heroes, although I do understand how some of the language is on the cusp, especially when Christian has moments where he will express a desire to do certain things that he doesn't necessarily do to Ana. The desire itself is a bit disturbing, and more so if some of the things that are said and done are taken out of context.

I enjoyed the books and didn't really see the Twilight parallels until people started pointing them out. That's probably because I never made it past chapter one of the first Twilight book. I don't see the capacity to enjoy this book as any way indicative of ones reading palate either; there are a lot of people who still believe people who enjoy romance have no taste. It's unpleasant to see even a glimmer of that kind of argument applied here according to what books/genres of romance people enjoy.

For my part, I certainly don't feel the need to justify my enjoyment by citing books I've read. I'll just say my tastes are varied and I consumed this entire trilogy within a few days; it goes to the keeper shelf. As another mentioned, it's certainly not without flaws; you really have to suspend disbelief about some of the HEA of the secondary characters. I was able to look beyond that because I liked the main characters and found the writing style quite humorous throughout, Britishisms and all.
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doriko



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks LikesBadBoys, you've captured my thoughts exactly (and more eloquently than I could), especially this:

Quote:
It's unpleasant to see even a glimmer of that kind of argument applied here according to what books/genres of romance people enjoy.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 525

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read that the trilogy sold over 100'000 copies. That makes me despair for the reading taste of the masses, hee. Also making me LOL is one paper calling it "mommy porn" - can I call it navel gazing whiny porn?
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LikesBadBoys



Joined: 11 Jun 2008
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaime wrote:
I just read that the trilogy sold over 100'000 copies. That makes me despair for the reading taste of the masses, hee. Also making me LOL is one paper calling it "mommy porn" - can I call it navel gazing whiny porn?


A good amount of our grand English and American literary canon, not to mention our films, is comprised of of writers who took the basic framework of other brilliant minds and made something else. I'm not saying E.L. James is a Jean Rhys (in this context I suppose one would call her work a Bronte rip-off), but the concept isn't foreign or egregious.

I guess the fan-fic aspect of this doesn't bother me as much because most writers of romance are super fans of other writers of romance. And in fact, likely would never have put pen to paper had they not been. I don't know if any of them wrote fan fiction and subsequently had it published, but I am betting that Stephenie Meyers isn't losing any sleep, or dollars, behind any of this.

The other thing is that I have seen so many novels, romance and otherwise, that are basically a replica of other series (especially some of the newer paranorms), that I can bet this is a phenomenon that is here to stay. It's all a matter of whether or not the writer can cultivate their own reading base, E.L. James just happens to have done that.

On the off topic, mommy porn is an interesting term. I think I would rather keep bodice ripper though, if I have a choice. It reminds me of the covers of the romances my nana used to read.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 525

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say one thing I do like about this trilogy is the covers, especially the first one, very classy looking and elegant in a simple way.
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mirole



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

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can read about all the publicity the trilogy is getting in today's news on Dear Author:

http://dearauthor.com/features/industry-news/friday-news-deals-new-deals-50-hitting-all-the-papers

I am glad about the fact that so many women have the same reaction to the book as I.

Like Doriko, I'd like to thank LikesBadBoys for expressing her thoughts on the books phonomenon so eloquently.

For those who are on the fence as to whether to read it or not, I strongly recommend you read it and form your own opinion.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mirole wrote:
You can read about all the publicity the trilogy is getting in today's news on Dear Author:

http://dearauthor.com/features/industry-news/friday-news-deals-new-deals-50-hitting-all-the-papers

I am glad about the fact that so many women have the same reaction to the book as I.

Like Doriko, I'd like to thank LikesBadBoys for expressing her thoughts on the books phonomenon so eloquently.

For those who are on the fence as to whether to read it or not, I strongly recommend you read it and form your own opinion.




I'm curious now based on all the attention this book is getting. I hadn't thought to read it before. Hadn't read any reviews, or even read the thread here on AAR.
As to the DA review...why did she call that review "epic"? **oh well**
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:
As to the DA review...why did she call that review "epic"? **oh well**

Have you actually read the review? I would say it was pretty epic. Clearly Lazaraspaste was not happy with what she read, and she explained why not. In detail. The comments thread is pretty impressive, too. But if you so dislike DA, try Jessica's review at RRR. She's also trying to put together a list of recommendations for fans of 50 Shades.

Anyway, I certainly found both reviews more helpful than "it's so hot, it made me want to have sex with my husband all the time". Seriously, the media coverage is just embarrassing.
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LikesBadBoys



Joined: 11 Jun 2008
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yulie wrote:
xina wrote:
As to the DA review...why did she call that review "epic"? **oh well**

Have you actually read the review? I would say it was pretty epic. Clearly Lazaraspaste was not happy with what she read, and she explained why not. In detail. The comments thread is pretty impressive, too. But if you so dislike DA, try Jessica's review at RRR. She's also trying to put together a list of recommendations for fans of 50 Shades.

Anyway, I certainly found both reviews more helpful than "it's so hot, it made me want to have sex with my husband all the time". Seriously, the media coverage is just embarrassing.


Thanks for the links, Yulie. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that most of the recs that are given for those who like the Fifty series are BDSM books, but it is somewhat disappointing as one reader on another site mentioned.



Kind of spoilerish (not sure)




I don't think I have ever gone out of my way to find a "virgin heroine," but I will cop to enjoying really dark, tortured heroes with highly sensual natures. Dysfunctional doesn't bother me either, as long as both parties are aware of their baggage. That's probably what I would be looking for from a list of recommendations for readers who enjoyed the series. I read Dante's Inferno, which was supposed to be similiar. It was okay, but I don't know if I'd recommend it. Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster was pretty good, but it's definitely not erotica. The complex relationship and good plot are there without the really kinky stuff.

I'm not well-read in the erotica genre, but I do think it makes sense to recommend something like Megan Hart's Dirty. Mostly because you get a similiar narrative perspective, but this time it's the heroine who has this complex image of herself that's tied to her sexual history. That was a fantastic book. The only other authors of erotica I've read are Joey Hill and Lisa Marie Rice. I don't think Rice is anything even close to this series subject matter, but people might enjoy some of Hill's work. My favorite of hers is Beloved Vampire, a paranorm, which has BDSM elements that are integral to the intimacy of the H/H and storyline. I think that's the only way I enjoy BDSM, I don't necessarily seek it out per se. Many of the recs are focused on the BDSM, but I always enjoy seeing what else others like to read.


Last edited by LikesBadBoys on Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Yulie



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1150
Location: Elsewhere

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LikesBadBoys wrote:
Thanks for the links, Yulie. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that most of the recs that are given for those who like the Fifty series are BDSM books, but it is somewhat disappointing as one reader on another site mentioned.

You have to keep in mind that a lot of the people on RRR have not read 50 Shades, so there was an attempt to try and come up with stuff that at least includes some of the features that Jessica mentioned.

Cara McKenna was mentioned there a lot, and I think she's fantastic. Her books are not at all similar to 50 SoG, however.

Quote:
I don't think I have ever gone out of my way to find a "virgin heroine," but I will cop to enjoying really dark, tortured heroes with highly sensual natures. That's probably what I would be looking for from a list of recommendations for readers who enjoyed the series.

In that case... have you read The Bronze Horseman? Alexander is an aggressive kind of guy, and has been through a lot; Tatiana is very young and inexperienced when she meets him, but she certainly grows up in the course of the book. No BDSM, but lots of sex - though you will have to get through several hundred pages of the Siege of Leningrad to get to it.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:


Yes, this AM, I saw that piece on The Today Show. Dr. Pinsky also said...and I can't quote his exact words, but it was something along the lines that child abusers are attracted to this type of "violence" in books and that makes it dangerous. *huh?* Then they show a group of women who read it in their book club. They didn't look dangerous to me. The book was referred to as a "bodice ripper" and another person on the panel said that bodice rippers are back in style. Okay...
I hadn't really heard of this book because I hadn't read the thread here and don't really read reviews at the blogs where this was reviewed. I should hop over to Amazon to read a sample. See what all the fuss is about.


I saw this on the Today Show as well and put it on my wish list so that I could see what all the fuss was about. The women sure looked like they were having fun with it in their book club, or maybe that was because the wine was flowing? Very Happy

Twilight fan fiction? What does that mean, are Twilight characters written into it?
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Yulie"]
xina wrote:
As to the DA review...why did she call that review "epic"? **oh well**

Have you actually read the review? I would say it was pretty epic. Clearly Lazaraspaste was not happy with what she read, and she explained why not. In detail. The comments thread is pretty impressive, too. quote]

It's just a review. To the loyal fans of DA, maybe it is epic. I'll give you that. To the rest of us. Not so much. *oh well*
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:
[



I saw this on the Today Show as well and put it on my wish list so that I could see what all the fuss was about. The women sure looked like they were having fun with it in their book club, or maybe that was because the wine was flowing? Very Happy

Twilight fan fiction? What does that mean, are Twilight characters written into it?



I was a little shocked that the members on the panel...Dr. Drew, though it was "dangerous". REally? Do they not know that erotica exists? What about the books where people are killed and tortured? Aren't those dangerous as well.
And yes...those women looked they were having fun...and not a bit dangerous. Maybe a little drunk, but whatever. Smile
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