Book Review- Fifty Shades Of Grey

Title: Book Review- Fifty Shades Of Grey

By: E.L James

This review is sponsored by: http:/

About the Author (From the book):

E L James is a TV executive, wife and mother of two, based in West London. Since early childhood, she dreamt of writing stories that readers would fall in love with, but put those dreams on hold to focus on her family and her career. She finally plucked up the courage to put pen to paper with her first novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. She is also the author of Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.

ISBN:     9780099579939

Cover Price:       Rs. 399.00

Rating:  3/5

Something about the book (from the Book’s cover):

When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind- until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.

Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.

But Grey is tormented by inner demons, and consumed by the need to control. As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets he keeps hidden from public view.

Now for my View:

Fifty Shades of Grey, the first installment of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, was first published in the year 2011 and since then it has reportedly sold over 65 million copies worldwide. In-fact it has also evidently surpassed the Harry Potter series as the fastest selling paperback of all time. As a result of the clamor around it, I also decided to give it a try. I wanted to see what the reason was for the book to be talked about sarcastically in literary circles when it had topped bestseller lists around the world. The whole equation seemed conflicting to me but then again if Chetan Bhagat could be ‘successful’, E.L James authoring a best seller was very much an acceptable concept to me! Also, my research on the internet about the series had augmented my curiosity manifolds; again for the simple reason that the book, which apparently sold millions and millions of copies, had more negative than positive reviews. So I picked up the book to discover, if I might say so, the mystery behind the overwhelming success of fifty shades of Grey!

Being an erotic romance novel, it wasn't a surprise that the book was based on sexual tension, passion and submission between the two main characters, Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel. There have been erotic novels around for a long time but I don’t recall reading about any other book of the same variety garnering success equivalent to Fifty Shades of Grey. E.L James has managed to write on a subject that is often spoken in hushed tones accompanied with raised eyebrows. There is an unwritten code apparently when it comes to talking about fiction such as this. In-fact  there always has been some sort of apprehension among people from even coming forth and admitting that they have actually read the book. It is wrong to pick up the book knowing that it is erotic fiction and expect it to be some sort of an intellectual read. For those who are not truly comfortable about reading nuances of intimacy between a man and woman, the book might be uncomfortable to hold on to. The same was the case with me too but it was a challenge as well to read it with an open and unbiased mind. In doing so I managed to find the book honest in terms of fiction on the subject it dealt with.

The book is about a twenty two year old young girl, Anastasia, who falls head over heels in love with a young billionaire businessman, Christian. But is that love or just raw sexual attraction? The pull however is not one sided for Christian too seems to feel an uncontrollable urge to be with her. The conflict of whether the strange draw they feel is love or some sort of erotic power play is basically the central story line of this book. It also had depictions of restraint, sensory stimulation, role-playing, and a variety of interpersonal dynamics between these two consenting adults. It is a herculean task indeed to speak about sex in a novel and not be explicit about it. E.L James has managed to do it in a non-metaphorical and verbatim manner, which is brave perhaps considering it was her first book! Fifty Shades of Grey could actually be referred to as the Mills & Boon packaged specifically for this generation.

What perhaps is the bone of contention among readers is the quality of the language used in the book. Whether it could have been better? Certainly, there are times when you would wish that the language was superior. Whether it is too kinky to be even called a bestseller? Well, since the genre of the book is erotic fiction it would be silly to expect it to not dwell extensively on the subject. So in that genre it certainly could be and has been so for over a year! Whether the depiction of the female protagonist as too submissive is a good thing? Certainly not and the female protagonist’s character could have been carved in a manner that didn't objectify her urges; or her whole personality. The characters in the book including Christian Grey too could have been sketched in a better manner. A lot of British colloquialisms as well have been used in a story about American characters which could have been avoided with some research.  

Read it to find out what is it that makes the book tick. A word of advice however, this book should not be read with the expectation to find an underlying message about relationships and intimacy. Nevertheless there must be something in Fifty Shades of Grey for every other book that is published doesn't go on to become a bestseller, does it? But this certainly has in-spite of all the flak!

A word about the great people from who made it possible for me to read this book. I am glad that I am part of their review program. They don’t just send you any book but the best books out there that one could get their hands on. You can find this and more amazing books on their website.

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