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Fifty Shades of Grey - Book Review

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by Olga (subscribe)
Have been living in Melbourne for 10 years and absolutely love this city! Always looking for new things to explore and can't stay away from a bargain.
Published May 8th 2012
I first heard about Fifty Shades of Grey on a book recommendation forum, apparently this book was 'what every woman in the States is reading at the moment' and even my local tiny library was ordering it. I was very intrigued.

A quick search on Google brought me to Wikipedia and I discovered that Fifty Shades of Grey is New York Times #1 bestselling erotic fiction paperback and e-book by E. L. James. The book and consequently the trilogy, was developed from a Twilight fanfiction originally entitled Masters of The Universe, main characters being Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. However, after comments concerning the sexual nature of the material, the author removed the story from the fanfiction websites and later rewrote the piece with the principle characters being Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

Reading the first chapter it felt very much like another Mills & Boone book – Christian Grey is only 27 but he is the Founder and CEO of Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc. He is very rich, extremely handsome yet the tabloids never seen him with a date (insert cliché number one). We then have Anastasia Steele, a 21-year-old recent college graduate, sexually inexperienced with low self- esteem (yep, another cliché) that literally stumbles into his office. Let the love story begin.

But this story takes a wild twist when Christian, "poor, fucked-up, kinky, philanthropic, Christian" provides Anastasia with a BDSM contract that she must sign if she wants to be a part of his life and pass through the doors to the "Red Room of Pain". The contract specifies, in no less than 22 clauses and 4 Appendixes (control much?) the rules by which Christian, "The Dominant", and Anastasia, "The Submissive" are to adhere and the consequences if one shall fail.

"Clause 15.5 The Dominant may discipline the Submissive as necessary to ensure the Submissive fully appreciates her role of subservience to the Dominant and to discourage unacceptable conduct. The Dominant may flog, spank, whip or corporally punish the Submissive as he sees fit, for purposes of discipline, for own personal enjoyment, or for any other reason which he is not obliged to provide."

However, not all clauses are so harsh; clause 15.10 states that "the Dominant shall not loan his Submissive to another Dominant," who said that romance was dead?

The book is told from Anastasia's point of view and we get to experience her turmoil in wanting to be with the unpredictable and controlling Mr Grey but feeling that this life style is too overwhelming for her (which I'm sure many women who get a BDSM contract on the second date can relate to). Could she surrender to him completely and live by his rules?

I have no idea how this book managed to be in New York Times #1 bestselling erotic fiction. It is hardly a masterpiece but it is erotic fiction indeed; with many (many) explicit sexual scenes featuring BDSM. At times the relationship between Christian and Anastasia actually seems fun and sweet but then Christian will reveal a fantasy, such as to to have Anastasia "bound and gagged in a crate" or would like to punish her for rolling her eyes and your insides just cringe and I found myself wanting to shout - get some self respect girl and leave him.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, read this book. However, if you don't agree with Rihanna and chains and whips don't excite you, perhaps give this book a miss.
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Why? To see what all the fuss is about
When: Join in the fad now
Where: At most bookshops
Cost: $17 RRP
Your Comment
I've read the books and seen the movies. Sure the books have a lot of BDSM but what I liked about the books if that the author explained (quite well) what's happens to the minds of children in abusive relationships. Christian was able to handle his dark past and be successful by masking his life, being back in control and being the dominant. Look at the world today, kids turn to drugs and suicide. To really understand a life like that and why people think the way they do,you have to get into their minds and release the turning point of hurt where it all began. I love your humour in the article as well. Well done
by Susan J Bowes (score: 3|2188) 740 days ago
Was intrigued to read your review. As an erotic fiction writer, I've been meaning to get the book to see what all the fuss is about. I know - NY bestsellerlist....and now a millionaire!! Great review. Thanks.
by Vanessa de Largie (score: 3|1343) 3376 days ago
great review! enjoyed it!the book does appear to set feminism back by 100 years. its a pity to see how women still enjoy the idea of being submissive thus piggybacking this book to the best seller list.
by Joy (score: 3|1934) 3312 days ago
No not everyone I’ve never read it and never wanted to I did finally decide to watch the movie and didn’t like it so definitely never watched the sequels
by Leanne Sampson-Bowden (score: 2|144) 507 days ago
Loved Fifty Shades and am up to my 3rd book.
by dearl (score: 0|3) 3314 days ago
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