Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Title: Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: E.L. James
Publisher: Vintage
Release Date: 04/03/2012
ISBN: 0345803485

This is a little late as far as reviews go, but I just ended up having my old computer die on me- meaning that reviews and such took a backseat. Anywho, on with the review!

I know what you're thinking. Why four stars for this book? Why such a high rating when I've stated how horrible it is? The answer is simple: because it's so deliciously bad that it's achieved an almost Ed Wood quality.

Put quite frankly, the writing is atrocious. You have an overabundance and overkill of scenes where we're told how gorgeous Christian is, how much Ana lusts after him, and other things that are quite unnecessary. We're given so much abdominal quivering and convulsing that I'm convinced that the whole reason Ana refuses to eat through most of the book is because she's an IBS sufferer and cannot eat many items for fear that she'll get a case of the trots. Yet this is all written with such hilariously bad lines that I kept shoving the book under the noses of some of my coworkers and telling them "read this part!" By the by, if you ever want to watch reaction shots, turn the book to page 430 and have them read the tampon scene. It's pretty easy to see when they get to that part.

As far as the sex goes, it's a little monotonous at times and not really as sizzling as many would have you believe. There are some nice spots, but generally this is rather tame as far as erotica goes. James will never overtake Zane as far as gratuitous overly detailed sex scenes go, although she'll probably be better known to the average person. It's just hard to see the sizzle in this, and not because the media has taken to calling this "mommy porn".  However I will say that the sex scenes are the most entertaining parts of the book, as James leaps into them with gusto. The non-sexual scenes are just a little dull, to be honest.

But the bottom line remains: should you read this? I have to say... why not? It's bad, it's probably one of the least challenging books that you'll ever read in your life (and this is including the Archie comics you flip through at the register), but there's just this cheerful energy in this book that I can't deny. James certainly had fun writing this and her own admission that the writing is terrible helps make it that much easier to poke fun at it. I wouldn't necessarily recommend purchasing it, but if you can get it then it's worth flipping through.

4 out of 5 stars


  1. Hah! Your review explains exactly why this book is in my TBR pile. I'm not expecting great literature (or even really titillating sex, as my best friend is a published erotica writer whose BDSM series is probably far more extreme than anything in 50 Shades), but I'm hoping for lots of snicker-worthy entertainment value. Abdominal quivers and tampon scene, here I come!

  2. Oh man, you won't forget the tampon scene. Every time I look in my bathroom closet I'm reminded of that scene. It's the gift that just keeps on giving. XD