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Books
Fifty Shades of Grey...
By BloodyDanceToesmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3782, member since Fri Nov 29, 2002
On Fri Mar 30, 2012 02:59 PM

(Ok Mods, as this is a kind of erotic book, I hope it's okay to discuss.)

So, the big question - has anyone read them?

If you don't know anything about this, basically it's Twilight fan-fiction, with the names changed. I believe it originally had the names of the Twilight characters when it was originally written as "Master of the Universe". Then, when Random House bought it, they changed up the names and title.

As for the story, here's the best blurb I could find (from goodreads):

When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.


tl;dr? Christian (aka Edward) is an S&M freak, and Anastasia (aka Bella) is his submissive. And yes, I read it.

I had to read it. I was getting so much gossip about it, I couldn't resist. Turns out, it's like really trashy television - you know it's probably dumb'ing you down a bit by watching, and it's really not that good, but you have to keep watching (reading).

I have also read the Twilight Series (pretty much for the same reasons above). And it takes SO MANY things from Twilight. I'm actually really disappointed in Random House for publishing this. Christian talks about how he wishes he could read Ana's mind. Ana is always slipping or falling and is really timid. Christian is wealthy and likes fast cars. Ana drives an old beat up car until Christian forces her to take a new one. Christians siblings are just like those in Twilight. Ana's mom lives in Georgia (not quite Florida), and her dad lives near her. Oh shocker of all shockers - they're in Washington too. I think 1 good re-write with an editor would have changed this book drastically.

As E.L. James is apparently an older (40?) woman and a huge Twilight fan, it came as no shocker that her writing is actually worse than expected (take that as you will). It seems as though the entire series is written by a 9th grader. No plot or character development, a complete lack of ability to write out good sentences, and not much imagination. There is no real drama, no real climax, just.. eh.

But, I'll admit, once I started reading, I had to read all of them. And it took about 3 days. I just had to figure out what was going on. The sex scenes, while descriptive, weren't even entirely graphic or erotic. More factual than anything, and completely flooded with the internal monologue of Ana (Oh my god, oh my god, etc. etc. etc.). I'll just say it was entertaining. However, it's made me debate looking up other books like it (I've never really delved into the erotic/romance books before...)

But, no one I know has read this, and I just HAD to see if anyone else had. So, D.Net, anyone else take the bait?

50 Replies to Fifty Shades of Grey...

re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By Prima_ballerina5member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1078, member since Fri May 27, 2005
On Sat Mar 31, 2012 07:49 PM
I've read the first book in the series, basically for the same reason that you did. I have to agree that they're very addictive. Even with the bad writing and lack of character development, I'll definitely be reading the next two.
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sat Mar 31, 2012 08:08 PM
Ah, so that is what that book is about. I saw on the Today Show the other day Hoda mentioned and made reference to the book. I only clicked on the thread to see what it is about. I might read just out of curiosity, but probably not.
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By AinetheDragonPremium member Comments: 2340, member since Tue Jun 25, 2002
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 04:46 PM
I read it :P

It really is "Twilight for Grown-ups" and I had fun placing all the Twilight characters in their "Shades of Grey" roles. I thought it was interesting looking at Bella and Edwards relationship when you term it like Ana and Christians.

The writing was not particularly great, but if you look at it with other "trashy romance novels" to compare, its pretty typical in terms of the writing style.

I kind of liked that Christian is so matter-of fact about enjoying his wealth. When Ana asks why he bought those books for him, he just says "because I can, why not?" And he seems to truly enjoy taking Ana on the helicopter etc.

As far as the sex goes... it was supposed to be all shocking with the S&M, but I didn't find it that outrageous. They had alot of "vanilla" sex....
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By madseasonPremium member Comments: 1975, member since Wed Jan 04, 2006
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 06:17 PM
Edited by madseason (148702) on 2012-04-23 18:20:05
I heard about this book and saw an interview with the author. She said she was really inspired by 'Twilight', which put me off right away as 'Twilight' has to be some of the worst writing I have read in my adult life, even if it's intended for tweens/teens. Moreover, the 'Twilight' plot is hard to take seriously and the characters are ludicrous. So the fact that this grown-woman author was so inspired by the Twilight series made me fear that 'Fifty Shades of Grey' could be no better than Twilight, and god knows, could even be worse. I still checked it out at the bookstore and read exactly five pages before going 'well, that's lousy.' It's just poor writing.

I find it interesting that so many people are worked up by the vanilla S&M aspects of the book. Poor Anne Rice. She did vampires and S&M long ago and far, FAR better but never received such acclaim. Her 'Sleeping Beauty' books are downright scandalous and made me stop and close my mouth out of shock numerous times- but at least they are well written. They certainly aren't 'vanilla' however so maybe 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' is more accessible to your average occasional reader out there? The 'Twi-moms' I know are the biggest advocates 'Fifty Shades' and I fear it's just because they've never read anything better.
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By BloodyDanceToesmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3782, member since Fri Nov 29, 2002
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 06:49 PM
^Madseason, you and I are on the same page. I always tread lightly around the d.net woods, for fear of upsetting a twi-hard. It was fan-fiction. She was a bit MORE than inspired, and you can tell she has never had a qualified editor read her work. She's very... elementary. Just like the Twilight series.

As for "vanilla".. yeah, I suppose it kind of was. I believe I've seen more horrifying acts in movies than in this book (oh, he tossed you on the bed? He spanked you? Say it ain't so!) But, again, after spending hours up to my eyeballs in literary criticism, sometimes it's good to read something so trashy.

Also, totally checking out that Anne Rice set. =P
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By madseasonPremium member Comments: 1975, member since Wed Jan 04, 2006
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:26 PM
Yeah, it can be totally fun to read the easy-reader books that have become so popular. I loved just sitting back and reading the Hunger Games books. They aren't well written necessarily, but have a great story and are fun fast-paced reading.

The Anne Rice books are... I don't know the word. Let me just say that they are for VERY open-minded people who are ok with real BDSM themes (gay, straight and bi) and aren't easily offended. I'm pretty darn liberal about sex but there were times I was blushing and thinking "holy heck lady, you have a filthy mind!" It's almost like erotica, the story is really not a big part of it. I couldn't finish it because even I was thinking "they're doing WHAT now!!" Lol, you've been warned. :P
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:41 PM
I just bought the 'Sleeping Beauty' 1st book by Anne. I can always count on DDN to give me scandalous books :P
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By madseasonPremium member Comments: 1975, member since Wed Jan 04, 2006
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:45 PM
It is SCANDALOUS. Like... woah. I'm feeling embarrassed just talking about it. *turns red*
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3024, member since Sun Jun 20, 2004
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:58 PM
madseason is totally nervous now I can tell, haha, because all of these DDNers are going to come back and say "omg madseason I cannot believe you recommended that book, you dirty girl!" Just kidding, I am totally going to check it out, I have read Anne Rice before, but not that series.
re: Fifty Shades of Grey... (karma: 2)
By madseasonPremium member Comments: 1975, member since Wed Jan 04, 2006
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:02 PM
Edited by madseason (148702) on 2012-04-23 23:03:04
^ EXACTLY!

People will go read it and then I'll post something about darning pointe shoes or something equally innocent and people will think "oh her...the perv who reads that filty stuff!" Oh gee.

Well, some naughty (VERY naughty) person may enjoy them. They were a little too much for me!
re: Fifty Shades of Grey... (karma: 1)
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3024, member since Sun Jun 20, 2004
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:03 PM
Even if I like the book I will come back here and vehemently claim that I just could not handle it as it was too risqué for my taste!
re: Fifty Shades of Grey... (karma: 2)
By Odessamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11250, member since Tue Feb 26, 2002
On Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:13 PM
Image hotlink - 'http://farm1.staticflickr.com/139/319073031_a5043c89be.jpg'

Erin.
::righteous babe::
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:14 AM
My kindle says that I am 79% done with the book. Here is what I think about it.

Spoiler: Show
OH MY GOD
re: Fifty Shades of Grey... (karma: 2)
By Coccinellamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5930, member since Sat Jan 25, 2003
On Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:22 AM
Bahaha, those Sleeping Beauty books are available on audible.com and I clicked preview to hear some of it. Can you imagine being that narrator that had to read this in a recording studio?
re: Fifty Shades of Grey... (karma: 1)
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:28 AM
Oh gosh, that would be hilarious to see the facial expressions!

That was the most awful book that I have ever read. I shall judge any woman who thinks they are ok to read!

Spoiler: Show
At the risk of someone from work reading this thread...lets just say...I ordered the other two books ;) MWHAHAH I am SOOO glad they are on my Kindle, so people on the train don't know what I am reading!
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3024, member since Sun Jun 20, 2004
On Tue Apr 24, 2012 03:47 PM
Wait just a darn minute, YYD you finished that book in less than a day? I think that speaks volumes for what you actually thought about the book ;) I really shouldn't talk, because right now I am trying to finish up Lolita, and I don't really know how much more messed up you can get than that book.

I don't buy books cause I am cheap, but I am on the waiting list to get it on my Kindle from the library. Just the fact that there is an awfully long waiting list for the book means that there are plenty of women willing to read something scandalous, so I figured might as well sign me up too!
re: Fifty Shades of Grey... (karma: 1)
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17315, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Tue Apr 24, 2012 03:54 PM
Tardy to the party but the following from the OP made me lol.

no real climax,


Unsurprising.
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By Meganmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12956, member since Wed Mar 17, 2004
On Tue Apr 24, 2012 04:38 PM
I picked this up when I was at the bookstore recently (there was a big display of all three of the books), mostly because I thought the cover looked like the graphic designer was a rank amateur, and I read, like madseason, exactly five pages before rolling my eyes and putting it back down. What tripe. And don't get me wrong, I love a trashy novel now and then.
re: Fifty Shades of Grey... (karma: 1)
By Dancing_EMTmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3466, member since Wed Dec 08, 2004
On Tue Apr 24, 2012 05:41 PM
I love erotic literature. I downloaded the novel. It was ok, I've read waaaa y better stuff on a website that allows users to upload their own erotic stories. If you want to know the website, PM me. They have stories that would make a hooker blush. ;)
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By BloodyDanceToesmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3782, member since Fri Nov 29, 2002
On Wed Apr 25, 2012 02:52 PM
Louise wrote:

Tardy to the party but the following from the OP made me lol.

no real climax,


Unsurprising.


Touche! =P
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:31 AM
DDN just got all hot up in here. So many scandalous ladies ;)
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By Munkensteinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 14381, member since Mon Aug 11, 2003
On Thu Apr 26, 2012 07:39 AM
I can't believe that they're talking about making this into a movie...I haven't even read it yet but based on what I've heard/read about these books, I'm really wondering how they'll turn this stuff into a movie, haha.
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Apr 26, 2012 07:48 AM
I think I got through the first book in the sleeping beauty series in a day or 2 as well. It was interesting. The library has them on eAudiobook... ummm no thanks.

The Shades of Grey books have a huge wait list on them from the library too... I'm trying to be a good girl and not buy books, but I think that overdrive isn't working well on my Kobo Vox.

I'm proud of myself though I've read 7 books this year... which is more than I think I've read in a few years combined.

I'm trying to go through good free books... so Peter Pan is what I'm reading.

Maybe for mothers day hubby will get me a gift card for Chapters and I can buy some books... LOL.
re: Fifty Shades of Grey...
By BloodyDanceToesmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3782, member since Fri Nov 29, 2002
On Thu Apr 26, 2012 09:59 AM
We've been debating who is going to play the characters at work. So far, for christian, we think the guy who played the winklevoss twins in the social network is our fave.
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