Warning to my dad – you might want to skip reading this post.
Your little girl
I thought that instead of planning out a logical, thorough and professional review of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, I would simply begin a stream of consciousness post that would take you on the roller coaster that my head/heart is on right now.
First thing’s first: as I stated in my first post, I wasn’t even sure I wanted people to know that I’ve read such a book in the same way that I’m not sure I want my mom to know that I’ve had relations with my husband. It’s like we both know it’s happened because I’m a married woman, but we don’t have to discuss it. If people who have not been under a rock knew that I read this book, they would know what type of book I have read.
Also, I read the book pretty quickly. That means that I either:
a.) knew what all of the sexual terminology was and could zip right through it
b.) I don’t have a clue, so I skimmed past it to the dialogue
I don’t know which one I would rather people thought of me.
Another thing about this book is the reviews that I have read are quite opposing. People either are giving it 5 out of 5 stars, or are throwing holy water on the book and warning people that you will go blind if you read it. The last book that I read that was so polarizing was the Bible. (Please don’t send me hate mail about that statement…a joke is a joke, folks)
So enough of that silliness. What did I really think about the book? I loved it.
The story is actually quite gripping, with or without the highly erotic overtone. But that’s what sells. I don’t know that as many women (and now men) would have purchased this book were it not for the taboo/high coital concentration factor. Well played, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
As someone who has been trained to read a piece of literature from different aspects (feminist, historical, educational perspectives) and isn’t TOO swept up in the passion of the text, I can appreciate what Ms. James has done with the protagonist/antagonist character development. We see a growth, a coming of age (no pun intended) for the Anastasia, Ana for short, as she is swept off her feet and onto her back by the dominant and suave Mr. Christian Grey.
I find E.L. James’ word choice to be exceptional and illustrative during some of the most private and intimate situations. Where novels of its genre in the past have used such trite terminology as “throbbing member” or “manhood,” Ms. James chooses a vocabulary for a more, again pardon my pun, adult audience. And even though the sexual scenes may make many blush, James does have a legitimate voice. I mean, naming the masochist Christian?? I love the irony.
At the end of the novel, the audience has made a connecting with both Anastasia and Christian. Neither are flat characters; this couple offers more than a voyeuristic escape to the reader. They grow and develop throughout this novel, and as the last pages turn over, I am left rooting for them. And this is the trait of a developed author.
So while I may not want to have Fifty Shades of Grey as the next selection for a family book club meeting, I am eager to share my thoughts with my girlfriends over a Cosmopolitan or two….or five.