Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One - erotic fiction by Vintage Books - review by Midnightsun327

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Fifty Shades of Fan Fiction

If you enjoy a quick, first-date-to-engaged-in-under-a-month style of romance novel, this book is for you. Any Twilight fan will enjoy this plot. Experienced members of the BDSM community won't be able to prevent themselves from dissecting every scene and activity described in this poorly researched novel.
Published:
Pros:
Quick, easy read.
Cons:
Poorly researched
Rating by reviewer:
2
extremely useful review

About author

E.L. James originally wrote this book as Twilight fan fiction. The first manuscript was published on the internet on Twilight fan message boards. She has, admittedly, never experienced real kink in her personal life, but thought it would be fun to write a kink-based erotic story centered around her favorite characters of the Twilight series.

When the original work was published, it was met with a popularity E.L. James did not expect and it is obvious when you read the current published version of the books that she is not a professional writer, nor does she possess more than a basic knowledge of the technical aspects of BDSM and kink, her chosen subject matter.
    • Dull

Content / Style / Audience

It is painfully obvious while reading the first book that it was written as a more mature version of a basic teenage romance novel. The stalker behavior of the male lead borders on outright illegal activity. His mysterious childhood and the lack of details about how he became the millionaire mogul he is now created confusion for the reader.

When the female lead is introduced, she is a demure, inexperienced girl, who has never really had a boyfriend. Her lack of sexual experience is accentuated in her actions, to the point that many will think she is only a child and not a college graduate.

The rich, mysterious Christian takes the young, virgin co-ed Anna into his dungeon, the Red Room of Pain, and gives her a sexual awakening. The first book of the series details their relationship as it starts out, as they get to know each other, as Anna learns the very few facts Christian allows to slip out about himself.

In the book, there are a few basic practices that are often ignored by the BDSM community, such as a written, legal non-disclosure agreement, as well as a detailed contract between Christian and Anna.
While the romance story is good as a plot line for the books, the added BDSM elements are poorly researched and immature to an experienced member of the BDSM community. Some of the activities in the Red Room of Pain are impractical, even for the most experienced BDSM enthusiast.

The very layout of the Red Room of Pain defies logic. It seems that, with every chapter of the book, Christian's entire penthouse continues to grow, his playroom getting larger and larger each time someone enters the playroom.

The language used by Anna throughout the books goes against her sexual development with terms like "inner goddess" and "he touched me down there" making up the majority of her sexual vocabulary.

As someone who is experienced with the BDSM community, I found it insulting that Christian would use a tool on Anna without first letting her see it, touch it, smell it, feel it. These are the very building blocks of trust and learning in a BDSM relationship. The fact that he uses these tools on Anna without first allowing her to explore the playroom on her own and decide where her limits are is almost an uneducated slap in the face.

There is a scene in the book that takes place in the playroom where Christian sets out to push Anna past her limits, pushing her to that point where she uses her safe word. To intentionally set out to push a person to their safe word is one of the easiest ways to break the trust that is the corner stone of every BDSM relationship. The over-use of Ben Wa Balls is a big issue with the books as well, this is unhealthy and can lead to urinary tract infections the way they are used in the story. Christian leaves nipple clamps on Anna for extended periods of time, the first time she ever wears clamps, they are left on for hours, which can cause nerve damage.

The events that start the story throw up many red flags, as well. Christian becomes a stalker and finds out every detail about Anna and her parents, he buys her a car that is bugged, he even buys the company she works for, just to control her. His actions are those of a control freak, domineering man, not the passionate, loving, gentle Dominant he makes himself out to be. His actions give a negative image of the good Dominants around the world.

The writing style of the book itself is very juvenile. The sentence structure is, for the most part, on an elementary level and the vocabulary used in the novel seems to be aimed at a high school student, despite the adult subject matter. The book is geared towards adults who are mainly looking for a quick, semi-erotic read.
    • Bdsm
    • Fiction

Design

This book is available in paperback and e-book versions. Since I read the e-book version, I cannot comment on the quality of the binding or layout of the actual paper book.
    • Ebook
    • Soft cover

Personal comments

Before attempting anything that is described in the book, please remember it is a work of fiction. Do your own research before just trying any new activity, please.
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Comments
  • Zandrock
    Zandrock  
    thanks for sharing
  • SMichelle
    SMichelle  
    Thanks for the review.
  • debo
    debo  
    good review
  • NastyNed
    NastyNed  
    Thanks!
  • Terri69
    Terri69  
    Great review! Thanks!
  • sexytileena / absolutely love sex
    sexytileena / absolutely love sex  
    excellent review
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