Fifty Shades of Grey book 1 - erotic book by Vintage Books - review by freud13

Fifty Shades of Blah

Overall it was just okay. It was an easy read and could spark great conversations at the workplace, friends, or even a partner. It could cause the reader to examine their own sexual limits and maybe push them a bit further. Sadly, the female character is portrayed as weak, inexperienced, and at times, an unwilling participant in BDSM. The male character is portrayed as having some baggage, anger, stalker, and control issues that I just found more scary than erotic for most of the book.
Most of the sex scenes are hot, good conversation piece, easy read.
Female character is portrayed as inexperienced, emotional. More research about BDSM lifestyle.
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
There has been so much hype and controversy surrounding this book that I refused to read it for a while. I finally decided to pick it up and decide for myself if it is a win or an epic fail. I decided this book falls somewhere in the middle. There were things I liked about it and things that just did not work for me with this book. The premise of the book is that a young college student named Anastasia fills in for her sick roommate to interview a young entrepreneur named Christian Grey. After the interview the two see each other again and are both drawn to each other. However, Grey only enters into BDSM relationships where he is the dominant and his partner is the submissive. Ana has never experienced this before and has some hesitating. This book chronicles the affair that takes place between the two.

This 514 page book is an industry standard size paperback novel. It is a #1 New York Times Bestseller and has been flying off the bookstore shelves. This book is an erotic novel about a heterosexual couple having heterosexual intercourse. I will say that as a queer female, this is not really the book for me.

Some of the things I did not like about this book are how the female character Ana is portrayed. She is shown as this young woman who is clumsy and has poor self-esteem. She is shown in the book to think of herself as too thin, too pale, and generally unattractive. Her character talks about how attractive her female roommate is and how all the guys want her roommate. She meets this handsome attractive guy who is interested in her and she gets swept up in that. He has some stalker tendencies and tracks this girl by her cell phone, flies to another state to "surprise" her while she is visiting family, and tells her that her car is too old and crappy for her to drive. So he sells her car and buys her a brand new Audi. He is always on her case about eating more and telling her to clean her plate. He buys her clothes and tells her what to wear and how to do her hair. They have this whole push/pull dynamic where he's mean to her, but then tells her that he cannot live without her. It seems like a pretty classic abusive relationship with some BDSM play thrown in on top of that. The author really makes it seem like abuse and control go along with BDSM relationships. I think control does go along with BDSM relationships, but not abuse and stalking. I also did not like that the author made this woman a virgin who does not have any sexual experience or relationship experience. I also did not like how little focus there was on setting up safe words and that the female character never used them because she needed to prove how much pain she could take. I feel like this sort of book causes people to try BDSM in their own relationship without doing the proper research that is needed for something like BDSM. Also, the female character is written with a subconscious who talks very negative to the woman and makes her feel like a "ho", which I did not appreciate.

The book was not a total disaster though. Some of the sex scenes were arousing, which is after all, the point of reading erotica. Also, I have only read erotic short stories so I cannot imagine how hard it must be to write such a long erotica story, so I cut the author a little slack in that area. The book was easy to read and did make me want to finish it to see how it ended. It could have flowed a little better and I wish the author did not feel the need to make so many references to other books. It left me feeling like she was trying to fill up more pages with literary references. One of the things that I feel the author did well was using this "inner goddess" who gets excited when Ana is exploring new sexual things or gets excited by some BDSM play. Granted, by the end of the book I never wanted to hear the phrase "inner goddess", but I think it's good to have a book that realizes that women have carnal desires and want to express their selves in different ways. I just wish that the author could have written a stronger, more feminist character.
Parts of the book were very successful at getting me aroused and I certainly appreciated that. Other parts were just boring and not well written. I am curious to see if the second book is better or worse than the first one. I had a hard time as a queer feminist woman getting behind that idea that it is okay to pursue a relationship if the other person is really hot, despite numerous red flags. Those red flags consisted of control, anger, and stalker issues. I had a hard time relating to finding it hot that some guy bought this girl a laptop, blackberry, and new car. I just find that to be condescending and would make me angry. If perhaps the author had written about a graduate student up to her eyeballs in debt that some sexy person just wanted to pay off because they could...well let's just say she would have had me hook, line, and sinker. Overall, I will read the next book to see how it goes. I am very excited at how many conversations this book has sparked. I am also thrilled about how many "up-tight" women at my job are reading and discussing this. It feels a little bit like an erotica liberation for them and I hope they continue to read other erotica out there.
Follow-up commentary
I'm still not a huge fan of this book. Parts of it are good, but the repetitive language and sex scenes annoy me still and I cannot get around that.
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My Fifty Shades of Grey book 1 tags
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Anyone
    • Couples
    • Everyone
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Anywhere
  • Features
    [ ? ]
    What kind of features does this product offer?
    • Travel friendly
This review was edited by
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Do you like this review?
  • Princess-Kayla ?
    Thank you for the review! I'm glad you also don't like the idea of her jumping into a relationship lifestyle that she's unsure of just because Christian is sexy.
  • freud13
    Absolutely! I had such an issue with that.
  • AHubbyof2SexualMinds
    Thanks for the review, it's interesting to read other people's opinions on this. I agree totally with the red flags, but found the book enjoyable overall. Great job.
  • smlove
    Thanks for the honesty!
  • dsumrow1
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