Sunday, 17 August 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy: Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, Fifty Shades Freed.  E L James.



I've had Fifty Shades lurking on my Kindle for a couple of years. Initially, not knowing anything about it, I got it because it was on the best sellers list and I was looking for something new. But, then the whole Fifty Shades phenomena exploded and the hype just put me off reading it. With the release of the movie trailer my attention was once again drawn to the book and so I decided to take the plunge and go see what all the fuss was about.
The only thing I regret about reading the Fifty Shades trilogy was that I didn't read it before now! I was glued to it for two days and when I finished the third book I wanted to start straight away with book one all over again. It was that good.

Don't get me wrong, it is not perfect. It is not particularly well written. Ana's character can be quite annoying as she drones on about how incredibly good looking Christian is and she punctuates all her observations with a repetitively irritating 'Oh my.' Parts of the first book made uncomfortable reading as the relationship between Ana and Christian is not a healthy one but, this is fiction after all and if I met a Christian Grey in real life I'd tell him to F off, knee him where it hurts and run in the opposite direction. But as I said, this is fiction and so I gave fictional Christian Grey the benefit of the doubt in the hope that all was not as bad it it seemed. You really have to read all three books though to fully appreciate his character.

The novel can be seen as a cliché story about the sexual awakening of an innocent young woman. And it is that, but, it is equally the story of Christian's own awakening- from being an emotionally closed off man to one who can appreciate love and being loved. You can trace the beginning of his emotional evolvement from his first meeting with Ana to the end where she has well and truly tamed the beast.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book apart from a few erotic scenes but the BDSM scenes are not as horrifying as I thought they would be. I wasn't expecting the other characters to be as well developed and the lovely sense of family and friendship that support the story.
The second book 'Fifty Shades Darker' was my favourite of the three. The characters are established and there is a welcome element of suspense to the plot.
My favourite aspect that ran through all three books was the texts and emails sent between Christian and Ana. Initially, this was their way of communicating what they couldn't articulate out loud, but, it became their 'thing' and the messages, most often, are both romantic and hilarious.

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