“50 Shades of Grey”, E L James


fifty shades of grey bookShe is an English Literature student at the fourth year at the University of Vancouver. Pale skin, brown hair and big eyes. He is a billionaire tycoon based in Seattle. Young, tall and attractive. Really attractive! They met in an interview, when she replaced her friend and roommate, Kate, who was ill. Ana (Anastasia) Style and Christian Grey.

“You sound like a control freak.” The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them.

“Oh, I exercise control in all things, Miss Steele,” he says without a trace of humor in his smile. I look at him, and he holds my gaze steadily, impassive. My heartbeat quickens, and my face flushes again.

Why does he have such an unnerving effect on me? His overwhelming good looks maybe? The way his eyes blaze at me? The way he strokes his index finger against his lower lip? I wish he’d stop doing that.

“Besides, immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control things,” he continues, his voice soft.

By the end of the interview – which did not go very well – one would say with certainty that the paths of these two people would seperate forever. They were totaly different with nothing in common. But, against all odds, some days later Christian appears in the hardware store that Ana works part-time.

“I was in the area,” he says by way of explanation. “I need to stock up on a few things.
It’s a pleasure to see you again, Miss Steele.”

His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel… or something.

Yes, of course Mr Grey. We ‘ve heard these lines before. He is charmed with her, and the feelings are mutual. I guess that one can easily imagine what follows next. First the hardware store, then at the café, a bar, a hotel suite and… here comes the tough part!

Christian practices BDSM sex, he is a Dominant and a Sadist. The traditional sex relationships – vanilla sex as Mr Gray calls it – give him no satisfaction. This is why he has created a special “entertainment” room in his luxury apartment in Seattle, with all sorts of sex toys. Ana is about to enter the world of BDSM with Mr Grey, but she is asked to sign some legal papers first, that determine exactly their roles in erotic games and expressly forbid her to let anyone know about all these.

Will Ana leave behind her the colorful world – even if these are pastel colors – to enter the gray world of Christian? The world with the fifty shades of grey? The rest of the story unfolds in 702 pages of “Fifty Shades of Grey” of E.L. James published in 2011. In Greece it was published by Patakis publications in June 2012, translated by Titina Sperelaki.

This clumsy, boring and pointless book is written in a very poor language. The repetitions of expressions, especially in erotic scenes – which are the bigger part of the book – are so many, that you do not have to turn the page. You know, more or less, what will the next page have. The plot is puerile, with many discontinuities, and cannot get your attention as it tries to unfold.

The only use of this book would probably be to work as a sexual stimulant reading, but it fails even there, because the erotic scenes are of low aesthetics. And the obsessions of the author… bussiness as usual… cars, airplanes, wealth and a man from a magazine cover. Just skip this book.

The synopsis at the back of the book:

When literature student Anastasia Steele interviews successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, she finds him very attractive and deeply intimidating. Convinced that their meeting went badly, she tries to put him out of her mind – until he turns up at the store where she works part-time, and invites her out.

Unworldly and innocent, Ana is shocked to find she wants this man. And, when he warns her to keep her distance, it only makes her want him more.

As they embark on a passionate love affair, Ana discovers more about her own desires, as well as the dark secrets Christian keeps hidden away from public view…

Nektarios Papaspirou