50 Shades Of Grey. Whats the big deal?


Everywhere I go I hear or see women ranting about the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy written by E.L James.  I had heard so many women gush about how amazing the trilogy was. I gave in and ordered them off Amazon a few months ago.  I wish I could get a refund.

I’m one of the select few that just hasn’t really enjoyed the book. So much so, that it took me quite a while to read the first installment.  Generally when I’m engrossed in a book life stops.  I don’t want to put the book down until it’s finished. I have to know how it ends!   50 Shades, complete opposite. If anything I found it nothing short of a Hustler short story or Penthouse erotic S&M story.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not too conservative but this book was just too much.  Without going into deep detail I just found it unbelievable.  6 orgasms in one sexual encounter, some just by being touched? (Insert eye roll) among other sexual references I just found it meh.  I didn’t find Christian as this super sexy romantic man. I found him to be frail and someone whom was sexually abused as a child.

While I haven’t read book two or three I don’t have much hope left for the trilogy.

Have you read the books? Did you enjoy them?  Did you find they were like the Twilight Saga? (Another series I didn’t like)


66 responses to “50 Shades Of Grey. Whats the big deal?”

  1. Minou says:

    I’m contemplating what I’m going to do about my high school students trying to bring these books to class for their independent reading. Censorship isn’t great, but from what I’ve heard, these books are pretty much porn. When I see Cosmopolitan magazines smuggled in, I usually raise an eyebrow, smile, and ask them sweetly to put the “smutty magazine” away. Usually gets a giggle and cooperation… but what do do about these books?

  2. Sally says:

    Its way too much for teenagers imo. It feels like it was written by teens about adult topics though.

  3. Linda says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m approximately 2/3 of the way through it and have decided I just cannot tolerate another “oh my”. Unfortunately the style of writing has not drawn me into the story although I could see it being titillating to a youngish audience.

  4. Funkymunky says:

    @Linda – I’m assuming you’re on book 1? I made a mistake of reading all 3 – it’s all around pathetic.. I usually cannot drop books half way through, so I made a point of finish the trilogy – all in all pretty terrible piece of fiction
    as much as everyone hated on Twilight, those books were SO much better, and so was The Host!

  5. Kerry says:

    Interesting…most of my hockey team has read book 1, I have no desire, it doesn’t appeal to me just by listening to them talk about it. I get the idea that it is written in a manner that I wouldn’t enjoy (the majority of my team is also in their early twenties). I have thought about reading it just to see…maybe when there is nothing left on my summer book list;-)

  6. Kim says:

    I’m glad I didn’t buy the trilogy! Everyone seems to be raving about this book and I just don’t get it. I bought the first one and couldn’t even get through half the book. I don’t like the style of writing, I don’t like the characters ( I don’t find Christian appealing at all!), I don’t feel engaged in the story- I have no trouble putting the book down.

  7. cathy says:

    Well, if you didn’t know already, these were originally written as Twilight fanfiction. Seriously. The author changed it a bit for publication, obviously. 🙂

    I’ve tried reading some of it and I found it to be really badly written. And from review sites I’ve read, the BDSM isn’t even done that well. More fantasy than reality. (ie, don’t do this at home kids – find out more from a legitimate source.)

    That said, I work in a bookstore and these things are flying off the shelf. (And you would NOT believe how many of the trilogy we sold on Mother’s Day weekend!) We can’t keep them in stock and people do come back looking for book 2 and 3 after reading the first. Some people say they love them, some say they’re just reading it to find out what happens. And it’s lead to an increased awareness/interest in other erotica which is a good thing, I suppose.

  8. wendyjane says:

    maybe the movie version(s) will be better?

  9. jojobean says:

    I have had many girls at work tell me that it is a must read. These are the same people who told me that I had to read the “twilight” series, and THAT was PAINFUL! I don’t read books like thisnormally, so starting now to be part of the phase is unlikely. I don’t read harlequin romances, so why would I read this? It doesn’t even sound like it has a plot….just sexual references. Not my thing…have no intention of picking it up.

  10. Joanne says:

    These were by far the most challenging books for me to get through. I love to read and unfortunately drank the Shady KoolAid only to puke a little in mouth. I’m not conservative in the least, I’m open minded. Its not th sex that bothered me, its the immature way this book was written. I never thought i’d say this but the sex got old fast lol. 20 pages of sex, 2 pages of story line, and not a great story line. Meh. Hours of my life I won’t get back. I will however probably watch the movie:)

  11. Eric says:

    The wife read it, and I glanced through it. Not seeing the big deal. It’s tamer than anything she’s read or we’ve done.

    Sally – Something of note: the whole thing was originally a Twilight fanfic someone wrote and posted online. After publishers caught wind of its popularity, the author took it down, changed the names, and then had it published.

    As for teens trying to use it as their reading… remember when “The Outsiders” was considered risque? It’s more of “oooh, look at me, I’m challenging authority” rather than “I’m genuinely interested in this book.”

  12. Ann says:

    I’m sure I won’t like the books (from what I’ve heard, the relationship borders on abusive, not consensual safe BDSM) but uh.. you don’t believe in multiple orgasms? I’ve had upwards of 20 in one “encounter”, and yeah, some just by being touched (the right way, the right place – necks are good, and ears, and my waist…). Sorry your sex life is so rough that you roll your eyes at those of us who have it good!

  13. Laura says:

    50 pages of poorly written content.

  14. Jane says:

    it’s a Twilight fanfic with enough changed so it could be published. Enough said

  15. Sally says:

    Ann, no I dont believe in the multiple orgasms she had. You yourself said you haven’t read the book?

    I didn’t say I didn’t believe in them.

    Thanks for the giggle though, most people cannot orgasm by having an ear licked, no matter how good their lover is. And it doesn’t make their sex life suck either.

  16. tattood_princess says:

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one not interested in these books. One of the girls in my office has raved over and over about them, about how hot Mr. Grey is..blah..blah blah.
    I LOVE books. I’ll read just about anything, but I found an excerpt on tumblr one day from book one and I almost beat my head against a wall from a couple paragraphs. It’s like whoever wrote it has only a basic grasp on the English language. The page completely made it seem like he was r**ping her. I could be wrong but there’s no way I could find this enjoyable. Frankly I’m a little concerned about those who find things like this wonderful. Yes I know BDSM exists, and probably a lot worse than what’s in this waste of trees, but to put this out there, especially while girls who are so inexperienced in sex are reading it thinking this is okay is wrong.
    I read the Twilight series and I actually enjoyed it (I’m a long standing fan of anything supernatural), but even that series was about a girl who put her whole life in danger for a guy and when she couldn’t have him wanted to end hers. More than a little dark and a totally wrong message, but at least these were choices she was making for herself, not Edward forcing himself upon her. I’m sickened by now knowing it’s a Twilight fanfic. There’s a reason that kind of stuff stays online, it’s usually horrible and makes the characters look utterly ridiculous.
    It makes me really sad that the “shock factor” of our culture has now spread to something as innocent and as beautiful as literature. The movies are only going to make things a million times worse. The only redeeming factor is knowing the average consumer has a short attention span to fads and hopefully this will pass as quickly as it appeared.

  17. hijinx25 says:

    Finally! Other people who are meh about the book!

    Can I just say – DH and a couple of buddies awhile back decided to start up a garage band (picture going-grey men, with kids, in their late 30s, early 40s). They’ve called themselves 50 Shades of Grey … only now are scrambling to change their name because they hadn’t heard of the books until *I* told them! LMAO

  18. Jenny says:

    I’m glad I’m not alone. I read a little more than half the book, but found that the content plateaued very early on. There wasn’t any incentive for me to finish the book.

  19. Leanne says:

    Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity!!
    I have read poorly written books with good erotica, and well written books with bad erotica…this series is neither! I worry for the literary world when books like these receive such high praise. It is not the BDSM that bothers me, though I do wonder why we think that the stalking and controlling is acceptable, it is simply that editors and publishers are allowing such garbage to be printed and that too much of the public at large thinks that this counts as good writing that makes me want to check out of the human race. Next thing you know they will be telling me that Magic Mike deserves an Oscar :/ (don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the hot bodies but the storyline left, well, everything to be desired).

  20. Leanne says:

    Oh, and count how many times her breath “hitches”. I count 15 in the first book alone. I think she should be checked for asthma!

  21. . says:

    Yeah… your attitude regarding multiple orgasms is a little hurtful. I get off incredibly easily – most recently from simply blowing on my nipples. I wish I could enjoy sensations more before going “over the edge”. I’m not defending the books at all, they’re terribly written… but maybe that’s what sex is like for the author and she assumed that’s what it’s like for everyone just like you assumed that’s NOT what it’s like for anyone?

  22. Benji says:

    I HATED it. Poorly written, repetitive (“oh my” and “medulla oblongatta” and “inner godess”, boring, lack of an editing department (grammar issues) and not at all exciting. Cheap Harelquins are hotter.

    It also made the main character look weak and, frankly, stupid…plain ol dumb. People are saying it empowers women..? Um, ya…NO.

    And sorry…spoiler here, but there is nothing hot about a man pulling out a dirty tampon. Ugh. And why did she keep calling it her “sec”? Who calls their nether regions that!?

  23. Benji says:

    Ya, I do NOT get the hype. I won’t be reading the next two books.

  24. Benji says:

    I agree Sally. She was a virgin who.never even masturbated, and suddenly she’s having multiple orgasms without even being stimulated?

    I get it’s fiction, but I need SOME believability in order to enjoy the read.

    Oh and ya, this relationship was definitely abusive…mentally and emotionally, more than a sexy BDSM.

  25. Karen says:

    One word – awful

  26. yoyouhayo says:

    I will not read a book about abuse and neuther should anyone else! Most women just get on the band wagon to be like each other. Look at the starbucks after spinclass, or the shoe fetish, Coach bags,Hummers, overly large houses in the Burbs, etc. etc. when will women start to be different from one another instead of Stepford Wives?

  27. glowworm2k says:

    One summer when I was a teen, my family borrowed my aunt’s cabin for two weeks. I remember reading some of my aunt’s old harlequin romance novels (that she had read as a teen, judging by the publication dates) on that trip. The books were a bit of a thrill for my 15-year-old self – especially when I realized that porn was on sale on racks at Zehr’s 😉 – but I got bored with them by halfway through the first week and had to go to some yard sales to get more reading material. If I found this stuff boring 15 years ago, I’m not inclined to read it now :/

  28. DJ says:

    I was just on the brink of reading it, mostly to find out what the noise is all about but looks like I am saved from reading torture!

  29. Lua says:

    Hahaha well I guess i’m in the minority here.. i LOVED book 1! plowed through it in a week… then plowed through book 2 in a week.. now I’m almost done book 3. Great mindless summer reading in my mind. 🙂

  30. Jasminebed says:

    My daughter got the book for her Kobo, said the writer badly needed a thesaurus.

    A reviewer at another forum called it Fifty Shades of Boring.

  31. Gail says:

    Gawd awful…..they’re like pornographic Harlequin romances. I’m so glad that I only borrowed these books and didn’t buy them.

  32. Stephanie says:

    I know it was originally a Twilight fanfiction story, but there’s really nothing “Twilightish” about it. Yes Edwards “lifestyle” always seems to put Bella in pain (yep, even sex bruises in Breaking Dawn), but other than that there’s really nothing similar about them. The main reason I liked the first Twilight book was because it was INNOCENT love.

  33. Dee says:

    I’m so glad to see I’m not alone here on this book lol. Tried to read the first book twice – the first time I got a quarter of the way through, the second I got halfway through – both times I had to put it down because I couldn’t handle it anymore. After all the hype I really wanted to give it a try but I just found it to be so painful to read. The writing is just plain awful, the story isn’t great at all, and I hated the main character.

    Just thought I’d share this since it made me laugh – I was reading through the reviews on Amazon and saw this: “Following up on their suggestions with my ever-useful Kindle search function, I have discovered that Ana says “Jeez” 81 times and “oh my” 72 times. She “blushes” or “flushes” 125 times, including 13 that are “scarlet,” 6 that are “crimson,” and one that is “stars and stripes red.” (I can’t even imagine.) Ana “peeks up” at Christian 13 times, and there are 9 references to Christian’s “hooded eyes,” 7 to his “long index finger,” and 25 to how “hot” he is (including four recurrences of the epic declarative sentence “He’s so freaking hot.”). Christian’s “mouth presses into a hard line” 10 times. Characters “murmur” 199 times, “mutter” 49 times, and “whisper” 195 times (doesn’t anyone just talk?), “clamber” on/in/out of things 21 times, and “smirk” 34 times. Christian and Ana also “gasp” 46 times and experience 18 “breath hitches,” suggesting a need for prompt intervention by paramedics. Finally, in a remarkable bit of symmetry, our hero and heroine exchange 124 “grins” and 124 “frowns”… which, by the way, seems an awful lot of frowning for a woman who experiences “intense,” “body-shattering,” “delicious,” “violent,” “all-consuming,” “turbulent,” “agonizing” and “exhausting” orgasms on just about every page. “

  34. Em says:

    I didn’t like them much either…I actually really disliked Ana. It annoyed me how wishy-washy she was…one minute she says “don’t ever spank me!” then two chapters later she’s practically begging for it.

  35. Gazpache says:

    I haven’t read it yet but have absolutely no desire to. It sounds like glorified porn to me. I also tend to shun things that get insanely popular really quick. Which is why I’ve never read/seen anything Twilight, that other vampire series thing that came out recently or Harry Potter. I’m so sick of hearing about them all that any desire to read/see anything about them just goes right out the window.

  36. Looking for a new take on this check out http://www.clamidiablog.wordpress.com. Hilarious parody of the erotic genre. She is Clamidia Staines – Agony Aunt & Sexpert. Funniest damn thing you’ll read all year. Her new book has just been released on Kindle; ‘Coming Clean with Clamidia Staines” Check it out. (contains adult humour)

  37. DianeG says:

    I am SO glad there are others out there that didn’t like this book. When I tell people hat they can’t believe it!!!
    It is very rare that I don’t finish a book but I just couldn’t take the “Inner Godess” anymore!!!

  38. Katie says:

    Twilight was so poorly written that I couldn’t get past the second page; this is along the same lines. The subject is all fine and well but if the writing, by any author, is so poor it’s going to make for a dreadful book.

  39. Jennypoop says:

    Ok everyone, it’s not meant to be on Oprah’s Book Club list, but really, give up the trashing. It’s purely fantasy, and NO it doesn’t even come close to abusive. Books 2 & 3 round out the story quite nicely in my opinion. The sex scenes are ones that I have played out many times in my own “red room” and are harmless if done in a consensual manner. There are many things in life I have said “NO” to and then found myself curious and trying them…not just sexually either.
    PLEASE do not use these reviews as your deciding factors if you have not read the book yet. Go on Amazon or Chapters and read the reviews there to get a more rounded, fair opinion. I LOVED all three, and my husband LOVED when I was reading them!!…lol
    My score on a scale of 1-10:
    Writing – 6
    Story line – 8
    Sexual charge – 11!…lol
    If you are embarrassed to be seen with the book….get it on your e-reader!! It’s a good easy read.

  40. Robin says:

    It’s for sad little housewives with sad little lives.

    Honestly, I would never touch the books. I have a way more exciting sex life than anything those books could ever pretend to dream up. It’s a book for wannabe BDSMers.

  41. Leslie says:

    FINALLY SOMEONE THAT AGREES WITH ME!! I read the first book and would not bother with any others. The writing is mediocre at best. I’ve read better “bosom heavers” in the 1970’s. What a waste of money. Much ado about nothing!!

  42. Sally says:

    Jennypoop, did you read the same reviews as me? Because a lot of them agree with this post and also state its an insult to the real S&M followers.

  43. Stephania says:

    GOOD POST, Sally! (Thought the topic would be “Too Hot For SC!”) Anyway, I think it’s just all American hype. It’s the same as Sex & The City book in which I was barely able to finish the first. Terribly written, but I guess some genius saw something in the concept/characters to make it into a tv show!

    I couldn’t really read Twilight either. I didn’t think that there was a point since I already watched the movies! 😉

  44. Carla says:

    Well this is one I’ll never read, I am ultra conservative and view the whole thing as porn. However my policy in general is to wait a few (even many) years before considoring reading a book. If it’s still considored good after the hype dies then it might be worth the read. There is too much “mob” mentality in our society and I think that the majority of the people hyped about this are only hyped becaue they are suppoed to be, only because other are hyped about it.

  45. TMcK says:

    I don’t begrudge James her success, congrats to her! I often wonder, however, what the actual percentage is for people who bought the book(s) based on the hype who hated them.

    Here’s the thing, I am not all interested in reading about an abusive relationship and being told it’s “erotic”. Play in the bedroom, or full – knowing – consent for dom/sub outside the bedroom is fine (both are not my thing, but whatever floats your boat) … not coercion and abuse. I started reading an erotic book a few years ago that was actually fairly similar in the story (journalist interviews powerful man, sexysex dom/sub relationship ensues). In this case, the main character was strong and had to be “broken” by the dude. It just made me angry, not titillated. The writing was top notch though, so it gets points for that!

  46. Sue says:

    Read the first book, didn’t like it. Don’t think I will read the second or third. The writing style was horrible. Ana’s reference to her “inner goddess” drove me nuts!!

  47. coley3 says:

    I have been debating reading this as I have family members and friends who said they would lend me theirs. But after this I am going to pass. I too get extremely bothered by horrible writing when I read. Also I don’t like to give up on a book and read it until the end. With the thoughts given on here I would end up reading a horribly written book until the end and would just torture myself. I also am paticular about leading men and this guy seems to be lame.
    Thanks to eveyone who posted. I will NOT be reading this series.

  48. matrix82 says:

    Wow, so I am not alone in really disliking the trilogy. I did read all three because once I start something I have to finish it.

    I just found it repetitive and boring. There was hardly a story line at all, and the sex was repetitive. The main character Ana comes across as a weak, unable to stand up for herself person when it comes to Christian.

  49. Bargain Seeker says:

    I wish this was posted earlier. I have heard so much about the books that I finally purchased them at Costco. I am an avid reader and somehow I thought it was weird that I was having a bit of a hard time getting interested in the storyline. Now I understand why. I am halfway in the first book right now. I will read all three of them because I NEVER not finish a book or series. So I will need to suffer through all three books.

  50. amy says:

    I think a lot of middle-aged women like people to know that they read that book, as an external signal that they are still sexual. I find that people who buy that book often read it in public and talk about it loudly in public.
    It’s a social signalling more than actually enjoying it, I think.

  51. Funkymunky says:

    @ Ann – you are missing the point. The way the sexual acts are described in the books is so far from what actually goes down in the bedroom, that it actually becomes more of a parody of S&M culture – and I can totally see how S&M followers would be insulted.. And no need to roll the eys and stuff – good for you with those 20 I guess?

    to me, it seemed that the author is incredibly inexperienced & perhaps even frustrated in sex department – so she was projecting her naughty fantasies onto “Bella” and “Edward”

    I, too, hated Ana – I refer to her as “ameba” and Christina is just a sexed up bully

  52. Eric says:

    Stumbled upon a video of Jon St. John (the voice of Duke Nukem – for anyone familiar with video games) reading an excerpt from the book. If the whole book was in audio format read like that, I might actually buy it since it’s just so funny.

  53. Chantal says:

    agree that I wasn’t too impressed with this book…not because of the BDSM – I loved that part – but because the writing was ‘mehn.’ The BDSM was the only thing that lent it some sizzle. Hated the inner goddess references (any expression used over and over in books gets old fast).

  54. Linda says:

    @Funkymunky – yes . . . first book of the Fifty Shades of trilogy. They were free epubs but still too much in my opinion and definitely not on my recommendations list.

  55. Janet says:

    I really enjoyed the books, all three of them. Not what I usually read, but I did enjoy the romantic journey. Christian has multiple life long issues and I found by book 3 they were all addressed and pulled the story nicely together.

    Sorry most of you didn’t enjoy this series. It was an easy read, although the under pinning concept was quite complex.

    Also didn’t find the sex as erotic, just simply part of the book.

  56. Sandra5 says:

    I haven’t read these books, and probably won’t bother. But sometimes when I’m in a mischievous mood I’ll wear 5 shades of grey all at the same time, just for kicks.

  57. Tracy says:

    I was surprised that I didn’t really enjoy the first book but since I bought all three together – I went on to read the others. Big difference! The next two are more about the emotional relationship and less about the s&m. I’d recommend reading the others – honestly they were quite good.

  58. jjwbuster says:

    I was very disappointed. After all the hype I thought I was going to be reading a literary master…oh well. The first thing that annoyed me was that the book was written as American characters however there were too many British expressions. I also thought that there was a lack of research into many aspects of what she was trying to write about. Boring, bad research (if any at all), and editing sucked.

  59. mel says:

    I always make an effort to read the entire book/series for all my literature but I have serious regrets from reading this trilogy. My friends told me that I had to read it because it was so great and everything but they were wrongggg. None of the characters were likeable, none of the writing could even be deemed as ‘good’ (an 8th grader could have whipped together something better), and none of the story lines were captivating. The only story line that was slightly interesting was the back story of Christian Grey but I’m a psych major so I like the whole psychological analysis stuff and therefore that is a bias. If you like repetition and poorly written stories of extremely insecure and unstable people having sex, then this trilogy is for you. If you do not like all of the above, don’t even bother!

  60. H says:

    You know, 6 orgasms is quite a lot at once. Yet, it’s entirely possible. On my own in one sitting, my record is 8. I once dated a guy that turned me on so much that I orgasmed without him touching me *down there* – without going into too many details. If the man in particular hadve been more experienced I definitely could’ve gotten up to 6. Just sayin..

  61. amy says:

    Ive never even heard of this book. prob wont invest in it. I was never really interested in the free harlequin books from the ambassadors club either. The men always made me angry or i started to really dislike them since they were always so dang cocky. Maybe i might check it out at the library, give it at least a chance. I really loved the twilight series though, read all the books and now waiting on the last movie.

  62. Frisky Island writer says:

    I can write better than this- more interesting, more subtle (when needed) and just as erotic… and I’ll do it for $10!

  63. Louise says:

    Minou – Tell your students they may read 50 shades as independent reading if they like. But anyone who does must produce a 1000 word essay on the importance of good grammar, spelling and editing. They should also cite examples to avoid from the book. Might make it less thrilling 😉

  64. Meh says:

    I read an article in a Vancouver newspaper last week interviewing a bookstore owner about this book and I believe one of her quotes were “…this book is flying off the shelves… it’s not really appealing to those who read a lot”

    To each their own but Twilight and 50 Shades are more hype than what they’re worth. I tried reading both and I personally think the writing was mediocre and highschool at best. Kudos to the authors though. They’re both probably laughing all the way to the bank with their millions.

  65. Kyla says:

    I’m only at Chapter 5 of the first book and I simply feel like I’m FORCING myself to read this thing. It really is like reading a more adult version of Twilight. She’s so lame and whiney. I’m probably going to trade it into my local used bookstore.

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