Fifty Shades of Grey: One person's review

50 Shades of Grey

Paperback edition of 50 Shades of Grey
Paperback edition of 50 Shades of Grey | Source

I am not the Danielle Steele type, I prefer Isaac Asimov or Stephen King, maybe a little Mary Higgins Clark, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but with all the hoopla about this book I had to read it.

If you know anything about this book you'll know I have to be very careful in my review. There is much I cannot address so I will call some of those things 'happenings' or this hub will be booted off. This is a book marked for mature audiences because of it's content and writing about some of the particulars of that content will get this hub banned. Have I got your interest yet?

Fifty Shades of Grey is the first in a trilogy and was released in May 2011. It began as an ebook and became so big it was finally published. Princeton professor April Alliston wrote, "Though no literary masterpiece, 'Fifty Shades' is more than parasitic fan fiction based on the recent 'Twilight' vampire series." Whoa if it is that why was it such a bestseller that you couldn't even buy it in a bookstore...it was sold out everywhere! It was also on The New York Times Bestseller List. In case you're interested, yes, they are making a film. It seems Universal has bought the rights.

It seems much of the criticism is due to the fact this book and trilogy is purportedly based on the Twilight Series. Domination may be why. I must admit that domination is probably where the comparison comes in but I will discuss that later.

It has also been likened to a Cinderella story where the pretty poor girl meets, falls in love with and winds up with the very rich and good looking 'prince' in this story but no former Cinderella story has been called soft porn or more affectionately "Mommy porn". FYI, the book has sold over two million copies! There is definitely an abundance of "happenings" in this book.

The main characters are Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. Anastasia, sometimes referred to as Ana, is a college student about to graduate. She does a favor for her best college friend Katherine Kavanagh usually called Kate, and interviews the mulit-billionaire Christian Grey. What Ana doesn't know is that Christian is only 27 years old and quite the bachelor-catch. Ana doesn't handle the interview well, wavering between embarrassed and annoyed with Mr. Grey who she thinks is "very, very good looking". As she leaves she realizes this man has affected her like no man ever before.

Ana has worked at Clayton's hardware store since she started attending WSU in Portland and is happy to get back and go to work there after her disconcerting meeting with Mr. Grey. We are briefly introduced to her mother, stepfather and friend Jose Rodriguez. On Saturday morning at work at Clayton's, Ana is shocked to find "the bold gray gaze of Christian Grey" staring at her from across the counter. It is obvious to everyone but Ana that he has come to see her. After their brief encounter she admits to herself that she likes him though she won't admit it to Kate just yet.

He gave Ana his card with his private cell phone number and Kate suggests she call him to set up a photo shoot. No genius needed here to figure out that is just what happens. After the photo shoot Grey asks Ana to go for coffee with him and yes, this is the beginning.

Comments about Christian Grey include; gorgeous, dangerous, tall, broad shouldered, graceful fingers, disorderly hair, at ease with his body, control freak, gray eyes, overbearing, a courtly knight, the white knight, the dark knight, a classic romantic hero....It's hard for the reader not to like Christian Grey right from his introduction in the book. Everywhere Christian goes he turns women's heads, they are drawn to him by his ultra good looks. Of course, we find out later he is 'kinky' and is very into Dominance and Submission.

Ana, is a twenty-one year old virgin. In addition, she is insecure about her looksg curly hair and her sometimes clumsiness. She doesn't realize that she is good looking and has a great peronality. All she sees is the curly-haired, not so graceful Ana that pales compared to her friend Kate. She doesn't realize how attractive she is and why her friend Jose is in love with her, or Paul Clayton at the hardware store, or Kate's brother or even the remote possibility that Christian Grey could be in love with her!

“I am going to have coffee with Christian Grey... and I hate coffee.” (Ana)

"Men aren't really complicated, Ana, honey. They are very simple, literal creatures. They usually mean what they say. And we spend hours trying to analyze what they've said - when really it's obvious. If I were you, I'd take him literally. That might help.” (Ana's mother)

“[Ana] “You’re a sadist?”
“I’m a Dominant.” His eyes are a scorching gray, intense.
“What does that mean?” I whisper.
“It means I want you to willingly surrender yourself to me, in all things.”
I frown at him as I try to assimilate this idea.
“Why would I do that?”
“To please me,” he whispers as he cocks his head to one side, and I see a ghost of a smile.
Please him! He wants me to please him! I think my mouth drops open. Please Christian Grey. And I realize, in that moment, that yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want him to be damned delighted with me. It’s a revelation.”

The reader realizes early on that Christian is smitten with Ana but wonders about his admonition that he's not the man for her. As their relationship begins he seems to appear wherever she needs him, like at the bar the night she gets drunk with her college friends. The reader can almost watch him falling in love with her but...and there's a big but. He will not get further involved with her unless she signs his contracts. He takes her to his Red Room of Pain which he calls his playroom and explains, "I do this to women who want me." He explains he is not a Sadist but a Dominant. He further explains that he has rules and that he will not hurt her. However, she must sign a Non Disclosure Agreement whereby she agrees not to tell anyone anything about this part of their relationship, and that means anything! And, she must also sign a contract saying what they will do and what they won't.

The contract takes up about one quarter of the book. The entire contract, in detail is their for the reader to see. It includes rules along with Hard Limits and Soft Limits. Before signing the contract they have their first "happening" with a small taste of the Dominance/Submissive scenario (more than once this first time) and afterwards he admits to her he has never had a happening in his bed, never slept with anyone, never introduced anyone to his mother, and never flown anyone in his helicopter. All firsts for him.

She is upset by the lavish gifts he gives her - a first edition of Thomas Hardy, a Mac laptop, a Blackberry and later a car as a graduation present. She feels she is being bought but he sees the's gifts as helping her stay in contact with him and the car -as a way of keeping her safe as her old 'beetle' is by no means safe to drive.


Ana's conscience
Ana's conscience | Source

Ana tries to talk to her best friend Kate about her relationship with Christian without violating the NDA which she has already signed She explains he is intense and let's it go with that. They have other conversations and Kate is aware Ana is mad about Christian but she still has doubt about him. Ana's problem is with signing the contract. She wants to but she's afraid.

Christian explains to Ana that the ownership thing is just to get her in the right frame of mind. He claims he will take it slowly because she is new to this, that there is a very fine line between pleasure and pain. Ana's conscience and inner goddess offer relief and humor for some of the situations. The emails Christian and Ana exchange are thought provoking and sometimes humorous as well since it seems emails and texts are the only way Ana can honestly open up with Christian. For the most part, though the story is fairly predictable it is written with a light and easy to read style.

I must admit my feather ruffled a bit when Ana was going for her job interview and was explaining the woman who was calling her in for the second interview, and I quote, "She could be in her late thirties, maybe in her forties, It's so difficult to tell with older women." If she thinks they're older women I'm afraid she'd be carbon dating me!

Throughout the book it is Ana's hope that she can bring Christian out of his darkness. She realizes that not only is she madly in love with him, but he is in love with her.

I won't divulge anything more because I don't want to ruin it for you. If you're into this type of fiction, you need to read it. All in all it was an easy read, fairly entertaining, and yes, I would recommend it.

Have you read Fifty Shades of Grey?

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Comments 101 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Okee-DoKee, Till...you have piqued my interest and I'm not a "fiction" reader, for the most part.

What REALLY blew my mind, if I can tell you, GF....is that just 2 days ago, I was banging my head against concrete, trying to come up with an angle for my next hub. Obviously I don't publish as often as most hubbers, but when I do, I try to come up with something I haven't done before....

So....what did I come up with? I said to myself, "You know, Effer, you read so much.....why don't you do a couple of book reviews?"

What the heck? I'm beginning to think there's an invisibe wavelength running back and forth between down State and up State.

So....if one of my next hubs is a Book Review, I hope you don't mind......and think about this.....This spooky stuff happened after I've made comments about taking whatever supplement you take and picking your brain for ideas!!

I'm not even going to question any of this any more...it's beginning to make me a believer in E.S.P.!!

Very Nicely done, Till! UP+++


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I agree, there is an invisible line, and I can feel it too! Most certainly write your book review. Maybe we thought the same thought at the same time and I just wrote quicker ;)

Glad you enjoyed and I will certainly be looking for yours.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Till......People in comas are quicker than I am! I'm just sayin...........


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

No way Effer, I know you're quick on the draw.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

So that is what all the fuss is about! I saw alll of these books on the NYT best seller list, stacks of them in the Costco book section. Thanks for shedding some light on all this "Grey" matter! Up/interesting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Glad I could help xstatic. They're a little more 'erotic' than I described but otherwise, that's it.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

wow this is a very interesting book.. I wouldn't mind ordering the book and reading it.. thanks for the info..

Great Hub

debbie


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

It is interesting to say the least. I don't know your taste so I can't say if you will or won't enjoy it but it's an easy read and will definitely keep you turning the pages Debbie.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

This is a great write up of the book and I'm glad to have read the review. Probably won't be reading the book though I do love a good page turner.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I'm sure this book isn't for everyone. I like to read books that get a lot of hype to see what they're about. Sometimes it's a good decision, sometimes not. thanks for stopping by Peg.


klyaksa profile image

klyaksa 4 years ago

I've heard about this book from so many people. I was wondering what all the hype was about! Interesting hub!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Klyaksa I think it's because it is aimed at women and is so explicit. It's like a grown up Harlequin romance.


Robin Mancini profile image

Robin Mancini 4 years ago from South Jersey/Philadelphia PA

Just cracked it open !! Can't wait


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I just heard of this book last week. Never knew it existed. Yes, something went over Sunshine's head. If I come across a copy at a yard sale I'll check it out, but I'm not in a rush to read it. Excellent review!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Good luck Robin, let me know what you thinnk. SS where have you been? Haven't you heard about all the bannings? It may be a while before it hits the yard sales.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I heard they might ban the books in libraries, but not book stores.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I know. It is amazing they're making such a fuss SS. There are others out there but none quite so popular.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

This is the first I have heard! But you have piqued my interest!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Banning of this book has brought it more attention than most. I would say Audrey it is definitely 'interesting'.


Natashalh profile image

Natashalh 4 years ago from Hawaii

Thanks for the in-depth look. I've heard this book mentioned a lot, but had no idea what it was about. If I have some time to spend, maybe I will check it out.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Glad you enjoyed Natasha, now if I can find time to read the second book...


barbergirl28 profile image

barbergirl28 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

I was a little skeptical about reading this as I am in the middle of reading the book myself. However, you explained this well and in a way that didn't ruin anything that I already knew.

My friend recommended this to me with words that I can't very well say appropriately. Since I am not finished, I will leave it at that, but so far I am enjoying the book. And I am a little surprised that they are making a movie out of it... oh boy!


AliceFSpencer profile image

AliceFSpencer 4 years ago from Texas

Great hub Im halfway through book two, it's a good spicy read and it holds my attention. I truly believe it does get your brain working on some new ideals....just kidding voted up!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Barbergirl I'm glad I didn't spoil it for you, that was my intent, to try to make it interesting but not give away the farm!

Alice, you never know, a lot of women are saying they're trying stuff from the book :O


Amanda 4 years ago

I just finished the first book... now my husband is out to buy me the second one its soo good I love the charectors and love the story its awsomme.... I like the book!!!!!!!!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Me too Amanda, I can't wait to read the last one.


Zora Spyrt 4 years ago

Wow, now I want to read this book. Thanks for writing this article!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Watch out Zora, you'll get hooked ;)


ndaffinee profile image

ndaffinee 4 years ago from Jumbled Brain, USA

Wow, interesting review. I saw this series on Amazon's top 100 and wondered what was the big deal here. Interesting that you mention Twilight, because I thought the same things about that series when it came out. "What's the big deal? What am I missing?" Just like I ended up diving into that series, I'm sure I'll end up diving into this one. I'll likely do that really soon, your review hooked me in! LOL you know what they say about curiosity...


writinginalaska profile image

writinginalaska 4 years ago from southeast Alaska

Read the reviews on Amazon for this book series before buying these books. OVER 50% say it is trash and poorly written. I read the sampling on Amazon and found it to be written in a very amateurish a way, terrible writing. I would never buy or read this crap. Anyway an interesting topic to write a Hub on.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

ndaffinee, hype always hooks us in. I known exactly what you mean about curiosity.

writinginalaska, you're right "different strokes for different folks". It is certainly not Shakespeare but it is fun to read. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 4 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

I work in a bookstore and we simply cannot keep this trilogy on the shelves. Everyone reads it-- from teenagers to grandmothers. It's not my usual cup of tea, but I'm going to have to read it at some point because I get asked at least 10 times a day what I think of it.

Great hub. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

While it may not be your cup of tea Heather, I don't think it'll be the worst book you've ever read. I'm really sorry to hear teenagers are reading it, guess that just shows my age. The 'erotic' parts are bad enough but I don't think teenagers need to learn about S&M.... Glad you enjoyed my hub. Hope the book isn't too distasteful ;)


Karmallama profile image

Karmallama 4 years ago from St. Paul, minnesota

at least 5 differnet women at my work told me I should get it, and my many friends online keep recommending it to me. I am a try anything type of reader, but I believe this hub helped nudge me a bit - thank you for the info


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Glad I could help 'nudge' you. It's easy to read and kind of fun, hope you enjoy.


Es56 4 years ago

Since the book ends with a few chapters... written from Christian's point of view I sure hope the author completes these future books. I was incredibly disappointed when Stephanie Meyer (Twilight series) didn't finish "Midnight Sun" (I hope this title is correct) from Edward's point of view. It seems that once she "made it big" with the series and the movies she felt no responsibility to her fans to complete the next series. I don't know am I off in left field? Should an author complete future series when she ends a book "advertising" a future book?


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I can only speak for myself Es56, but I have to agree with you. I think any author leaving a 'teaser' at the end of the book should definitely write another.

The next book in the Fifty Shades Trilogy doesn't continue from Christian's point of view but does continue the trilogy.


harleygrl 4 years ago

This does prove useful to me. I was convinced by some friends to pick the series up but have yet to read them. In the middle of finishing the last in the Millennium Series (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series). Now that is a great series to read, keeps u wondering what happened next. Also, the books pick up right where the last one ended. Cannot compare it to the movie, since of course bunches of details got left out. Thanks again for the insight.


ndaffinee profile image

ndaffinee 4 years ago from Jumbled Brain, USA

@Es56, I definitely agree that they should finish, it drives me nuts to end a book in the middle of the story. However, with Midnight Sun (which I found entertaining) wasn't finished because it was leaked early. Apparently, she gave a few key people a copy to read what she had so far and give feedback and someone leaked it on the internet. I guess it made her lose the umph that had kept her going. I know if someone leaked something I was still writing and hadn't edited or was even close to publishing yet, I'd give up the project for a while too... just my four cents lol


Es56 4 years ago

I do agree that Stephanie (Twilight) had an unfortunate incident with the Midnight Sun book, however it wasn't her fans that caused the problem. She should have been more careful who she sent the preview to? I think I would have written the rest of the book just to reward my fans! The momentum was there and everyone wanted to know the story from Edward's point of view. I think it would have been a really different story. Likewise it would sure be interesting to see Christian's character development from the beginning to the end. Without giving anything away I think he had a lot to deal with and changed tremendously. I am sure he had a lot of pain to push through.... which is only hinted at during the first trilogy. Once you get to the end of the first three books James has written a TEASER (much better word than "advertising" thank you "tillsontitan"!) for what should be the next book? I guess I just needed to see if I was being unreasonable feeling that the author had a certain responsabilty to the fans. "tillsontitan" mentioned something about a next book? Is this after the 3 books already out?


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I only read "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", not the rest. It was good and you are right the movie was disappointing with so much left out harleygirl.

ndaffinnee I also agree with you. You would think there would be some loyalty to the fans who read the books and put all that money in her pocket! Now that the momentum is gone "Midnight Sun" probably wouldn't achieve the same popularity.

Es56, when James was asked if she would write a fourth book she said, "Never say Never" so who knows!


harleygrl 4 years ago

I could never get into the Twilight Books. If a book doesn't peak my interest within the first chapter or 2, I just give up and put the book down. My step-daughter loved the books though.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I enjoyed the Twilight books but this is a whole different ballgame as you know harleygrl.


Diana 4 years ago

I actually love the trilogy. I was hooked up to every page. I love the romance. Ana, though, is too good to be true. She doesn't have hang-ups. Still, I love the character of Christian Grey. I wish a movie will show up soon..

Read more of my review here: http://complicatedmelody.com/content/fifty-shades-...


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for stopping by Diana. They are working on the movie but you know how slowly Hollywood works!


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago

Holy Cow ! I picked up my wifes book and glanced thrugh it for a minute or two .........all I can say is....... Holy Cow !


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Now if you want to turn that Holy Cow into your advantage, have your wife read portions of the book to you ahorseback ;)


Lisas-thoughts101 profile image

Lisas-thoughts101 4 years ago from Northeast Texas

A very well written review. I have all three books but am taking summer classes so I haven't read them yet. Your review makes me very anxious to do so. I voted up and interesting. I am off to read your other two reviews.

Lisa


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Lisa it is basically a love story with quite a twist. Hope enjoy reading. Thanks, hope you like the other two reviews as well.

Personal, I didn't know about Secretary. Guess I'll have to read that ... there must be a book.


diplorging profile image

diplorging 4 years ago from Serbia

Thank's for sharing this. This book has just be translated to my language (Serbian) and I see it's very popular here, so I'm glad I had opportunity to read here about it


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

How great it's been translated! It's still one of the most popular books being sold here. Hope you enjoy!


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

I've hosted a party at my house last weekend and all the women could talk about was fifty shades of grey . I've (and was the only man in the house ) read the book and am not a bit surprised at the response and adulation. It's basically pretty woman with BDSM. what's not to like. Mary .. Like you I grew up on Isaac Asimov and Stephen king and love th girl with the dragon tattoo but that's not to say I am averse to a bit of fifty shades of grey. It's no literary masterpiece but it does what it sets out to do. Titillate, stimulate and challenge our antiquated sense of morality ( not mine btw) . Love your summation of the book and it's plot. I'm hoping that in between writing AA Milne style Pooh stories I could whip up a fifty shades of grey type story( flexes fingers and poises towards the keyboard) here goes....


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

OMG, can't wait to read your shades of grey type story Mohan! You've become one of my favorite writers.

I am so happy you liked my summation. This book is definitely something different for most women. Keep those fingers working (on the keyboard of course).


Seraphina 4 years ago

This was the most boring, shallow book I have ever read.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for commenting Seraphina, everyone has different feelings about this book for sure.


Bob 4 years ago

Well, like most of the millions of people who bought this book, i decided to read it purely because of all the hype about it.

I have to say I was very disapointed. Its easily the most disturbing creepy book ive ever read.

Basically its the story of one man who uses his experience and power to try and take advantage of a young innocent girl and turn her into his personal slave. Due to her in experience around men and him lavishing expensive gifts she falls in love with him. She wants a "normal" loving relationship and all he wants is a sex slave which he can hurt and torture as and when he wants.

He stalks the girl, following her all over the country, trying to charm his way with her parents & friends, whilst hiding his sadistic addiction to hurting women from them. Even when he tells the girl he has had 15 sex slaves in 5 years and regularly pays prostitutes for their services she isn't phased.

I nearly had to stop reading this book several times. Especially when she agrees to submit to his violent beatings thinking it will make him want a loving relationship with her. Also when he finds out she is a virgin, rather than take it slowly or even allow her to find a man she can be in a loving relationship with, he decides he will have her there & then and has very hard and rough sex with the poor girl.

The girl spends most of the book crying her eyes out, being unable to ask her friends whether this is how normal relationships as he made her sign an NDA so she is not allowed to speak to anyone. Whenever he thinks the girl is about to change her mind about him, he does somethin romantic like take her on a glider ride, or a romantic meal - usually plying her with wine to get her drunk. Every time he thinks she is back on side, he tries to get her to sign a sex slave contract allowing him to do anything he wants to her. Looking at the list of things on the list which apparently he did with all his other slaves still doesn't put the poor girl off him. Anal fisting? Luckily the kind bloke offers to introduce the girl to some of his previous slaves if she needs anyone to talk to! How kind.

So quite how some reviewers have said men should read this to "understand what women want" I don't know. Do women really want men to not be in love with them, to just treat them as a sex slave, whip them with a belt whilst they count the number of hits and constantly try to get them to sign some sort of sex slave agreement? Do women really want to spend most of their spare time crying and wondering how they can turn an arrogant violent ginger haired bloke into their perfect partner? Wishing endlessly as to why can't they have a loving relationship, rather than having a partner obsessed with physically hurting women? If so there are some very strange women out there...

I can see why the story is addictive, as you are begging the girl to see sense and escape this evil mans clutches. Sure, he tracks her via gps satalights, so he`d still find out where she went - like he does in the book many times. Also, part of you wants her to suceed. Its the classic old nice girl wants to change badman plot.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Bob you make a lot of valid points. Women do want a loving relationship they don't want to be sex slaves, however owing to the book's popularity it looks like some are looking to be dominated. Not sure what they says about them!


Reluctant Shaman 4 years ago

There is no doubt that this book will fulfill many kinds of fantasy's for the reader. However, to call it a "love story" is to stretch the truth way to far (heresy). I came across the book by default while on holiday, I found a copy (the 2nd book) in the villa. I had just devoured my own book (on Resilience in the Face of Evil), so picked up this novel because I did not have anything else to read. I can tell you, that from the point of psychology, this story is a classic account of "Narcissistic Personality Disorder". I was interested to see the story unfold, so I down loaded the 3rd book onto my Kindle..... and continued reading with interest.

Christian Grey displays the full range of behaviours of a narcissist. Narcissism roughly translated means “love of oneself”. The term refers to a set of character traits that involve self-admiration, self-centeredness, and self-regard; to the point where the narcissistic person becomes very grandiose, arrogant, aggressive, lacking in empathy for others, superior to everybody else, and sporting a sense of entitlement that leaves them in constant need for attention and admiration in all their relationships.

Throughout the two books you can witness Christain's constant need for attention, control, power, prestige and vanity. For example, he would take advantage of anybody in order to reach his personal goals, he would overreact to any form of perceived criticism (real or imagined) with raging anger. His unrealistic fantasies of his own importance, beauty, success.....especially in romance, but also in business. His need for constant attention and positive reinforcement from his submissives (who are his narcissistic supply). His jealousy, and constant need for revenge. His total lack of empathy for others, and his obsession with himself, and his selfish goals. His catalogue of unhealthy relationships. His sensitivity to hurt and rejection.

Every narcissist needs their narcissistic supply. Anastasia Steel is a classic example of "narcissistic supply". When deprived of Narcissistic Supply (primary or secondary) the narcissist experiences symptoms similar to the withdrawal symptoms of a drug addict: When Anastasia abandoned him he became delusional, agitation, helpless and emotionally unhinged, he disintegrated and crumbled, the poor chap almost experiencing a psychotic episode. He engaged in “magical thinking” because he believes that he was authoritative, omniscient, omnipotent, therefore he knew he would always win. With no conscience he could be fearless and relentless in pursuit of his revenge, a revenge that, in his head, will be triumphant (The God Complex). All these aspects together make him highly dangerous when his source of supply is threatened. You can see all this behaviour throughout the two books I read.

From the point of view of entertainment and fantasy, the book is a good means of escape from reality for a while. However, if you see yourself in either of the characters, then life must be tough! You may need to familiarize yourself on narcissistic abuse, especially if you find yourself in the position of Anastasia. As long as she is a submissive to his whims she is relatively safe, but that would mean that she would have to be willing to lose her own identity.

If you want to know more about narcissistic behaviour, go to the link below:-

http://narcissisticbehavior.net/category/what-exac...


whittwrites profile image

whittwrites 4 years ago from the Philly area

I enjoyed your review of the book. I have no plans of reading it and at times (I know I'm get lambasted for saying this) am tired of hearing about the book. Whatever happened to good old classic writers?


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I don't doubt many people are sick of hearing about it! It's on the news, in the news, everywhere you look...I agree, enough is enough. Classics are still around but you have to look harder to find them. Thanks for reading whittwrites.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Reluctant Shaman, while what you write is true, the books all need to be taken in the spirit in which they were written. They are fiction! The author uses Christian's horrible childhood experiences to explain why he has become this hardened, sadistic 'lover'. Pity for him or compassion if you will, is what motivates Ana to stay with him and allow herself to love him.

The least you can say about these books is they have encouraged controversy and conversation!

Thanks for stopping by Shaman and leaving such an informative comment!


4 years ago

I do not like to read but I read all three books in one week. I am now listening to the book on audio. I will recommend this book to anyone!!! My mother is currently reading this book and she is enjoying it.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

You have to admit "K" they are a little different from the norm.


Melanie Jones 4 years ago

I really found the whole thing quite preposterous. almost like (well, exactly like) something my mother might write if she was having a midlife crisis of some sort. Sure, of course a 22 year old student wouldn't have an email address, my mum might think - she's never owned a cellphone!

Anyway, there was so much laughable stuff like that in it that I felt the urge to satirize it all, so I have written a comedy alternative to the first book (and while I appreciate there are a few badly written knock off versions kicking about, I'm a professional comedy writer so mine shouldn't horrify you too much!). You can get it at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008QNE5S6/ref=as... if you fancy a fresh and funny take on the "mommy porn" phenomenon.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for the comments and the advice on your writing! Always nice to know what others think and do.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

I really liked nothing about the Christian character. Jose was cute and artistic, but of course Ana went for the rich guy who flew a helicopter. I know this novel is not supposed to be political, but with the bad economy right now it just seems to reinforce the mantra so many chant "I am better because I have money," such is how Christian talks about how his hobbies are very engrossing because they are expensive. Are we supposed to be in awe, or I suppose to aspiring 1% might be. I think EL James is a talented author, but I have to admit I have just reached the end of wanting to read novels that are just about sex. I prefer historical fiction if I am going to read a novel these days. There needs to be something more substantial in the plot going on for me to enjoy a novel.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Believe it or not my favorite genre was historical fiction for years! I read "The Bewitching Betsy Bonaparte" and "Desiree" to name but two off the top of my head. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a comprehensive comment!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 4 years ago from Southern California, USA

Desiree was a very interesting novel, but romanticizing Napoleon just always gave me the creeps. I loved Desiree and her early ardor for the ideas of liberty at the beginning of the French Revolution, before everything went downhill after that. My favorite historical novel of all time is Mutiny on the Bounty trilogy, although the factual books about the subject I found to be more engrossing later on.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I would need to go back to Mutiny, it's been too long.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

One of my friends had this book over a weekend camping trip and we were playing a game with it. Someone would call out a page number and paragraph number and I would read that page/paragraph. Every single passage that was picked randomly turned out to be smut. Not that I have a problem with smut, but I think the story line is a little disturbing. I don't think I will read it, but appreciate the honest review.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Maybe 'reading' it the way you did was the best way to do it. It might be an acquired taste Deborah. Thanks for the comment!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Mary, great review about this book which I am still not going to read :o). I am the odd one out I know - all of my former workmates were reading it and the staffroom was full of all their 'dirty' recollections but I just know I would not like it. I am not much of a romance fan and it sounds a bit dark for my tastes. And I agree with you feeling a bit peeved at her 'older women' line :o) ....if she keeps up with his 'red room fun' she'll get wrinkles sooner than she thinks!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

You had me smiling Jools, with your 'wrinkles' observation! This book is surely not for everyone, but I had to see what all the fuss was about. Then, knowing there were two more I had to read them too. Curiosity? Nosy? Not sure...


Avid Bookreader 4 years ago

I just read "Fifty Shades of Grey" and thought it was pretty good. Almost uplifting. As I guy, I found it provided a little insight into how women think. If this book is any indication, then WOW! I had no idea.

Anyway, I can recommend it as a fast and enjoyable read. Except for the ending, which was totally out of character and exists solely to get you to buy the next book in the trilogy.

Personally, I prefer a story that is self-contained. Also, being a guy, I prefer guy-oriented erotica. I recently read an e-book entitled "On My Face, Please" that is just that. An actual story, with believable characters, that takes you on a fun erotic ride from start to finish.

I won’t read the second “Grey” book. For the same reason, I won’t go see the forthcoming “Hobbit” movie, now that I’ve heard that they are going to stretch it out into three separate movies.


Dan Counts profile image

Dan Counts 4 years ago

This is a book that should be retitled "My OCD Stalker Rapist and My Lack of Self-Esteem as Written by An English Major With No Command of the English Language."

Let's start with Ana, she has no self-awareness and even less self-esteem. She was sexually abused, is harangued into doing things for her roommate, signs an agreement without understanding the terms in it. This is the dumbest English Major in history.

Christian is just a misogynist, his play partners are women that look like his mother? How long till we start finding bodies in the woods? He was so driven he is a billionaire by 26 but has all this time available. Bet if you talked to Mark Zuckerberg that he doesn't all sorts of free time to go out and play and he's worth a hell of a lot more than Christian. He only hires tall, statuesque blondes to work for him. Basically he is Qaddafi without the roguish charm.

Now onto the book itself. Implausibility of the characters notwithstanding. EL James forgets a rule in writing called "Murder Your Darlings." Getting rid of words and phrases that you fall back on needlessly, such as and combination of intense and grey eyes, "oh my", her blushing.

In the end, this book is what happens when you allow a 16 year old girl to read BDSM for Dummies.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Avid Bookreader, you're right, fast and enjoyable.

Dan Counts, thanks for stopping by.


Flame888 4 years ago

I really enjoy all 3 of these books in the Trilogy of Christian Grey....now I just want my own Mr Grey and all of his 50 Shades :-)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Be careful what you wish for Flame ;)


sparkster profile image

sparkster 4 years ago from United Kingdom

I actually find this book quite disturbing, there are thousands of women out there who have been ABUSED by such people (classic narcissist?) and moan and complain about men being perverted, etc yet it seems that most of them are actually inverted narcissists and fantasize about being ABUSED in such ways.

Whenever a woman says to me that she is looking for her "Christian Grey" it scares the living hell of out me and I will be running a mile in the opposite direction - YUCK!! In my opinion anyone who is into this kind of thing has serious psychological issues and needs help. This book has actually put me off women quite a bit (I'm not gay or bi though).


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

It is certainly a Catch 22 situation Sparkster. Barring the truly twisted that are looking to be abused, I think many women are only looking at the romanticized Christian Grey...not considering his masochism, he shows romance and consideration as well as a gentleness and love, I have to believe that is what most women are responding to.


sparkster profile image

sparkster 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Yes, the "reflection" which is nothing more than an illusion. But would such women really be willing to be emotionally, physically and even sexually abused in order to remain in a relationship with this "reflection"? And what is so romantic about him??

He may show gentleness, love and romance but it is clearly complete fake - he is devoid of empathy and so acts it out - there are thousands of women who HAVE been with these types of man and have had their lives ruined and certainly wouldn't go there again.

Couldn't these books have been about someone who is GENUINELY empathetic and romantic as well as a passionate lover? Instead of combining it with sado-masochism and disturbing behaviours like anal fisting and being peed on?? Isn't that enough to put any woman (or man) off??

There is a very dark and disturbing side to these books.


Helena Ricketts profile image

Helena Ricketts 4 years ago from Indiana

A few of my friends have been talking about these books for quite some time. I looked at one that was on the shelf at the store (Target I think) and thumbed through a couple of pages because I had also heard about how horribly it was written. Needless to say, the writing was bad enough that I couldn't get past it.

I'm glad I didn't waste my money on it. To each their own though and if people like it, I'm glad they are able to read it. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for reading my review Helena. I always say, "that's why there is vanilla and chocolate"...what one person doesn't like, another will. I'm glad you didn't waste your money either ;)


NYMiskovic profile image

NYMiskovic 4 years ago from Oswego, NY

I've read all three of these books--mostly because a friend of mine started a Book Club and this was our first book. I ended up reading all three of them. I was so annoyed.

First of all, this type of story (BDSM) is not "new". It's been done before. E.L. James just happened to get lucky and hit it big. Someone somewhere picked it up and the rest is history, as they say.

Secondly, I'm a published author of erotic romances and the actual writing in the 50 Shades trilogy was HORRIBLE! The descriptions were redundant, un-creative, and cliched. The author needs to buy a thesaurus. A book with this much success having such a poor quality of writing gives the entire genre a bad reputation. It's sickening.

Third, both the characters were very unlikeable, in my opinion. Christian Grey is a controlling, stalker who preys on a young, vulnerable, naïve woman. Who in their right mind finds that appealing? And Anastasia? Her whining annoyed me to no end. I wanted to reach into the book and strangle her! It was very apparent that she didn't like Christian's contract or his lifestyle yet she willing participates. Why? Because she loves him? Really? Grow a backbone woman and stop bending over backwards for a man. Ana gives women a bad name.

Ugh! This series irritated me almost as much as The Hunger Games trilogy. I'm not even gonna get started on that one.

I was shocked when I read 50 Shades was Twilight fan fiction. I don't see the connection. Anyway, great hub! Anytime you can get a discussion going like this is a good thing =)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thank you NYMiskovic...I agree 100%, anything that sparks a good discussion is worth it....I agree with so much of what you said, but success is kind of like being in the right place at the right time. There were times I wanted to do the same thing to Ana, reach in and strangle her, but, keeping the public happy, alls well that ends well ;)


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 3 years ago from Indiana, USA

I as only able to get through the first two chapters of the book before I put it down and aside. The writing was, in my opinion, juvenile, and it came across as though the novel was being written not for adults, but for teenagers. That alone was difficult to stomach, but none of the characters I met were compelling, and there is such better erotic writing on the market that I decided I was much happier sticking comfortably to my worn out copy of Exit to Eden (by Anne Rice).

Does it also bear mentioning that the male lead in the movie The Secretary is called Edward Gray?


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I agree this was an acquired taste...my curiosity definitely kept me going. It certainly was not an award winner, but one person's curiosity led to another's...now Anne Rice....


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 3 years ago from Indiana, USA

Ah, see I didn't have to be curious to begin with; the lifestyle issues in these books isn't something that is even remotely new to me, and I can see how those who are only beginning to explore or whose interest is piqued by the darker sexuality in the books might be interested and compelled to keep on reading.

For my taste, and the taste of my friends, they were altogether too vanilla :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

To that my friend I can add no comment ;)


mepperly profile image

mepperly 3 years ago from Vancouver,WA

Love Your Hub.... I have read them twice and thinking about diving in for a 3rd round. It has turned my marriage around in the bedroom, all good of course. Maybe that is TMI.... sorry.. It has inspired me to write my own love story that I will publish as an eBook and see where that takes me. One can always hope. Have a fabulous day.


sparkster profile image

sparkster 3 years ago from United Kingdom

"Who in their right mind finds that appealing?"

Narcissists/Inverted Narcissists.


mepperly profile image

mepperly 3 years ago from Vancouver,WA

I do. I think that the book sales speak for themselves.... the books spoke to me. If you don't like it don't read it, it's that easy.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

From what I've been reading mepperly you are in the MAJORITY. A lot of women have said exactly what you did! Good luck with your book, I hope it is a great success. Please enjoy your day too.

Sparkster that is why there is vanilla and chocolate...different strokes for different folks.


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

I have read a lot about this book, but haven't had the chance to read it. I don't have time to read as I did before I go so involved with HP!

I am curious about it, and I'm going to make a point of reading it.

Thanks for the review.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for stopping by Mary. I think a lot of us read it out of curiosity. You have to take it with a grain of salt and then it's good.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 2 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

I am finally reading this book. I am truly intrigued!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Its definitely an acquired taste but I'm sure with the movie being made Say Yes, many more will be reading it.


Michele Rubatino profile image

Michele Rubatino 22 months ago from Seattle, WA

It appears to me to be the epitome of the female fantasy, so of course it sells. Provided the readers know it's fiction ...


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 22 months ago from New York Author

I think that's the main point some people are missing Michele, it is purely fiction! Thanks for stopping by.


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 4 months ago from Philippines

Being old and prudish, I wonder if I should make a video of myself reading this book.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 months ago from New York Author

Grand old lady, I love your comment!

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