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The Book Club Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: 50 Shades of Grey
ladyvorkosigan
♀ Member
Member # 8283
Default  Posted: 7:22 AM, December 4th (Tuesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ok, so I actually read this last week. I'd read the first but mostly forgot about it, and I think I started the second and stopped. This was before it went huge. I decided that since I am frequently lured into discussions about it EVERYWHERE ON THE INTERNET, I should actually evaluate it, so I read the whole thing.

I have Thoughts. However, I want to say this:

I can see why so many people are shocked! SHOCKED! I tell you. Because it certainly is shocking. I was absolutely gobsmacked. I had to re-read sections over and over to make sure that I was really reading what I thought I was reading. Say what you will about E.L. James, but she certainly knows how to push the envelope...

...I mean, I cannot *believe* she made him a *ginger*.

SHOCKED. It's just not DONE.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 7:23 AM, December 4th (Tuesday)]


It nagged him, in particular, that none of the girls he’d known so far had given him a sense of unalloyed triumph.

Posts: 14226 | Registered: Sep 2005 | From: Florida
galaxyhunter
♀ New Member
Member # 36939
Default  Posted: 1:30 PM, December 4th (Tuesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This review sums up my feelings on the books.

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340987215


BS-Me-31
WS-Him-31
D-day 4-2012
R-not even close


Posts: 22 | Registered: Sep 2012
ladyvorkosigan
♀ Member
Member # 8283
Default  Posted: 3:53 PM, December 4th (Tuesday), 2012View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ehh...

I don't think anyone who isn't either a romance reader, a fanfic enthusiast, or that rarest of creatures, a non-romance reader who lacks an agenda, can really offer a measured reaction. It's just so saturated in genre tropes that reading it and being surprised and outraged at every. single. detail. like that is like reading a spy thriller and being surprised and outraged that the technology described just isn't realistic and like way too James Bond. Hello, it's James Bond-y because it's *the same genre*.

The only things that GoodReads reviewer mentioned that stood out to me are about his $$$ and the language used to describe sex organs.

He's only 27 years old. He's only been in business 6 years. And he's a damn *shipping magnate*. We haven't had shipping magnate heroes since the mid 1970s. That kind of billionaire is ancient and wrinkled. That kind of billionaire is not a 27-yo who didn't inherit his wealth.

And it was unnecessary to describe him as being *that* wealthy when he could've easily had like maybe $200m. Why you gotta say billionaire? His lifestyle is entirely supportable on a couple hundred million. And for god's sake just have him be in tech. It's not at all unbelievable that a 21-yo could build a business that made him several hundred million dollars. I mean Zuckerberg, right? Considering there's no such thing as a major sf/fantasy con that isn't accompanied by it's very own play party it's a natural fit. Nerds are kinky as fuck. This article is a good one:

http://io9.com/5928739/the-secrets-of-geek-mating-rituals

Makes perfect sense why so many people who are into BDSM are nerds.

As far as the language goes, I am at the point where I find it distracting when people don't just say cock or pussy or c*nt. She never uses those. It's always "his erection" or "her sex." Which it could be worse, and since it's first person...well, she probably would choose that language.

So since I was able to ignore everything that's just standard issue for the genre, I was able to focus on other things. I actually thought it was intelligent about the politics of relationships, particularly when the participants are both very young and both totally inexperienced, like these two were. One thing that's always interesting to me is when a character says "This is how I am, this is what I require," and then proceeds to not be that way and not require anything. Unreliable narrators, man.

We always bring to relationships a set of expectations that are a blend of what we really find important and what we think we're supposed to find important. You have to learn the difference, because only the former are hills you want to die on.

I enjoyed the fact that he very easily diagnosed that in her, but failed to notice that there was nothing in his contract he gave an actual fuck about, nor did he give an actual fuck about getting it signed. The waxing part was the hilarious part to me. By the time 2.5 books later she got around to going hmm, Imma go get waxed, he's like "Wait, what? You didn't do that because you thought I wanted you to, right?" I mean SERIOUSLY. I don't get how people actually think he's controlling. What exactly does he manage to control? He makes himself over to please her. Sure, she gets a makeover, but that's mostly about *shopping*. He's the one sitting around waiting for her to tell him what to do and how to be.

I also thought it did probably the best job I've ever seen done with the topic of Emotional Affairs. They may not have had the language to be able to name them EAs, and like most people think the only As are PAs, but all those things with the exes and the Nice Guys (TM) she's friends with...all EAs. And just as frustrating to deal with and to get each other to *see* as it is IRL.

I've read reviewers who thought his feelings about her EAs meant he was controlling, but is it actually all that unreasonable to be all, "You know your best guy friend that I saw trying to take advantage of you when you were drunk that one time and called me to pick you up? Since you are my girlfriend, I don't want you going out with him, particularly not alone. When you attend an event he's going to be attending, I'll come with you." I mean, people of SI, is that unreasonable?

Neither is it controlling of her to be like, "So since you're my boyfriend, I have to tell you I don't care for how all these former women of yours still rely on you emotionally and financially, and I particularly dislike how you keep telling that older lady who molested you when you were a teenager allllll about *our* relationship when you go out to dinner with her which you don't even MENTION TO ME until it's already happened."

Again, NOT unreasonable, not controlling. Good sense. But nobody calls her controlling, because I guess only men can be controlling? If so, he's the Worst. Controller. Ever. because he never actually successfully controls anything. When they change something about themselves for the other, it's through communication and compromise, not control.

I remembered, re-reading the first one, why I put it down. I was very upset about his failure to recognize what was done to him as abuse, and that Mrs. Robinson is a pedo. But that isn't fair to the author, and I recognized that later on. If your story is about your characters re-processing their pasts and reaching a better understanding of themselves, you do actually have to let them display a poor understanding of their pasts and themselves.

To sum up, I thought it was sweet, funny, and wise, and lord_v is reading it now because I was like "I RENOUNCE ALL THAT BAD STUFF I SAID ABOUT 50 SHADES YOU HAVE TO READ IT" and he trusts me.

[This message edited by ladyvorkosigan at 3:59 PM, December 4th (Tuesday)]


It nagged him, in particular, that none of the girls he’d known so far had given him a sense of unalloyed triumph.

Posts: 14226 | Registered: Sep 2005 | From: Florida
FeelsSoRight
♀ Member
Member # 28377
Default  Posted: 2:47 PM, April 18th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Ok - I know I'm SUPER late to the show, but I just finished reading the 3rd and (for now) final book of the 50 Shades trilogy.

I loved them, but not for the kinky fuckery (as Ana calls it)...I loved the fact that the author showed people with real flaws...some pretty messed up ones at that...and how they worked through them and made their lives better. (I swear I kept thinking of how the tv show character "Dexter" is like Christian Grey in his brokenness but yet trying to be "normal")

The kinky stuff wasn't quite as "out there" as I had thought it would be with all the hub-bub I had heard.

All that aside, it was not very well written. The author could have used a thesaurus to not repeat the same word 90 million times (Mercurial for instance...)

But overall, I loved the very slow, very real transformation of the characters. They did not change overnight. They are still not perfect, but they are trying.

Ok, sorry I just opened a thread from over 4 months ago


Me - W - 48
Him - H - 47
Together since we were 14/15
Married 27 yrs in August (renewed our vows in 2011-H's idea!)
DD-23, DS-15
Separated for 7 mos & were 3 wks from divorce when we reconciled
Happily R for almost 4 years

Posts: 1450 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: MO
BIZZYBEEZ
♀ Member
Member # 37645
Default  Posted: 11:49 AM, May 3rd (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm just about done with the 2nd one & have the 3rd one ready to read on my Nook. I love it so far. For the most part I only read True Crime books & I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying this series. The BDSM is mild compared to what I was expecting. Not for everyone but I look forward to it every night.


BW (me) - 47
WH (him) - 39
DDay - 10/22/2012 (worst day of my life)

Learning to breathe again - one day at a time


Posts: 235 | Registered: Nov 2012
RuinedMusketeer
♀ New Member
Member # 40248
Default  Posted: 8:36 AM, August 10th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you love 50 Shades, read the Crossfire books by Sylvia Day. They are similar but different. Bared to You is the first one of the series. There are 3 books out now and two yet to come.


"What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger"

Me: FWS/BW from 1st marriage
Him: BS, fabulous love of my life
Us: Reconciled with struggles


Posts: 6 | Registered: Aug 2013
MrsDoubtfire
♀ Member
Member # 24786
Default  Posted: 8:51 AM, August 10th (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Got to page 32 of book 2 and realised my granny probably wrote this as the author clearly has no idea how to write eroticism! It's clichéd and the sex scenes are hardly erotic!!

Hated it.


BS(Me) FWH(Him) DDay 05.09
A went underground. True R 02.10
I won't let another woman reap the benefit of enjoying the man my H has now become†

Posts: 1584 | Registered: Jul 2009
Jennifer99
♀ Member
Member # 39551
Default  Posted: 7:31 PM, August 11th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Read 3 chapters. Could not stand anymore. Think horrible lame free ebook then add the most obnoxious characters you can think of. Better things to read.

[This message edited by Jennifer99 at 9:12 AM, August 12th (Monday)]


Posts: 556 | Registered: Jun 2013
Jennifer99
♀ Member
Member # 39551
Default  Posted: 7:32 PM, August 11th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Aha, figuring out I can edit posts.

[This message edited by Jennifer99 at 9:12 AM, August 12th (Monday)]


Posts: 556 | Registered: Jun 2013
frigidfire86
♀ Member
Member # 32324
Default  Posted: 6:31 AM, August 12th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Crossfire novels! Yes! Sylvia Day is a much better writer than E.L. James. Read them!

Bared To You
Reflected In You
Entwined With You
...and 2 more coming out!


Me: 28
Him: 29
Married 8 years
Daughter, 7 yrs old
D-Day: 05/08/2011

Posts: 628 | Registered: May 2011 | From: Germany
StrongerOne
♀ Member
Member # 36915
Default  Posted: 4:22 PM, August 12th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You can get it pretty cheap on amazon if you buy it used.

Btw, i read that there's already a terrible porno version of the first book floating around.


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 877 | Registered: Sep 2012
FeelsSoRight
♀ Member
Member # 28377
Default  Posted: 7:19 AM, August 21st (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with frigidfire...the Crossfire books are very similar to 50 Shades of Grey but Sylvia Day can actually write. Although, just gotta say...could live the rest of my life without reading/hearing the word "cleft" again...lol...(Read the Crossfire series and you'll know what I mean)


Me - W - 48
Him - H - 47
Together since we were 14/15
Married 27 yrs in August (renewed our vows in 2011-H's idea!)
DD-23, DS-15
Separated for 7 mos & were 3 wks from divorce when we reconciled
Happily R for almost 4 years

Posts: 1450 | Registered: Apr 2010 | From: MO
NWfleur
♀ Member
Member # 35874
Default  Posted: 2:14 AM, August 26th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Tried to read it but the writing was so bad and the characters so two dimensional it kept kicking my mind out of the story. It reads like an internet self-publish - not even the good-bad writing of a Harlequin romance.
I like a good sexy book, but I have to be able to let my mind follow along with the images - the writing was so bad that just couldn't happen.

^This. Exactly. I was almost laughing at how distractingly bad the writing was. I could get past how unrealistic the story was if the writing was clever. To me it's similar to the porn version of Twilight. But if you don't expect quality, it might be a fun read...


Me BS (39)
Him WS (36)
2 DS
M: 9 years (together 13)
DD: 4/10/2012
(Separated since 12/11...affair began ??!!)

Divorced!!!


Posts: 322 | Registered: Jun 2012 | From: USA
Trying33
♀ Member
Member # 38815
Default  Posted: 9:55 PM, August 29th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It was a great read for me. Granted, I can't take much literature refinement with my brain right now so it was just pure escapism..

C Grey was an interesting character.. I liked him.. her not so much


Posts: 362 | Registered: Mar 2013
Jrazz
♀ Guide
Member # 31349
Default  Posted: 3:12 PM, September 2nd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

They cast the movie.

I'm uber disappointed in the guy they picked for Christian.

http://movies.yahoo.com/news/dakota-johnson-cast-anastasia-steele-fifty-shades-grey-152448818.html


Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it. - François-Marie Arouet

Posts: 17890 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: California
JustDone
♀ Member
Member # 9742
Default  Posted: 5:19 PM, September 2nd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Charlie Hunnam?

As Christian Grey?

Naaaaaaaaa


Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.

Nobody forgets what happens, the secret is learning to live with it.


Posts: 2796 | Registered: Feb 2006
JustDone
♀ Member
Member # 9742
Default  Posted: 5:21 PM, September 2nd (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Jrazz, I see Dakota Johnson more than him...


Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.

Nobody forgets what happens, the secret is learning to live with it.


Posts: 2796 | Registered: Feb 2006
Crescita
♀ Member
Member # 32616
Default  Posted: 2:33 PM, September 19th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Charlie Hunnam?

I gave up reading early into the second book, figured if the rest of the story was worth anything I could just watch the movie. Now I'm not so sure. It's hard enough trying to suffer through Hunnam on SoA. Terrible writing vs. terrible acting, is their a good synopsis out there somewhere?


“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

Posts: 3466 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: The Valley of the Sun
cluless
♀ Member
Member # 40538
Default  Posted: 11:58 AM, September 25th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The first two books of this series woke up my sexuality. I had it so buried I didn't even know how much I was missing.

The third book was such a let down, I put it down and never even finish it. But the book gives you some great ideas, things you never knew possible and it certainly peaked my interest


WH 57
BS 55 -- Me!
LTA EA/PA 1-1/2 years.
D-Day 8-12, 2nd D-Day 9-13, 3rd D-Day 10-13 (stopped counting tt still coming in)
Married 17 yrs, together 20.
MC & IC has been a JOKE.

Status: In careful R. Sometimes spinning our wheels and starti


Posts: 166 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: Oceanside
Ascendant
♂ Member
Member # 38303
Default  Posted: 6:48 PM, October 2nd (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I've read reviewers who thought his feelings about her EAs meant he was controlling, but is it actually all that unreasonable to be all, "You know your best guy friend that I saw trying to take advantage of you when you were drunk that one time and called me to pick you up? Since you are my girlfriend, I don't want you going out with him, particularly not alone. When you attend an event he's going to be attending, I'll come with you." I mean, people of SI, is that unreasonable?

Neither is it controlling of her to be like, "So since you're my boyfriend, I have to tell you I don't care for how all these former women of yours still rely on you emotionally and financially, and I particularly dislike how you keep telling that older lady who molested you when you were a teenager allllll about *our* relationship when you go out to dinner with her which you don't even MENTION TO ME until it's already happened."

Again, NOT unreasonable, not controlling. Good sense. But nobody calls her controlling, because I guess only men can be controlling? If so, he's the Worst. Controller. Ever. because he never actually successfully controls anything. When they change something about themselves for the other, it's through communication and compromise, not control.

I was not the biggest fan of the book...read the first one, didn't get all the attention. That being said, I think these ^^^ are excellent points. The more I read up on boundaries within relationships, the more that I think *most people* have unhealthy relationships...because what most of us in the Infidelity-forum would call "healthy boundaries", an awful lot of the outside worlds call "controlling" or "trying to control". Just a thought.


I keep my mind on my future/and my eyes on the sky/I don't really smile much/If you were there you'd know why.

Posts: 2181 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: City in the Midwest/Best In The Whole Wide World
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