I couldn’t have a blog and not blog about the latest phenomenon that everyone is talking about: The Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L.James.
Critical reception of the novel has generally been mixed, but I bought all three books in one go anyway after reading an article about how empowering many women found it, not to mention how liberating.
Well the first book didn’t disappoint. The second was better. But I am really struggling to finish the third…
In a nutshell, the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey, introduces the two lead characters, the enigmatic Christian Grey and the virginal graduate Anastacia Steele, and details the complex (ahem) physical relationship that develops between the two.
The second book Fifty Shades Darker delves more into the backgrounds of our two passionately perverted lovers and we learn more about Mr Grey’s harrowing past as well as Miss Steele’s career ambitions. The storyline is much stronger as there is less of the hanky panky (which was slowly starting to bore me), and more about the difficulties facing the couple. This picks up the pace giving the novel more of a dramatic feel.
Unfortunately the third book, Fifty Shades Freed, loses the pace completely, and I am finding the relationship between Mr Grey and his bit on the side very monotonous.
The trilogy was apparently developed from that other literary phenomenon Twilight and aside from all the erotica, there are clear similarities, notably the annoying personalities of the female leads. Bella Swan was drab, dreary and dull, not to mention desperate, and Anastacia Steele is no better.
Described as “A pale brown haired girl with blue eyes too big for her face” (dull already), Anastacia comes across as a weak and whiny young woman far younger than her years (although for some reason she excels in the workplace). Her infatuation with the handsome and rich Christian Grey would have worked far better had he been older.
At the age of 27, it is unlikely that someone would have amassed such a great wealth as Christian has (unless he was heir to a throne) and we never learn how his business started.
It would seem more likely that a young career driven woman in her early twenties would be captivated by the experience and knowledge of a man in his 30’s or 40’s rather than a hormone ridden arrogant young man who can’t even clean up after himself. Let’s not forget that whilst Bella Swan was a mere 17 years old, Edward Cullen had 87 years on her!
I also felt that Christian’s domineering character often bordered on selfish and abusive and Anastacia never really stands up for herself.
The general vocabulary used in the book is quite poor, and the author clearly needed a thesaurus. There MUST be other ways to describe eye-rolling.
Yet, beneath all the panting, eye-rolling, and knicker-twisting, lies a sweet (though sometimes sickly) love story and the view that over time, all our deepest fears can be healed by love…ew.