25 August 2012

Book Review


It’s a rare event for me to start a book and not finish it. Even if the story is lame I persevere because my curiosity won’t let me give up. Recently, however, I gave up on one, went back to it, then tried again. I told myself not to be stupid and get on with the story, even though it’s not my kind of book.

Sainsburys, my local supermarket, had a huge display of books by E L James on special offer: a trilogy of Fifty Shades ... Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed. It was such an impressive display that I decided to read one. Not realising at the time that it was a trilogy I selected a book ... the middle one.

I was put right by the checkout girl. ‘Is that for you?’ she asked. When I said it was she went on to inform me that I should read the first one, ‘otherwise you won’t know what it’s all about’.

Well, I’ve read books out of sequence before and have always been able to follow the storyline. A good author should be able to keep a reader up to date no matter what order the books are read.

Rather than go back and change it, I decided to carry on with the purchase.

Now I know why she smiled at me so meaningfully.

My habit is to read a chapter in the morning and another at night but reading the book at those times was, to say the least ... er ... disturbing. Having said that, I’m not sure at what time of day I could have read it without feeling ... er ... moved. There are NO sexual innuendos, what you get is the full blown thing in graphic detail and what the main characters do to each other is ... yes ...beyond belief. This isn’t just a sex book, it’s a damned instruction manual with sadism and masochism thrown in for good measure.

I’ve written some steamy stuff but I think readers would find that most actions are left to the imagination. Not so with the Fifty books. It’s fine detail or nothing. Sorry E L James but I won’t be reading the other two books. A brief glimpse in the red room of pain finished me forever. It’s positively indecent. No wonder your books are being burned in America.

The blurb on the book’s cover reads: Romantic, liberating and totally addictive, this is a novel that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Ye Gods, I do hope not.

Interestingly there were no reviews printed on the cover or inside the book. I did read some reviews on Amazon, though, and the following two extracts are from lengthy critiques ... which everyone seemed to agree with:

1.       It is an act of sadism against the English language.

2.      Sadly, I thought the story had great potential but this seemed to be lost in page after   page of highly descriptive sex.

I wonder if the supermarket realised what the books were like? As I said, it was a huge display. Strangely enough I haven’t seen them anywhere else.  If they’re in the booksellers, they’ve been carefully hidden.

I normally give my books to the local charity shop, but not this time  ...  this one is going in the trash where it feels comfortable.


  1. I haven't got around to reading these books but it is interesting that there is such a big demand. I imagine with three of them there must be something for everyone, but my major concern is that ugly sadism is not something that should be available to kids in a large supermarket.

  2. Hi Jenny. 532 pages and descriptive sex on every one! It is quite ugly and depraved.

  3. these books are poorly written porn and really not worth the money spent on just hit the market at the right time....ugh....

  4. Dear Valerie, this is the funniest of reviews I have ever read..You are harsh on the author E L James but for readers like us this review will be of great importance..giggles..m sure the curious kids are definitely going to get this..

  5. Val, that's horrible. I'm not sure why a publisher would even put that kind of thing in print! You can be sure I won't be reading any of them. I do enjoy "your" stories, however (smiles).

  6. Great review, Valerie!

    I've read several reviews on this series of books on other blogs, and everyone of them has said the same as you - not worth reading. Their main complaint was that they were just poorly written.

    And it's amazing because here in U.S. these books are displayed all over Barnes & Noble, but I've never felt the desire to pick one up to even glance through it.

    Have a super Saturday, dear lady!


  7. I agree,Brian. I was pleased to read that a charity in the US were burning the books. Best thing for them.

    Ranita. It was intentional harshness. I was surprised that you laughed at it, I didn't intend it to be funny. I dread to think how many youngsters will read this rubbish.

    Mona, I think it's all about money, don't you? Thanks for your support, my friend.

  8. Hi Ron, I could forgive poor writing, it's the subject matter I find so disgusting. Wish I could get my money back...grins.

  9. I read the first one. Then made it halfway through the second one. It was very repetitive. I'm told that the third one is the best of the three, has a real plot. Someday I might get back to reading it, but there are so many other great books to be read before I would go back to that one. There is a fine line between sexual fantasy, satisfying your lover, and just plain abuse.

  10. Curiosity makes mega bucks on this one...or three....

    I'm ummmmmm.....not that curious....LOL

    Thanks for validating 'pass' is the right answer!

  11. Hi Val - Wow! I'm on this long list at the library to borrow the first book (I think) of this series. I'm 24th on the reserve list. After reading your review Val I wonder whether reading these books will disturb me in some way and yet there is this other side of me now that is totally curious. Mmmm torn....Ohhh I just read what Brian wrote...

  12. I won't be reading it either Valerie. I have heard from a reliable source in America however, that Barnes and Noble are doing very well lately thanks to one particular trilogy!

  13. Star, that what I said to hubs ... it's all about money. I worry about supermarkets that have these books on such a huge display.

    Diane, yes curiosity plays a part, especially if a reader want to learn all about instruments of pain. Apart from the guy being a nut case there's very little plot to absorb the reader.

  14. Those books are not my cup of tea either. Sad to say how many love them. Oh well.
    Found you from John's "Don't Unplug Your Hub"!

  15. Hi Kay, and welcome. Thank you for commenting on this post.


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