50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Copyright 2011

Review by Minnie Madden


So much has been written about 50 Shades trilogy that this review is truly a bit of, “a day late and a dollar short” but my editor asked me to do this and his wish is my command. Ha Ha.

50 Shades Trilogy is a creation of E. L. James, a British TV producer; (and for those of you who have been living in the depths of the jungle with no TV or internet access for the past year and haven’t been privy to the new “romantic bondage novels,” that are presently sweeping the publishing world. And when I say sweeping I mean: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. ) It hit number 1 on the New York Times’ bestseller list in March.

Quick overview of Book 1: 50 Shades of Grey. Anastastia Steele, a bright, pretty college virgin (oxymoron???) meets Christian Grey a wealthy, handsome (oxymoron???) business tycoon with a predilection for BDSM, (Bondage, Domination, and Sadomasochism). Hence “Romance Bondage.” That is what I have named this trilogy and it is obviously a new genre in the literary world that has been sorely needed. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Who knew??

Sadly, I’ve only read the first one, “50 Shades of Grey.” So that is the only book I am reporting on. It first came to my attention by my close pal Jan who was visibly upset that she wasn’t a big fan of the book. She couldn’t understand why it was so popular. It actually impacted her negatively. It seems like she felt like she was missing something because of her apparent apathy, boredom, and slight disgust. Hmmmmm.

So of-course I had to pick it up and read it.

Oddly enough my first problem with the book was that the main character Anastasia Steele spoke with British colloquialisms, which is odd since she is depicted as truly all-American. I blamed the editor for this. It made me feel as though no real thought had been put into the writing, which in fact made me sad. It felt like what I like to refer to as a 
“boat payment.” What is this you ask? Owning a boat is like owning a financial eating machine. The common joke is; own a boat and think of a huge hole in the ground that you are going to continually keep throwing money into. Whenever I see a major star of any kind do some schlock TV/Movie/art work/ sponsorship endorsement I always refer to this as a “Boat Payment.” Great idea for a book…Questionable execution…boat payment due??

The best part of the book was the quick-witted repartee of e-mails that Anastasia and Christopher bounce back and forth: thoroughly enjoyed that.

I won’t even try to understand why the books are so popular. Some reviewers think it’s because it began as an e-book. I think it’s because besides being a quick read...it’s been a long time since the Marquis de Sade…had a real girlfriend and if you are a hopeless romantic there is a speck of hope that Anastasia will tame Christian with love. Ahhhhhhh love…. the all-encompassing panacea for what ails you.

It’s kind of a modern day Cinderella...naive girl and rich dude with a shoe theme.

So I guess the question arises: are romance and bondage compatible?? I don’t know...but what I do know is the book alludes to the power of love possibly transforming a bondage freak.

It feels like 9 ½ weeks with the possibility of a happy ending.

Now who doesn’t want to see that happen?

Of-course the next question is: who will play the lead roles in the movie. I’m shooting for Ryan Gossling and whomever.