50 Shades of Grey – It’s Not Just A Pornographic Novel

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Published on September 30th, 2014 | by Joan Makai

British author E.L. James wrote 50 Shades of Grey primarily as a fan fiction based on the hit vampire series ‘Twilight’ by Stephanie Meyer. Because it was such an erotic book, James took it down and published it on her site to be downloaded.

Due to the demand, Vintage Books acquired the publishing rights in 2012. Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, the next two in the book series, followed soon after and became huge success.

The Summary

Anastasia Steele, a college literature student from Washington State University, went to interview business magnate Christian Grey, for a school paper in behalf of a friend. Attraction sparks as soon as they meet, especially on the part of Ana.

Christian was intrigued of Ana’s demure appearance and after getting to know her better, he became fascinated by Ana’s beauty, wit and spirit even more. He admits to wanting her but only on his terms. A man tormented by his past and his need for control, he brings Ana to his dark, erotic world.

The Good

It was the hype which earned the book series millions of dollars in just a space of three months. But what really makes this good? Well, there are two things: sex and marketing. Writing sex scenes is difficult. And as an erotic book filled with just sex, James did a pretty good job. Her marketing team should be applauded for making it more famous. Hey, a movie is already in the works so that’s a clue as to how sex sells.

The Not So Good

This is possibly the most candid and downright honest book review that you will ever read about 50 Shades of Grey. But wait, a lot have written something like this too. And that’s because the fact is, it really isn’t a good book.

Let’s give James some slack. She wrote the book as a fan fiction so aside from the sex, it’s not original nor is it well-written. One critic has even said that Fifty Shades of Grey made Twilight look as if it was Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

The Bad

Because this is an honest to goodness book review, this needs to be said: the worst part of the book is the characterization of both Christian Grey and Ana Steele. The leading man is not likeable, desirable or sympathetic. Come on, you don’t make someone sign a document before having sex with her. The heroine, as another critic has said, is a disfavor to all strong female characters ever made, allowing such treatment.


Despite the bad part, 50 Shades of Gray trilogy is undeniably a huge success. Although the story’s target market is the mature readers due to its graphic sexual content, reports said that even college students and girls on their teens have been raving about the series. Surely BDSM is not a genre for all and many would raise their eyebrows on the story’s theme but when you read the series thoroughly and understand what the author is really trying to say, you’ll realize that 50 Shades trilogy is not just a pornographic novel. It has a heart.

We’d like to say: don’t read it if you’re not ready for some serious sadism and masochism role play. But like so many out there, you’re going to. And you will find out what we’re trying to tell you on your own.

Photo Credit: m01229 via Compfight cc

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About the Author

Joan Makai

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