Grey (Fifty Shades #4) by E.L. James – Or Why Some Questions Should Remain Unanswered

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From Goodreads – Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.

Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?


Idiom: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Or perhaps curiosity killed the cat would be more appropriate? I admit it, I read Fifty Shades of Grey – worse than that I read all three books. I wouldn’t say that I disliked the story precisely, as I did in fact want to know what happened next and thus read all three entries with varying degrees of dissatisfaction. However if I ever were to have the misfortune of meeting “the fictitious Ms. Steele” I would gladly slap her. giphy

The most pervasive emotion I felt when reading FSOG was annoyance, every time that idiot girl bit her lip, blushed or worst of all, when I read the myriad of cultural references that would only be appropriate if the setting was across the pond, from where the esteemed author hails, I was irked. Feeling this way one might wonder why I would a) watch the movie and b) subject myself to reading a rewrite, which make no mistake Grey IS though I didn’t realize it at the time. The answer is simple, I was curious.

With Grey, E.L. James was afforded a rather unique opportunity, a do-over if you will. Don’t we all wonder what we could do if we had more time, resources, what have you… what the outcome would be? I made the mistake of thinking that Grey was an example of this type of thinking rather than the thinly veiled money grab that it in fact was. One would think with the world wide attention, if not acclaim, that Grey would be something… well, better.

giphyThough Ana got on my last nerve, I was somewhat reluctantly intrigued by Christian Grey. Even if when his deep dark secret was finally revealed my internal monologue was along the lines of “boo freakin’ hoo“, at least Dexter took his early childhood trauma and became a serial killer. Now, that was interesting! In general, I like stories told in dual POV even if I often wonder if an author of the opposite gender could ever truly capture the essence of the character’s thoughts and motivations. But if I wanted truth I could start reading non-fiction and that is not going to happen which brings me back to Grey.

On Valentine’s Day of this year, the motion picture of Fifty Shades of Grey was released. Before I saw the film I considered for a brief moment re-reading the book and then realized that way leads the path to madness for the reasons stated above. After seeing the movie I was glad that I had allowed the horror that was the first book to fade from my memory somewhat. Make no mistake it is no Best Film Academy Award nominee in the making but considering the rather lugubrious source material, the film far exceeded my expectations, Dakota Johnson brought to the part an unexpected and somehow completely appropriate humor. My hope that this would carry on to the next two films planned in the series but alas that is not to be as the esteemed director Sam Taylor Johnson and screenwriter have fled the ship amidst rumours of strife with the author. Sadly I feel that this will negatively impact the upcoming Fifty Shades Darker.

Granted Jamie Dornan was a bit stiff (muwhahaha) in the part and what, WHAT, what were they thinking with that opening scene of the movie with “Christian” (Jamie Dornan) running with his hood up in an almost identical fashion to the actor’s character in The Fall? That in an if itself isn’t an issue until you consider that Paul Spector is a serial killer!

After a somewhat positive movie watching experience I naively gave into my curiosity and figured I would give Grey a whirl forgetting two critical things. Firstly, “do overs” are about as common as unicorns and second if “The King” and I mean Stephen not Elvis arguably one of the greatest storytellers of all time could not improve on The Stand by adding back in 400 pages that was edited out of the original why oh why would I think that a far less competent writer, inexplicable commercial success aside, would be able to improve upon a mediocre sexed up hack of Twilight?

Quite simply Grey is boring, the editing is much better than FSOG, free of all of those horrific inaccurate cultural references. Unless you are raised in a British expatriate household and sometimes not even then, which I was, you do not say you are going to “ring” someone instead of call etc. I could go on but I feel a rant coming on. What we learned upon reading Grey is that Christian’s cock appears to have gained sentience and weighs in on his every thought and decision. The sex scenes never particularly titillating despite what you may have heard are repetitive and mechanical. Truly all I gleaned from the experience is that I am not better for having been privy to Christian Grey’s inner monologue and that if you truly want to be entertained read the various reviews/parodies available about this latest offering instead. Hopefully by the time the “alternate versions” are released of Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed I will be wise enough to take my own advice.

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