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"50 Shades of Grey" - A Romance Novel...Or Porn?

Book Critique: "50 Shades of Grey" - A romance novel...or porn?

There's this "romance" novel out there that everyone is a buzz about.  No, it's not "Twilight" or even "Vampire Diaries".  It's "50 Shades of Grey". 

As an avid reader and lover of romance novels, I couldn't believe I wasn't the first to know about this book series.  I had to hear about it from my female co-workers - all of them!  How can so many women be raving about this book and I haven't heard about it?  I must read it! 

But alas, I'm going to have to give "50 Shades" 2 stars out of 5.  Sorry ladies.  Why?  Well, as an avid reader of romance novels, both sweetly romantic as well as erotic, "50 Shades" crosses the line. 

While I give the author credit for the quality of writing and think it would be a wonderful novel if certain things were taken out in its editing, I myself, as a fairly intelligent, educated and liberated woman, can do without the sexual dysfunction of it's main male character, Christian Grey.  I can't bring myself to want to continue reading Books 2 and 3, as Book 1 was, to say the least, deeply disturbing.  Call me a prude if you will, but this goes beyond normal fantasy for any modern woman in their right mind.  Notice my use of the term "right mind".

I get it.  Parts of it are hot and I couldn't put it down.  And I reluctantly admit, Christian does seem to care and love Anastasia to some extent.  But it left me feeling, oh I don't know, not so fresh...and maybe a little angry; and frankly, in reality (which this is so not), no modern woman in their right mind would give a man like Christian the time of day after the second date. 

To say the author's main male character, Christian or "Mr. Grey" is a sexist pig who mentally and physically abuses the woman who he's strongly attracted to and eventually falls in love with, is putting it mildly.  The man is a creep and desperately needs to seek a different therapist from the one he supposedly has.  The main character, Anastasia, is a little bit more real, as she is shown to be a strong young woman who occassionally puts Christian in his place and does have a conscience about the wrongness of the whole thing.  But you have to wonder what's wrong with her as well, to put up with and fall in love with such a dysfunctional human being. 

So, with all due respect ladies, I'm going back to my endless search for romantic and just "steamy" romance novels.  To each her own....

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jrjr13 May 21, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Darcy is that a joke?
Maria Goldman May 21, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I hope so too Judy! Not for anyone under 18! And even this is NOT the norm!
Gina May 21, 2012 at 10:33 PM
I enjoyed all three books and the books got better as they went on. But what i find funny is all the controversy and hype about them being porn. How are these books any more sexual that the Jackie Collins books we read at least 20 years ago? They were just as raunchy and everyone read them and loved them, yet there is such a big deal about these books all these years later when sex is less of a taboo then it was then.
Debra Dill May 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM
How can you actually rate something without reading it?? Your rating is your opinion but not made with all the facts. I read all three and loved them. I was actually sad when I was done. Go back and read the trilogy before making any judgements. You will fall in love with Christian Grey, flaws and all! There is so much more to this story than sex!
Yvonne Kleine May 23, 2012 at 03:36 PM
I believe the author of this book was heavily influenced by the once verboten and scandalous " The Story of O", by Pauline Reage. This is a book that so scandalized FRANCE (of all places) that it was passionately debated as porn or art for fifty years. It was rumored on very good authority to be a true story and the story of Pauline Reage herself is a fascinating one. The book was banned all over the place. Many consider "The Story of O" to be a masterpiece. But it's really about power, control and the lengths certain men and women will go to keep a lover. None of these books are suitable for children, but I remember reading Harold Robbins' "The Carpetbaggers" when I was around thirteen. Of course, my Mother had no idea. My girlfriends and I mostly got the giggles over it, but probably because we were too young to deal with the subject matter. The "literature" of today makes Robbins' stuff look like an article in Seventeen Magazine. Times are very different now.
Leslie Rurup May 29, 2012 at 12:37 AM
I don't think it's the sex, per se, that's causing all the conversations. I think it's because there's the DS/S&M element. I admit that I wasnt going to read the book(s) until a woman in my office loaned me the first one to read. And yes, I did 'fall in love' with Fifty. And no, I do not think I would have stayed in order to break through to him. I'm 1/3 through the 3rd book (Ana just out-drove a malicious "tail!") and I've slapped & screamed at Ana (she doesn't listen...,) slapped & screamed at Fifty at the end of Book One (what the HELL was he THINKING?? He KNEW BETTER!!) but I'm totally emotionally invested in this trip. Can anybody recommend another series like this, for when I'm done; I'll be in withdrawal otherwise :-)
chris giordano May 29, 2012 at 01:35 PM
What is his "dysfuction" sexually? Trying to gwt a better idea before I read
Leslie Rurup June 03, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I don't want to have to say, "SPOILER ALERT!," but Christian feels that he must totally control his.....partners....as well as everything else in his life. He's not totally demonized in the book, and I don't think the depiction of B&D/S&M, etc., is any more 'accurately' depicted in the book, than a lot of other things that transpire in the book. Maybe it's not the cruel, unloving stuff that we think it is....I couldn't get past the first 30 or so pages of "The Story of O," because it all just seems like random cruelty to me. I don't care: I'm not doing a thesis on "...Grey," I'm just enjoying it as another tantalizing something-to-read. H8rs gonna h8 :-)
Anonymous one June 04, 2012 at 04:46 PM
This book series was meant to offend your thoughts about our mundane everyday vanilla sexual routines. The number one fantasy of women walking the streets is to be watched by a man. It gives the woman a power over the man, like a steak dangling above a dog. The kicker is that the same women view strippers to be whores or sluts. When you bash this book you are pointing the prudent finger of a more conservative yesteryear. By yesteryear i mean the days of having two twin beds and calling down to hubby when you put them together. Sex is not evil, and people naturally seek the new whether they are vocal or in fantasy. I feel this book has opened the eyes to a lot of women wanting something different. books like these keep marriages strong! go to your local huh hmmm book store and get some handcuffs and lube! it will make life less divorce happy, and give america one less reason for adultery.
anonymous June 04, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Oh please...maybe you all have lame sex lives and that's what you found so rivoting about these books. All of a sudden you all want to have sex with your husbands because of this repetative drivel? That is so sad.
sophie chase August 18, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Im 16 and in the middle and my friend says its bookporn and not good for any one under 18 but i have read worst but then again she said shes gonna read it its just a book its not gonna scar us for life
One Voice September 18, 2012 at 03:35 PM
http://www.change.org/petitions/walmart-stop-selling-child-porn-by-pulling-50-shades-of-grey-from-your-shelves?utm_campaign=new_signature&utm_medium=email&utm_source=signature_receipt
John K Massaro September 18, 2012 at 03:57 PM
You know, the Nazis wanted to ban books too. When will you be setting up the fire barrels? Why don't you start by running into the drug stores & pulling all of those Harlequin books off the shelves?
Jamie September 18, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Honestly I think book 1 had the most sexual content, that people might find disturbing. I think book Two and Three were more of a romance novel type. There was also a little adventure thrown into too. I truly enjoyed them.I miss Christian Grey. Ah until we meet again Christian!
One Voice September 18, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I will most assuredly run into each and every Walgreen, CVS, & Rite Aid in america ripping out every Harlequin romance novel as soon as they show a Cover with Fabio bent over caressing a little girl with pigtails while in a compromising position! I PROMISE YOU... There is nothing Harlequin-LYish Romantic about 50 Shades of Grey!
John K Massaro September 18, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Don't forget your "Gestapo" uniform...
One Voice September 18, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Don't forget your Mama!
Jamie September 18, 2012 at 06:30 PM
You read it One Voice? Why would you read all three if you found them so disturbing? Just like every thing else in America- if you don't like it don't read it. What does anyone's Mama have to do with anything? (Insert eye roll)
John K Massaro September 18, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Mama jokes - The sure sign of an intellectually defeated & desperate individual...
One Voice September 18, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Not defeated. Just Done. I don't argue with a fool. Folks from a distance can't tell who is who.. Good Luck
John Gruber September 18, 2012 at 06:51 PM
the only fools are the people who try to ban books and movies and resort to "your mama" jokes. don't like? don't read it. you have no right determining what's right for others. and yes, when you resort to your mama jokes, you are most certainly defeated and have no right calling anyone a "fool"
John K Massaro September 18, 2012 at 06:52 PM
LMAO! Okay. Carry on with your closed-mindedness. Heil!
One Voice September 18, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I never said ban the book.. So not only are you a fool but you are now delusional! The only person pissy about someone taking it to their "Mama" is someone with no case. I get it. You like to read smut, & fantasize.. I'll leave you and your Mama right to it! Carry on, Dirty Harry!
John K Massaro September 18, 2012 at 07:37 PM
No, what you said was that you'd "most assuredly" run into every CVS & Walgreens like a Stormtrooper & rip out every book that YOU don't find acceptable! Who gave YOU the right to even think that would be acceptable? In THIS country, that's called Nazism. Just so you know, that Red Band goes on your left arm...
John Gruber September 18, 2012 at 08:44 PM
so to you there's a difference between banning books and going into every store and ripping them up? I believe THAT'S delusional. I'm glad to know you get to decide what's considered "smut" and "fantasy". you're better suited for China, Korea or 'Nam. don't forget you salute with your right arm...
John Gruber September 18, 2012 at 08:47 PM
perhaps you'd like to take your secret police and burn all religious books that don't conform to your severe ignorance
Gigi October 05, 2012 at 02:35 PM
50 Shades...child porn??? Hahahahahahah~ That's so silly!!!
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Ginger blanco September 08, 2013 at 03:03 PM
First, I don't read romance novels but got introduced by a coworker on this book. I liked all 3 the books, yes I agree about the control and some other treatment being horrible. I kepted on reading and later could see difference in feelings. BUT how do people or MEN get mad at this as porn when sexual images are pushed in our faces in movies/commercials all the time and is OK. There's no pictures or images at all so how is this porn. Sorry just trying to under stand where people are coming from.

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