Review: Grey

BY IN B, Erotica 1 COMMENT

By E.L. James. Grade: B



Let’s talk of a guy who is neither completely good nor absolutely bad, but staying true to his surname, is smeared in grey. He comes across a girl, seemingly sweet, innocent and gullible, and falls for her. But no, he doesn’t send her flowers or takes her out on romantic dates. Instead, he proposes to her a contract, an agreement, of becoming a submissive to his dominant self, to satiate his sexual fantasies in his playroom, to quench his thirst for power, and to make both of them feel good, as he proudly admits, in his own words, “We aim to please.”

See the world of Fifty Shades of Grey anew through the eyes of Christian Grey.

In Christian’s own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.

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?

This book is intended for mature audiences.

Welcome to the world of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, one of the most unusual couples you would ever come across. They are characters in contrast, with a fiery chemistry that binds them together. They are inseparable, the attraction and the lust raging fire throughout the pages, and yet, there is always that sense of certainty, the subtle tension veiled in anguish and frustration, that seeps out in the form of outbursts. Ana needs more. She reads books and believes in romance. Christian feels he is not made for such things. And thus, they strike, and strike hard, in ways more than one, often culminating in a powerful play of passion that clouds their differences, making them believe that they are made for each other; but, the doubt lingers.

E. L. James’s novel revolves around these two characters, focussing on their daily activities, their conversations, and their email exchanges. It’s the third among these that I enjoyed the most. Anastasia is bolder in her words when Christian isn’t around, and her email responses to Christian exude more confidence than one would expect normally from her. She opens up her mind, and her heart to him, dismissing things she doesn’t like, accepting the ones she does, and seducing her man in words with sexual overtones. She has a ‘smart mouth’, surprising Christian with her quick witted replies on many occasions.

However, there is a flip side to the story.

‘Grey’ starts in a riveting manner, quickly drawing the readers into its quick narrative style. The pace is good, and as soon as Christian meets Ana, you realize that this book is going to be a real page turner. Christian is charismatic (beware girls), Ana is pretty (beware guys), and they form a blazing pair. The suspense is there, in every page, regarding the relationship, the present and the future of it, and this is what keeps you going. Sadly, the book fails to hold that attention for too long, especially in the second half of the story.

‘Grey’ is like that bottle of cola that will bubble up with raw flavour as soon as you open the cork, its essence enticing your senses, but keep it open for too long, and it losses all its fizz, the content bland and tasteless. I felt that the story was dragged needlessly. The second half lacked any real twists, and often it seemed that the same scenes were flowing over and over again.Christian and Ana’s sexual antics form the backbone of this book, the details explicit and elaborate, and unless one is squeamish about such fictional overtures, he or she wouldn’t mind. Sadly, the author overdoes it with repetitive acts, and you gradually lose interest, realizing that even if you skip a few paragraphs, you wouldn’t lose much.

‘Grey’ is a different kind of book, has an unconventional storyline, with love never been defined in clear terms. I liked the innovative and the bold outlook that the book takes. E. L. James sure deserves kudos for that. However, a concrete plot would have done no harm. Fifty shades or not, ‘Grey’ could have been executed better, in a crispier, and tightly knitted fashion.

A software professional who loves the printed words, Amrit was born and brought up in the City of Joy, Kolkata.

His romance with stories and books started as soon as he learnt to decipher the beauty of letters, consonants and vowels, initially unfurling smiles with comics featuring Chacha Chaudhury and the likes during childhood, gradually progressing to Tinkle with the dawn of adolescence, and finally emerging as a voracious reader of novels. He doesn’t have any preferred genre and loves reading all types of books. However, he has a list of favorite authors, with Khaled Hosseini, Dan Brown, H. G. Wells, Sidney Sheldon, Michael Crichton and Chetan Bhagat scoring high on that chart.

When he is not reading, Amrit likes playing PC games. He is passionate about music and loves composing random notes on his guitar.

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