Review of Grey by EL James
It no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. This is not because I am snobby about the writing style (I’m not the best either) nor am I outraged by the controlling behaviour of Christian Grey. I just didn’t particularly enjoy the books and found all the angst and all-consuming love really irritating.
I did like the Fifty Shades of Grey film (which was a surprise) which this gave me some hope that I might enjoy the latest instalment, Grey, which is the story told from Christian’s point of view.
Grey by EL James is available from most good book shops but I bought mine from Amazon Kindle for £3.66. The paperback is also available on the Amazon website for £3.85.
‘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?’
Review of Grey by EL James
I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised with Grey but I was bitterly disappointed. The storyline is exactly the same, with roles reversed which means that we see things from Christian’s point of view, and that’s what spoils it.
The fantasy of a cool, unflappable Christian was shattered and the mystery of this enigma disappeared with every turn of the page. This needy little wimp is not the person I imagined Christian Grey to be and in my opinion, EL James should have left well alone.
I would have preferred more background into Christian’s adolescence and his transition from troubled teen to powerful billionaire Dom. What brought him to the point of meeting Anastasia and what attracts him to her. Instead there was whiny stalking and pointless business conversations which mean very little to the reader. Had EL James focused more on Christian’s background whilst telling the story, she could have retained some of the backbone which drew millions of women to this cold and damaged character.
There were opportunities to discuss his relationship with Elena but these were not explored either. This was a woman who supposedly changed his life but he treats her with disdain, why is this? How did this woman stumble across the troubled young man and introduce him to the lifestyle. How did it change his llife?
Also, the relationship with Leila – what tipped her over the edge?
The story lacks volume and completely failed to draw me in. The retelling of Christian’s childhood through the eyes of a four year old meant that very little work was required to add any emotion to the scene and this seems very lazy. If these flash backs were relayed with Christian’s adult persona, EL James would have been required to add depth and emotion to the scene and I felt that this was a complete cop out.
A lot of dialogue is regurgitated in Grey. Because it’s a carbon copy of the first book, it’s to be expected but it felt like a cheap trick and a ploy to fill up the pages. I didn’t enjoy it and the whole book was an absolute a chore to read.
The hard core Fifty Shades of Grey fans will enjoy this book because they enjoyed the first one and there is very little difference in the stories. However, I feel that opportunities to broaden Christian’s character and discuss powerful issues were missed in the race to make a fast buck.
I have a lot of respect for EL James and her achievements with the trilogy, but this book was not created for the love of writing, it was written for money and it’s a very lazy offering. I am not impressed at all.
Follow Voluptasse on Twitter for more stories and reviews