Bella Coola Book Club Book Review – Fifty Shades of Grey

Bella Coola Book Club Book Review – Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey was the first book of the year for the Bella Coola Book Club.

Welcome to the first Book Review column brought to you by the Bella Coola Book Club. As a new member, I thought it would be fun to combine business with pleasure and pass on some thoughts, ideas, and reviews from the local ladies of literature.

As a Book Club ‘virgin,’ I chuckled to discover the first book on the agenda was the erotic fiction blockbuster, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’ Despite not being the typical genre of book I would read, I was glad to give it a try and see what all the fuss is about, which is precisely why the Club chose this book in the first place.

The storyline goes like this. Anastasia Steele: young, virgin, beautiful, smart, self-conscious but scrappy, falls for Christian Grey: young, successful, drop-dead gorgeous, billionaire, cold-as-ice, borderline sexual sadist who wants her to sign a contract outlining their sexual relations. Sound familiar? Apparently not, as this story is well outside the normal boundaries of ‘erotic and/or romantic fiction.’

This could well be the only reason the book is so popular, because, as was the consensus of all the members in the Book Club, it certainly isn’t the writing! While the sex scenes are steamy, a storyline, frankly, doesn’t exist. Anastasia Steele is a feeble character that walks a fine line between being grudgingly likeable or downright annoying, while Christian Grey is so emotionally unavailable even an imaginative reader can’t get through to him. The supporting cast of characters was mere shadows in the background, with all but one, Anastasia’s feisty roommate, Kate, lacking the detail needed to bring them into play.

‘Fifty Shades’ is the brainchild of London-based writer, EL (Erika Leonard) James, and is the first in a trilogy of novels written over a period of just two years. James has said the books are “…my midlife crisis, writ large. All my fantasies are in there, and that’s it.”

Despite being named as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” by Times Magazine, James herself has admitted she was surprised by the explosion of interest in the books, which began as an internet-based piece of fanfiction based on the hugely popular ‘Twilight’ series.

The book steers the reader through the emotional rollercoaster suffered by Anastasia as she struggles to determine what is ‘normal’ in her first relationship with a cold, controlling, ‘grey-eyed Greek Adonis’ who is only interested in a certain type of sexual relationship, although he makes some exceptions for the ‘innocent’ and naïve Anastasia.

While the reader is increasingly irritated by the musings of Anastasia’s heady ‘inner goddess’ or her self-deprecating ‘subconscious,’ Christian Grey is giving nothing away. There is no clear answer as to why this man is so hell-bent on controlling and dominating women in a way that disturbs most readers, giving James all the more reason to compel the dark romance into two more novels! Book Club members unanimously agreed that they would rather pick up an Archie comic than be subjected to another shade of grey.

To its credit, Fifty Shades has ignited a firestorm of conversations about men, women, sexuality, and relationships, and that is a valuable thing. However, the book itself is painful to read, as there is nothing to hold the ‘story’ together: flimsy characters, repetitive descriptions, predictable outcomes, laughable situations, and a very unsatisfying ending. More than one Book Club member admitted to excessive ‘skimming.’

Unless you are genuinely curious about all the hype surrounding the Fifty Shades trilogy: save your money. James doesn’t need your cash, as the book has now outsold the entire Harry Potter series on Amazon, which Book Club members agreed were a much better read.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Bill passes to make Sept. 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation statutory holiday

Residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad and CRD Area F director Joan Sorley were in Ottawa for the vote

Wally Webber elected to fourth term as Nuxalk Chief Councilor

Webber took the win with 174 votes out of a total of 389

Bella Coola expected to be hottest spot in B.C. today

Temperatures are predicted to rise to 18 C

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

IT’S OFFICIAL: Mt. Timothy sale complete

New owners looking toward year-round mountain resort facility

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Most Read