Dear E.L. James

I try not to jump on bandwagons. I like to do my own research and form my own opinions wherever possible. So when everyone I know started saying how bad 50 Shades of Grey was, I knew I would have to try reading it for myself.

So a few months ago, I downloaded the free sample of the ebook. It’s about twenty pages, and I read those, and really I thought it was pretty boring. I might have been a little more interested if Kate was the main character, but I just couldn’t get into Ana. So I put it down, and thought no more of it.

But yesterday, prompted by a mention of your trilogy on a forum, I thought I should give it another shot. After all, the point of an erotic novel is the sex, and I hadn’t read any of that yet. So I purchased the entire ebook and flicked forward until I found something clearly intended to be erotic.

This time I wasn’t bored. No, bored doesn’t describe it. I swung between confusion, amusement, and frustration. I think within about three minutes of reading time, Ana said ‘Holy hell’ or ‘Holy shit’ about twenty times, which got old fast. And both characters seemed to suffer mood swings which were bamboozling: in one instance, Ana ‘snaps’ at Christian and then, literally on the next line, she is speaking ‘sweetly’ to him. There’s no indication that the sweetness was an attempt to make up for the snap, or that it was false; it’s just a straight-up mood change within a second.

As for the physical activities and reactions described, when I try to imagine what they might look or feel like, I’m left bemused. Many of them seem like something a suppressed and inexperienced person might imagine, because they don’t reflect how a real body works.

The long and short of it is, I read for about an hour last night and failed to find anything interesting, engaging, or believable. Both main characters, along with the activities they undertake, are incomprehensible and unrealistic.

Can I have my $9 back please?

One thought on “Dear E.L. James

  1. Al McDermid says:

    I had actually not planned on reading it, but now I’m certain I will not. Thank you for saving me both time and money.

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