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Book Review

May 10, 2012
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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’


Courtesy of Beaverdale Books

Review by Barb Palar

By E L James

Vintage Books

04/03/12

$15.95

514 pp

Every time I read a book that I’m not sure I want my mother to know I’ve read (how ridiculous; I’m old enough to be a grandmother), I find out later that Mom read it before me. Don’t know about this one, though. The buzz about “Fifty Shades of Grey” is everywhere, and rightly so. Since I don’t normally read romance, I’ll admit I’ve been a bit of a snob about it, so I’m not sure how “Fifty Shades of Grey” compares to similar books. But it’s my understanding that the steamy parts transcend the genre. The story is good, and the steam is, well, quite a bit more than steamy. If traditional romance novels are referred to as bodice rippers, well, this girl’s PJs are in shreds.

Anastasia Steele is a college senior who is introduced to gorgeous and intimidating international business magnate Christian Grey by chance. Within a matter of weeks, he’s whisking her by helicopter to his world of high class S&M. “Fifty Shades  of Grey” will never be considered great literature, but it’s better than I thought it would be. E.L. James tries a little too hard to bring Ana down to earth, as she literally trips over her own feet upon meeting Christian. And it’s a bit hard to believe a 21-year-old had her first drink, first sexual encounter and her first feelings of desire all within the same week. But “Fifty Shades of Grey” is a page-turner and would be even without the graphic detail. But don’t tell Mom; she’s still hiding “Valley of the Dolls” from me under her mattress. CV



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