The Beat

Madam Reads: Fifty shades, of Grey, Darker, Freed by E.L. James

And all the shades of love; the dark, the light, and everything other shade in between. I wasn’t supposed to read these books, I wasn’t supposed to like them, let alone love them. Judging by the split reaction to these books I wasn’t supposed to pick them up let alone give them a single glance. But I did. I have, and will do it again. There. Its not that it is so greatly written, no, it doesn’t claim to be a great work of literature so let’s not judge it on that, at times the writing could have been lifted and other times it could have done without the add ons…but a good story is still a good story and this is what carries these books because at the heart of it, it is a good story. A lengthy twitter banter peaked my interest and I bit. For 4.5 days, one of them 24 hours this book was my world. And here I am so utterly in love with this story, so much so it brought the odd tear to my eyes; I’m a hard nut so I don’t do tears but these were emotional tears because I was so moved and so touched.

Anastasia Steele (Ana) is green, so green she defines the word. A novice by all accounts but she’s bright, stubborn and quite infuriating; sometimes I had to stop myself from screaming at her in public but in the privacy of my room we had some serious words. She falls into Christian Grey’s office literally and into his world purely by chance when she has to interview him for the College newspaper as a favour to her best friend and this chance leads to a lifetime of change, growth and immense and intense emotional encounters. It turns Ana’s world on its head, pushes her to hard limits and helps her discover the very depths of her character and come into her strengths.

Christian is unlike any man she has ever known, not that she has known many, but he is unlike any man she could have ever imagined and in her wildest dreams she couldn’t possibly have imagined someone like him because men like him are not supposed to exist. But here he is, in her world and her in his. He is smooth, dark, twisted, charming, sexy, and suave. A self made man despite his start in life. I was completely enamoured by him from the off…maybe this should be a cause for concern, but I found him intriguing. His background story even more so and a little disturbing.

Christian Grey is the little boy lost in the dark seeking light for all his machismo and Ana is unlike any woman he has ever been with, she amuses him, “beguiles” him; to use his words, and at first we wonder how and why he is so intrigued by her but as the story unfolds and we delve deeper into his world, we understand just what Ana is to him; his saviour.

Its not all cuteness and flowers, in fact there is very little of that in there but there is a lot of heart, romance, sometimes in the most impossible ways, in the slightest of touches or the briefest of looks between the two of them. There is suspense, edge of your seat type suspense; car chases, crazy stalkers, dark twisted stories and even darker times but as we journey along with these two people we are desperate for them to make it out okay. I found myself thinking, what next? What could possibly happen next? At times I was too anxious to read on, I badgered my friends who’d read the books for information and they cruelly wouldn’t supply any. Adamant that I should read on. Glad I did.

The hoopla surrounding the books, of which there are many, one of which was of course the sex, rather “kinky fuckery” as Christian refers to it and yes there is sex, a lot of it but if you’ve read the first few pages of Eric Jerome Dickey’s Genevieve this wouldn’t shock you at all. I’m curious to know how E.L James captured these scenes however, because they are so explicit in detail it’ll make you cross your legs and unleash your imagination or “inner goddess” to use Ana’s words, but it is what is; a sex scene. An explicit sex scene with all the “modern conveniences” I suppose, but there we go.

However, it is the scenes leading up to and besides the kinky ones that I found most intriguing. At the heart of this is a love story in its utter entirety. One of loss, love, hope and losing and finding yourself in the one you love and wanting them to do the same in you. Christian is damaged; has a twisted outlook about himself and life but you’d never know it just by looking at him because he is so competent, so confident and so dominating but with Ana he is completely out of his depths. Much like she is with him. We learn a lot about him through her; where he’s coming from, the things he’s endured and why he is the way he is. We get to see Ana grow and come into her own and by the end of the story she is a completely different woman but I wish we had more bite to her, she’s appears to be so pure…she needed a bit of a dark tint to her hallo, something in her past to give her that je ne sais quoi…to let us understand what about her he finds so intriguing, to make us see where her stubborn strength comes from. I would have loved that still, it was a very good story

I can’t go on about this without giving it all away because I really, really, REALLY, want to tell you all about it, but I won’t because just like I did, you should get to discover this yourself, take yourself on this crazy  journey and most importantly, fall utterly in love with this story.

Thank you E.L James…thank you.