I must say I haven't seen any hatred in this thread, but I suppose it's fashionable in this day and age to dismiss anyone who criticises something you care about as a "hater". I guess I'm getting old. However, I did have a long-ish train journey this weekend and figured, what the hell, I have three hours to spare and why not see for myself what it is people are discussing. So yes, I read Fifty Shades Of Grey. Where to start... well, I'll give it this: it's probably better than the original. Anastasia Steele is a far gutsier heroine than Bella Swann, even if her desire to work for a small independent publisher even though she's never read anything written after 1850 (and still manages to misquote Shakespeare whenever she tries) is a bit odd, and at least some of the fucked-upness of their relationship is actually commented on within the story; the man's stalking, violent, manipulative behaviour isn't just treated as something romantic (though his threat to "punish" her for almost getting herself raped is apparently supposed to be seen as such, which... yech). Which is something, I guess. And while it's certainly no Secretary, it's nice to see a relationship of this type given a portrayal that doesn't completely demonise it. Compared to Twilight's chastity it goes overboard in the other direction, but hey. That said, no, it's really not a good novel. On any level. Plotwise, the mere knowledge that it's a Twilight rewrite is pretty obvious from the start, with the slightly offensive Native American Jacob replaced with the slightly offensive Mexican José (who can't go two sentences without blurting out "O Dios Mio!"), with the same wish-fulfillment fantasy of a sexual supergod who'll lavish her with gifts and in turn be tamed by her true love, and the same poor writing. The fact that it's badly edited (the usual stuff - "your"/"you're" mix-ups, etc) and that the prose is sometimes unbelievably clunky (the quotes posted earlier are all good examples, though personally I laughed the most at "[the orgasm balls] make me needy, needy for sex.") isn't really the worst. Nor is it the narrator's endless fascination with pointless details, the way the novel is obviously sponsored by Apple, Audi and Blackberry (seriously, EVERY CAR here is an Audi, and all of them described with more eroticism than most of the sex) or her habit of describing her emotions as a constant debate with her conscience and her "inner goddess" that mostly makes it sound as if she's suffering from DID. No, the worst thing is the repetition. See, our narrator only knows a handful of phrases, and she really likes using them. So basically, the stretches of supposed story novel she's put in to pad out the sex scenes all read like this: Rolled my eyes bit my lip eat something my inner goddess smirked sexily tousled hair conscience rolled my eyes bit my lip eat something my inner goddess smirked sexily tousled hair conscience rolled my eyes bit my lip eat something my inner goddess smirked sexily tousled hair conscience rolled my eyes bit my lip eat something my inner goddess smirked sexily tousled hair conscience rolled my eyes bit my lip eat something my inner goddess smirked sexily tousled hair conscience rolled my eyes bit my lip eat something my inner goddess smirked sexily tousled hair conscience rolled my eyes bit my lip eat something my inner goddess smirked sexily tousled hair conscience and on and on and on for three hundred and fifty pages. If you made a drinking game of this book, people would die of acute alcohol poisoning by the thousands. After a while you start looking forward to the sex scenes, not because the sex is all that hot, but because at least it'll break up the monotony. As for the actual sex scenes, well... yes, they are numerous and pretty explicit for those who wonder, though oddly puss... sorry, vaginafooting around using any r-rated words apart from the liberally used "****". And I will say that as porn goes, I've read both better and worse. Hell, I've read far worse in properly published novels by "real" authors (Haruki Murakami, I'm glancing in your direction while keeping an eye on the exit). BDSM isn't really my thing, but if you're into that, you'll get that too even if it's mostly pretty mild. However, just like the rest of the novel, the sex scenes get repetitive very quickly and you soon lose count of the In the end, it's not an awful novel; a bad one, a dull one, but not a catastrophically bad one. I think I would probably have enjoyed this far more if it had been worse; there are moments of so-bad-it's-good comedy (especially if you teach your inner voice to read it like Gilbert Gottfried) and bits where you cringe at how James clearly thinks she's writing one thing and it comes out as quite another. But even those bits get tiresome after the sixtythird repetition and the whole thing becomes one long slog of... well, grey, I suppose. + But I'd be interested in hearing what others who read it and like it have to say.