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Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James I originally rated this with a 2-star because, well...I finished it. So there must have been something compelling me to get to the end, right? But the more I think about it, the more I realize that my finishing the book was as much about watching the train wreck as it was about feeling any kind of engagement with the material. Rather than getting lost in the book and the characters, I found myself more involved with the meta-story about my experience of it, and the questions it posed. Why did I keep reading the book when I found it so shallow? Why was this book such a big hit? Who could possibly think it was a good book, by any standard?

Main Characters: unbelievable, unattractive, unrealized
Plot: unbelievable to the point of ridiculousness, thin (anorexic?)
Writing: Inconsistent. It bounces between serviceably uninspired and downright terrible, and that which isn't offensively bad is repetitive to the point of destroying any merit it might have had.
Sex Scenes: Too frequent, too repetitive, unbelievable. Don't get me wrong, they didn't exactly leave me cold. But then, just reading the word "sex" perks up my interest. Whatever arousal was generated from this book was more of a Pavlovian "oh my god, I'm reading about sex" kind of thing.