As many know, the Fifty Shades trilogy started life as an alternate universe Twilight fanfiction and it mosWARNING: Minor high-level (vague) spoilers.
As many know, the Fifty Shades trilogy started life as an alternate universe Twilight fanfiction and it mostly hits the same beats as Twilight. The problem is that Fifty Shades takes three books to cover the same territory that Meyer did in a single book, so the pacing seems painfully slow at points. I struggled to finish it.
The characters seem mostly to lack the comparative depth of their Twilight counterparts and the writing is serviceable, if a little clumsy and repetitive at times.
The erotic content was fun, but perhaps not as dark and taboo as it seems to think it is.
Ultimately this wasn't a smut book though. It was the tale of Christian's character development over time - which was both a pleasant surprise and a disappointment.
It was a pleasant surprise because, from its reputation as a 'naughty book', I hadn't expected it. It was good to watch Christian unfold. Anastasia seemed to have quite a bit more self-agency than Bella that was nice. And ultimately, it was her willingness to say "No" to Christian sometimes that required him to grow.
What was disappointing is that the book fell into that old cliche that people who practice BDSM are broken, maladjusted individuals. Christian certainly was - and it made him a terrible Dom in many ways.
It would've been nice to see a glimpse of some well-adjusted BDSM practitioners in the book. Not only would it have been more accurate, it would also have had the benefit of examining Christian a little more deeply. Showing him in comparison to people practicing BDSM in a centred, self-aware way would make it clearer that using it as an emotional crutch was part of his character.
At its core, "Twilight without the vampires" ends up being a fairly typical love story - an innocent young girl meets a troubled, brooding man, can she be the one to melt his heart where so many have failed?
This trilogy isn't worth the best seller status it had and, to those looking for a casual thrill, it gives a flawed impression of the world of BDSM. It gives a pretty decent deconstruction of Twilight but as a standalone story, it's just okay. I couldn't, in good conscience, recommend it when there are so many better books out there you could be reading....more
This story about a grizzled monster fighter in the old west was... okay. It all felt a bit "been there, done that" and the characters all seemed a bitThis story about a grizzled monster fighter in the old west was... okay. It all felt a bit "been there, done that" and the characters all seemed a bit flat.
It may well have picked up in future issues - there wasn't enough meat here to interest me in reading them, though....more
I've read a few reviews saying this book trots out the same old case studies that are standard for this kind of book. That could be, but since I'm notI've read a few reviews saying this book trots out the same old case studies that are standard for this kind of book. That could be, but since I'm not familiar with them I'll be reviewing the book in and of itself, rather than making comparisons.
I found the subject matter fascinating and the author's enthusiasm infectious. The book sets out to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of different modes of thought - conscious and rational vs intuitive - and which situations favour which mode of thinking. It achieves this aim brilliantly.
The examples are a mix of the dramatic (high-stakes athletes and poker players) and the mundane (how do people choose a jam or a wine or a car). And the explanations are high-level but informative.
There are subjects I would have liked to see covered in more depth (for example addictive behaviours and what can be done about them) but it's hard to fault a book for making you wish there were more of it. This is a diverse, bird's-eye summary that keeps the topic interesting.
I've docked the book one star for a couple of reasons: Firstly, the section on practical application of the book's message felt very light and tacked on. Secondly, it sometimes felt a bit simplistic - as though, in his zeal to illustrate a point, the author skipped over some of the complicating nuances of an idea.
I don't know if this is the best book in the field but if you're looking for a thought-provoking overview of "how the brain makes up it's mind", I'd definitely recommend this book....more