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The Secret Life of E.L. James

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  102 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Discover the secrets behind the Red Room of Pain

The intricacies of making love in the backseat of an expensive sports car

The rough and tumble process of editing Fifty Shades of Grey Find out where the name E.L. James really comes from

And finally the step by step process by which this middle-aged British mother of two came up with the international best-selling erotic ro
Paperback, 174 pages
Published December 17th 2012 by Riverdale Avenue Books (first published December 13th 2012)
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Added 12/29/12:

So, this is on auto-approve on Netgalley. What the hell, I got a copy. I'm gonna read this. And if any of it is fiction, I'll be sure to let you know.

"The intricacies of making love in the backseat of an expensive sports car" -> Husband took her to the Audi dealership so she could check out the car and make sure sex was possible. Though perhaps not if you're middle-aged.

"The rough and tumble process of editing Fifty Shades of Grey" -> find 'Edward Cullen', replace with 'Chr
Alicia (is beyond tired of your *ish)
The Secret Life of E.L. James, eh?

What's the secret?

That she's actually fully literate? Because her writing would suggest otherwise.

That she didn't just find out about sex? Okay, well, she's a mother so obviously she didn't, and it's not secret. But, again, going by her writing one has to wonder.

Okay, how about she did more than read other people's fan fiction and watch movies as "research" about BDSM? Well, I think we all know the answer to that.

Does she have a shred of integrity?

Any ethics to
Dec 27, 2012 marked it as not-even-if-you-paid-me
Here, I can save you the money:

She watched Twilight, she wrote a fanfiction, she bastardized her fan fiction to make money. The End.

See, now you don't have to pay to buy it! You're welcome.
Initial reaction: Well, suffice to say that I won't be reading any further of Marc Shapiro's so-called biographies, because if this constitutes a "biography" with the obviously author glorified, skewed perspective, heavily biased, and sloppily written mess that this book was - I certainly beg to differ.

This is going to be a long review. Fair warning ahead of time.

Full review:

I've read my fair share of autobiographies and biographies of various media personalities. Some of them are figures I high
Sitting around and pining over Twilight boys, with whips&chains thrown in, isn't really all that remarkable or a life changing catharsis, that would require a biographic outline of your uneventful, no contribution to society/humanity existence. She didn't cure cancer, or rescue African babies from famine and starvation. WTF is so great about a PORN-TO-TEXT author? What's so unique about everyday life? The issue with derivatives like “Twilight” and “50 Shades” is that all we get is the titill ...more
Dec 31, 2012 marked it as books-to-avoid
No way! this is not real, right? someone actually bothered to write a EL James biography ? why would anybody do that? who would want to read about mysterious life of EL James? As far as I'm concerned she was suffering from midlife crisis, probably hadn't had sex with her husband for quite a while. and then she read a trashy novel and turned it into an even trashier one. What else is there to know? Plus Fifty Shades hasn't sold more copies than Harry Potter series. Harry Potter books have sold mo ...more
Callie Rose Tyler
Jun 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: oh-hell-no
"Discover the secrets behind the Red Room of Pain

The intricacies of making love in the backseat of an expensive sports car"

"The rough and tumble process of editing Fifty Shades of Grey"

I'm sorry is that code for changing all of the characters names so that you aren't sued for plagiarism?

"Marc Shapiro uncovers the inspiration and secrets behind this writing sensation, explaining how she did it"

Are you kidding me? Her inspiration? She played fricken MAD LIBS Twilight edition! I've read the books
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
In The Secret Life of E.L. James, Marc Shapiro tells the story of the woman behind Fifty Shades of Grey. Hers is a writer’s cinderella story: forty-something working mother of two turns her penchant for reading romance novels on the tube and writing fanfiction to penning not one, but three best selling novels. This unauthorized biography chronicles that journey from her years working in television to becoming the first writer in history to hold the top three spots on the NY Times Best Sellers Li ...more
$15.99 for the paperback on Amazon.

When all you need is a little google-fu to know that this is a middle-aged woman's wank fantasy about (Robert Pattinson, starring) Edward Cullen in Twilight.

No real "secret" to the life of EL James.

And no stars for this book.
Dec 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nope-nope-nope
Seriously, is this even needed. She wrote fanfiction, changed her characters names and then published it. Now people are all obsessed with handcuffs but in a more public mannor. AND PLEASE, HENRY CAVILL IS SOOO NOT CHRISTIAN GREY (AKA EDWARD CULLEN). That is all, thank you. :)
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
It seems pretty important to start this review by admitting that I actually have never read any of the FIFTY SHADES books at all -- so I can make no intelligent statements about the series without relying on assumptions (which may end up being true, but which are still all together unfair in an unbiased book review). That said, I'm only reviewing THE SECRET LIFE OF E.L. JAMES for what it is in itself and not necessarily for what it may or may not conclude about the series.

Anyways, I feel like th
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it
The blurb for this book sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Except that it wasn’t, not really. To be honest, I’ve got to admit that it can’t be easy writing an un-authorized biography these days. With all sorts of information about virtually everybody freely available on the internet and the book’s subject not participating in the work, it must be all but impossible to come up with information that isn’t already widely available in the public arena. And writing a book about a phenomenon like E.L. Ja ...more
Glass House Reviews
Many of us have grown weary of Fifty Shades of Everything, while some readers still can't get enough of all things Grey. Fans of this explosive erotic trilogy of books still have film versions to look forward to, and perhaps a retelling of the story through Christian's point of view, if the rumors come true. It's not surprising to see how other authors and publishers are claiming a spot in the Fifty mania - there are cookbooks, marital guides, and now a biography of the author, E.L. James.

A bit
Donna Maguire
I was expecting a bit more from this book than the author actually covered. It was billed as the "secret" life of EL James but the book was made up of extracts from interviews that she had done with other people and for magazines which were then collated and padded out. Even though I knew the book was written by someone other than EL James I had expected more content of things that were "secret" not regurgitated stories that had already been told elsewhere, it was well written so I give it 3 sta ...more
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a short book, which makes sense because there really isn't much to say. Everything you would want to know about EL James you could easily find via Google. This book serves to collect everything in one place.
rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2015
Cassie Turner
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Nov 16, 2014
Libbie Castle
rated it it was amazing
Dec 09, 2016
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Mar 07, 2014
Ryan Field
rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2012
Haries Guillermo
rated it it was ok
May 03, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Nov 16, 2015
Zelda of Unapologetic Reviews
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Jan 14, 2013
rated it did not like it
Dec 29, 2012
Austin Parks
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Jan 11, 2013
rated it did not like it
Mar 04, 2015
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Jan 02, 2013
Cindy Courterielle
rated it it was amazing
Dec 24, 2016
Federica Johnson
rated it it was amazing
Mar 04, 2015
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Marc Shapiro is the author of the New York Times bestselling biography, J.K. Rowling: The Wizard behind Harry Potter, and more than a dozen other celebrity biographies. He has been a freelance entertainment journalist for more than twenty-five years, covering film, television, and music for a number of national and international newspapers and magazines.
More about Marc Shapiro...