Is anyone at all surprised that E.L. James’ fourth book in her Fifty Shades of Grey series is getting hammered by critics? After all, a lot of ink has been spilled between here and 2011, when Fifty Shades of Grey (Vintage) was first (self) published. From the BBC:
Grey re-tells the events of James’s 2011 original from the perspective of its antagonist, Christian Grey.
The book, writes the Evening Standard‘s David Sexton, “loyally repeats every line [and] every excruciating email.”
According to the Telegraph, the result is “as sexy as a misery memoir”.
“How often do Ana’s cheeks flush pink?” writes Bryony Gordon in her one-star review. “How many times does she make him feel ten feet tall?
“And he really should go and see someone about all that prickling his scalp does.”
Almost universally crap reviews haven’t done much to hurt sales of the book, including on Amazon, where reader reviews seem to be falling neatly into two categories: rapturous five star reviews from big fans of the previous trio of books featuring these characters (“This is great. Christians POV makes him more humans [sic]. Those who have read the book, u must read this one.”) and solid single star reviews from readers who seem to have had trouble restraining themselves from tossing it out the nearest window. (“This is like reading the original 50 shades of grey with a touch of Tourette’s.”)
Boiled down: a whole lot of readers love the new book because it’s just like the old ones. A smaller number of readers hate the new book because it’s just like the old ones. And professional reviewers in general don’t like the book because the writing is pretty terrible, just like the old ones. ’Nuff said.