How do you feel able E.L. James?

This forum is for discussion about authors. You can discuss specific authors, types of authors, groups of authors, or any other topics related to authors.

Related Special Forums: Author Articles | Author Interviews

If you are an author or writer looking to discuss writing and author-related issues, please use our writing forums instead.
User avatar
Emma13
Posts: 52
Joined: 27 Dec 2017, 11:28
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 30
Currently Reading: The Captive Mind
Bookshelf Size: 19
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-emma13.html
Latest Review: A Slice Of Chile by Dr Terry Hannan

Re: How do you feel able E.L. James?

Post by Emma13 » 07 Feb 2018, 06:39

I think it's quite telling that the charity shops I've volunteered in always have a load of the Fifty Shades books in the store. People don't hold on to them, and I think one of the marks of a good book is that people want to return to them over and over.

User avatar
Kieran_Obrien
Posts: 87
Joined: 14 Jan 2018, 14:41
Currently Reading: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Bookshelf Size: 10
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kieran-obrien.html
Latest Review: The Reel Sisters by Michelle Cummings

Post by Kieran_Obrien » 07 Feb 2018, 18:13

I think the 50 shades books are too deeply analysed... erotic literature is supposed to be a bit tabboo and maybe being controlled by a kinky rich white man is what titlates some people. Complaining that Anastasia is a bad representation for female characters is missing the point I feel...

User avatar
Eener14
Posts: 12
Joined: 22 Jan 2018, 09:53
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 22
Currently Reading: The Beach House
Bookshelf Size: 16
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-eener14.html
Latest Review: The 11.05 Murders by Brian O'Hare

Post by Eener14 » 15 Feb 2018, 12:14

I thought I was the only one to dislike her! I felt the only people who truly enjoyed her books were those who weren't big time readers. I think they were caught up in the hype, and acceptability of the content without being frowned upon. I personally thought the books were all poorly written, had numerous errors, and were just boring. I saw the first movie, which was just as bad, if not worse, than the books! I'm done wasting any more of my time with her.

User avatar
Snrains13
Posts: 22
Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 18:42
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 18
Currently Reading: Animal Farm / 1984
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-snrains13.html
Latest Review: Solaris Seethes (Solaris Saga book 1) by Janet McNulty
Location: Hatteras Island

Post by Snrains13 » 16 Feb 2018, 13:01

I am absolutely not a fan. I couldn't even finish the series. It seemed that her goal was to achieve the success of the Twilight saga, which I found to be overrated if I'm honest, and not to write a good series. The writing was so immature that rather than find any of it good, or attractive, or fascinating, I found myself cringing a lot. Her descriptions of things also tended to seem basic and juvenile. It wasn't even the plot I had a problem with, I'm sure that could've worked, it was her writing that I didn't like.

jessinikkip
Posts: 93
Joined: 27 Jan 2018, 19:54
2018 Reading Goal: 60
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 11
Currently Reading: A Stranger in the House
Bookshelf Size: 376
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jessinikkip.html
Latest Review: Superhighway by Alex Fayman
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by jessinikkip » 17 Feb 2018, 00:34

Jennifer Allsbrook wrote:
05 Jan 2017, 20:20
cvega93 wrote:
Jennifer Allsbrook wrote:I think people give E.L. James a bad wrap but I have read the Fifty Shades Trilogy several times. I enjoy Anastasia! The writing is not epic but much of it is internal dialogue. How complex are our conversations with our inner selves? Overall, the sexual tension and the chemistry between Christian and Anastasia is present and accounted for. This is, after all, what many readers of erotic fiction are after. For many, the wham, bam thank you mam is enough. I enjoy insight into characters including their faults, their insecurities, their hopes and dreams, etc. James provides these aspects of the story albeit in simplistic prose. I wish I could make millions of dollars even when everyone says my writing sucks!
See, the development of the characters wasn't the issue for me. She is a good writer, but even good writers have their flaws. I don't like how most of the time it seems like Christian was more on the abusive/manipulative side. Even though he didn't physically put his hands on her, there was still quite a bit of emotional/psychological abuse going on. It happens in life yes, but I feel it was portrayed wrong. I feel the entire BDSM aspect was also portrayed wrong too.
That may be true. I don't have any personal experience with the BDSM life style or approach to sexuality so I don't know how true to form the story's portrayal is. I have however suffered physical, emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of someone who was supposed to "love" me. Christian was controlling, quick to anger, and often "punished" Anastasia. The punishment occurred in the realm of BDSM. My abuse was with belittlement, criticism, fists and broken bones. I don't know...it all took place in a fictional story that I knew was fiction. I enjoyed it and was able to step into Anastasia's shoes or bonds as it where for just a little while. Isn't that what makes a good story? Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, a story's value is also, based on the experiences and frame of reference of the reader. What is crap to one person is often gold to another.
I will speak from the perspective of someone who has personal experience with the lifestyle, as well as having several friends with even more experience than me (not hard to do lol). The number one rule is that everything has to be safe and sane and consensual. Just about none of which I felt was present in the series. To me it was reminiscent of an ex- I had that would find just about every way to manipulate me possible. "You love me? Then do this." "You want me? Then do this." "You want me to not kill myself? Then do this." "You want me to help you? Then do this." That's the same vibe I got off of Christian and to me, poor Anastasia just seemed like a battered woman too innocent to know better. It wasn't BDSM, it was abuse. There's a difference.

User avatar
sarah92480
Posts: 146
Joined: 09 Jul 2012, 22:12
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2017 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 16
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 604
Favorite Author: Kim Harrison
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 233
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarah92480.html
Latest Review: Final Notice by Van Fleisher
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
fav_author_id: 4193
Location: Florida

Post by sarah92480 » 19 Feb 2018, 21:54

I read the 50 Shades trilogy, because why not, but I wasn't in love with them. They are far from a literary masterpiece, but I did find them entertaining. From what I know of BDSM it's not very close to reality, but it was a fun read. I watched the first movie and actually liked it better than the book which almost never happens. I think it was that I didn't have to listen to Anastasia's annoying inner dialogue.

I don't think she's a bad author; not one of my favorites either, but bravo to her for that immense and immediate success.

User avatar
Mekkinism
Posts: 66
Joined: 29 Aug 2016, 19:43
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 32
Currently Reading: Raven's Peak
Bookshelf Size: 103
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mekkinism.html
Latest Review: Becoming the Dragon by Alex Sapegin

Post by Mekkinism » 20 Feb 2018, 03:27

I think she could have tried a bit harder to disguise the fact that she was basically publishing Twilight fan-fiction, given that she was in every sense infringing on Stephanie Meyers' intellectual property rights. Though I may not be a fan of hers either, I can only thank Meyers for choosing not litigate, which might set a difficult legal precedent for all fan fiction.

That said, I was somewhat excited at the thought of more mainstream BDSM erotica, but I truly felt like there's so little actual BDSM in the books that it hardly deserves to be associated with it. And what was with Anastasia's constant references to her "inner goddess"? It was like every other page!

User avatar
holsam_87
Posts: 345
Joined: 03 Feb 2018, 15:45
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 53
Currently Reading: My Trip To Adele
Bookshelf Size: 194
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-holsam-87.html
Latest Review: Small Change by Keddie Hughes
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG
Location: Washington

Post by holsam_87 » 12 Mar 2018, 23:10

Honestly, I have never read her books but I have had discussions with friends about her books. I don't have any desire to read about a BDSM relationship that is all about domination and aggressiveness. It also doesn't help that her books are basically fanfiction of the Twilight series since I can't stand those books either. Neither series portrays a realistic view of what a relationship should be like and that isn't good since they build up unrealistic relationships for teenagers and young women.
Samantha Holtsclaw

“We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”

—J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

User avatar
KRay93
Posts: 195
Joined: 01 Mar 2018, 09:49
2018 Reading Goal: 0
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Currently Reading: The Bourne Identity
Bookshelf Size: 74
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kray93.html
Latest Review: Undying Love by Bill Liggins

Post by KRay93 » 13 Mar 2018, 12:15

I've read part of the first book and saw the first movie. I found the writing quite atrocious, the characters bland and the relationship between the protagonists improbable and abusive, to the point that one doesn't even fells empathy for Anastasia. I suppose the success can be attributed to the same formula of "Twilight" plus all the nearly morbid curiosity about the whole BDSM issue: shy and lonely girl meets beautiful and introverted man, finds herself immediately attracted to him and discovers a whole new world she has never experienced.

User avatar
sarah92480
Posts: 146
Joined: 09 Jul 2012, 22:12
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2017 Reading Goal: 25
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 16
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 604
Favorite Author: Kim Harrison
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 233
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-sarah92480.html
Latest Review: Final Notice by Van Fleisher
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
fav_author_id: 4193
Location: Florida

Post by sarah92480 » 16 Mar 2018, 15:36

KRay93 wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 12:15
I've read part of the first book and saw the first movie. I found the writing quite atrocious, the characters bland and the relationship between the protagonists improbable and abusive, to the point that one doesn't even fells empathy for Anastasia. I suppose the success can be attributed to the same formula of "Twilight" plus all the nearly morbid curiosity about the whole BDSM issue: shy and lonely girl meets beautiful and introverted man, finds herself immediately attracted to him and discovers a whole new world she has never experienced.
I think you're right about the curiosity here...everyone heard about the book and just had to see what it was all about. I mean, that's why I read them; to see what the big deal was. I think the majority of her book sales came from that exact thing.

User avatar
Haute_Coffee
Posts: 218
Joined: 05 Feb 2018, 17:01
2018 Reading Goal: 30
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 83
Currently Reading: Pimp
Bookshelf Size: 365
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-haute-coffee.html
Latest Review: The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin by M.E. Hembroff
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
Location: New England

Post by Haute_Coffee » 17 Mar 2018, 21:47

If you’ve read Twilight, you see how Fidty Shades followed it to a T. Especially the first book... Anastasia’s Dad is so much like Bellas (aren’t they both stepdads?), they are both these beauties that are somehow awkward and oblivious to the tons of male attention coming their way... they both get hooked on a mysterious guy and dig after the dangerous secret... later on Ana has to run from Leila with Christian protecting her, the way Bella was on the run from James and his crew... it got old.

Also, Stephanie Meyer was writing Twilight from Edwards's point of view and it was stolen and released online so she scrapped the project. That HAS to be where EL James got the Grey idea.

User avatar
Sakilunamermaid
Posts: 291
Joined: 18 Jan 2018, 22:29
2018 Reading Goal: 52
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 23
Currently Reading: Ready Player One
Bookshelf Size: 142

Post by Sakilunamermaid » 18 Mar 2018, 19:07

Glorified fan fiction... I have little respect for the lack of editing and I don't agree/ approve of her portrayal of the bdsm community.

gaygothcousin
Posts: 12
Joined: 08 Apr 2018, 17:15
Currently Reading: The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gaygothcousin.html
Latest Review: Heaven and Earth by Arturo Riojas

Post by gaygothcousin » 15 Apr 2018, 21:28

She certainly has guts, betting like that that Stephanie Myer wouldn't sue her to pieces?
I feel she's a poor author with little understanding of relationships or BDSM. Her pacing is poor as well, considering the sequel to her original story was split into two separate books, meaning the rising action is cut in two. Yikes.

User avatar
strawberrysab
Posts: 181
Joined: 10 Apr 2018, 06:09
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 35
Currently Reading: The Keeper of Lost Things
Bookshelf Size: 150
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-strawberrysab.html
Latest Review: Superhighway by Alex Fayman

Post by strawberrysab » 18 Apr 2018, 14:36

I read half of the first book, it wasn't even mine but belonged to a friend. A lot of fuss for nothing. Not fond of the writing (that book should be burned for the amount of "inner godness" alone) and in the end it's nothing more than a fanfiction. If it wasn't for all the sex, nobody would have noticed it.
Berry :wine:

User avatar
innocentdemand
Posts: 20
Joined: 27 Feb 2017, 07:13
2018 Reading Goal: 3
2017 Reading Goal: 10
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 66
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 120
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 19
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-innocentdemand.html
Latest Review: Heartaches by H.M. Irwing

Post by innocentdemand » 19 Apr 2018, 22:30

I'm not at all a fan of the author just because her writing is mediocre. Don't get me wrong, when you're shoving out erotica type stories you're not exactly doing it to be the pinnacle of good writing (and I know this because I've spoken to far too many who jumped on the erotica self-published bandwagon and have earned a pretty penny doing it!), but it was just... weak. Literally compare the fanfic version versus the book version and they literally went through and did search and replace for all the names, everything else is the same, and that is really lazy. Right?? Or is it just me?

I also know plenty of people who are into BDSM and they refuse to acknowledge the 50 Shades series even exists because it's a purely abusive relationship no matter how you paint it. Very little respect of limits, consent is iffy at best in many situations in it, and it perpetuates a horrible stereotype that people into the lifestyle are broken in some way thanks to Christian having a troubled past.

Post Reply

Return to “Discuss Authors”