Kingett Reads Fifty Shades of Grey - Part 1

STORY BY Robert W. Kingett

Published: July 5, 2013

In chapters 1 through 4 I am introduced to major characters and minor characters including Anna and Grey. How does it shape up in the literary world? You’ll see. Intrigued? Then it's time for Robert Kingett to read Fifty Shades of Grey.

usually going into a book for the first time, I read all of the beginning notations by the publisher because I'm weird and I want to know if anyone will publish any short reviews of the book, or perhaps they will publish some extra information about the book so yes, I do read the beginning notations and I even judge based on those annotations, sometimes.

Annotations at the beginning are not a bad thing at all, mind you. Some can be inspirational while others can give the story away with a poem or even a quote from some famous movie. Beginning annotations don't have to be just dedications. If used properly, beginning annotations can be an effective tool for engaging the reader.

Yes I'm a huge nerd who likes Milky Ways, Wishbone, and various types of hats along with reading beginning annotations.

Fifty Shades of Grey has a beginning annotation that I'm shocked to see.

The author published an earlier serialized version of this story online with different characters as "Master of the Universe" under the pseudonym Snowqueens Icedragon.

I've heard of authors who have made a vast living doing the self-publishing thing first and I wondered if this book was self-published under a different name. With that beginning annotation glaring at me as if it were a beacon of mystery I type the title into Google and come up with a dozen results. They're all news articles. They all say that this story was originally published as Twilight fan fiction. There were also a lot of gripes about the fact that James transformed this book from the story that she published on the internet.

Regardless, if she's able to make a living from these books, and yes I've looked at her website and there are three books in the series, then I don't care about the mundane details. The notion that she was able to create something and make it sell is something to be commended.

Even though that this book has been fan fiction at some point I will not hold it to its previous standard. Just because it was fan fiction doesn't mean that it won’t have its own good points and bad points independent from that of the fan fiction.

With an open mind I download the book from my local library and begin listening.

There's a certain formula that all writers just simply HAVE to follow to make a good story. It’s called dramatic structure. It's basically like a hill that has elements of a story such as the climax, the conflict, and the resolution,

It's usually good to have a well-defined setup because if you don't you will find your reader lost and basically trying to study the characters as if they are talking to dollar signs rather than anything plausible, in anyone's mind.

Fifty Shades of Grey has the weirdest expository setup I have ever seen. Throughout all the chapters I've read thus far chapter 1 is the one worth most examining in this part of the review. It's where all the exposition happens. The exposition introduces all of the main characters in the story. It shows how they relate to one another, what their goals and motivations are, and the kind of person they are.

The way that we’re introduced to Anna is really good because right away it gets all the expository stuff out of the way in favor for the story but the way that this technique becomes a flaw is her real lack of description of Anna as she's fighting with her hair as she stands before a mirror.

I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror. Damn my hair--it just won't behave, and damn Katherine Kavanagh for being ill and subjecting me to this ordeal.

The huge ordeal that Anna is talking about is an interview with the CEO  of Grey Enterprises, Inc. Kate, as you saw, is ill, and Anna really doesn't want to go because she's a literature student and has many books to study and quizzes to prepare for. The beginning of the book opens up with her complaining about willingly volunteering to go and interview Grey and I can't help but feel that this entire scene is just a big info shove. It's not even an info dump because I don't have any time to process what I'm reading. The author jams all these small details to make this character just that, a character, when I feel that it could have been done with just a bit more grace and elegance.

I appreciate the notion of getting past the beginning of a story to get to the good stuff but this is quite rushed. Also, there are entire sentences where I feel like this whole invitation is just now happening. Lying on the couch, sick with the cold, Kate begs Anna.

"Ana, I'm sorry. It took me nine months to get this interview. It will take another six to reschedule, and we'll both have graduated by then. As the editor, I can't blow this off. Please,"

Even though I'm getting a lot of relevant information in chapter 1 about the characters I'm still missing some very important pieces of information such as what Anna looks like. I know Anna is pale and she has brown hair but I don't know anything about her figure. For example, her weight. I can't make a good mental image in my head so I can't connect with the character at all when she says she's average looking. I don't know what she looks like!

Aside from missing key descriptions sometimes I come across sentences that make me stop and read them over again just so that I can get a good grasp of what I'm being told. Within talking about Kate, Anna's roommate and friend who asked her to do this interview of Grey, says this about her and I can't help but notice that this is an out of placed info dump.

I cannot believe I have let Kate talk me into this. But then Kate can talk anyone into anything. She'll make an exceptional journalist. She's articulate, strong, persuasive, argumentative, and beautiful--and she's my dearest, dearest friend.

That sentence above tells me that Kate is used to having people do things for her but she's also strong, as said in the previous sentence. This gives me a more concrete image of Kate but, again, I'm not getting the entire picture. For example, why does Kate’s beauty have to have any merit when it comes to her journalism career? And why is being Anna’s friend important to her journalistic career? Is that going to be on some resume or something?

Were you friends with the pale Anastasia Steele?

Oh my god, yes! I'm her dearest friend!

Perfect! No one else is, so you'd make an excellent journalist because your best friends with Anastasia Steele!

 I'm intrigued, as well, to know why Kate would be an exceptional journalist simply because she's beautiful. Is she going to use her hair to swish answers out of people? Anyway, moving on because this is too much teasing for my journalism resume.

I understand what the author is trying to do but these sentences just pose even more questions than answers but I'll guess I'll learn more about these characters as I read.

Chapter 1 is all about meeting Mr. Grey as she calls him. In the beginning of the book the author writes some really weird sentences that just pose odd questions. Here's a great example.

In chapter 1 as Anna is riding the elevator to Grey’s office I literally hear a sentence that makes me face palm myself.

The elevator whisks me at terminal velocity to the twentieth floor.

What the fuck? Right. For the folks at home, terminal velocity means that something is rocketing DOWNWARD… not upward. What? Did an editor check this book before publishing? That was a blatant example of lazy editing. Right, moving on.

For all the weird things that the author does she does some pretty good, and needed, stuff as well. Through this small info dump, we learn that Anna is definitely book smart. At least, that's what I can assume.

To be honest, I prefer my own company, reading a classic British novel, curled up in a chair in the campus library. Not sitting twitching nervously in a colossal glass-and-stone edifice.

Just for the record, if this is the kind of stuff Anna thinks when she's doing other errands for Kate I don't know why she does them. I do really not like Anastasia Steele at all in this beginning chapter and the next ones to boot. She exhibits odd hypocritical thoughts and instead of doing something to fix whatever she's complaining about she seems to purposely do things to make herself have something to complain about. It’s almost as if Anna isn't a character capable of free will and thought but rather just a pretty pale vehicle to get us where the author wants to have us, in a sex scene.

Anna meets the rich CEO in chapter 1 and it's heavily foreshadowed that Grey has some family issues, and it really does sound like he's into BDSM. This is even more evident in chapter two when he comes by Anna's hardware store where she works and gets some rope and tape, and they have an electrifying connection, and everything after chapter 1 is just a big giant foreshadow of events later on to come. Chapter 1 is about the meeting with Grey, and chapters two through 4 give us more on their personalities per say. Chapter 2 has Anna questioning everything, literally, about the relationship.

We learn that Anna has never been kissed, never even held hands with another guy until this point. It's foreshadowed that Grey is into BDSM. Let me just say that THIS IS NOT HEALTHY FOR A FIRST RELATIONSHIP!

Chapter 3 has them, Anna in Grey, sitting in a coffee shop talking about each other but sentences are sprinkled with ambiguity.

She tries to ask about his parents but he doesn't want to talk about them, telling me that he has some deep dark secret that he wishes to hide. Chapter 4 puts Anna in a dangerous situation at a bar where she's had a lot to drink and Grey saves her by tracking her cell phone and rescuing her.

There's two things that amaze me about this book… one is the writing. Some of it just doesn't make sense and I giggle like I've been tickled by a donkey when I hear really odd sentences. A good example of this is in chapter two.

His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel ... or something.

I believe that if you’re going to make a simile at least complete it. Don’t add a “or something” in there, and, also, by the way, I don't know how dark chocolate can be husky. That just seems immensely weird to me and I literally reread that sentence to stop thinking about the utterly weird syntax.

That isn't the only interesting part however. What's very interesting is Anna’s sharp attraction to Grey, whose features are a mystery to me by the way. I don't know what he looks like. The author gives very general descriptions of Grey. So general, in fact, that I can't even tell what ethnicity he is. The only thing that's distinctive about him is his very long fingers and his grey eyes.

The reason why I find this so fascinating is because Anna is in the presence of a billionaire, and, from what I know about her, she's a literature student who's never had a boyfriend before. She's, quite literally, transfixed by this man.

This is incredibly fascinating to me because I'm wondering just what part of him she's attracted to

Grey is a man with, quite literally, many things at his fingertips. He's majorly successful and yes obviously a huge control freak if he takes charge of his own life so vehemently. While this is good in the business setting I don't think that it would be really good in a relationship. I don't know if he will be able to tell the difference between a business and a girlfriend because it's obvious that he's never had a girlfriend either, a long term one at least. He's said in chapter three.

He has the money, and he has the looks, and he has the control. I wonder just what exactly Anna is attracted to simply because I'm wondering if she's attracted to the wealth, the drive, or the control and not him.

Usually people will admire people who take charge in situations, or who have achieved a large amount of success because that kind of lifestyle is appealing to people. They want to be that successful and famous but they just don't for various reasons. Anna is pulled in by Grey and I believe that she isn't attracted to who Grey is but rather who Grey is behind the desk and also how much he controls. She envies him, wishing that she can be as powerful. Through Anna’s admiration I can't help but believe it's just the power that Grey has and I can definitely tell that he has a lot of it. If Anna is indeed smitten by him, and it seems she is, I don't think she's looking at the big picture at all when it comes to a possible relationship with Grey.

Usually when someone is very successful that comes with drive, passion and determination. When someone pushes all that they had to in order to get to a certain point shows that they don't compromise very well and Anna is missing the signs of a controlling relationship, and she's also failing to study her own lust for a man who has many, many, issues.

I'm wondering about greys past; because there had to be something very significant in his life to exercise his need to own and to control things. It's a mystery that I'll just have to try and solve while I'm reading the later chapters.

As I have said, Grey is admired just like successful people today. Even people who do really bad things tend to be held up to a lustful standard with praise because they did what they did to get where they are. Even though people think a certain action is wrong, in the back of our minds we still applaud the person for at least making something and doing something, and then we want to get close to them to, hopefully, share that tenacity. I'm thinking that's why Anna is falling head over heels for Grey, and I'm interested to see how this development plays out.

Anna really isn't a consistent character either. Anna gets really angry when he bosses her around, as she should. Countless times throughout chapters two through four Anna has called him arrogant and controlling and yet she doesn't call him out on it at all. I believe she's very attracted to, and intimidated by him. Fear can grip anyone and it's clenched her by the throat. Still though, I want to know how this will play out for Anna and Grey. These are two different types of personalities that I don't think go very well together but I don't know if Anna will like the BDSM when we get there. I wouldn't ever want to be dominated in that way. I’d leave. I wouldn't even put up with that kinda control. I’d run far away, for good. I just think you should be open and honest with someone as innocent as Anna and he isn't. This is a form of manipulation folks, and it's not good. It’s not good at all if someone hides their BDSM from you. Just an FYI.

Of course on consenting adults its okay but he's bossing her around for no reason. I don't think this is very healthy for Anna. He should tell her his issues and fetish. This is disturbing. If this ever happened to me, I’d leave the guy, no matter how rich he is because he kept this hidden. This isn't something you should hide, especially to someone as innocent as Anna.

Now that the characters have been introduced, even if it did seem forcefully introduced, they were introduced all the same. It's obvious that the tension between Anna and Grey was a personality clash. Anna is a go with the flow kind of girl when Grey is definitely a controlled kind of man and he likes to make things fit into some sort of place. He has to. It's his nature, but why? I know they get together because of the back cover but what I want to know, for sure, is just how far he's willing to exercise control over Anna. Will she be able to handle it? Will her personality change?

I believe that her personality will change to match his, which will be an interesting plot.

I'm not interested in the love but I'm interested in the development of these two characters and how they will change over time, if they will, but I believe they will. I'm quite excited to see what Anna thinks about the first meeting with Grey and I want to know how they resolve this spark between them just now. It will be very interesting to see the development. I'm totally psyched! Stay tuned for chapters 5 through 8!

Other Stories by Robert W. Kingett
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