Grey smashes record, faces criticism

Perhaps we have it within us to write bestsellers. And perhaps not... But even if we do, it's clear that such status doesn't guarantee undiluted affection of all works.

E.L James can certainly bear witness, having this week added to her phenomenally successful Fifty Shades... series with the release of Grey,Fifty Shades book narrated by Christian Grey.

Of course Fifty Shades was the best-selling book since records began, and its film adaptation became a hit at the box-office. The new title was expected to do well, and it seemed on course in becoming the top Kindle pre-order of 2015. However, reviews haven't exactly been gushing with praise for the title:

Jenny Colgan in The Guardian observed the crucial Anastasia-Christian love affair now seemed "...the twisted work of an utter psychopath", adding,

The first trilogy was a fantasy. This book is far more realistic – and creepy beyond belief.

Rebecca Reid, in the Telegraph, wrote that Grey suffers for uncovering that Christian Grey is:

...about a million different shades of sexist.

There is at least one positive professional view. Francesca Cookney of the Mirrorassures would-be readers that the title does progress James' characterisation and provide keener relationship insights:

We learn that his desire for her submission is less about his own control as it is wanting to be loved and trusted, and accepted. Does that make him less attractive? Hell no. In fact I think we’re all about to fall just a little bit more in love…”

Early consumers of the title aren't all convinced. Positive reviews outnumber the less enthusiastic three to one on Grey's Kindle page, but criticism includes it being a "money spinner" and a "waste of money". One reviewer, 'Jen', seems to capture a substantial portion of the mood, noting:

This is essentially FSOG but with lazy asides from Christian.

Oof. Others are more enthused, but the level of disappointment appears pertinent. So, yet-to-read Fifty Shades fans, be warned. For everyone else - for everyone really, we're inclusive - BuzzFeed's 'Can You Tell The Real “Grey” Quotes From The Fake Ones?' quiz[warning, includes some silly erotica] is a fine, fun, aside.