EL James – Fifty Shades of Grey Audiobook
Fifty Shades of Gray is an erotic romance written by British novelist E. L. James.
The book is first known by its self-publication on the author’s website and then on The Writers’ Coffee Shop website, which offers it for printing on demand in May 2011; the publisher Vintage Books publishes it in paper edition in a revised version in April 2012.
This is the first volume in a trilogy, followed by Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.
Mainly taking place in Seattle, this trilogy, sold over 125 million copies worldwide, traces the relationship between a young graduate in literature, Anastasia Steele, and a businessman, Christian Gray. It contains explicitly erotic scenes featuring elements of sexual practices involving bondage, discipline and various versions of sadism and the initiation of sexual submission leading, perhaps, to masochism.
The original English title is two-way, “Gray” referring both to one of the two heroes and to the color gray. “Shade”, translated into French by the neutral term “nuances”, can also have the darker connotation of “shade”.
Anastasia Steele agrees to replace her sick roommate, Katherine, to interview businessman and billionaire Christian Gray. Young attractive and mysterious CEO, the latter intimidates him. To his surprise, he comes to see her at the store where she works, claiming to be shopping. Very attracted to him, she will quickly become her submissive. For this, a contract will be drawn up to allow the rules of this dangerous game to be defined. However, this contract often becomes a taboo subject and will be changed constantly.
As their relationship progresses, the young and innocent Ana is faced with a whole new world alongside the wealthy businessman, and she must then decide whether or not she is ready to enter it.
On June 1, 2015, E. L. James announced on his Twitter page, the release of the fourth volume of the saga, entitled Gray. This book tells the story of the first volume from the point of view of the famous billionaire. The English version was released on June 18, 2015 (Christian’s birthday). Originally scheduled for September 10, 2015 in France (Anastasia Steele’s birthday), the date was brought forward 6 weeks after the manuscript was stolen, i.e. July 28, 20151.
The Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy was first a fanfiction based on the Twilight universe and was originally called Master of the Universe. James was gradually publishing it under the pseudonym “Snowqueen’s Icedragon” on various fanfiction sites. The central characters were originally Edward Cullen and Bella Swan, from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. The novel is then considered an erotic romance2.
After receiving warnings regarding the explicitly sexual content of the text, James deleted the history from these sites and published it on his own site, FiftyShades.com. It was later that she modified Master of the Universe to make it a story in its own right, renaming the characters Christian Gray and Anastasia Steele and deleting the text from her site in preparation for publication3.
Most agree on the absence of literary qualities of the text4,5,6,7 and on the great psychological weakness8 of the characters qualified as ectoplasms by certain critics9. Some, however, find the book rather pleasant to read10.
In world, the book has especially attracted attention for its supposedly pornographic and, more specifically, pornographic side for the use of a female readership, which the author rejects and condemns11,12. In response to the comparison with other erotic novels mentioned by journalists and literary critics, E. L. James firmly reiterates that “the Marquis de Sade’s stories are not love stories. My novel is a love story. ” For her, Histoire d’O “is not a love story. (…) This is a brutal book on a woman who is totally mistreated. “13. Similarly, the French publisher confirms that it is “above all a love story” 14.
According to a study carried out in 2014 by psychologists at the University of Michigan, the trilogy would deliver an underlying subliminal message according to which the heroine, Anastasia, voluntarily accepts the conjugal violence which she undergoes in her relations with her partner: in addition the trivialization of this violence in the couple, the story would stage a submissive victim, subject to the Stockholm syndrome, according to which the victims end up understanding the motivations of their aggressors and integrating them15.