Fifty Shades of Grey is basically a love story. It is a story revolving around the love affair of Ana Steele, a young, innocent but strong-willed woman, and Christian Grey, a man steeped in riches and power, handsome and successful, with a strong commanding presence.
It is a love characterized by the pull of lustful attraction – a pull so strong that neither of the two protagonists is able to pull away in spite of their individual personal doubts and misgivings surrounding the relationship. The relationship reflects sadism-masochism themes which further intrigue and titillate its readers.
The books were written by Erika Mitchell, under the nom de plume of E L James. Fifty Shades of Grey developed from the Twilight fanfiction penned by James using the pen name Snowqueens Icedragon. Published in 2011, the book enjoyed spectacular success, developing a strong following of women enthralled by the erotic novel. Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed soon followed in the first book’s tread and history was made.
Readers, mostly women, seem dazzled by the narrative. In interviews, James says that the books are a result of her midlife situation and contains all her fantasies. She seems to be speaking in behalf of her readers who seem to strongly identify with Ana, with her innocence and youthful romantic hopes. The tale seems to reflect the common fantasy of meeting somebody wealthy, powerful, and attractive – someone mysterious who falls irrevocably in love with you and dominates you with his overpowering lustful desire for you.
The trilogy follows the affairs. It starts with the couple falling in love with each other, in spite of initial attempts to fight off the attraction. Ana makes futile attempts not to give in to Christian’s singular determination to drown her in a scorching, intense, passionate, and erotic love affair. She is hopelessly compelled to give in – at once drawn and repelled. Christian falls passionately for Ana and wants to dominate her with his will and passion, and at the same time gets a glimpse of her strong will and independent spirit.
Readers across the globe seem hopelessly drawn to the sheer eroticism of the narrative. The use of sexually implicit language to tell a love story seems enthralling.
The trilogy is reputed to be the fastest selling novel in paperback for all times. Several awards and honours have been conferred to E L James for the unequalled success of the books. The story has been adapted into film.
The books continue to grow in popularity. Many fans have taken a clear and strong liking to the narrative presented in digital formats. Its audio book version, as well as the eBook of Kindle, continues to develop a strong following of its own. People seem to take a greater degree of pleasure and enjoyment in Ana and Christian’s erotic romantic tale presented in these formats.