'Fifty Shades': 5 Things to Know About the New Book 'Grey'

More explicit sex, a kinder, gentler Christian and three other things to know about EL James' book telling the story from Christian's POV.
Courtesy of Vintage

EL JamesFifty Shades trilogy switches things up on Thursday with the release of Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey As Told By Christian. The original Fifty Shades, which began life as Twilight fan fiction, now gets its own fan fiction makeover — with James retelling the story by flipping it from Anastasia Steele’s point of view to Christian Grey’s POV. 

Below are five things to know about the title: 

1. The book is dedicated to her fans: “those readers who asked … and asked … and asked … and asked for this. Thank you for all that you’ve done for me. You Rock my world.”

2. This one is more hardcore. Gone are the euphemisms of the first book — Anastasia’s talk of her “inner goddess” and euphemisms for oral sex “as her very own Christian Grey-flavored popsicle.” What we get are explicit sex scenes. Very explicit. Christian refers to his “dick” or “cock” more often than a year’s worth of Penthouse Forum letters.

3. There are lots of flashbacks to Christian’s past. The book opens with a dream Christian has of his younger self playing with toys cars with his mother. One goes under the couch and he asks her to help him get it. “Not now, Maggot,” she says. He dreams, “My green car is fuzzy. Covered in gray fur and dirt. I want it back. But I can’t reach it. I can never reach it. My green car is lost. Lost. And can never play with it again."

Later he dreams that his mother is gone. “My bed is cold. And I am hungry. I have my blankie and my car but not my mommy. When is Mommy coming home.”

4. Christian Grey is a softie … and kinda creepy. The dreams seem designed to make Christian seem sympathetic, a wounded and misguided soul and not the cold domineering BDSM mogul he comes across as in the original trilogy. But it mostly makes him seem wimpy. He also comes across as a bit of a jealous, creepy stalker, doing background check on Anastasia after he first meets her and tracking her location with his computer expertise (jealous that she might be with another man).

5. The writing isn’t any better this time around. A lot of it seems like just a slightly changed rehash of the original. But here’s a random sampling of some of the new material:

• “Dude. I need to get out of Seattle this weekend. This chick is all over my junk and I've got to get away."

• “In my closet I strip off all my clothes and from a drawer pull out my favourite jeans. My DJs. Dom jeans."

• "Her sharp intake of breath is music to my dick.”

• “I pull her pillow over my face to breathe in her scent. It’s torture, it’s heaven, and for a moment I contemplate death by suffocation.”

Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey As Told By Christian (Vintage Books, 576 pages, $15.95) is out Thursday in original paperback, audio and e-book.

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