Tag Archives: E L James

‘Fifty Shades’ Classical Album Available for Download This Week

For those who have read the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, you know the role classical music plays in the story. Christian often puts on classical music while he and Ana have their “alone time.” But it’s much more than that.

For Christian, classical music is a coping mechanism. He often plays pieces on the piano when he wakes up from nightmares. He also puts it on in his car while he drives Ana around town.

Now according to Entertainment Weekly, bestselling author E.L. James is a releasing an album of classical music that inspired her while she wrote the trilogy. James selected the pieces, which were mentioned throughout the books as well. The album is available for download Tuesday. The CD will be released in September.

The 15-track album includes music by Bach, Chopin, and Verdi. EW‘s Ray Rahman reveals the track list:

1. Lakmé (Act I): Flower Duet (Mady Mesplé, Danielle Millet)

2. Bach: Adagio from Concerto #3 BWV 974 (Alexandre Tharaud)

3. Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasilerias #5 — Cantilena (Barbara Hendricks)

4. Verdi: La Traviata Prelude (Riccardo Muti / Philharmonia Orchestra)

5. Pachelbel: Canon in D (Sir Neville Marriner/ Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields)

6. Tallis: Spem in Alium (The Tallis Scholars)

7. Chopin: Prelude #4 in E minor, Largo (Samson François)

8. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto #2 — Adagio Sostenuto(Cecile Ousset, Sir Simon Rattle / CBSO)

9. Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (Sir Adrian Boult / LPO)

10. Canteloube: Chants d’auvergne, Bailero (Arleen Auger)

11. Chopin: Nocturne #1 in B-flat minor (Samson François)

12. Faure: Requiem — In Paradisum (Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Stephen Cleobury)

13. Bach: Goldberg Variation — Aria (Maria Tipo)

14. Debussy: La Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin (Moura Lympany)

15. Bach: Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Alexis Weissenberg)

 

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Review: Fifty Shades Freed

***Spoilers are included in this post, since I’ve previously reviewed both Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker.

Recap: What’s left to do when you’ve already shared a dominant-submissive relationship with someone and then fallen in love? Get married, of course! So begins the final book in the Fifty Shades trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed. Ana and Christian are on their honeymoon, traveling around the world on boats, planes, and by foot. The honeymoon is romantic and sexy, as one should be, but Ana questions whether or not she’s really ready to be married.

Upon their return home, Ana and Christian find there’s still a fair amount they don’t know about each other. Christian continues having trouble understanding what Ana sees in him. Ana still has trouble dealing with Christian’s overprotective behavior. But it’s clear they’re both making strides. Christian surprises Ana with a trip that includes all of their friends. Meanwhile, Ana is more willing to experiment in the bedroom with Christian.

But there’s more than just marital problems that Ana and Christian must deal with. Danger lurks around each corner, as Christian discovers Ana’s former boss, Jack, is keeping an eye on them. Christian keeps the news about Jack from Ana and instead tightens security for her and his family. But Ana has a secret of her own, and she fears it might be the one thing that will make Christian want to leave her for good.

Analysis: In typical E.L. James fashion, Freed is not the best written novel. The plot points are horrifically predictable, the verbiage ridiculous, and the characters annoying. That being said, she ends it the way the series should have been ended — with Ana and Christian getting their happily ever after and still having crazy sex.

What it comes down to is that this series was meant to be focused on the sex, and James fulfills that expectation. While the second book in the series expands the series beyond sex, the third brings the sex and uncertainty of the relationship back into the story, including an appearance from Christian’s former lover.

It was good that James tied up loose ends, but I almost found it hard to believe that Ana and Christian would still be so unsure of their relationship when it seemed they had gotten past all that in the previous book. Plus, there was one storyline that was never completely clarified — the relationship between Kate’s brother Ethan and Christian’s sister Mia remains unresolved.

MVP: Christian. He finally becomes somewhat likable in the third and final book of the series. While he continues to be overprotective, he also is more romantic and opens up about his past while preparing for the future.

Get Fifty Shades Freed in paperback now for just $9.57.

Or get it on your Kindle for $9.99.

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Encouraged by ‘Fifty Shades,’ Another Sexy Trilogy Re-released

There’s nothing new about erotic fiction. But the popularity of it, thanks to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, is new. That’s why one not-so-popular sexy trilogy from the 80’s was recently re-released.

According to The New York Times, Anne Rice’s erotic Sleeping Beauty trilogy was re-released last month with new covers. Rice wrote the books in the 1980’s under the pen name A. N. Roquelaure. At the time, the books — entitled The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Release and Beauty’s Punishment — were an underground hit. But with the help of E. L. James’ Fifty Shades books, publisher Plume decided now was the right time to re-release the series and hop on the erotic bandwagon, as Julie Bosman explains.

Publishers have raced in recent months to acquire, release and market more erotica to take advantage of the attention paid to the ”Fifty Shades” books, which are the best-selling novels in the country.

A spokeswoman for Plume said the publisher had recorded a sharp rise in sales of the Ms. Rice’s trilogy in recent months. Sales in the first six months of 2012 were twice those throughout all of 2011. Plume said it would print 350,000 copies of the newly designed books, titled ”The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty,” ”Beauty’s Release” and ”Beauty’s Punishment.”

So will you be picking up a copy?

Get the first book in the trilogy for just $10.88

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E.L. James’ Husband To Publish YA Novel

Could the next bestselling author be the husband of E.L. James, who wrote the international bestselling series Fifty Shades of Grey? Possibly.

According to Entertainment Weekly, James’ husband Niall Leonard is writing a “gritty” young adult fiction novel for Random House Children’s Publishing. The novel, called Crusher, is about a teenager accused of murdering his stepfather, something that Leonard says he’s been wanting to publish for quite some time.

[…] it finally all came together last November when my wife encouraged me to take part in the Nanowrimo novel-writing event.

The novel will be released by Doubleday in September.

I’ve got to wonder how easily Leonard will be able to ride the coattails of his wife’s success. Fifty Shades of Grey is popular because it took an underground, not-so-popular type of fiction and made it more accessible. A fantasy thriller for teens is something we’ve seen before. Also, since Leonard and his wife do not share the same last name, people generally won’t put two and two together; I don’t think her success will necessarily rub off on him. What do you guys think?

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‘Fifty Shades’ Now Has Its Own Fan Fiction

E.L. James started writing international bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey as Twilight fan fiction, substituting Edward and Bella for Christian and Anastasia and getting rid of the vampires. But now in a truly meta turn, Fifty Shades of Grey has its own fan fiction.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Fanfiction.net — where James originally started writing her Twilight fan fiction — is hosting a number of Fifty Shades fan fiction stories, which only date back to this March. Is it all becoming too much? Hillary Busis explains.

The concept of fan fiction itself, of course, is hardly new: “There was fan fiction before you called it fan fiction, and before there was copyright it was called writing,” University of Utah professor Anne Jamison told the AP when asked about this new trend. But would-be novelists who are writing fan fiction based on someone else’s fan fiction? That’s some seriously kooky hall of mirrors stuff.

What happens if one of these stories eventually morphs into another “original” novel? Will all fiction one day be traceable back to Twilight?

To be honest, I think the concept of fan fiction is a little odd, but that’s just me. This whole Fifty Shades fan fiction thing is as meta as meta gets, and it definitely drives me a little nuts. Love the books, but do we really need fan fiction about them? What do you think?

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New Books From ‘Fifty Shades’ Author E.L. James

After taking the country and general female population by storm, Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James told USA Today recently that she’s got two other novels stashed away. One is erotic, the other young adult paranormal. Not much more is known about the books other than E.L. James’ thoughts that they won’t be able to live up to the hype of Fifty Shades, as Carol Memmett explains.

“I’ve got several more good ideas but how do you follow this?” she says referring to Fifty Shades. “I’ve set the bar quite high in terms of storytelling.”

Will you read her other books? Even a young adult paranormal one?

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Review: Fifty Shades Darker

****Spoilers are included in this post, with the assumption that you’ve read Fifty Shades of Grey and probably already have a good idea about what happens in the second book. Consider yourself warned.

Recap: The second book in the Fifty Shades of Grey series, Fifty Shades Darker delivers just that — a certain darkness not seen in the first book. Darker picks up right where the first book ends. The differences have become too great for Ana Steele and Christian Grey. But their break doesn’t last long, and once again, we’re caught up in the whirlwind romance — and mindblowing sex — that is their relationship. But Darker introduces new characters.

There’s Ana’s boss, Jack, yet another man who clearly has a thing for Ana. He gets creepier and creepier as the book goes on, proving that maybe Christian Grey has a point with his absurd overprotection. There’s also Elena — or as Ana refers to her, Mrs. Robinson. Elena is the woman who corrupted Grey when he was just a teenager, the woman who Christian refuses to acknowledge molested him. She also predictably becomes Ana’s mortal enemy and a persistent force to be reckoned with. There’s also Leila, a woman from Christian’s past who has some serious psychological issues.

And though these challenges make the progression of Ana and Christian’s relationship difficult, the two overcome many of their issues as best as they can, and look toward a permanent future together.

Analysis: Finally some depth! Fifty Shades of Grey gets the readers engrossed with oodles of sex. Darker doesn’t disappoint either, but the new characters add a new layer coldness and some action to an otherwise romantic novel. Jack makes inappropriate advances on Ana! Leila breaks into Ana’s apartment! Mrs. Robinson still wants Christian! Though the Leila storyline is particularly outlandish, it makes the story and the relationship between the two protagonists more serious.

As the book goes on, we also learn more about Christian’s childhood and why he is the way he is. Again, we’re getting deeper and darker, which both answers a lot of questions for readers and leaves us wondering more. In Darker, author E.L. James pulls us into the story with more than just sex.

That’s not to say there aren’t some truly ridiculous sequences of events — like the predictable and eye-roll-worthy marriage proposal or that Ana now wants to be treated more harshly during sex. The writing also continues to be poor. But again, if you’re looking to read a book for its literary wonder, this is the wrong book. If you like dirty, scandalous, and romantic, this is the book for you.

MVP: Elena. She’s one of the novel’s biggest villains, but she’s an interesting character and certainly keeps the reader guessing. With Ana so adamantly against her, and Christian so convinced that there are no lingering romantic feelings between the two, it’s hard to pick sides. And Elena’s insistence on becoming friends with Ana is equally as confusing to the reader as it is to Ana. There’s no greater moment of satisfaction than a particular party scene between Ana and Elena toward the end.

Get Fifty Shades Darker for just $9.57 in paperback.

Or on your Kindle for $9.99.

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