I read this book back in November when I first started hearing about it, and I have to admit that it hooked me. I read it in about two days. I didn't like it because of Mr. Grey (I do not understand women's attraction to him at all), but because of Ana, the poor young woman whose emotional roller coaster made me feel so terrible for her. Grey, to me, is a emotional predator who psychologically decimates his victims. Luckily, Ana was able to keep her sense of self throughout the story without becoming Grey's mindless slave.
To me, the thing read like a pornographic Lifetime movie...ridiculous yet fascinating. *I* rolled my eyes a number of times because of the over-the-top characters and situations - like the idea of Mr. Grey becoming a self-made billionaire so early in life. Oh yeah, and he's gorgeous to boot? Please.
Still, when a book becomes this much of a phenomenon, I have to believe that it has tapped into the zeitgeist. For that, I applaud the author. Also, I really like that Jame's novel started out as fan fic yet has grown to be a blockbuster. It's an indie success story if ever there was one, and because of this, I continue to cheer her on.