Having read several other "point of view books," I knew ahead of time that the storyline of Grey would, for the most part, match that of Fifty Shades of Grey. With the exception of some flashbacks to Christian’s past, primarily his childhood prior to being adopted by the Greys, the timeline of Grey and FSoG are consistent. (Grey actually goes a bit further into the storyline of the second book, Fifty Shades Darker). Grey also reveals what Christian was doing in the moments when he and Ana were not together in FSoG as well as his inner thoughts throughout the journey he takes with Ana.
As with E.L. James’ first three Fifty books, the writing is basic. Do not expect rich or impeccably crafted language. This isn't literature; it is basic storytelling.
The language of Grey is definitely grittier and more blunt than in Fifty Shades. Despite Christian’s educated and refined oral and written language skills, I found his inner monologues and thoughts to be raw, graphic, and sometimes creepy. Christian admitted early in the story that he was not a "hearts and flowers kind of guy" and his inner language totally supports that. I found the over abundant dropping of the “F bomb” annoying. But, having said that, I was happy to discover that Christian does not have a subconscious similar to Ana's that likes to glare over his half moon specs nor does he have an inner God that heaves shot-put balls all over the place and dances the tango. (Can ya tell what was a HUGE pet peeve of mine in the FSoG series?)
Overall, I gave the book 3 stars. I found it interesting to hear the story from Christian’s perspective. In addition, some of the lingering questions I had regarding his thought processes and comings and goings were also answered. Honestly, it’s a hard book to rate. I liked it, but not well enough to listen to or read again in the future. Nor do I think I will recommend it to people. But, on the flip side, I finished this audiobook rather quickly, so I obviously didn’t hate it, either.
The basic sum of my experience comes down to this - Am I better off having read Grey? Not really. Do I regret reading it. No.
*As an avid audiobook listener, I realize that the voice artist/narrator can make or break a book. The audiobook format of Grey is narrated by Zachary Webber who, in my opinion, has a voice that I could listen to for hours. It is deep and sultry with just a hint of rasp. I am not sure how I would feel about Grey if I had read it in traditional print format. I honestly do suspect that Mr. Webber’s voice added to my overall enjoyment of Grey. Had I read the print version, I might have had an entirely different experience and thus composed an entirely different review.