Now that the big-screen versions of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele have been cast, we felt inspired to look back on some of the book's most inexplicable extracts.
"His voice is warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel... or something."
Or something. We get what you're going for, EL James.
"And from a very tiny, underused part of my brain - probably located at the base of my medulla oblongata near where my subconscious dwells - comes the thought: He's here to see you."
The core of our frontal lobe, which is the area of the brain that controls logical reasoning, is telling us that this sentence is needlessly convoluted.
"I feel the colour in my cheeks rising again. I must be the colour of The Communist Manifesto."
Definitely the first comparison that springs to our mind when we think 'red'.
"His lips part, like he's taking a sharp intake of breath, and he blinks. For a fraction of a second, he looks lost somehow, and the Earth shifts slightly on its axis, the tectonic plates sliding into a new position."
Not that these characters are self-centred.
"He smiles, then strides with renewed purpose out of the store, slinging the plastic bag over his shoulder, leaving me a quivering mass of raging female hormones."
Technically one of the main hormones associated with sex drive is testosterone, which is a male hormone. That bit of biochemical know-how is brought to you straight from our medulla oblongata.
"I can almost hear his sphinx-like smile through the phone."
Ah, yes. Those infamously smiley sphinxes.
"Holy crap! He's wearing a white shirt, open at the collar, and tray flannel pants that hang from his hips."
Holy crap! This is a running theme, by the way - Christian Grey doesn't just wear clothes. Clothes hang from him.
"His tone is so... so directorial, his usual control freak. I imagine him as an old-time movie director wearing jodhpurs, holding an old-fashioned megaphone and a riding crop. The image makes me laugh out loud."
We're... not sure what to do with this one.
"The orange juice tastes divine. It's thirst-quenching and refreshing."
Fifty Shades of Tropicana!
"Oh my… sweat and body wash and Christian. It's a heady cocktail - so much better than a margarita, and now I can speak from experience."
"I flush at the waywardness of my subconscious - she's doing her happy dance in a bright red hula skirt at the thought of being his."
Yeah, this happens a lot. Ana has a really loud and obnoxious subconscious that's always doing dance moves in her head. We're not clear on whether she's actually supposed to be mentally unwell.
"My very small inner goddess sways in a gentle victorious samba."
She also has a really loud and obnoxious inner goddess who's always doing dance moves. It's basically an embodiment of her sex drive and/or her vagina, we think. Again, we're unclear.
Photo gallery - Ana actress Dakota Johnson in pictures:
There she goes again.
"I eye Christian's toothbrush. It would be like having him in my mouth. Hmm…"
Hmmm... toothbrush porn...
"What's wrong? What did that creepy good-looking bastard do?"
Never say these characters don't have a way with words.
"My stomach somersaults - he wants me…in a weird way, true, but this beautiful, strange, kinky man wants me."
Because they do.
"He steps out of his Converse shoes and reaches down and takes his socks off individually. Christian Grey's feet … wow… what is it about naked feet?"
This. Is. Hot.
"Now I know what all the fuss is about. Two orgasms… coming apart at the seams, like the spin cycle on a washing machine, wow."
Exactly like the spin cycle on a washing machine. Exactly like that.
"Amy Studt is singing in my ear about misfits. This song used to mean so much to me; that's because I'm a misfit. I have never fitted in anywhere."
It's good that she clarified this, because initially the significance of the song was unclear.
"Look at me," he breathes, and I stare up into his smouldering grey gaze. It is his Dom gaze - cold, hard and sexy as hell, seven shades of sin in one enticing look."
When in doubt, add more adjectives.
"Hmmm… he's soft and hard at once, like steel encased in velvet, and surprisingly tasty."
Om nom nom?
"Holy crap… just-f**ked pigtails do not suit me, either."
They are undoubtedly a tough look to pull off.
"I'm all deer/headlights, moth/flame, bird/snake … and he knows exactly what he's doing to me."
This is one of many passages that reads like James forgot to go back and edit out her first draft notes. It's also mixing metaphors to an extent that's almost impressive, since "a moth to a flame" has literally nothing to do with "a deer in headlights". We're not even sure what the bird/snake part is about.
Watch Charlie Hunnam, aka Christian Grey, speaking to Digital Spy about his future projects below: