The juggernaut that is EL James' Fifty Shades of Grey continues its quest for worldwide domination today, with news that there is to be a fresh sequel told from the perspective of its enigmatic, controlling hero Christian Grey.
Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told By Christian will be published in June, the author announced today.
The latest installment in the phenomenally successful erotic franchise will examine the inner facets of millionaire Christian Grey, from the secret behind his success as an entrepreneur to his penchant for BDSM, the creation of his infamous "red room of pain" - and of course, why he is drawn to his would-be spanking cohort, Anastasia Steele.
"Christian is a complex character," says James, in a statement from her publisher Arrow. "Readers have always been fascinated by his desires and motivations, and his troubled past. Also, as anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows, there are two sides to every story. It’s been a great pleasure to return to my happy place – writing, being with Christian and Ana in their universe, and working with the fantastic publishing teams in the US and the UK."
"His world is neat, disciplined and empty – until the moment that Anastasia Steele stumbles into his office," the publishing team add. "What is it about her that captivates him? Why can’t he forget her? He is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist."
They promised that the new book, published on 18 June (the date of Grey's fictional birthday), would be "just as addictive as the trilogy".
The Fifty Shades of Grey books are a modern fable in the power of online fan fiction. They originally started out as episodic Twilight fan fiction entitled Master of the Universe, before being completely rewritten as an original piece that set the publishing world alight. The trilogy has sold over 100 million copies worldwide, in over 50 different languages.
Universal and Focus Features acquired the screen rights and created a film version starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in the lead roles, as Christian and Ana, released on Valentine's Day this year. It became the most viewed trailer of the year in 2014 in less than a week after it was released.
Its popular appeal has inspired all manner of spin-offs, including a kinky Fifty Shades-inspired cookbook, fragrance and album of classical tracks picked by EL James. A hotel in the Lake District has even replaced copies of the Bible with the book, for alternative bedside reading.
We, for one, can't wait to see what adventures and revelations this latest book brings.
Photos: Rex Features