'Fifty Shades of Grey' fans get hot and bothered over story told from Christian's point of view

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"Fifty Shades of Grey" may not have scored with movie critics, but the book franchise has fans addicted, and author E.L. James further stokes their habit with her latest release "Grey."

"OMG, you've outdone yourself!" Australian reader Courtney Costa tweeted to the author. "I am completely and utterly in love! Thank you so much!"

The latest installment was put on sale around the globe at midnight on Thursday — June 18, Christian Grey's "birthday" — and retreads the original book's tale, but flips the point of view so that readers get a peek inside of Grey's BDSM-obsessed brain.

On his first spanking session with his previously virginal paramour Anastasia Steele: "I spank her over and over ... when I reach eighteen I stop. I'm breathless, my palm is stinging, and my c— is rigid." Mirror.co.uk compares several such "Grey" scenes with the original novel.

James announced the surprise release on June 1, and the book quickly set records: "So far this year, 'Grey' by E.L. James is the No. 1 Kindle pre-order of 2015," Amazon announced in a statement. (Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman" is the top print pre-order — which perhaps identifies a gulf between print and digital readers.)

E L James book Grey (Vintage Books)

"In Christian's own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world," the book's description reads on Amazon.com.

"Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty — until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him — past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian's cold, wounded heart."

@E_L_James Almost halfway through reading #GREY. OMG, you've outdone yourself! I am completely and utterly in love! Thank you so much!!

– Courtney (@Courtney__Costa) June 17, 2015

Time to read #Greypic.twitter.com/By6LC4nA0P — FiftyShadesFan.Org (@FiftyShadesEN) June 17, 2015

Dakota Johnson played Anastasia and Jamie Dornan appeared as Christian in Focus Features's February 13 release this year. The film was directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, who will not return for future films.

Read original story 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Fans Get Hot and Bothered Over Story Told From Christian's Point of View at TheWrap

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'Fifty Shades of Grey' fans get hot and bothered over story told from Christian's point of view
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Dakota Johnson poses for photographers upon arrival at the UK premiere of the film 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in London, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision for Universal Pictures/AP Images)
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson pose for photographers upon arrival at the UK premiere of the film 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in London, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision for Universal Pictures/AP Images)
Sam Taylor-Johnson and Aaron Taylor-Johnson pose for photographers upon arrival at the UK premiere of the film 'Fifty Shades of Grey' in London, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision for Universal Pictures/AP Images)
Author E. L. James attends a special fan screening of "Fifty Shades of Grey" hosted by The Today Show at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 06: Actors Jamie Dornan (L) and Dakota Johnson attend the 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' New York Fan First screening at Ziegfeld Theatre on February 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 11: Actor Jamie Dornan attends the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' premiere during the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival at Zoo Palast on February 11, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 11: Actress Dakota Johnson attends the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' premiere during the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival at Zoo Palast on February 11, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
US actress Dakota Johnson, US actor Jamie Dornan, British director Sam Taylor-Johnson pose for photographers on the red carpet as they arrive for the screening of Fifty 'Shades of Grey' as part of Berlinale Special Gala at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale in Berlin, on February 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 11: Dakota Johnson attends the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' premiere during the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival at Zoo Palast on February 11, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 11: Actor Jamie Dornan and wife Amelia Warner attend the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' premiere during the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival at Zoo Palast on February 11, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
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