Chapter 10 of 50 Shades is Full of Soy and Fillers. Like Wieners. I Said Wiener. Wiener, Wiener, Wiener.

Chapter 10 is a whole lot of filler. Like soy. Or sawdust. And just as enticing. Ugh. Sooo when we left off in Chapter 9, our crappy couple had very nearly been caught in the act by Christian’s mother. In this chapter we get to meet aforementioned mother. Racy! Not at all tedious!

Christian insists that Ana wear his clothes to meet his mom, since Ana has no clean clothes. In the end, she just puts her gross dirty clothes back on but decides to wear Christian’s underwear. So I’m thinking, either Christian is waaayyyy skinnier that I’d thought or Ana is much, much fatter. She fits into Christian’s underwear. The author doesn’t say its way too big. Soooo, yeah.

Ana looks in the mirror, ties back her hair (has she never heard of conditioner?) and calls herself a ho for good measure. Then it’s off to meet mumsy. And to find out that Ana is the trivial psychic! Christian introduces his mom as Grace Trevelyan-Grey. But Ana immediately calls her Doctor Grey. How does she know? Did this ever come up? Do I care enough to page back and check?*

They make boring small talk until Ana’s phone rings and she wanders off to answer it. It’s Jose! Remember him? I didn’t think so. He’s called to apologise for trying to kiss Ana at the bar. Guess what Jose?

Spongebob - NObody cares

I think a love triangle is trying to be set up here, but Ana has made it clear that she has no feelings for Jose, and we haven’t seen enough of Jose to care what he thinks. So…at this point I’m not even sure what this is here for. To provide proper pacing between the sex scenes? To pad out the book so it hits the minimum word count?

Christian’s mom excuses herself and then Christian makes some more businessy-type calls. I’ll be very surprised if these are here for a reason. You know, other than to pad out the word count. I can see the letter from the mucky-mucks at Vintage now: “Great work, but needs more stuff between the sex.”

Christian finally gives Ana a copy of The Contract to mull over, and tells her to look up BDSM on the internet. Ana claims she doesn’t have a computer. She just finished university. She doesn’t have a computer. It’s 2012. She doesn’t have a computer. Have I said that already? Because Ana does not have a computer. Is she a hillbilly? Everyone in the Western world has a computer.

Then Christian drives Ana home in what I imagine is an impressively expensive car. Every car is a just a metal nausea generator to me so really I have to take that on faith. On the way, they go to a restaurant where you have to eat whatever they give you! Surprise-a-licious! And what scintillating dinner conversation! They talk about Christian’s mother. And how she thinks Christian is gay. Oh Christian!  Sweetie, honey, baby. If your mom thinks you’re gay, it isn’t because she hasn’t seen you with a girl. It’s because you are gay. You just don’t know it yet. Also – his mom is a homophobe too! Nice. That’s where he gets it.

Then Christian reveals that he was ‘seduced’ by one of his mother’s friends when he was 15. He calls it seduction, Ana calls it sexual abuse. I’m assuming it’s supposed to make Christian seem more sympathetic, but really it just makes him ickier. It’s more of that hackneyed sad-broken-man-child fixed by sweet-virginal-virgin action. Heaven forbid that two relatively mentally stable, consenting equals have sex. What possible fun could that be? Everyone knows sex is more fun and more acceptable if a woman only does it to try and help her poor sad man-child! Mysogynisty-goodness!

They drive the rest of the way back home and agree to meet again Wednesday. Back at home Ana tried to tell Kate as little as possible since she signed that Non-Disclosure Agreement. She makes a mental note to look up the penalty for breaching the NDA. Where? She doesn’t have a computer. You know where she might start? In the actual contract. That she signed. Without reading. Crazy, non? The contract has a whole section devoted to what happens if you breach it. Every contract does.

To avoid giving away any more than she has to, Ana distracts Kate with supper plans. Shiny! Ana starts cooking and claims that 45 minutes later they eat her special lasagna. Special as in “three-quarters cooked frozen lasagna”? Because lasagna takes forever to assemble and at least an hour to cook. Call me skeptical here.

Ana spends her evening putting off Kate, putting off Jose, who keeps calling like a creepy stalker (apparently E. L. James thinks creepy stalkers are HAWT), and putting off reading the contract. We end off with Ana finally opening the contract. At least she plans to read this one. Will she be shocked? Titillated? Confused? Will her brain explode? Does she even have a brain? Do I even care?

You’ll have to wait for the next chapter to find out. ‘Cuz you sure ain’t gonna read it yourself.

 

*No. I do not.

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I Read Ch. 9 of Fifty Shades of holycrapmakeitstopfortheloveofGod…

I’m back after a much-needed hiatus from this wonderful book.

So. Chapter 9. It sure was Chapter-y. And Nine-y. Yup.

Plot-wise, Ana (or as I like to call her Herp Derpson) wakes up and heads for the bathroom. She looks in the mirror, and then has a Gollum style self-berating conversation with her ‘subconscious.’ “He doessssn’t lovesss you precioussss…only wantssss to make you his birthday present. What has it got in its nasty little penthouses? Gollum. Gollum.”

The conversation abruptly ends when Ana is distracted by seeing her hair in the mirror. Shiny! She then goes out and gets her phone to let her roommate, Kate, know she isn’t dead. She gets the machine. I guess her roommate wasn’t that worried about her. She leaves a message saying that she hasn’t “succumbed to Bluebeard.” Wut? Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Cuz if it is, she’s lying. I briefly wondered if this was a codename or an in-joke that I’d skimmed over, but then I realized I didn’t care.

The next bit here actually offended me. Ana finds elastics in her purse and puts her hair in pigtails because looking like a little girl will make her safe from Christian’s sexual advances. So to all you victims of sexual assault out there – it really is your fault. You must not have looked sufficiently girly. :/ You know what else would make you safe from his advances, Ana? Leaving. But she’s dumb and she doesn’t. I tried to be charitable and attribute this opinion to Ana’s character, but Christian later tells her outright that the pigtails are no protection.

Ana then decides the best way to pass the time in the home of a raging control freak is to rummage around in his kitchen and make him breakfast. She’s briefly stymied by the cupboards, which don’t have handles. But she perseveres and figures them out. She deserves a Scooby snack! I hope Scooby snacks are somehow involved in later chapters, this book would be much better.

Again, they drink Twinings English Breakfast Tea. Did she get a kickback from Twinings for this? Because it’s hardly a luxury brand. I think I’ve established myself firmly as a nitpicker, but would it have killed her to research rich-people teas? The interwebs make this sort of thing soooo easy. Also, I’m a Darjeeling girl myself, so nyah!

Kate then calls and demands details of Ana and Christian’s sordid night. Ana is suitably mortified and hangs up on her. Ana thinks to herself, this is going to be a difficult square to circle. The whole book just screeched to a halt right here. C’est what? Isn’t it the other way around? Is circling the square a thing? Isn’t it squaring the circle?

And then the sex. Chapter 9 of Fifty Shades of Grey is very nearly as sexful as Chapter 8; you can tell that it was written with much more love than the introduction and set-up chapters. They have a sexy, sexy bath in what the author assures us is a very designer tub, although she can’t be bothered to describe it. Christian then stimulates Ana manually with a washcloth slathered in body wash. Holy yeast infections Batman! Burning rashes are sexy!

Ana then performs oral sex on Christian and is masterful at it. Of course she is. Sigh. What kind of erotica would it be if she made some mistakes the first time, or had to be shown what to do? I’ll tell you what kind – the kind that wouldn’t exasperate me.

They then move to the bed for more filthy, kinky sex. And by that I mean oral sex and then the missionary position. Adventurous! The sex is very, almost, soooo-not-quite good. E. L. James is actually pretty close to getting it right. But it keeps getting ruined by odd bits. Ana again refers to her genitalia as her belly, and later as her down there. And she thinks the phrase, oh my, so often that I’m ready to  consider it an obsessive thought –  Ana puts the ‘Oh’ in OCD.

Another case in point: when Ana has an orgasm she says, “Argh!” You know, like a pirate. Seriously, argh. Argh is what orcs say when you slay them. Not what women say when they have orgasms. To be fair I don’t imagine E. L. James has spent much time listening to herself orgasm. She was likely busy arguing with her inner goddess.

Ana also talks about her “subconscious” and her “inner goddess” as if they are separate people from her. They judge her and do autonomous things that have little or no relation to what is happening in the story. They glare, they judge, they dance various world dances. All while Ana is supposed to be having sex. It’s like that diet commercial where the couple is having sex and the woman is busy thinking about what she can eat on her diet plan. Not sexy.

The chapter ends on an odd and disturbing note. As Ana and Christian are in a post-coital embrace, they hear hostile voices in the hallway. It’s Christian’s mother demanding to be let in to see them. I guess we know where his dickish bossiness comes from. Christian says, “Shit! It’s my mother.” WTF?! He’s not living in her basement. What does he care? And why couldn’t the security staff keep her out? I’m sure they are paid handsomely to do just that. Also couldn’t someone have warned our crappy couple when Mumsy was still on the first floor?.

I just don’t know what to make of that. Christian Grey is the richest 20-something in fiction, and he’s still afraid of his mother barging in on him? Is this supposed to be endearing? See? He’s not just a heartless pervert – he’s a stunted man-child trapped in a heartless pervert’s body. I’m not sure how this is better.

I’m sure we find out in Chapter 10, though. Whether we want to or not.

Come One, Come All, as I Read Sexy, Sexy Chapter 8 of Fifty Shades of Grey

I posted this in a rush before work – any typos or oddness, lemme know in the comments and I’ll fix tonight. Tks. 

– Raven-

Sooo…Chapter 8. Yeah. Chapter 8.

On a positive note, they do in fact have sex in this chapter. In fact that’s pretty well all that happens. Except for the piano thing. We’ll get to that. When we left our dynamic duo, they were in Christian’s office where Ana had just admitted to being a virgin. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Christian paces and tears at his hair.

Then he says this: “How have you avoided sex? Tell me, please.”

Well, you see Christian, when the mandatory sex gangs came around, my parents hid me in the root cellar under a pile of dead cats…Seriously? Is this the dumbest (and most awkwardly worded) question ever? It’s at least a runner-up. One assumes she avoided sex by NOT HAVING ANY SEX.

Long, boring story short, Christian agrees to make an exception to his policy of no-making-love, since Ana is such a pathetic noob. Ana thinks: Wishes do come true! Just like in My Little Pony! So it’s off to the bedroom! Where almost every part of what happens gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies.

Christian takes of his shoes and socks, and Ana is immediately turned on. Oh those sexy ankles! So bony and awkward… Hey Ana, the Victorian Era just called, it wants it’s prudery back. “What is it about naked feet?” Ana thinks to herself. Yes. What is it about naked feet? The stink? The nail fungus? The toe jam? Everything about feet is sexy.

Christian pulls out a box of condoms, and says, “Be prepared.” Great. Because I needed to think of boy scouts and sex all at the same time. Boy Scouts of America can provide that kind of ick all on their own thank you very much. Also: is that a Boy Scout salute in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Christian says, “Do you have any idea what I’m going to do to you?” Oh Christian, we both know that she doesn’t. She’s a bit, you know…sigh. Christian later asks Ana to show him how she pleasures herself, and she claims to have noooo idea what he even means by that. Oh, honey, this girl is a lawsuit waiting to happen. You’d better finalize that contract first.

Christian then oohs and aahhhs over her flawless pale skin. Of course, the most beautiful girls are ultra whitey-white. So he’s a homophobe *and* a racist. Nice. How do you like your coffee Christian? Like you like your women? Pale and insipid? Ugh.

Ana repeatedly mentions how her nipples harden, and then harden again. Here’s what I thought:

Probably not what the author intended huh? Maybe…

And yes! On page 115, we are finally assured that Ana has a groin. Phew. I was nervous there for a while. And on page 119 she gains a clitoris, so yay! This actually might be possible. Things are going swimmingly.

Then this gets said: “I’m  going to fuck you now, Miss Steele.” Um, OK. But will there be a running commentary like this the whole time? ‘Cuz that’s annoying. Who talks like this? I’d guess he was an android, except that he uses contractions in his sentences. So, the sex? As good, and as realistic as any fanfic I’ve read. I guess. And then sleeping, even though Christian has forbidden her to sleep in his bed.

Ana wakes to find Christian gone, and playing sad, sad, soulful piano. We end the chapter with this revelation: Christian Grey haz a sad.

Ohhhh…I see what you did there. He’s hardhearted and distant to make up for some hurt buried deep in his past, and which only Ana, with her pure innocent sweetness, can mend. Excuse me while I bbbblllleeaaaaaarrrrrghhhh…Blllleeaaaagghhhhh…Okay, I think I’m good. I just need to bllleearrrrgghhhhh…No. Ok. I’m fine. I’m fine.

It can only go up from here right? Chapter 9 can only be better. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 

 

I Read Chapter 7 of Fifty Shades of Grey.

 

Oh God, I am sooo sick of reading this book. I thought this would be a bit of a larf, but it’s getting tortuous. Is it some kind of meta-B&D thing where E.L. James punishes me by flogging me with this book? Am I her bitch? Is she sporting leathers and a whip? I hope so.

This chapter was full of “surprises”. “Surprise” 1: they don’t have sex. “Surprise” 2: the ‘playroom’ didn’t shock or titillate me. Maybe I’m too jaded? It’s more than a remote possibility. At least it was short – only about 10 pages. So, that’s what didn’t happen. Here’s what did:

Ana and Christian check out the ‘playroom’ – it’s burgundy and red and filled with shackles, riding crops, handcuffs, and of course, a red leather bed. Ana asks some basic B&D questions. The kind that any twenty-one year old with google ought already to know. Deep, insightful questions like, “You do this to people?” Sigh. One hopes it’s people.

They then go downstairs to talk, and eat what apparently passes for classy rich-people food these days: a selection of cheeses (of no particular kind), grapes (both red and green!) and some French baguette (as opposed to, say, Guatemalan baguette). They eat, talk and engage in some erotic emotional blackmail. Christian tells Ana she doesn’t have to agree to any of this but if she doesn’t they will have no relationship at all. Nothing screams hot monkey-sex like emotional blackmail! I figure Ana should have walked out at this point, but hey, if you can’t make stupid choices when you’re young, when can you make them? And also, then the book would be over. Then it would only be like 2 ½ Shades of Grey.

After some wine Ana finally mans up and asks him how many women he’s had in his den of mediocrity.  Christian claims to have had 15. Ana is surprised, as she expected more. Really? I totally expected her to be the first one. Christian is such a creeper I don’t think any woman would touch him with a ten foot pole. But again this is fiction, so we’ll let it pass. Fifteen: sure buddy, whatever you say…

Wingus and Dingus then go over the proposed rules of their liaison, as well as a working draft of Christian’s limits. The rules are just kinda dumb. For instance, the only snack Ana can eat is fruit. WTF? Not veg? Not a couple of Ryvitas? What’s the point of that? So her blood sugar can spike and then drop precipitously, sending her into a diabetic coma? And how does he propose to monitor this? They aren’t going to be living together…so sure dude, I’ll sign your contract. <insert eye rolling here>

The draft limits just seem like good sense to me, but Ana is still shock-ified. No animals, or children. No urination, or defection, etc. See? Plain good sense. Christian then tries to get Ana to discuss her limits, whereupon she drops the bomb. She’s never had sex. Christian is angry out of all logical proportion. Why hasn’t she told him this before?! Man, his people skills need some serious polishing if this came as any kind of surprise to him. I’m not sure how he made all his money with absolutely zero ability to read people. Seriously. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

Sooo…? Onward to Chapter eight! Eighth time’s a charm, right? I’m sure this book gets better, right? Right?! Come on, you’re not sounding very positive. I’m starting to worry…

I Read Chapter 6 of 50 Shades of Grey. And Discover a Wealth of No Sex

Lies! Filthy, filthy lies! I was promised sex in this chapter, and there was not one bit of sex to be had for love or money. The actual sex, if and when it occurs, had better be pretty darn good, because the lead up has sucked so long, and so hard. Chapter 6 was just words upon words upon words to no effect. Here’s the “action”: Christian drives Ana home, she goes to work, and then Christian flies her to his penthouse in a helicopter. No part of this is interesting. Christian makes her sign a non-disclosure agreement, and then shows her his ‘playroom’.  Chapter 6 ends.

Yeah. That’s seriously chapter 6.

Since nothing much of note happens in this chapter, I’ll fill space by mentioning something that’s been bothering me. I’m not sure how Christian and Ana are going to have sex, since Ana doesn’t appear to have any genitals. Christian has had an erection at one point, so we’ve established that he has at least some of the equipment, but Ana not so much. She has ‘clenchings’ in her ‘belly’, but that’s not where the sex happens. She only seems to have a ‘down there’, which in my mind indicates that she’s like a Barbie doll – all smooth plastic and painted-on, non-removable underwear. We’ll see how that plays out, I guess.

During the ride home Christian fields an endless series of phone calls and largely ignores Ana (boring, but believable). Then the chapter goes all face-palmy. As they pull up to her house Ana wonders how Christian could possibly know where she lives. Sigh. Internet? Ever hear of that? Phonebook? One of those would be my guess…

Ana then spends four paragraphs at work, where she stocks shelves. This time around she calls the activity “mindless” which is a perfect match to her skillset. You know, of not having a mind. Or whatever. Also, I stand vindicated for calling bullshit when Ana described stocking shelves as ‘totally absorbing’. It’s not. Christian then picks her up straight after work, so she’s good and stanky.

The crappy couple drive to the heliport, where Ana thinks, “Elevator!” Um. OK. Don’t tax your brain too much honey, I’m pretty sure it’ll void the warranty: just stand there looking pretty. Also, kumquat. Christian is apparently an accomplished pilot and tells Ana she’s safe with him…while they’re in the air. And then he winks at her. Here I quote: “Winking…Christian!” Oh Christian! You and your dirty, sexful winking! We are ALL scandalised to the extent required by this situation. Which is to say not at all. That’s all it takes to scandalise her? I’m pretty sure she’s lying about that degree in English. Some of those books are just chock full of winking. Nodding too. 0_o

They arrive safely at Christian’s penthouse, where he tells Ana she doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to. Ana assures him that she never does anything she doesn’t want to. The irony is strong in this one. We’ve firmly established that she can be pushed into just about any situation. She met Christian because her roommate convinced her, against her better judgement, to pose as a student reporter! So, yeah. Keep telling yourself that Ana.

She wanders around Christian’s penthouse for a bit, impressed by the tasteful white furniture and paint. ZZZZZzzzzz. Why would anyone with taste and money have white walls or furniture? Apparently this is E. L. James’ shorthand for understated good taste. Mmmmm…bland-alicious! Then they sign the abovementioned NDA, and head for the ‘playroom.’

Well, at least now I know what all those needless, misplaced references to the Spanish Inquisition have been about. When Ana walks into the ‘playroom’ at last, she feels like she’s walked into the Spanish Inquisition. She describes the playroom thusly: “Holy fuck!” I can understand her surprise because, after all, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. :/ Their chief weapon is surprise.

All I have to say is this next chapter had better be good. I had better be pretty darn scandalized and titillated. Will I be titillated? Or bored and disappointed? Only time will tell…