I Finish 50 Shades of Grey. Hooray!

The Crazy Train has finally pulled into Nutjob Station: I am done this book! And James spares no expense, pulls out all the stops, and turns the crazy up to 11 for this one. And any other cliche you can think of…

Ana wakes up at 5 am without an alarm clock, because it is time to take her birth control pill. Seems legit.

Christian is already awake and playing piano, just like the first night Ana stayed. See how it’s all coming full circle? Do you see what they are signifying with the sad, sad piano music? Our crappy couple insult each other a bit, trade some innuendo, and then Ana, out of her deep desire to understand this extraordinary man and his pain, decides she’d rather talk to him than have sex.

Big mistake.

When you talk to them, the crazy makes itself readily apparent. No talking. Never talk! Sigh. Christian announces that he doesn’t expect Ana to sign the contract (remember that?) but he still expects her to follow all the rules in the contract, and the spirit of the contract. Ana is confused by this. So is Christian.

Ana asks to reread the contract, because she can’t remember quite what was in it. She reads the contract and rolls her eyes at him. Christian is elated that he gets to punish her. Ana is frightened and doesn’t want to be punished. So she thinks the best way to defuse this situation is to get Christian to chase her around his apartment. If you can call that thinking. I don’t.

Christian warns Ana that the punishment will be worse if she doesn’t comply, and Ana says she hates being punished. Christian is deeply hurt and gets a serious case of ‘I’m-a-whiney-baby-itis’. Ana backpedals and says she really does like being spanked. Or at least she doesn’t hate it. But that’s not good enough. Christian wants to hurt her (he says so in so many words), and wants her to darnwell like it. But he refuses to tell her why.

Oh! Oh! Ask me! I know! *Hand waving frantically in the air*

Because he’s crazy. You know it. I know it. He knows it. Only Ana seems not to get it.

They go in for some kissy face, each wishing that the other was a different person, but still the same, somehow. Ana decides to let Christian punish her. Hit me with your best shot, she says. Or words to that effect. Ana wants to know how bad it can get before she can decide to stay.

Christian beats her with a belt. And guess what? Ana doesn’t like it. She’s furious!

“You are one fucked up son of a bitch,” she tells him.

Yes! She gets it now. She runs (not home) but to her bedroom to cry and wonder why she couldn’t fall in love with somebody normal. Birds of a feather, babe…

Christian shows up in her room (it’s still his house after all) and they snuggle for, like, hours.

It all ends in a non-stop cliché fest: Ana tells Christian she can’t be what he needs. Then Christian tells Ana that he is no good for her. You can’t love me. I can’t make you happy. It just goes on and on, one insipid overused platitude after another. Ana decides this is it: she is leaving. She tells Christian she’s done and would like some privacy to dress. Instead of leaving, she goes and has a shower. :/

She dresses and is glad that her butt hurts because it distracts her from her shattered heart. Those are the words James uses here. Ana gathers her things and makes to leave. Christian is so broken up about it that he has taken a business call. Ana leaves the Mac, the blackberry, and the keys to her new car. Christian’s chauffeur drives her back to her apartment where she cries and cries and cries.

And I’m done. Have I mentioned that? Because I’m done. Do they get back together? Do they get less crazy? Do they team up and fight crime? I don’t even care because I’m done.


50 Shades’ Penultimate Chapter is Penultimate

Chapter 25 makes up for being nearly the last chapter in the book by being ridiculously, insufferably long. Seriously, it took me three tries to work my way through.

The chapter starts in the airport as Ana bids farewell to Mumsy, crying tears that she describes so poetically as ‘watery.’ As opposed to ‘fiery’ or ‘earthy’ tears, I guess. Or these:

They trade frog and prince clichés and her mom promises to visit. Although considering she couldn’t be bothered to show up at Ana’s graduation, I am far from convinced.

On the plane, Ana thinks about her mother’s love and wonders, “What does Christian know of love?” Raven Lunatick wonders, “What does James know of clichés?” Not enough apparently. If I ever, EVER use a phrase that hackneyed please, please, PLEASE slap me into next week.

At this point, Ana has a revelation. What she really wants from Christian is…wait for it…love. And it took her four hundred and seventy-two pages to figure that out. Wasn’t that the whole problem all along? Hasn’t this been fairly explicit? When Ana was constantly telling Christian she wanted “more” were we supposed to be confused about what that meant? Was Ana? Because it was pretty damn obvious that it was love. Has E. L. James ever considered becoming a mystery writer? I think she has a bright future.

Ok. That was probably unfair, but somebody in the long line of people who read a book prior to publication ought to have mentioned it. Because it’s pretty insulting to the readers’ intelligence.

Ana goes on to muse that the BDSM was just a distraction from the real issue (she actually thinks this phrase). Wait? There was BDSM? Because I sure don’t remember any. :-/ They have a whole room of BDSM-themed equipment, but it’s more like a BDSM museum, because they never use it. They just stand around talking about how they could use it. Any time they wanted to. They just don’t want to. But later…ooooh baby you’d better believe they’re going to use it later.

So, after thinking for all of, oh, thirty seconds, Ana decides that Christian is not capable of feeling love; that he feels undeserving of it because of his early childhood trauma. Let me reiterate that Christian claims to have no memory of his early childhood, and was thereafter raised by loving rich people. Ana’s a regular Sigmunda Freud, isn’t she?

Then, lacking a good way to move the plot along, the characters exchange more email. Seven altogether. They say nothing of interest but it makes Ana anxious anyway. Christian doesn’t elabourate on the “situation” that made him skip out on dinner with Ana’s family, but to be fair, Ana never asks him.

Ana gets back to Seattle and Christian’s chauffeur takes her to Christian’s penthouse. On the drive there Ana asks him a couple of vague questions about the “situation” and gets a couple of vague answers. Ana characterises this as “mining a seam of gold.” Yeah that’s pure gold, Ana. Pure gold. She comes away from the conversation not knowing any more than she did before.

Ana arrives at Christian’s penthouse and all her questions remain unanswered as they sex it up. In the bathroom. Again. Sweet zombie Jesus, bathrooms are gross. I’m not sure this book isn’t about a guy with a bathroom fetish.

Then they shower and Ana tells Christian she got a job and she thinks that he paid off the company to hire her. Christian is just as impressed as you’d imagine. Then, to make it extra special, she invites him to Jose’s photography how in Portland. Remember Jose? Christian hates him. He is pissed off momentarily, but then forgets.

They have creepy bathroom sex again.

They dress, eat, and reconvene in the playroom. Finally! Some of that BDSM we’ve been promised. But first Christian tells Ana he has finally bought all those clothes he promised her 400 pages ago. One of Ana’s multiple personalities emerges to call her a ho. You know Ana, they can control that with medication. Several ‘oh mys’ and ‘holy craps’ later we finally get to the sex.

Christian reiterates the safe words several times. Just in case. Which is probably for the best. But Ana is insulted. “I am about to remind him of my GPA…” and all the blowjobs you had to give to maintain it?

So the great BDSM surprise we’ve been waiting for? Christian ties her to the bed and makes Ana wear an iPod while they have sex. Woo-friggin-hoo. I’m soooo…soooo…bored. No one has ever listened to music during sex. It’s so deviant. They throw in a flogger for good measure, but he really only tickles her with it so I’m not really impressed.

Afterwards Christian reveals what Ana said in her sleep (remember that bit of fakey drama from chapter the last?): that she misses him. Awwwww…sweet. That was a whole lot of nothing, eh? It’s like watching Ghost Hunters, or Destination Truth – they’re always all “Oh my God! We found something! Oh, wait, no we didn’t. Never mind.”

It gets tiresome. Christian then accuses Ana of hiding something from him. I’m sorry Christian, she’s not smart enough to hide something from you. Ana denies it, and Christian threatens to torture it out of her. Perhaps with more iPod playing?

So in the final chapter we can look forward to more fakey, overhyped drama! Because I love that! Perhaps aliens will attack and dissolve our crappy couple in a vat of acid. Or take over their bodies. I suspect they would act more normal. But really, who cares? It’s the last chapter and I won’t have to read it anymore! Yay!