Thursday, May 26, 2011: High Quality, Uncut Nope

I have no desire to summarise this chapter at all: it’s full of high quality uncut nope. It starts as Christian wakes up from one of his many nightmares where he is left alone by his mother and has to eat mouldy cheese.

I hate my dreams, Christian informs us, just in case we were morons and didn’t understand THE POINT.

captainobvious

He checks frantically for email from Ana but she hasn’t sent one. He goes for a run, but still no email. He sends her some frantic texts. He has breakfast: no email. He’s freaking the fuck out.

Never mind that he’ll see her in just a couple of hours at her graduation ceremony (he’s the guest speaker) he is convinced that she is dead. DEAD. Okay, she went home, slept, and then had to get ready for graduation. She’s probably a little bit busy. But since Christian can’t think farther than his own dick, he just doesn’t get what is happening.

By the time 9:30 am rolls around he is angry, decides Ana is just being rude and starts calling her. No answer. He checks his email again, but only has email from his irritating sister, who he has agreed to pick up at the airport next Sunday. He calls Ana again.

Still no fucking answer!

Christian is furious now. He puts on the tie, the sexy tie. He is going to send a message to Ana. A sexy message.

We cut ahead to the graduation ceremony, the sexy graduation ceremony, where Christian runs into Kate with whom he has the standard cold reaction. He hates Kate. Hates her. For no real reason either. He pumps Kate for information about Ana, and it turns out she’s not dead after all! Thank God.

However, this just makes Christian angrier. I mean, if she was dead at least that would be a sort of excuse for not responding to his copious emails, texts and voice mails.

I just want to stop right here and point out that it has been less than 12 hours since they parted for the night. And Christian has already gone full batshit.

Batshitcrazy

He gives a drawn out speech about eradicating hunger and arable technology. It’s super boring and almost entirely content-free. Afterwards Christian sulks his way through handing out the degrees so he can finally confront Ana during her big moment. No one, BUT NO ONE has moments except Christian.

Christian holds up the line, and the S through Z graduates jostle each other impatiently while Christian demands to know why Ana didn’t answer him sooner. Ana gives him a non-answer and eventually he has to let her go, since everyone else is waiting. He informs her that they are going to continue this conversation later.

After the ceremony Christian tracks Ana down and locks her into a locker room with him. Then he demands to know why she hasn’t answered him. She tells him she hasn’t checked her phone or computer, what with her graduation being today. He’s still mad, but now he pretends to be mad about her car. He starts screaming about how unsafe it is. Just like any non-crazy, concerned boyfriend might do.

normal

Christian finally lets Ana out when she mentions that her stepdad will be looking for her. But he lets her out on the condition that she sign the contract or not by tomorrow. No more thinking about it. Thinking is hard! And not sexy.

Later at the reception, Christian charms Ana’s stepdad with talk of fishing. For a whole page. We get to hear about fishing for an entire gripping page. It’s interesting to note that Ana’s own mom couldn’t be bothered to show up for her graduation.

When Ray heads up the yellow brick road to take the whiz, Christian and Ana play a little grabass. Christian wheedles some more to convince Ana into the relationship he wants. Ana tells him she wants “more.” Christian refuses. No romance, no boyfriendy stuff, no hearts and flowers. But Ana doesn’t know if she wants that kind of relationship.

“You don’t know much.”

That’s Christian’s response.

amazing

But I guess it works because Ana reluctantly agrees. Christian, having gotten his way, is suddenly all business again, and goes off to do all the obligatory handshaking and socialising required by occasion. They agree to meet that very night to seal the deal.

Once on his own Christian despairs that every sub he ever had falls in love with him and wants to set up household in his life. It’s sooooo tiresome. But Ana is different. She’s such a pure, good Madonna-esque figure that Christian just might consider being a nicer person just for the privilege of basking in her light.

Ana emails and they agree to meet that very evening to discuss matters. Christian zooms over with booze and condoms in case he ‘gets lucky.’ Ana is surprised that champagne can be pink, and gives Christian the hairy eye.

She knows I’m plying her with alcohol.

Yup. It’s nice that he can at least admit it.

They make small talk during which Christian lies about being too busy to help Ana move on Sunday. He would totally help, but he’s just got this thing to attend to…it’s super important.

So they get wasted and talk terms. Christian threatens to spank Ana. Ana vetoes nearly everything in the contract but Christian only allows her to make fisting a hard limit. Every time Ana says she doesn’t want to do whatever thing it is – anal sex, bondage, being gagged – he assures her that she really does want to do those things but she just needs to work up to it. It’s a good thing Christian knows what Ana wants because Ana sure as hell doesn’t seem to know.

All this sexy talk gets Christian all turned on, and he tells her to hurry it up so they can screw. Ana is reluctant but Christian dangles the possibility of “more” in front of her like a carrot to urge her on. If she agrees to be his unwilling sub for several days a week, then he will be her unwilling boyfriend perhaps one night a week.

wrong

Before they have sex Christian takes Ana outside and gives her a new car. She’s furious and demands he return it. Christian explicitly tells her that if she wants him as a pretend boyfriend one day a week, then this is the price. They both head to the bedroom angry.

Then they have sexy sexy sex, which is kind of gross but whatever. Ana is a little afraid of Christian, and Christian is, I don’t know, just plain nuts. Christian’s first act as a Dom is to let Ana do whatever she wants, and take control of the situation. Is…is that…usual? I don’t even know.

Christian then spends some time crowing about how all Ana’s orgasms belong to him. That’s the wording he uses. Ana shamefully admits that she had an orgasm in her sleep. She is afraid that Christian will be angry at her. For something she has zero control over.

Christian gets up to leave because sexy time is over. Ana threatens to string him along by not officially signing the contract. Christian threatens to kidnap her and keep her as a sex slave. Because he’s filthy rich and who is going to stop him?

Christian is mad and turned on now, and uses a flimsy pretext to spank Ana and have sex again. He mentions how mad he is that she asked (waaaay back in chapter one) if he was gay. He’s going to beat her for that. Like any sensible person would. Obviously.

How gross is that? Who thinks that sentiment is okay?

Yourideasarebad

Then they have sex and all appears to be well as far as Christian can tell. He goes home and they immediately start the email train back up. Choo! Choo! Suddenly Ana gets sullen and tells Christian that she doesn’t like him anymore.

And that’s how we end the chapter.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011: Christian Grey and the Screaming Heebie-Jeebies

The thing about organizing a story by dates instead of chapters is that sometimes you have a day where nothing much happens. So your chapters may not necessarily all be the same size. Sure you could even out the chapters by skipping some short days and just talking about them later, but you could also just doggedly go day by day and say what happened and when. The choice you make says something about you as a writer.

choices

It turns out that Thursday May 19, 2011 is one of those days when not a lot of stuff actually happens. The chapter is six pages long.

Christian wakes screaming from a nightmare. This happens often in the 50 Shades series. And that’s just me.

Seriously though, Christian informs us that he has woken up screaming every day since Sunday. His dream consists mostly of smells, with Christian telling us that it smells like beer, cigarettes and poverty. It would be nice if there was a particular smell he associated with poverty, but as usual we are left guessing. Description, it’s super effective.

effective

Christian is sooo torn up about his decision to warn Ana away from…himself that he can’t sleep. He’s pissed that he has to work AND play golf when all he wants to do is lie in bed and moan about his lost chance with Ana. He briefly considers calling Elena to find him a new sub which seems to be his go to solution for anything.

Then we are treated to a little wandering-around-the-house-drinking-a-glass-of-water action. Gripping! Christian goes back to bed and stares at the ceiling until his alarm goes off.

Time to make the donuts motherfucker.

On the radio, Christian hears about the sale of a rare manuscript, and he thinks of Ana. He has a brilliant idea! He’ll give Ana a book as an apology for getting her hopes up, totally not as a gesture to show he’s still interested. Because he’s not. He’s totally not.

Dontcare

That’s kind of sweet right? Christian is going to acquire a rare manuscript at great expense for Ana! Ha ha, nope! Why bother? He already has several rare manuscripts just lying around, so he’ll just give Ana one of those. That’ll be fine. In Fifty Shades of Grey, the gift was actually kind of nice – I assumed it was a thoughtful, well considered purchase just for Ana. Now it’s a lame, no effort cop-out.

At least Christian could seem mysterious and dark when we couldn’t see into his thoughts. Grey just lays him bare as an unrepentant asshole. Neither book he has on hand (Jude the Obscure and Tess of the D’Urbervilles) is particularly romantic, so he just goes with Tess. Anyway, he figures, Ana’s probably never owned anything that expensive before so she should be super impressed by it.

He gets to work and is immediately annoyed by all his ultra-hetero female employees all falling all over themselves to hit on him. He’s disgusted that the receptionist greets him with a “flirtatious wave.” Dude. She’s the receptionist. Being cheerful and friendly is her goddamn job. Get over yourself.

getoveryourself

But he calls her, “a cheesy tune on repeat.” Honestly dude. If you can’t stand your employees, hire some that you DO like. Why not hire some men? Or some women who have a bit of fucking professionalism? Or, if no one can resist his vampire billionaire powers, why not hire gay women who won’t care how attractive he is? Because there are no gay people in 50 Shadesland, that’s why. You’d think at least one gay man would trip over himself to hit on the world’s most magical billionaire, but it never happens. The only time gayness is even mentioned is as an insult and horrible social gaffe.

Hey! 1950 called, it want’s it’s social mores back.

Christian gets to his office and orders a coffee from his personal assistant. He’s glad to see Olivia (a random employee we’ve never met) is gone today because she’s “fucking irritating.” His PA asks how he would like his coffee. Christian doesn’t want milk today, not because that’s what he feels like drinking, but because he wants to, “keep them guessing how I take my coffee.”

What?

I'm going to hell
Christ, what an asshole.

He calls Welch to find out when Ana’s final exam is so that he can send the book as a gift for finishing school. Then we head right on in to Christian’s super important business meeting. We learn that he is a super important business man who transacts business at his business factory. There’s talk of shipments and airdrops and greasing palms to get ‘the shipment’ into the Sudan.

This is the fourth book, and we still don’t really know what he does for a living. One of the books assured us that he was developing wind up, or possibly solar powered phones for poor Africans. So is that what they are shipping to Sudan? We’ll never know! But we do know he is totally OK with bribing politicians to get his own way. Nice.

After the meeting Olivia shows up with Christian’s lunch. Dammit, he hates Olivia. Has he mentioned that? She can’t do anything right. He hopes to hell she has brought him a suitable lunch! Of course, he won’t tell his staff what he actually wants for lunch. Heavens to Betsy no! Then he couldn’t bitch when they got it wrong.

Ok, we are supposed to like this guy. Why isn’t he even a little bit likeable? Throw us a bone for God’s sake.

Bone

Christian writes a note to go with the book. We can only hope that he dots his i’s with little hearts. Then he has his too-eager staff send it off. It’s only at this point that Christian admits to himself that maybe he does want to see Ana again. Maybe. A little. We can’t be sure.

And that’s the end of the chapter.

Put on Your ‘Ta-Da Cape’ for Chapter 20 of Fifty Shades of Grey

Oh. My. God. Ana and Christian have sex in this chapter. It’s horrible and non-sexy. But, that should go without saying.

Christian literally carries Ana out to “The Boathouse” – he’s loaded so of course he has a boathouse.  My eyes! I can’t stop rolling them!

image

Ana has time to notice is decorated in “a nautical New England theme.”  How imaginative! A nautically themed boathouse!  How deliciously different! Can you tell this is sarcasm?

Christian carries Ana upstairs and plunks her unceremoniously on the floor. Ana begs him not to hit her. Sexy, eh? If you go to any women’s shelter and ask the men lurking in the bushes outside, I’m sure they’ll agree. Christian agrees to compromise: they will have sex but Ana is not to enjoy it. Not one bit.

Sure buddy, I’ll get right on that.

Because Christian is mad. It turns out he’s all angried up because Ana wouldn’t let him feel her up at the table during dinner. I had to page back and see if this actually happened.  It did. It would have been nice if the author had in any way indicated that this might be important later. Because 8 pages later, I had already forgotten it.

So, they have sex on the couch in the boathouse, and Ana does her level best not to enjoy it. But she does anyway. Christian doesn’t seem to mind. Which is totally believable in a dominant. They make themselves presentable, and Christian surprises Ana by giving back her underwear, which he had pocketed a couple of chapters ago. Ana is elated and counts this as a win for her. Because that’s what healthy relationships are all about – winning at all costs.

I still can’t believe this mess was somebody’s fantasy, the thing they’d like to see happen. I mean, I know my imagination is broken, but I wouldn’t dream up this sucking bog of a relationship on purpose.

Seconds later Christian’s annoying little sister, Mia, bursts into the boat house and and shouts, “Christian!” And asks them what they’ve been up to. What is she, twelve? Because she’s written that way. Christian replies that he was showing Ana his rowing trophies. Is that what the kids are calling it these days?

Our crappy couple head back to the house to say their goodbyes to the family. Mia hugs Ana and says, again, that they never thought Christian would find anyone. Run Ana! Run for your life! If his own family thinks he’s too broken to have a proper relationship then he must be pretty damn screwed up.

They drive back to Christian’s place and engage in tedious relationship conversation. Ana is having second thoughts about their contractual arrangement (which BTW she has never signed onto). I think at this point it counts as at least 23rd thoughts. Christian asks why, and Ana gets distracted by shiny and stares out the window instead of answering. She thinks to herself, this man is dragging me down into the dark. Can I lead him to the light?

What the fuck?! Did they both just die in a fiery car crash and I didn’t notice? Go into the light Christian! Not the other place. Yeeeaaaah…okaaaay. Who thinks things like that? No one. Ever. Can you die from sighing heavily? Because I might have a terminal case. So now we’re back to the whole virginal virgin saves broken man because of her goody-goodness. Excuse me while I bllleeaaaaaaarrrrgghh….I…I just don’t know what. What a bunch of insipid crap. Seriously.

Ana tells Christian that she “wants more.” What? Pie? Or is that just me? Mmmmmm…pie. Christian promises to try, for Ana. Damn right man! She wants goddamn bumbleberry. And don’t skimp on the whipped cream. Wait. What were we talking about? Pie right?

Ana’s so happy that she unbuckles her seatbelt and gets in Christian’s lap for some kissy-face. Well. She’s not a smart girl, we’ve established that. Then suddenly chauffeur guy slams on the brakes and it turns into Crash! Nothing says Hawt Secks like going head first through the windshield. No. That doesn’t happen. I guess I didn’t wish hard enough…

They agree that Ana will take a vacation to visit her mother, and sign the contract (remember the contract?) after her vaycay. But first more Hawt Secks! Ugh. Please don’t. But who cares what I, the poor forgotten reader, want? Not E. L. James, apparently.

On the way to bed, they make lame jokes about the sex being in 31 flavours. I’m pretty sure all of them are vanilla, despite what the book claims. Then Ana’s Inner Goddess* “pops her head above the parapet.” What. The Flying. Fuck? There are not only about a half dozen people in Ana’s head, there’s also a castle? Mmmmmkaaaay…They get to the bedroom and Christian whips off Ana’s dress (not using an actual whip – just what kind of book do you think this is?) and says (I’m not kidding here) “Ta-da!”

0.o

I bet yer all warmed up and ready for some sexy, dirty sex now, eh? I know I am. But who cares what you want? Ana and Christian need to get ready for bed! They change, and Ana brushes her teeth with Christian’s toothbrush AGAIN! This is the part of the book that horrifies me the most. That is so gross! Eeeeeewww! Christian catches her and doesn’t mind(!) Because heaven knows an uptight control freak would not mind you using his toothbrush without his permission.

Now the sex, right? Wrong. Silly you! First Ana has to try and blackmail Christian. If he tells her about his sordid past, then he can spank her, even though she doesn’t like it. Christian agrees. He produces a set of Ben Wa balls, which confuse Ana (are you surprised?). They share good long spanking, and a thorough rogering. Then Christian tells Ana that his bio-mom was a crack whore, who died when he was four. And that’s all he tells her.

I'm going to hell
Christ, what an asshole.

But hey! There are only six deliciously dirty chapters left! I’m soooo almost out of this morass. Then I’ll be doing the 50 Shreds of Grey official book-shredding and possible burning! Because I will never inflict this book on another unsuspecting soul. I promise. See you in chapter 21…

*If a woman you are dating ever, EVER uses the term inner goddess, referring to herself: RUN

Still a Better Love Story Than Ch. 14 of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Chapter 14 of 50 Shades…In Chapter 14, Anastasia gradulates.

https://i2.wp.com/s3.media.squarespace.com/production/920827/11462743/_wGr8njEWjtI/S9-ByULKRqI/AAAAAAAAIbU/LY9JOxqxxEY/s1600/Briana%2BG%2B.%2Bow%2B.%2Bmisspell.jpg
courtesy of cakewrecks.com

That’s some hot sexy gradulating action. No, not really. For ‘mommy porn’ there’s an awful lot of story and not a lot of porn. Excuse me waiter, there seems to be a story in my porn. Can you get me a fresh one?

The chapter starts out with Anastasia having the female equivalent of a wet dream. She expresses surprise, saying, “I didn’t know I could dream sex.” Well, you could fill an alternate universe with the things you don’t know, honey. She does know tea though, and she heads off to the kitchen to make some, and to avoid telling Kate anything incriminating.

Ana’s step-father arrives to take her to the graduation ceremony, and I’m thirty shades of bored already. Her stepfather is a caring everyman who’s chuffed as chips to see his little girl gradulate. Except he’s not even really her dad. He’s one of her mom’s creepy exes who has taken Ana under his creepy wing. Bleh. I think I just gave myself the jibblies. Ana’s mom BTW can’t come to the ceremony because her current husband twisted his ankle. And poor, gullible Ana buys this without question.

At the university, Ana is super nervous because Christian has been asked to give a speech and confer the degrees. She gets seated alphabetically between two girls who spend the whole ceremony talking across her. This was the first relatable incident in the whole book. On page 234. The same thing happened to me during my call ceremony. It was annoying. So I am just like Ana! Only without the crazed millionaire stalker guy. Oh well, the LSUC hall was waayyyy cooler than any generic university auditorium, so there’s that. I guess.

Christian appears on stage and Ana is shocked and turned on to see that he is wearing their special bondage tie (the one on the book’s front cover). Oh Christian, you devil! Wearing a tie with your suit. The annoying bookend girls notice Christian too, and Ana pipes up to tell them that he is gay. This. Is. Not. Funny. Let’s drop the gay thing right here. Shall we? It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I need to cleanse my palate…with some Link/Lord Ghirahim ‘shipping.

Still a better love story than 50 Shades of Grey
with my tongue!

Ha! You saw it. You can’t unsee it.

Where were we? The metaphysical implications of the statement, “I am not here?” No, huh? Oh yeah. That damn book. Christian gives a speech where he reveals to all that he has, “known what it’s like to be profoundly hungry.” Suddenly it becomes clear to Ana – poor Christian raised by some neglectful crack-whore before being adopted into money. Poor baby. Isn’t his pain sexy? I gotta say, not really. If only because so far there has been nothing likeable about his character.

When Ana finally goes up to get her degree, Christian is all, “why haven’t you emailed me. Wah! I’m a whiney baby.” Or words to that effect. Ana responds that they are holding up the line and goes back to her seat. Then Ana gets to show up the bookend girls when Kate comes out to tell Ana that Christian has asked for her backstage. How catty is that? They mentioned his name and now she’ll show them! Ha…okay. Whatever. Any reader who got satisfaction out of that exchange is hereby banned from reading for life (I’m the book Nazi. No books for you!”).

Once she gets back stage Christian locks her in a room with him and…nope. Not what you’re thinking. He reprises the why haven’t you emailed me bit. Wow, that’s tiresome. Finally they go out to schmooze with friends and family, and have a few drinks at the reception which is apparently in some kind of enormous rent-a-tent.

Kate introduces Christian as Ana’s boyfriend, and Ana is inexplicably furious. Whatever. She makes no sense to me. Everyone is appropriately wowed and Ana’s father gives his approval. You know, for a book that’s supposed to be all kinky sex and liberated women, it has some pretty deep roots in lame sexual stereotypes. You’re dating a sick fuck? It’s Ok! He’s dad approved. She’s a virginal virgin? He’s a freakish BDSM millionaire running from his past? Jeez, all they need to do is fight crime.

Our crappy couple finally get a moment alone together and Ana mentions the tie. He chuckles (seriously. It’s in there) and says it is now his favourite. For some reason, Ana decides that in the middle of a huge crowded reception is the right time to tell Christian that she wants more out of a relationship than just binding and spanking. He basically says, too bad for you. And for some reason she agrees to the whole thing anyway. In the middle of a huge crowd. Have I mentioned that? Things she was too shy to say in private or through email she was totally ok with announcing in the middle of her graduation reception. Sure.

Ana and her father leave the reception to go to dinner. Christian begs off but by the time Ana gets home he’s already emailed her twice. Kuh-reepy. He invites himself over to finalize the contract, and Ana agrees. And that’s where chapter 14 leaves off. Holy hell, there needs to be some kind of support group for people who have to read this crap. I think I have PTSD. There at least needs to be a unicorn chaser at the end of every chapter. Here’s one now. Look at the pretty horsey! So pretty. Ahhh. Better.

It would be the last unicorn on earth that appeared on my blog…

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.

The Girl Who’s Seen Too Much Reads Ch. 3 of 50 Shades of Grey

Er. Mah. Gerd. Chapter 3.  There is nothing funny to say about Chapter 3. It’s crappy, yet lame*. Send it back to the chef, I think he put too much lame in it. First off, this is the worst porn ever. I’m fifty pages in and there is still no sex. I want my money back; I’ve been mizzled**. Whoever called this mommy porn has never seen/read any actual factual porn. Because 50 pages and no sex. This is all pretty tame really. But maybe its just me; maybe I’ve seen too much?

Chapter 3 opens with Ana hiding in the stockroom and calling Kate on her cell phone to set up the photo shoot. The boss’s brother, Paul, walks in and suggests Ana might want to work, or something. It’s a good thing he’s in love with Ana (we’re told), because in the real world Ana would be very fired by now. Hiding in the stock room doesn’t even make sense in the context of the story, because we established in chapter 2 that she makes her own hours, and sets her own duties. Why wouldn’t she make her own ‘call whoever I want on my cell phone at work’ rules?

The actual action of this chapter involves setting up the photo shoot and executing it. ZZzzzzz. These are valuable life-seconds I’ll never get back. Ana calls Christian to confirm a time for the appointment while her roommate chants, “Ana and Christian sittin’ in a tree…” Ok, she doesn’t. But pretty damn close: It seems like the kind of conversation 13 year-olds have. And I have a 13 year old, so I can attest to this personally.

Christian then has his driver take everyone back to school so he can get his freak on with Ana. No. Not really. They walk to a coffee shop and have polite conversation. Ana agonizes again about the gay thing, and muses that she is going to need therapy around the issue. I wish E. L. James would f*cking drop this already, it’s getting annoying. Why is everyone such a GD homophobe? If this happens in chapter 4, I swear I am going to put this book in the blender.

The chapter very nearly almost ends on a high note as Ana falls into traffic (Yes! Yes!) and Christian sweeps her into his arms (crap). Then this happens (Here I quote directly from the book. Avert your eyes if you are faint of heart):

“And for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed.”

WTF?! What. The. F*ck. Double, no triple, interrobang. Ana’s 21 and has never, ever had any kind of sexual feelings for anybody ever? Just how old _is_ E.L. James? Does she remember being 21? Wait here while I google it…ok I’m back. She’s 49. Maybe she doesn’t remember. In any case, I might be persuaded to purchase this particular nugget of bullsh!t for a dollar if Ana was 15. But she’s 21. Have I said that already? 21.

Which leads me to a revelation. All through reading Fifty Shades of Grey something seemed a little off, and it took me until this chapter to figure it out. Fifty Shades of Grey reads like a YA novel. A dirty, filthy YA novel. Only without the filth. Consider: Ana also tells us no one has ever held her hand. Not her innocent grade 3 crush? Not her mom when she was crossing the road? WhatEVAH!  Consider further: there’s not much swearing: Ana says ‘crap’ and ‘double crap’ even inside her own head. And also ‘Oh my’…I mention this because every time she thinks it, this is what I hear:

Sure it’s sexy, but I don’t think it’s what the author was going for. In any case the language and diction, and also the repetitiveness says, ‘written for a younger audience’ to me. Someone ought to be offended by this.

On the stupid front, Ana has a brief moment of panic because Christian has invited her for coffee and she doesn’t like coffee. Come on! She’s that literal? At 21? How did she even get into university? I really think I’m on to something with my ‘raised by monks theory’. How else could she possibly not know that going for coffee means going to a coffee shop and ordering the beverage of your choice? Excuse me while I extract my palm from my face. It’d gotten pretty deeply imbedded there.

Something I haven’t mentioned, but should do: for some reason every time Ana and Christian touch hands, there’s a staticky zappy thing that happens. A sexy staticky zappy thing. It’s a sort of physical instantiation of the ‘whenever we touch it’s electric’ thing but it happens so often that I want to pencil in one of these jigs ^ and write in, “Ana makes a mental note to buy some dryer sheets.” All you aspiring writers out there: less really can be more.

And that’s chapter 3. Srsly. That’s it. Aren’t you glad you aren’t reading it?

*I stole this from South Park. I credit my stolen jokes.

**Misled. I think we all know somebody who pronounces it ‘mizzled.’

I Read Ch. 2 of Fifty Shades of Grey

The beginning of Chapter 2 has Ana nearly falling out of the elevator and staggering out of the building. She asks herself the question I was asking myself all through the last chapter: ‘What in heaven’s name was that all about?’ Yes. What *was* that all about? She’s so confused by her reaction to Christian that I wonder if she wasn’t raised in a secluded monastery by an order of silent ascetics. Seriously, has she never heard of the internet? It can clear up all her questions about those confusing feelings ‘down there’. Who needs ‘the talk’ when you have Google Image search?

Ana eventually manages to calm down and drives back to Vancouver. During the drive she rehashes the interview in her mind instead of paying attention to the road. She’s furious and ashamed that she asked Christian if he was gay. Again people, why U no like the gheys? Ana then realizes she’s driving cautiously because Christian told her to. In a tiny act of rebellion she decides she can drive as fast as she wants. No honey, sweetie, mitten pie, you can’t. We have something called speed limits that prevent that. You probably haven’t heard of those. What with the monk thing.

Next we learn that Anastasia works at a hardware store, although I’m just a little bit surprised she can hold a job, as she’s so easily confused, and has such a low tolerance for excitement. I mean, what if one of the customers was gay? I think she’d be stricken with the vapours, and spend the rest of the day being mortified on his or her behalf.

Ana shows up at said work after telling her supervisor she won’t be coming in, and then informs him she can work for a couple of hours. Yeaeeehhhh. Because that’s how it happens. And this is my wife, Morgan Fairchild. Yeah. That’s the ticket. It’s pretty clear that E.L. James has never worked a McJob, because you show up when they tell you to, or not at all. Ana then proceeds to stock shelves even though no one has told her to, a task she’s ‘totally absorbed’ in. I call bullshit. Stocking shelves is boring and mindless, you might describe it as ‘zen’ on a charitable day. Much the same way as you’d refer to your own screaming brats as ‘spirited’.

Then Christian, in a move that totally doesn’t say icky creeper, shows up at Ana’s workplace. Ana shows Christian around and wonders exaggeratedly what he could possibly be buying masking tape and zip ties for. I get the feeling here that the author is having trouble separating herself from her character. The author knows why, and has Ana fall all over herself in confusion and disbelief. For no real reason.

Because these purchases are not out of the ordinary at a hardware store.

For the record, I once had a pair of guys come through my checkout line with crowbars and balaclavas. And, you know what? I didn’t fall all over myself. I smiled and asked, “Big plans for tonight?” ‘Cuz that’s how it’s done.

Christian then turns all ice princess at one of Ana’s male acquaintances, and cashes out his purchases. To end off the chapter on a high note he tells Ana he would luurrrrvvv a photo session to go along with the interview if only Ana would set it up. And that’s all.

So again with the no sex. I really get the feeling that these chapters were tacked on later to set up the sweet, nougatty middle of kinky, kinky, sex. Because proper books don’t often dive right into the sex. But all it’s done is bore me. I’m not intrigued, or titillated. Really, the only joy I got out of this chapter was imagining that all Christian’s dialogue was being performed by Billy West doing his  Zapp Brannigan voice.

It’s a marked improvement, non?  In fact the whole thing is better if you imagine it voiced by the cast of Futurama. Any chance these guys will voice the audiobook? No, huh?

So, stay tuned as I slog onward through Chapter 3, where maybe there will be some of the aforementioned sex.