I am not going to bore you with an intro about this book. Everyone and their grandmothers (literally and unfortunately) know what this E.L. James bestseller is about. Over the weekend, I decided to reread this
piece of crap novel, since I tagged this as a DNF (did not finish) last year because of how sickeningly ridiculous the whole story was. This time around, I am going to finish this. And as I go along, I will lay out every reason as to why I think Christian Grey lovers and Anastasia Steele wannabes are crazy.
– Ana is reading the contract now. It is important to note that the Submissive is given two safewords: “Yellow” to alert the Dominant that she is close to her limit of endurance, and “Red” for when she cannot tolerate further demands. I have a feeling that Ana is going to forget her safewords, because for the purposes of this story, putting a stop to the abuse would be no fun.
– BDSM is a lifestyle choice, so I’m not going to bag on that contract. So far, the clauses abide by the Safe, Sane, and Consensual mantra. But this is Christian Grey. Who knows that this egomaniac will do to skew things in his favor?
– He sends her a MacBook Pro the next day. “The very latest from Apple”, not even in the shops yet. Called it. Also overdoing it. The guy who delivers the laptop is gushing about how “this baby is all ready to go, practically anywhere on the planet” Internet-wise. He misleads our dumb heroine into thinking she can email from an Inferi-infested cave in the middle of nowhere. Tell her that she needs Wi-Fi.
– Ana regards her laptop like a senior citizen would a smartphone. Complete whoosh over the head. “Just tell me how to switch it on and off“, she thinks. Are you telling me this bitch does not know what a power button looks like? It’s not that different from the power buttons on a Windows PC or a cellphone. I am convinced this girl grew up under a rock and did not attend WSU as an ENGLISH MAJOR who most likely had a shit ton of papers to write. How in the fuck, in 2011, can this girl survive without her own laptop? She uses Kate’s? Well, if you remember, Kate is an editor for the paper, and so she would need her laptop constantly to do editor type stuff.
– They exchange emails immediately. Christian signs off with “Laters, baby.”
– Ana gets coffee with Jose. This is just a few days after he sexually assaulted her. Because they were friends, and because Jose bombarded her phone with texts and hourly calls to apologize, all is right in the world.
– Christian insists that Ana start researching. She emails him, asking for suggestions to put into the search engine. His reply made my world explode:
Always start with Wikipedia.
THIS BIIIIIIITCH. One of the basic rules of journalism (and I know this because I studied this in university) is that Wikipedia is not a reliable source of accurate information, and that citing it on a paper will get you laughed at. Here, read this. And while Ana isn’t doing a thesis on BDSM, CEO Christian Grey should know better than suggest something subpar to his soon-to-be Submissive.
– I relate to this:
Quite frankly, I have a mind to run to the Heathman hotel and just demand sex from the control freak. But that’s five miles, and I don’t think I’ll be able to run one mile, let alone five, and of course, he might turn me down which would be beyond humiliating.
There was a time when I crave d sex constantly. I would inconvenience myself if I knew I was going to get some in the end. Also, I can’t run a mile. During basic training for a branch of the military, I “ran” a mile in about 20 minutes, cried the whole way, and almost passed out. The others did it in 10-12.
– Ana goes for a run and ponders why Christian is the way he is, even wondering if the seduction he went through at fifteen resulted in his deviant sexual predilection. This would give the Freudian Excuse or the Single Issue Psychology something to stand on.
– We are given another dose of “Kate is gorgeous; Ana is sweaty” examples.
– Ana sends him an email that sounds like she is declining the arrangement. It is a joke, but he shows up like the obsessive creeper that he is, and she notes “his pants doing that hanging from the hips thing.” Miss James, if you are aware that your writing has become repetitive, FIX IT.
– Her dysfunctional medulla oblongata makes an appearance! I was wondering where that bitch went during the previous chapters.
– Note that Ana had spent the past few chapters freaking out about BDSM, and still hasn’t consented to the proposition. However, Christian gets what he wants and so proceeds to tie her up and tease her until she submits. All from an email that he didn’t even confirm was a joke until after he broke into her duplex. This is Disproportionate Retribution and Not Good with Rejection in play. Then as she is begging, he flips her over, smacks her behind, and plunges in. She IMMEDIATELY, INSTANTLY orgasms in waves. You don’t believe me? Here:
He pushes both my knees up the bed so my behind is in the air, and he slaps me hard. Before I can react, he plunges inside me. I cry out – from the slap and from his sudden assault, and I come instantly again and again, falling apart beneath him as he continues to slam deliciously into me. He doesn’t stop. I’m spent. I can’t take this… and he pounds on and on and on… then I’m building again… surely not… no…
“Come on, Anastasia, again,” he growls through clenched teeth, and unbelievably, my body responds, convulsing around him as I climax anew, calling out his name. I shatter again into tiny fragments, and Christian stills, finally letting go, silently finding his release. He collapses on top of me, breathing hard.
If this girl can orgasm in a snap of a finger, how in the world does she not masturbate? If she is immediately turned on by the slightest of pressures on her privates–remember she had her first O when she had her titties sucked, how has she not orgasmed from inserting a tampon in her vagina? Tell me this. And tell me how reaching her climax equals consent for borderline rape? “Not If She Enjoyed It” Rationalization somehow makes it okay, because even though she wasn’t down for sex, the fact that she came anyway justifies Christian’s actions.
– Christian asks her if she is still considering his proposition. She says she was going to email some issues to him, but “you kind of interrupted me.” He says, “Coitus Interruptus.”
Excuse me, Mr. Grey, but you are using that term incorrectly. Coitus Interruptus means withdrawal or pull-out method. Something you don’t even do because you use a bag over your dick. Your sense of humor is dry.
– Ana wishes he was normal, because she wants a normal relationship. But we know Christian is not vanilla, and he does not want normal. That said, this should be reason for her to back out while she can. Remember when I said I would inconvenience myself just to get laid? While I was sexually pleased, I was emotionally distraught. My body getting pleasures was the extent of all that, and after a while, one gets tired of it. Ana will not be happy being a Submissive because being one is not normal.
He deliberately tried to get her drunk that night he took her to Escala to discuss the contract. He wanted her to agree to something she had no knowledge of, something that she will never fully understand until she experiences it. It is not fair. Ana may have read the contract and did her research, but she is still naive and will most likely not know what she will be agreeing to.
I feel a paradigm shift. I know that if I do this thing with him, I will get hurt. He’s not capable, interested, or willing to offer me any more… and I want more. Much more.
If you don’t take this as a sign, I will mentally backhand you.
– Ana keeps comparing herself to Tess and Icarus. She should remember that both characters did not fare well. (See Analogy Backfire trope.)
– Kate’s reaction when Ana told her about the joke email floored me:
“So you thought he’d reply by email.”
“But instead he turns up here.”
“I’d say he’s completely smitten with you.”
No. That is not what normal people do. They don’t just show up to someone’s home unannounced. Creepers do this. It is not sweet or romantic. He is not smitten–he is dangerously obsessed.
– Christian is strangely inconsistent. He opens his emails with ‘Miss Steele’, but uses baby at the end as a term of endearment for her.
– Ana emails Christian her list of issues, and he replies asking her why she is still awake at midnight. Her reply is fantastic:
If you recall I was going through this list, when I was distracted and bedded by a passing control freak.
Sadly, even her own words go unheeded. She referred to him as a “control freak” and is totally fine with it. He even amends his title to “CEO & Control Freak” in his next reply. They are both amused by this.
Bella’s Ana’s mom cannot attend her graduation because Phil Bob broke a thigh bone ligament.
– Christian tells Ana he will collect her from her apartment at 7. He has also trusted that she slept well. And he wants her to refer to a past email and the contents therein. Who talks like this? What century are these dolts from? This kind of superfluous talk would earn a swift mockery from me coupled with a “knock it off. Speak like a normal human being in our time.” The narrative is just as bad. This book is chock-full of barf-tastic Purple Prose.
– Really tired of Ana reminding us that she is an ugly duckling misfit from Clumsyville while everyone around her are graceful swans. WE GET IT!
– Literally everything Christian does is sexual to Ana and it makes her panties moist. He pops an olive in his mouth and she begins thinking about how that mouth had been on all parts of her. She has the mind of a teenaged boy who just discovered that vaginas exist.
– Even Christian says it:
“If you do sign, and then decide you don’t like it, there are enough get-out clauses so you can walk away.”
I know for sure he is not going to honor those clauses or her wishes.
– He asks her if she is hungry, and balks at the thought of food given his reproach for her wastefulness. When she honestly tells him that she has not eaten, he asks if she would like to eat “down here or in my suite. What would you prefer?“. Her choice is to stay “in public, on neutral ground.” Well, too bad, because he was just kidding about asking her what she wants. He tells her that being in public won’t stop him from pretty much raping her, then tells her to come with him to a private dining room that he booked. “No public“. What a motherfucking dick. And this dumbass girl does not protest or call him out on his duplicity.
– Christian is “vehemently anti-drugs” and insists on random drug testing his employees. Ana thinks this is “control freakery gone mad”. He still makes her snail trail, though.
– Another piece of bullshit out of his mouth:
“…You can walk away any time, Anastasia. I won’t stop you. If you go, however–that’s it.”
– They are eating oysters, Christian teaching her how the pretentious billionaire asshole that he is. She notes that oysters are aphrodisiacs, and this cock confidently says he doesn’t need to use aphrodisiacs on her because bitch please, come on, he is Christian Motherfucking Grey. Of course, Ana of Low Self-Esteemville thinks, “He reacts the same way. I affect him… wow.” How dense can you be if you don’t already know this shit?
– And again with his neediness and her obtuseness:
“…One month instead of three is no time at all, especially if you want a weekend away from me each month. I don’t think I’ll be able to stay away from you for that length of time. I can barely manage it now,” he pauses.
He can’t stay away from me? What?
– It’s freaky how he memorized what she has eaten. Who does that and thinks it’s normal behavior?
“Three oysters, four bites of cod, and one asparagus stalk, no potatoes, no nuts, no olives, and you’ve not eaten all day.”
– More evidence of her hesitation, and a bit of literary name dropping to make Ana seem like a pseudo-intellectual:
That’s what I’m hindered by in this game of seduction. He’s the only one who knows and understands the rules. I’m just too naïve and inexperienced. My only sphere of reference is Kate, and she doesn’t take any shit from men. My other references are all fictional: Elizabeth Bennett would be outraged, Jane Eyre too frightened, and Tess would succumb, just as I have.
– And evidence of his inconsistency and unfair tactics:
“I thought you liked me clearing my plate.”
“Right now, Miss Steele, I couldn’t give a fuck about your food.”
“Christian. You just don’t fight fair.”
“I know. I never have.”
– For once, this girl heeds her brain over her loins. A nice change of pace these both idiots have become Love Hungry. It’s sickening how they’re in constant need of sexual gratification. She insists on leaving so she can consider all her options before making a decision. He is insistent, and even says, “I don’t want you to go…. I could make you stay.” Threateningly. But props to Ana for standing her ground this time.
– Girlfriend is finally seeing things clearly:
He explained everything. He was clear. He wants me, but the truth is, I need more. I need him to want me like I want and need him, and deep down I know that’s not possible…. He won’t let me touch him and he won’t let me sleep with him. I know I’ve not had these things in my past, but I want them in my future. And that’s not the future he envisages….
But she also reverts to the Not Good with Rejection and Drama Queen trope. Either way, she going to be a mess, whatever she decides.
– Before going to sleep, Ana remembers all the times Christian told her to stay away from him because he does not do relationships. She is heartbroken, but “perhaps together we can chart a new course.” Poor girl, you are going down a path (the I Can Change My Beloved trope) where you cannot win. You are also a step away from becoming a Love Martyr.
– She is already having bondage dreams but she hasn’t experienced it in real life. Seems legit.
– Well, look who’s got a jealous, possessive streak, too:
“Look at him!” One of the girls beside me breathes enthusiastically to her friend.
I stiffen. I’m sure they’re not talking about Professor Collins.
“Must be Christian Grey.”
“Is he single?”
“I don’t think so,” I murmur.
“Oh.” Both girls look at me in surprise.
“I think he’s gay,” I mutter.
“What a shame,” one of the girls groans.
– It’s this bitch’s graduation, but she is busy squirming in her seat because Christian’s brief glance at her made her wet. Then she wonders why he stopped looking at her. She is also captivated by her lovely roommate giving a speech, which then launched into a ridiculous worried musing whether Christian has now turned his attention to Kate. What in the world is going on with her one-track mind?
– Christian hands her her diploma, and in front of all the graduates and their family, chose that time to ask her if her laptop is broken because she has been ignoring her emails.
Almost immediately after the graduation ceremony, Christian has her dragged into an empty locker room. She doesn’t even get a chance to speak, because the first thing he says is, “Why haven’t you emailed me? Or texted me back?” Not only is he clingy, but he is also an overreacting Drama King himself. He tells her he has been worried about her “because you went home in that deathtrap you call a car.” Ana assures him it is fine because Jose services it regularly. He of course reacts like she insulted his family.
– Kate’s brother Ethan gives Ana a hug, and the look Christian gives him might as well rival that of Medusa’s.
– Christian tells Ray that he and Ana met when Ana interviewed him for the student paper, which she was not a part of. And only did it because her roommate, the editor, was sick. Kind of makes you wonder why Kate didn’t delegate the task to a staff member. Christian seemed to be a big deal, so why is no one in that paper jumping at the chance to cover for Kate?
– As soon as they are left alone, they launch into sickening Love Hungry lovebirds. Christian says, “You look lovely, Anastasia, this halter-neck dress suits you, and I get to stroke your back, feel your beautiful skin.” What…
– Ray Steele is the only character in this book that I like.
– Ana keeps referring to her MacBook as “the mean machine”. The fuck does that mean?
– He keeps insulting her car.
Not everyone is a CEO of a company, Mr. Grey. Not everyone can afford a 4×4, an R8 Spyder and a Charlie Tango. Sometimes, we’re lucky we get a vehicle that gets us from point A to point B in one piece. Fuck you, Mr. Grey. Sideways, no lube.
– Ana rewraps the expensive Thomas Hardy books with a quote from Tess to Angel written on the wrapping. I cannot get over how pretentious this novel is.
– Does it bother anyone else that Ana’s first, presumably sincere reaction always differs from the reactions of her inner goddess and subconscious? Like they have their own hidden agenda. She seems mentally unwell.
– He is trying to talk her into feeling less guilty and weird about their arrangement. He also pushes champagne on her. He knows she is a lightweight. They need to discuss his indecent proposal, but he wants her inebriated enough to take advantage of. He keeps refilling her glass. What a gentleman.
– Also, this:
“It’s pink,” I murmur, surprised.
“Bollinger Grande Année Rosé 1999, an excellent vintage,” he says with relish.
– She already has interviews at a couple of publishing houses after getting her degree? What did she get? A Bachelor’s degree in English and Laptop Illiteracy?
– Talk about more Disproportionate Retribution. He threatens to take her across his knee because…*drumroll*… she rolled her eyes at him. This excites her. This worries me, if I were in her place. So I can’t roll my eyes in fear of punishment? God forbid I breathe the wrong way in his direction.
– They go over the soft limits, and when he asks her what else she objects to besides fisting, she says anal intercourse does not exactly float her boat. But remember, kids, Christian Grey does not care what you or Ana thinks. He says that he’ll agree to the fisting, but he would really like to claim her ass. What is it with men and butt sex?
– HAHAHA THIS DUMB BETCH. Still on butt sex:
“Have you done that?” I whisper.
Holy crap. I gasp.
“With a man?”
“No. I’ve never had sex with a man. Not my scene.”
Is this ignorant idiot for real?
– This man has a very short temper, and is highly irritable. I wouldn’t want him as my Dominant, if I were into BDSM:
“Don’t laugh at me, but what’s a spreader bar?”
“I promise not to laugh. I’ve apologized twice.” He glares at me. “Don’t make me do it again,” he warns. And I think I visibly shrink… oh, he’s so bossy. “A spreader is a bar with cuffs for ankles and/or wrists. They’re fun.”
– And further proof that Christian is up to no good:
“And how will I use safe words if I’m gagged?”
“First of all, I hope you never have to use them. But if you’re gagged, we’ll use hand signals,” he says simply.
I blink up at him. But if I’m trussed up, how’s that going to work? My brain is beginning to fog… hmm alcohol.
This was his plan all along. Get her drunk and pliant, fewer questions.
– This Hates Being Touched trope is wearing thin. Blah blah blah, when Christian lets Ana touch him, we know they just went through something serious and changing. What the fuck ever.
– Aaaand there it is:
“Look, I want to talk about one more thing, then I’m taking you to bed.”
“Bed?” I blink rapidly, and my blood pounds round my body, warming places I didn’t know existed until very recently.
“Come on, Anastasia, talking through all this, I want to fuck you into next week, right now. It must be having some effect on you too.”
I squirm. My inner goddess is panting.
The effect it has on her and her inner goddess is drunkenness, because that teacup had been refilled countless times.
– Yep. He bought her a car as a graduation present. It is a “red hatchback car, a two-door compact Audi”. Does EL James have a contract with Audi? Over the top.
– Let’s examine this passage:
I frown at him, at a loss what to say. He just doesn’t get it! He’s had money all his life. Okay, not all his life – not as a small child – and my world-view shifts. The thought is very sobering, and I soften towards the car, feeling guilty about my fit of pique. His intentions are good, misguided, but not from a bad place.
Ana is livid that he would defy and disrespect her wishes. But she rationalizes that he isn’t really making it rain for no reason–he was poor up until he was adopted at age four. Misguided good intentions? I think not. Christian Grey is type 2, Obliviously Evil. He thinks he is helping her, but what he is doing is indebting her to him. He wants to seem like a benevolent benefactor–in exchange, she needs to fully submit herself to him. As if this is fair.
– More Disproportionate Retribution and Not Good with Rejection as he threatens to fuck her on the hood of the car for daring to be ungrateful of his presents. This excites Ana even more. Twisted. And somehow, she apologizes for the car and the books because she is scared of him when he is angry.
– He inhales her hair. INHALES. Her HAIR. Not the SCENT of her hair. HER HAIR.
– There it is again. Punctuation! For! Emphasis!
“You. Are. Going. To. Have. To. Learn. To. Keep. Still,” he whispers, kissing me around my nape between each word.
– Just two condoms? These bitches can’t hang.
– He instructs her to put a condom on him. She thinks “Holy Crap. How?” Crap is with a capital C. This is the millionth time she has said Holy Crap. And the billionth where she has demonstrated her ignorance and lack of general know-how. It’s a condom. How the fuck do you think it goes on? Has your 21-year-old self not heard of sex or sex ed before? Seriously. No one can be this daft.
– The Mills and Boon Prose is overwhelming. Someone needs to fire the editor for this and all the other literary transgressions sprinkled all over this book.