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.
– Save for his creepy personality, there is nothing wrong with Christian in Ana’s eyes. From the way he gracefully walks to his car to the heavenly scent of him post-coitus, everything about him is PERFECT. A real Gary Stu. Really sick of this shit, EL James. Every time an author tries way too hard to convince the reader that a character is ridiculously good-looking, I instead think of this:
– Ana tries to feel him up, but he stops her. She asks him why he Does Not Want To Be Touched, and he says:
“Because I’m fifty shades of fucked-up, Anastasia.”
– She then says this:
“If you imagine for one minute that I think you ceded control to me, well you haven’t taken into account my GPA.” I smile shyly at him.
Her GPA must be pretty low considering she can’t even figure out how to work a laptop.
– And as if we need a reminder of how insanely obsessive he is:
“Miss Steele, you are not just a pretty face. You’ve had six orgasms so far and all of them belong to me,” he boasts, playful again.
He kept count! Whyyyy? Does Mr. CEO have nothing better to do?
– On one page alone, the terms “crap”, “oh crap”, “double crap”, and “holy crap” appear. And every other paragraph is Ana being surprised at something. It’s like she just crawled out of her rock after being under there for twenty-one years.
– What happened here?
“When is your period due?” He interrupts my thoughts.
“I hate wearing these things,” he grumbles. He holds up the condom, then puts it on the floor, and slips on his jeans.
Did he just toss a used condom onto the floor? Perhaps I read that wrong, but…what? Usually the term “foil packet” is used. Makes me think condom is the used version. Also, I don’t get the “What!” It’s not a question, but an exclamation. Think about how that sounds.
– Ana keeps commenting about how “bossy” he is. Astute observation about your Dominant, Miss Steele. How ever did you get your degree?
– I really, really, want to smack him or EL James across the back of the head for this purple prose overload:
“Did you get me tipsy on purpose?”
“Because you over-think everything, and you’re reticent like your stepdad. A drop of wine in you and you start talking, and I need you to communicate honestly with me. Otherwise you clam up, and I have no idea what you’re thinking. In vino veritas, Anastasia.”
“And you think you’re always honest with me?”
“I endeavor to be.”
I really endeavor it. Just a swift thesaurus to the dome.
– I seriously don’t know how this girl processes anything.
“Why am I doing this, Anastasia?” he asks.
“Because I rolled my eyes at you,” I can barely speak.
“Do you think that’s polite?”
“Will you do it again?”
“I will spank you each time you do it, do you understand?”
Very slowly, he pulls down my sweatpants. Oh, how demeaning is this, demeaning and scary and hot.
His overreaction and his penchant for demeaning her is sexxxxy.
I have to concentrate to handle this pain. My mind empties as I endeavor to absorb the grueling sensation.
Shouldn’t take long to empty since there was really not much in there.
– Christian mocks Ana’s choice of sleep attire and comments that she should be in silk and satins. She tells him that she likes her sweats, but he dismisses her opinion. Again. Because Christian Grey is perfect and everything Ana does/has/chooses simply will not do.
– She rolls her eyes at him so he spanks her and fucks her. Afterwards:
I remember him saying – I can’t remember when – that I would feel so much better after a good hiding. How can that be so? I really don’t get it. But strangely, I do. I can’t say that I enjoyed the experience, in fact, I would still go a long way to avoid it, but now… I have this safe, weird, bathed in afterglow, sated feeling.
She did not enjoy it, and she did not say the two safe words afforded to her even though they haven’t actually signed the contract…so he was debasing her purely for his enjoyment. But I shall remind you again of the “Not If They Enjoyed It” trope used throughout this novel. She orgasmed, so he didn’t do anything wrong. That makes sense, right? If you were raped, and you came, that should exonerate the rapist.
– I wish they’d stop using the word “behind” to refer to butt. I feel like I’m reading a story about children running around naked. This is a book about shoddily-written BDSM…I think “ass” is the least offensive term you can use at this point. And about a hundred more “oh crap”s and “oh my”s in the few pages into this chapter. I’m surprised there wasn’t too many mentions of Christian’s long fingers. And why does everybody WHISPER??? No one whispers that much.
– I also wish I kept count of how many times Christian whispered, hissed, or looked at her threateningly or did anything that Ana thought was a threat.
– Then Kate comes home and sees Ana crying. She guesses it’s Christian. She says, “Just tell him to take a hike, Ana. You’ve been so up and down since you met him. I’ve never seen you like this.” I’m sorry, but how many chapters ago was it when you insisted Christian was smitten with Ana, and you seemed all happy for her? Even went over Ana’s head by telling Ray that Christian is Ana’s boyfriend. Get your shit together, Kate.
– They try to sit down, but Ana’s butt still hurts.
“Are you okay?”
“I fell over and landed on my behind.”
She doesn’t think to question my explanation, because I am one of the most uncoordinated people in Washington State.
Oh, really? You’re uncoordinated, clumsy, ditzy, and careless? I never would have guessed. Please tell me again!
– She has once again referred to her laptop the mean machine.
– Ana gets an email from Christian filled with more purple prose and a warning to not drive her Beetle no mo because he will know. He obviously put a tracking device on it because that’s how psycho creepers do. Ana this dumb bitch, although having insisted her new car was just a loan, counters that she will need to drive her Beetle so she can sell it. So much for loan. If you return that car like you make it seem like you intended to, how are you going to get around now?
– Then this:
Dear Mr. Grey
I’m not sure I like you anyway, especially at the moment.
Why don’t you like me?
Because you never stay with me.
– Ana is now thinking about Christian (did she ever stop, though?) This paragraph is ridiculous. You have to read it yourself. I’ve added my commentary in red.
And then this evening, he actually hit me. I’ve never been hit in my life. (That’s because you lived under a rock.) What have I gotten myself into? (You knew exactly what. You read the contract.) Very slowly, my tears, halted by Kate’s arrival, begin to slide down the side of my face and into my ears (How dramatic!). I have fallen for someone who’s so emotionally shut down, I will only get hurt – deep down I know this – someone who by his own admission is completely fucked up. Why is he so fucked up? (You mean to say his experience with Mrs. Robinson doesn’t cut it?) It must be awful to be as affected as he is, and the thought that as a toddler he suffered some unbearable cruelty makes me cry harder. Perhaps if he was more normal he wouldn’t want you, my subconscious contributes snidely to my musings… (Your subconscious is a sexist cunt, and you have problems if your own subconscious and inner goddess don’t agree with your honest reactions but you still go with theirs) and in my heart of hearts (heart of hearts? Really?) I know this is true. I turn into my pillow and the sluice gates open… (Sluice gates? Trying way too hard here, Miss James) and for the first time in years, I am sobbing uncontrollably into my pillow. (Get the fuck over it, Drama Queen. Jesus.)
I am momentarily distracted from my dark night of the soul (Batman?) by Kate shouting.
– At this point, her mind is a broken record and she has no intention of fixing it.
I stare down at my hands. What can I say that I haven’t said already? I want more. I want him to stay because he wants to stay with me, not because I’m a blubbering mess, and I don’t want him to beat me, is that so unreasonable?
Countless times, she has expressed the need for more. She does not want to be beaten. She even said it herself when he asked how she felt after he hit her: “I didn’t like it. I’d rather you didn’t do it again.” But it’s always What Christian Wants. No matter how many times she will say she didn’t like it, he will continue to beat her. This is unhealthy.
– So Christian is a control freak. He admits to that. He wants Ana to behave in a particular way and she doesn’t, he will punish her so she will learn to behave the way he desires.
“So you don’t like the way I am.”
He stares at me, bewildered again.
“I think you’re lovely the way you are.”
“So why are you trying to change me?”
“I don’t want to change you. I’d like you to be courteous and to follow the set of rules I’ve given you and not defy me. Simple,” he says.
“But you want to punish me?”
“Yes I do.”
“That’s what I don’t understand.”
He sighs and runs his hands through his hair again.
“It’s the way I’m made, Anastasia. I need to control you. I need you to behave in a certain way, and if you don’t – I love to watch your beautiful alabaster skin pink and warm up under my hands. It turns me on.”
This turns a lot of readers on.
– He continues to ask her how she feels about getting hit, and she says:
“You were sexually aroused by it, Anastasia,” he closes his eyes briefly, and when he re-opens them and gazes at me, they are smoldering smoky embers.
Put words right into her mouth. She may have been aroused, but he is not even trying to acknowledge her pain, hurt, humiliation.
– He describes himself as “not a priapic monster”.
Someone needs to take away EL James’ thesaurus because she could’ve just said phallic. Or more accurately, Christian could’ve said “I’m not a dick.” But that would be a lie.
– MOAR PURPLE PROSE!!!
“You beguile me, Christian. Completely overwhelm me. I feel like Icarus flying too close to the Sun,” I whisper.
“Well, I think you’ve got that the wrong way around,” he whispers.
“Oh, Anastasia, you’ve bewitched me. Isn’t it obvious?”
No, not to me. Bewitched… my inner goddess is staring open-mouthed. Even she doesn’t believe this.
I don’t believe this either. Who the fuck says beguile in normal conversation? And casual name dropping of literary characters. And bewitched!
– And I’d like to use that coupon on Ana Steele:
Standing, he empties his jeans pockets of BlackBerry, keys, wallet, and money. Holy cow, men carry a lot of crap in their pockets.
If this girl has a purse, I’d like her to direct her surprise accordingly. I hardly think “phone, keys, wallet, and money” deserve a Holy cow. Standard contents of men’s pockets. Except the money, because you wants to handle dirty cash when you have cards?
– Randomly, I select half a page and count how many times she has expressed surprise or any redundant thought. HALF A PAGE. I found the following:
- Holy cow
- I’m numb with elated shock
- So here…and still so bossy
- I don’t quite understand why
- oh my
- Holy cow
– This chapter literally starts with “The candle flame is too hot.”
– Followed by more purple prose.
– Repetition of stuff that we already know, like obsessive Christian, never slept with anyone else but her, don’t drive Beetle, yadda yadda.
– Ana sends him an email with a subject title that says “Assault and Battery: The after-effect”. She tells him that she felt “demeaned, debased and abused”, “aroused”, “shocked”, and “guilty”. Christian says it is very Tess Durbeyfield (more name dropping) of her to feel demeaned. He urges her to embrace those feelings and deal with them, for him, because it is what a submissive would do. He also tells her to not feel guilty because they are both consenting adults–WRONG! He forced himself on her, butsheorgasmedsoit’sfine I’m tired of this.
– He reminds her that she is an adult who could’ve used a safe word. She has choices, which he doesn’t listen to. And she couldn’t run to Alaska because he can track her cell phone. She replied by asking him if he has sought therapy for his stalker tendencies. This means she is aware of his stalking, as she always has been, but doesn’t think it is wrong. She even repeats it when she uses the word schmules (as in rules schmules) and he asks where one can find that word in Webster’s Dictionary. Her response was “It’s between control freak and stalker.” She seems amused. O_O!!!!
– She thinks he is a “patronizing son-of-a-bitch”. I agree.
– He sends her a “BlackBerry ON LOAN”. All these BlackBerries. Who still uses BlackBerry?
– Ana mentined that she had never been drunk before. So from that bar adventure where she got white girl wasted, she now regularly gets drunks. Endless wine with Christian, and now beers with Kate and Jose. The last time she drank with Jose, he got really handsy. But according to her, the assault has been forgotten and swept under the rug where her bitchy inner goddess lays her butt on. In fact, to avoid Kate and Elliot’s PDA session, she invited Jose to walk down to the bar with her.
– Ana had promised to email Christian when she got home from work. She got distracted, so when she checked her motherfucking mean machine, she sees an email from Christian, and five missed calls and a voicemail on her phone.
Quite appropriately, she thinks “Will he ever give me a break? He is suffocating me.”
– Both Grey men like to say “Laters”. I would like to clunk their heads together.
– “New city, no job… nut-job boyfriend.” She admits to Kate that “stalking is one of his specialties.” And I still wonder why she hangs around. And why Kate doesn’t do anything besides share her disapproval.
– Ana does not have her own clothes, I think. Because all the dresses she’s worn are Kate’s. Or this is another way of saying she dresses like a slob because she’s the most sorry person in the world?
– Once again, Christian insists that she eat but she declines.
– I’m going to count the times she is surprised just from this one page alone. Will it break the previous record?
- Holy cow–the doctor.
- Holy Moses, if she’s the best Ob/Gyn, he’s scheduled her to see me on a Sunday
- –at lunchtime!
- Miss Steele’s room!
- I gasp, shocked.
Whew! That almost beat the record.
– The Ob/Gyn warns Christian to “Look after her; she’s a beautiful, bright young woman.” Apparently out of character because it surprises Christian. If I roll my eyes more, they would fall out of the sockets.
– Another classical music name dropping so these two numbskulls sound sophisticated:
The aria is still playing in the background.
“What’s the music?”
“Villa Lobos, an aria from Bachianas Brasileiras. Good, isn’t it?”
– I just want to smack a ho every time lip biting is brought up. The back of my hand would be sore.
– Today alone, I came across “seven shades of scarlet”, “seven shades of shit”, and “fifty shades of fucked-up”. Mentally counting to ten and slowing my breathing…
– She orgasms just from getting “licked” by a leather riding crop. And seconds later, from being fucked while standing up. I’m starting to think EL James has never had actual sex.
– Christian wants to do it again, but Ana is tired. At this point, she should probably use a safe word. Or at least tell him that she wants to rest. She thinks, “Will he let me sleep, perchance to dream?” I just can’t, with Hamlet being dropped on me for no reason.
– Christian is listening to Frank Sinatra, which surprises Ana. He reminds her he has eclectic taste. EL James thinks that because Christian listens to classic music (and plays it on the piano) and all this other musical bullshit, that we won’t think he’s crazy. Well, guess what?
– More beguiling and bewitching. Shut the fuck up, James.
– Since he pocketed her panties earlier, she has no choice but to go commando. She could ask for her underwear back, but she doesn’t want to give him the satisfaction of succumbing to his game. So for a few pages, we are treated to Ana repeating her surprise and pride at going to meet his parents sans panties.
He wants me to be embarrassed and ask for my panties back, and he’ll either say yes or no. My inner goddess grins at me. Hell… two can play that particular game. Resolving there and then not to ask him for them and not give him that satisfaction, I shall go meet his parents sans culottes. Anastasia Steele! My subconscious chides me, but I don’t want to listen to her – I almost hug myself with glee because I know this will drive him crazy.
Slow clap. Wow. Good for you. -____-
Dashing back into the bathroom, I check myself in the mirror: eyes bright, cheeks slightly flushed, slightly smug look because of my panty plan, and I head downstairs.
Oooooh how daring!
“Do you have everything you need?”
“Oh, yes,” I respond sweetly.
“Are you sure?”
I nod as nonchalantly as I can manage under his intense, amused scrutiny. His face splits into a huge grin, and he shakes his head.
“Okay. If that’s the way you want to play it, Miss Steele.”
Can these two be any more childish?
I’m going to see his parents, and I’m not wearing any underwear. My subconscious gives me an unhelpful I told you so expression. In the relative safety of his apartment, it seemed like a fun, teasing idea. Now, I’m almost outside with No Panties!
– We finally meet
Alice Mia, Edward’s Christian’s sister. Of course she immediately loves Ana. She reminds us that “He’s never brought a girl home before”. That old cliche.
– Here is a case of pot calling the kettle black:
“We were just talking about vacations, Ana,” Mr. Grey says kindly. “Elliot has decided to follow Kate and her family to Barbados for a week.”
I glance at Kate, and she grins, her eyes bright and wide. She’s delighted. Katherine Kavanagh, show some dignity!
Dignity is for people who walk away from a relationship where they know they are being stalked and coerced. Ana does not fit the bill, and quite frankly, I’m tired of her acting like a prude.
– Ana blurts out to the Grey family that she is planning on going to Georgia to visit her mother, then realizes Christian doesn’t know this yet. She knows he is angry when he presses her for details. Kate jumps in and tells him that “Ana deserves a break.” Instead of being thankful for the save, Ana instead thinks she is being antagonistic and “what is her problem?” What a fucking ingrate.
– Grace returns with a pretty young woman with blonde pigtails carrying food. She sees Christian and blushes. Ana’s reaction is the infamous “What!” I still don’t get what that means, and why she is constantly surprised.
– Another mention of “fifty shades of fucked-up”. Ana is acting like an irrationally jealous twit when Gretchen (the blonde) reappears. She wants to touch Christian so Gretchen will see that someone has already laid claim to him. Immature. She refers to Gretchen as “Little Miss European Pigtails” in her head.
– Somehow I’m not surprised that Christian speaks fluent French. Is there nothing original about this Zoolander of a character? Ana is now calling him “Fifty Shades”. *barf*
– Ana thinks Christian’s dick has an “impressive length”. But how would she know? She was a virgin who didn’t masturbate. Who crawled out of a rock she lived under for 21 years. Knew *nothing* about sex. Been kissed only twice. And she thinks his dick and his fucks are THE SHIT. Nothing to compare it to, though. I am not impressed. And neither should you.
– He put the used condom in his pocket EWWWWWWW!!! At least wrap it up in something. Like the foil packet it came in.
– Touching is his hard limit. What the fuck ever. He won’t let her touch him, but he lets her use his toothbrush.
I finish with his toothbrush, rinse it off, and hand it to him, my look never leaving his. Wordlessly, he takes the toothbrush from me and puts it in his mouth. I smirk back at him, and his eyes are suddenly dancing with humor.
– He inserts metallic balls that she sucked on into her pussy and she thinks “Fuck, this is sexier than the toothbrush.” She also just discovered that she can touch her ankles! I’m about to drop the mic and leave.
– I usually like to read smut. Well-written smut. But I actually cringe and balk whenever Christian and Ana start doing this shit. I want to skip over it. This is soooo badly written.
– Fuck it I’m going to just skip this bullshit. She has balls in her pussy and he’s spanking her ass. I am fighting the urge to roll my eyes.
– He confesses that his biological mother was “a crack-whore”. Hello, Dark and Troubled Past.