Jenny Reads 50 Shades of Midnight Sun: Sunday, May 22, 2011 or “I’m not sure this whole day-by-day instead of chapter numbers thing is practical PART ONE”

Since the original intended release date of Fifty Shades Darker the movie has come and gone, news is starting to roll out about the sequel. Dakota Johnson wants Jamie Dornan to take it all off, full frontal style, and though she may just be joking, it does seem only fair. Major roles have been cast, including Kim Basinger as Elena Lincoln, and filming is apparently underway. They’re going to do the final books in the trilogy back to back, and are now describing them as “thrillers” and talking up how “scary” they’ll be. I think we all knew it was going to be scary, just not in the way the studio is hyping it.

Now, let’s all place our bets on whether or not the final book will be split into two unnecessarily dragged out pieces, in keeping with the Twilight rip-off theme.

If you’re reading along with my Fifty Shades of Grey recaps, this chapter will cover chapters eight and nine.

Also, CW: There’s like, a lot of gross pedophilia vibe in this thing. Although at this point, everyone should just assume that all content warnings ever apply to this stupid fucking book.

Also, Also: Welcome to yet another enormous chapter that I’ll break up into parts, since nobody at the publisher could be arsed to.

This Day In History: There was a huge rash of tornados across the midwestern United States. Seriously, it was a fucking mess.

Because E.L. James has never met a chapter she couldn’t begin without someone waking up, we start here:

I wake with a start and a pervading sense of guilt, as if I’ve committed a terrible sin.

First of all, Christian Grey can’t possibly feel remorse for his actions. Or, wait, he does. Just not for the actions he should actually feel guilty about. I’m happy to see that the protagonist being absolutely shocked to find that they haven’t died in their sleep is going to continue in this book. So many of the chapters in Fifty Shades of Grey begin with someone waking up like that.

Is it because I’ve just fucked Anastasia Steele? Virgin?

Underline = Italics

Can you just imagine Ana’s business cards?


I check the radio alarm; it’s after three in the morning.

What the fuck is a radio alarm? Do you mean a clock-radio? I’m getting my bad books confused here, and thinking, “Well, since Grey is an alien who speaks Ahnktesh, obviously he wouldn’t know that.”

Ana sleeps the sound sleep of an innocent. Well, not so innocent now.

Does naive and oblivious not count as innocent? Serious question.

I could wake her.

Fuck her again.

There are definitely some advantages to having her in my bed.

Grey. stop this nonsense.

Fucking her was merely a means to an end and a pleasant diversion.

Okay, but…isn’t sex always a means to an end? You’re like, “I’m horny and I want to get off. So let’s have sex.” But framing it that way still sounds incredibly creepy and skeezy.

I close my eyes in what will probably be a futile attempt to sleep. But the room is too full of Ana: her scent, the sound of her soft breathing, and the memory of my first vanilla fuck.

Boo. Why is it necessary or important for Christian to be a “virgin” when it comes to sex without kink? I get that his introduction to sexuality was through Elena, and it was BDSM. But knowing that he never once thought to try having sex without kink involved goes against the characterization of Christian Grey as being sexually adventurous and imaginative. Did it just never occur to him to have sex without the props? Has there ever been an instance (in an elevator, perhaps) when he’s wanted to have sex and there just wasn’t time for a good, thorough spanking? Does he carry a blindfold in his pocket?

Visions of her head thrown back in passion, of her crying out a barely recognizable version of my name, and her unbridled enthusiasm for sexual congress overwhelm me.

Not many people know this, but Sexual Congress is the title of Mitch McConnell’s smooth R&B album.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, who is about the dopiest looking old white guy you can imagine. His head looks like a melting candle fucked a turtle and their baby was Mitch McConnell.

Fun Fact: at least two tracks are just improvised throat clearing and false claims of bipartisanship.

So, all ripping on the GOP aside, what is Christian Grey really saying with this “sexual congress” bullshit?

He’s never pleased a woman in bed.

No, seriously. The things he’s describing as this new and powerful experience? Just somebody getting off. Ana’s POV is that of a person who’s never had sex before, so we know that she has no frame of reference as to whether he’s actually good in bed or not. So we hear from her, “Oh my god, he’s making me feel things I’ve never felt before,” which is like, duh, she’s literally never felt any of this before, and him going “This was my first time having vanilla sex and it was so incredible, she was moaning and stuff, this is totally uncharted territory.”

Way to unintentionally write your sex god hero in such a way that his own POV makes it clear that he’s never been good in bed before, E.L..

Miss Steele is a carnal creature.

She will be a joy to train.

My cock twitches in agreement.

Is your cock also into dehumanizing women based on their response to physical pleasure, or is that just your brain doing that? I want to know how much blame I can place on your cock.

Christian gets up and takes care of the condoms, which is great, because I thought before that he just left them for the cleaning lady. I am placated now. He refers to his dresser as a “chest of drawers”, yet another instance of archaic/not-typically-American language, and goes downstairs because he’s thirsty. He gets a glass of water and checks his email:

Taylor has returned and is asking if he can stand Charlie Tango down. Stephan must be asleep upstairs. I e-mail him back with a “yes,” though at this time of night it’s a given.

Wait, the helicopter pilot and the bodyguard have been waiting around this whole time? I hope the engine wasn’t running.

Back in the living room I sit down at my piano. This is my solace, where I can lose myself for hours.

I just want to bring up a point I think I made in the first set of recaps, which is that between all of his hobbies–piano, gliding, helicopter piloting, sailing, hiking–, where the hell is he finding time to become a bajillionaire?

When I want to forget everything, this is what I do.

I thought that’s why you went hiking. Or kickboxing.

Ana comes into the room and apologizes for disturbing him, and he points out that he’s the one playing piano in the middle of the night, so who is disturbing who?

“That was a beautiful piece. Bach?”

“Transcription by Bach, but it’s originally an oboe concerto by Alessandro Marcello.”

“It was exquisite, but very sad, such a melancholy melody.”

Just two normal American twenty-somethings talking the way the average American twenty-something talks. Why do Christian and Ana always sound like really snooty extras on an episode of The Nanny where you just know that Fran is going to do something that doesn’t fit in?

Melancholy. It wouldn’t be the first time someone has used that word to describe me.

“May I speak freely? Sir.” Leila is kneeling beside me while I work.

“You may.”

“Sir, you are most melancholy today.”

Barbara Eden as Jeannie in I Dream of Jeannie

Actual Photo of Leila

In other news, we’ve learned that stilted dialogue is sexually transmitted.

They go back into the bedroom:

There’s blood on my sheets. Her blood. Evidence of her now-absent virginity. Her eyes dart from the stains to me and she looks away, embarrassed.

“Well, that’s going to give Mrs. Jones something to think about.”

She looks mortified.

You think maybe? You made her embarrassed about being a virgin, told her she was a problem that had to be fixed, and now you’re pointing out that your housekeeper, a total stranger, will now know of her terrible shame.

I’m about to give her a short lecture on how not to be ashamed of her body, when she reaches out to touch my chest.


I step out of her reach as the darkness surfaces.

So look. I know that for many, many people, it’s much easier to say “you should do/feel this way,” to someone else than it is to apply it to themselves. But it’s funny when it’s so clearly juxtaposed in text.

I also like how he’s just got a “short lecture” in his back pocket at times like this. I assume the longer lecture requires a white board.

“Get into bed,” I order, rather more sharply than I’d intended, but I hope she doesn’t detect my fear.

Yeah, it’s way better for a person to think you’re angry with them for no reason than it is for them to know about one of your boundaries.

 Her scent fills my nostrils, reminding me of a happy time and leaving me replete…content, even…

Mommy is happy today. She is singing.

Singing about what love has to do with it.

And cooking. And singing.

My tummy gurgles. She is cooking bacon and waffles.

They smell good. My tummy likes bacon and waffles.

They smell so good.

Three things:

1. Ana smells like bacon and waffles. 2. We’ve arrived at the starting line of what will be a creepy Oedipal marathon. 3. E.L. James has never known severe poverty. It’s either bacon OR waffles, not bacon AND waffles, and hardly EVER bacon.

Christian wakes up and realizes the bacon smell in his dream is from actual bacon. He goes to the kitchen to find:

There’s Ana. She’s wearing my shirt, her hair in braids, dancing around to some music. Only I can’t hear it. She’s wearing earbuds. Unobserved, I take a seat at the kitchen counter and watch the show. She’s whisking eggs, making breakfast, her braids bouncing as she jiggles from foot to foot, and I realize she’s not wearing underwear.

Good girl.

Just in case you were thinking, “I don’t know, Jenny, it seems like you’re reading a lot into the pedophile vibe here,” let me offer up another birthday cake corner piece-sized lump of reinforcement:

She looks even younger in her braids.

He thinks this, by the way, after a paragraph in which he describes her clumsiness as “arousing”.

Ready for another Fifty Shades of Greatest Hits?

“Are you hungry?” she asks.

“Very.” And I’m not sure if it’s for breakfast or for her.

Christian asks her if she wants music on so she can keep dancing, and she gets embarrassed.

With a pout she turns her back on me and continues to whisk the eggs with gusto. I wonder if she has any idea how disrespectful this is to someone like me…but of course she doesn’t, and for some unfathomable reason it makes me smile.

I’m sorry, Chedward, I didn’t realize you were the pope. She’s making you breakfast, but she’s not following the proper protocol by averting her adoring gaze from you. You know how Queen Elizabeth II would handle this? Fisticuffs.

Sidling up to her, I gently tug one of her braids. “I love these. They won’t protect you.”

Not from me. Not now that I’ve had you.

An engraving of Little Red Riding Hood in bed with the wolf dressed as her grandmother

Christian sets the table and thinks about how weird it is that he’s doing that, because normally his submissives do all the chores on the weekend. So basically this whole BDSM thing is a way for him to avoid shelling out weekend pay to his housekeeper.

There’s a few paragraphs about making coffee, pouring orange juice, getting Ana tea, how lucky it is that Christian put teabags on his shopping list, and Ana, seeing the tea, says:

“Bit of a foregone conclusion, wasn’t I?”

Which I don’t understand. I don’t drink much tea, but I have it in my house. That doesn’t mean I’m preparing to fuck the next tea drinker who happens to stop by.

Unless it’s Giles, but I assume I don’t have to point that out by now.

I add her self-deprecation to the list of behaviors that will need modifying.

At what point does the list of things Chedward doesn’t like about Ana become longer than the list of the things he does like about her? I mean, so far, the only things he’s liked about her are that she’s clumsy and she looks like a preschool version of his mom. As a businessman, why isn’t he running a cost and benefit analysis here?

In keeping with the torturous-pain-of-deflowering theme, Ana winces when she sits down.

“Just how sore are you?” I’m surprised by an uneasy sense of guilt.

The fact that he’s surprised to feel guilty about hurting her should have been enough for the publisher to go, “You know, Erika, this is not painting Christian Grey in the sympathetic light you had hoped.” But obviously they don’t say that, because she might throw a chair at them.

Yes, it’s just a rumor, and probably (definitely) not true, but it is my favorite probably-not-true rumor about E.L. James.

Chedward’s sense of guilt is fleeting, as his selfishness reemerges and the world is right once more.

I want to fuck her again, preferably after breakfast,

Why not during? Multitask.

but if she’s too sore that will be out of the question. Perhaps I could use her mouth this time.

I just thank the lord that he bestowed alternate fuckhole options when designing the human body, lest Christian Grey lack a place to deposit his seed.

Ana asks if Christian just planned to commiserate with her, and he’s like, no, I was wondering if we could fuck some more, but first, he orders her to eat.

I take a bit of my breakfast and close my eyes in appreciation. It tastes mighty fine.

I reckon E.L. James thinks “mighty fine” is a totally normal thing people who are not ranchers or hillbillies or cranberry farmers say.

Ana asks Christian what he wants to do sexually, and he says oral, .

“That’s if you want to stay.” I shouldn’t push my luck.

“I’d like to stay for today. If that’s okay. I have to work tomorrow.”

“What time do you have to be at work tomorrow?”


“I’ll get you to work by nine tomorrow.”

I just want to make sure, because it’s not totally clear here, does Ana work tomorrow? Does she work at nine? Nine on what day? Yesterday? Oh, no, tomorrow. Sorry, I was confused because it was ambiguous. But just to check one last time, is it tomorrow? Does Ana work tomorrow? At nine?

“I’ll need to go home tonight–I need clean clothes.”

“We can get you some here.”

Or–and this is a radical notion if ever I’ve proposed one–you could take her home, like she’s asking you to do.

“I need to be home this evening.”

Boy, she’s stubborn. I don’t want her to go, but at this stage, with no agreement, I can’t insist that she stay.

Even with an agreement you can’t insist that she stay. Holding someone in your private residence against their will is illegal, even if they sign a non-enforceable sex contract with you.

Christian tells Ana to eat, and she says she’s not hungry.

“I told you, I have issues with wasted food. Eat.” I glare at her. Don’t push me on this, Ana. She gives me a mulish look and starts to eat.

I will glare at you because you do not share my psychological hangups. This is unacceptable to me.

So, she starts to eat, and he thinks about how novel it is to meet a woman who doesn’t automatically do whatever he says. I wonder how many of his submissives, assistants, housekeepers, basically any woman, spit into his food because of that exact attitude.

He tells her that after he cleans up the kitchen, they’ll take a bath together.

And I can test her oral skills. I take a swift breath to control my instant arousal.

Nothing gets me hotter in the pants than treating sexual acts like a pop quiz I haven’t studied for.

Ana gets a phone call, and she goes to answer it.

As she stands against the glass wall, the morning light silhouettes her body in my white shirt. My mouth dries. She’s slim, with long legs, perfect breasts, and a perfect ass.

I know that a lot of you hate the term “Mary Sue,” because it’s applied unfairly and to female characters when “Gary Stu” rarely is. I know that it’s used to dismiss the OCs written by teen girls out of hand. But I truly do believe that despite the unfair way it’s applied, the term is useful in literary critique.

For example, right the fuck here.

How many times so far has Christian described how physically perfect Ana is by taking inventory of her body parts? She’s always perfect, an awe-inspiring beauty. And by no means is a romantic hero recognizing that the heroine is beautiful, or complimenting her, a bad thing. But just like in the original series, we hear all the time about how thin Ana is, about how flawless her skin is, how perfect each body part is. And it’s multiple times in every scene they have together.  Sometimes, it doesn’t even make sense. We already know that Ana is skinny. If the description was written, “silhouettes her slender body”, it’s an adjective. But “She’s slim, with long legs,” etc. is presenting the information as though it’s new, as though we haven’t read it about a thousand times already.

We get it.

Christian hears Ana say something that makes him aware that she’s talking to Kate, and that’s just like, unacceptable.

She turns away and a moment later hangs up, then walks back toward me, her hips swaying in a soft, seductive rhythm beneath my shirt. Should I tell her what I can see?

What happened to “don’t be ashamed of your beautiful, perfect, body that is slender and has CURVES IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES IN THE GRAND TRADITION OF POORLY WRITTEN FANFIC”? Is she supposed to be modest and freely display her nude body for your pleasure? This is going to be some trick to pull of.

Ana asks Christian what the NDA she signed prevents her from talking about.

“Well, I have a few questions, you know, about sex. And I’d like to ask Kate.”

“You can ask me.”

“Christian, with all due respect–” She stops.

Don’t stop, Ana. Never stop. Also, don’t say “with all due respect” to someone who can’t even grudgingly bring himself to respect you.

Ana tells Christian she won’t tell Kate anything about the Red Room of Pain, she just wants to talk to Kate about practical sex stuff. But Christian is more hung up on her perception of his kink:

“It’s mostly about pleasure, Anastasia. Believe me. Besides, your roommate is making the beast with two backs with my brother. I’d really rather you  didn’t.”

I cannot for the life of me figure out why it’s so damn important to the narrative of the story that Ana not be allowed to talk about sex with her best friend. I know people have varying comfort levels. For example, I will get done having sex with Mr. Jen and immediately text Bronwyn Green about it. And Mr. Jen rolls his eyes, but he doesn’t really care. There are times when he says not to tell her stuff. Mostly, he doesn’t want me to show her any of his dick pics. Which is a shame, because he took a really hilarious one where he took a dick pic on his phone, then held up in front of his dick, then took a picture with my phone, then lined that one up, and I took a picture with my tablet, so it’s like this dick pick of a dick pick of a dick pic in a dick pic, and it’s so cool and I can’t show Bronwyn and that eats me up inside every. single. day.

I lost track of what I was talking about. Basically, I think it’s perfectly reasonable for Chedward to say, “I’d rather you not talk about the BDSM stuff with Kate, because that’s private.” I don’t think it’s reasonable to demand she not talk about sex, even to ask questions in the abstract, with anyone else. Especially when she’s so inexperienced. Isolating her from further information is just him grooming her to agree to do stuff she’s reluctant to do. After all, if she talks to Kate, Ana might find out that she can say no to things or that it’s okay to just not like some sex acts.

Christian can tell that Ana wants to ask him something, but she’s too embarrassed. So instead he asks her to stroke his ego. He wants to know what she thought about the night before.

Our whole deal could hang on her response.

“Good,” she says, and gives me a soft, sexy smile.

It’s what I want to hear.

Why is that an internal thought? It reads like narrative.

Note that Christian appears to feel that if she liked sex with him the night before, that basically means she’s going to be cool with BDSM.

Christian tells Ana that he really liked having “vanilla” sex with her, but probably just because it was with her. How romantic.

And that’s where I’m going to break up the chapter. Join us in the next section, where they take a bath and Ana does a blowie.

151 thoughts on “Jenny Reads 50 Shades of Midnight Sun: Sunday, May 22, 2011 or “I’m not sure this whole day-by-day instead of chapter numbers thing is practical PART ONE”

    1. Or a 7th-grade math problem. “If Christian needs 20 minutes to refuel Charlie Tango, and Ana needs to get to Clayton’s Just Folks Aw Golly Hardware by 9:00am tomorrow morning, how much time will he have to slowly leech her remaining self-esteem?”

      Also: serious question, but isn’t there any kind of conflict with Ana living in one state and working in another with a totally different tax system? Does that make filing taxes a nightmare?

      1. I dunno, lots of people do that. I live on the state line, and most of the people from my town work in a bigger city in the neighboring state.

      2. I do retail-level taxes, and basically all that happens for most people in Ana’s situation is that you might have to file multiple state returns if you *earn* money in a state you don’t *reside* in. (I’ve had a few oilfield and construction dudes in this situation).

        The feds don’t care so long as they get theirs.

        1. Makes sense. I’ve known people who lived in Joisey who worked in New York and residents of Virginia who worked in DC. In their case, it was a quick commute across a bridge or on the PATH train, but I don’t know how the logistics of Ana’s commute work out.

      3. Does Ana live in Oregon? I thought she lived in Vancouver WA. Either way, WA doesn’t have income tax while OR does. I live in Portland and work in Vancouver, and I just file OR taxes. My coworkers husband does the opposite and it’s more of a pita for them : his income gets taxed twice and he files two states of taxes. It’s the unfair result of WA not having income tax : most other states have income tax and so can work out a plan. #cascadiaforever

        1. She lives in Washington and works in Oregon.

          I guess, without being rude, it just strikes me as odd that she lives in a university town in Washington but needs to drive a half-hour into the next state to work a retail job in a hardware store.

          Like surely Vancouver has hardware stores.

      4. Filing taxes doesn’t neccessarily become a nightmare in this situation, but you can get seriously fucked (so maybe Chedward wasn’t her first, the IRS was *bu dum ching).

        I live in Portland, OR and a lot of Vancouver, WA (ie Vantucky, Vansterdam, where people move out of desperation) residents work on this side of the border. Because our tax systems are different (mainly in that Oregon doesn’t have sales tax but does have income tax, and Washington has sales tax but does not have income tax), those who live in WA (WaR’s) and work in OR get screwed on state taxes. I haven’t personally experienced this, so all my info is based on what I’ve heard from others. My understanding is that the WaR’s pay income tax to a state they don’t live/vote in, in addition to paying taxes on everything they buy at home. Of course they can avoid a good deal of this by doing their shopping in Oregon, but it’s not feasible to do it ALL . WaR’s who work in OR are required to pay OR income tax at the same rate as if they were OrR’s; they don’t get it back for living out of state.

        If you live in OR and work in WA, you still have to file and pay income taxes to OR. But you can avoid paying sales tax in WA by showing your state ID. This is not true for prepared food that is to be eaten in-state.

        I can’t remember which state Anabella lives in and which she works in, and my brain is still sleepy, so sorry if this makes little to no sense! But googling “live in WA work in OR” or the reverse should bring up a lot of information you probably aren’t that interested in unless you’re panning a move.

        1. That’s fair. I guess my somewhat rude confusion was more why someone would have chosen to get a part-time minimum wage job out of state when they live on-campus. Like surely she doesn’t make enough money a couple days a week at a hardware store to be able to afford gas to drive to said job.

          1. Ah, who are we kidding? This is all because James knows nothing about US geography or economy and couldn’t be bothered to look it up.

          2. Depending on how much she makes, and if a parent claims her on their income tax, she may not have to file at all.

      5. I did the NJ-NY work commute for many years, and the tax system is basically set up where the states expect it to happen. It’s a pain in the ass, since you have to file 3 returns instead of 2, and withholding can get really annoying. So yeah, it’s more complicated and irritating than working in the same state where you live, but it’s common enough that the state returns are set up for it.

    2. When no one was looking, Christian Grey’s cock twitched forty times. It twitched 40 times. That’s as many as four tens.

      And that’s terrible.

    1. They’re also just so groaningly obvious. Oh, it’s okay that he’s a dick to women because he had a sad childhood? Nah. He can afford therapy, and I don’t need to stow my sympathy for a female character because your male fantasy object is sad.

  1. So my roomie and I were reading this recap and in the part you mention Chedward’s assistants and secretaries, Roomie went: “I bet they all spit in his coffee. I bet they pass around his cup of coffee to spit on it and then they choose who will have the satisfaction of taking it to him and watch him drink it all up.”

    And now I kind of want to write a whole novel of the secretaries and housekeepers daily petty revenges, aided by the bodyguards and helicopter pilots who Christian leaves standing up on the roof while he fucks some random woman.

    1. I think that would be infinitely more interesting than reading pages and pages of Ana and Christian arguing over when and where and how much she eats or who she talks to about sex or long paragraphs of play-by-play descriptions of Ana standing up, going to the door, opening it, going through it and closing it. Someone really needs to write an anti-fanfic from the help’s POV.

    2. So, really, when he thinks they’re all mooning over him and he thinks they all want to sex him, they’re actually just watching for him to drink the lougie coffee.

      This is far more realistic.

  2. I guess desperately poor people are eating ramen every night because they really dig it, because OBVIOUSLY they could be having bacon and waffles instead!

    I know it’s been mentioned before, but this is poking some major holes in the “my mother THE CRACK WHORE was neglectful and hated me” story Christian’s selling. This woman, when she could, made him a breakfast far beyond their apparent means and even baked him a birthday cake. I know plenty of children who would PRAY for that kind of “neglect”.

    1. Ditto. Christian seems to have actively edited his memory, knocking out anything positive his mother ever did for him, in favor of demonizing her. The inconsistency in her treatment of him was traumatizing, certainly, but it doesn’t appear to stem from hatred; rather, she had so much to deal with (substance abuse, engaging in survival prostitution with an abusive pimp, etc.) that she wasn’t able to fully care FOR him even though she cared ABOUT him. How had Dr. What’s-His-Name not disabused Christian of the notion that Christian’s mother was some kind of irredeemable monster by this point?

      1. There’s an anti-fan theory I really like: the doctor is in the employ of Christian’s parents, who actively demonize his birth mother at every opportunity so he loves only Mr. and Mrs. Grey and worships them for “saving” him. They fed him stories about how his mother was a crack whore and hated him and abused him, and all the shadowy memories that he has of her kindness are childish wish fulfillment. Meanwhile, in reality, his mother was a teenage mother who was the victim of an abusive man and stuck in cyclical poverty but truly loved her son; she just didn’t have the means to protect and care for him.

        Makes more sense than whatever this incoherent mess is.

        1. That theory is great, but EL James worships money too much for it to be what she intended. People with money = heroes. People without money are lazy and don’t try hard enough.

          1. I don’t know where she gets that idea. I had a taste of how the other half live recently when I went to interview a council member at town hall. These self-indulgent pricks with way too much money for their own good stand around chatting about their weekend for almost ten minutes while us plebs wait for them to get finished with their social niceties. Note to E.L James: Rich people don’t necessarily work hard, and I know plenty of poor people (my mother, for one) who do back-breaking work for hours every day and get paid a pittance for their trouble.

    2. It further drives home the theory that EL James just really, really hates poor people in that she assumes Christian’s (likely) teenage, drug-addicted, prostituted mother could totally be a great mom when she *wanted* to be.

    3. While this may be true. I was given birthday parties and fed daily but suffered pretty awful abuse and neglect as well. I think it’s unfair and dangerous to say “if you had x you weren’t neglected”. I know we’re mocking a dickbag character but let’s not spread false information.

      1. This is definitely true, and I think the problem is more one of poor writing than what is true in the real world.

        I.e., from what I can tell (which is only through these recaps), we hear about how awful a mother christian’s birth mom is, but whenever the author shows us things, through flashbacks or memories, we don’t have any evidence that she was a neglectful mother. This, paired with the money-worshiping attitude in all other scenes that take place in current day, makes it appear that the Greys (sp?) just think poor people are automatically bad parents.

        But this may change as we get further into the book. But right now it’s just confusing, that Christian says, my mom was horribly abusive, and then when he thinks back on it, we have only these happy memories.

        1. It’s definitely the issue of poor writing. There’s certainly some evidence she was neglectful, like the lost toy under the furniture flashback where it seems like she’s stoned on something and calls him a name, and Christian mentioned his mom’s pimp’s abuse of him. But, there’s so much left to the reader’s imagination, and not in a skilled way. You just have to take Christian’s word about it, spoken in the same breath as a horrible nickname for his own dead mother.

    4. To be fair, just because he has one memory of her making bacon pancakes or whatever, it doesn’t mean she was consistently nice to him.

      Even abusive parents sometimes make extravagant gestures to “make up” for the many, many times they neglected their kids’ needs, and then promptly withdraw their affection again. It doesn’t really prove anything about the enviability of his childhood.

      But yeah, EL James sure isn’t interested in a nuanced or sensitive portrayal of poverty, either.

  3. I totally believe the chair throwing story. The reason she writes a such a scary, creepy guy is because she is the abuser in her marriage and that is why she is so defensive when people point it out. I can’t stand her. Oh and the contradictions in these books is hysterical. I hate myself, no I am the greatest. Ana has so many flaws that I need to fix, no wait she is refreshing and perfect. Like What. The. Actual. Fuck??

      1. I think it’s about her being available to Cheddiecunt. He wants her naked, she should be naked. He doesn’t want her to ‘bait’ other men, she shouldn’t be topless on a goddamn beach. It’s ridiculous and horrifying and GAAAH GET IT OFF MEEEE

        1. Agree. I actively cringe every time I read an excerpt where Christian is haranguing Ana about daring to speak to a man who isn’t him. I have male friends and I would not put up with that level of jealousy and possessiveness. Even if I were as gloriously perfect as Ana is described on every other page in these books, i wouldn’t necessarily go topless on a beach, but his reaction was completely OTT. She needs to grow a pair and tell him where to get off. I know he’s a fictional character but there are men out there who think they have the right to lord it over their girlfriends like this. I don’t know where they get the idea that they’re lord and commander, but whatever….

    1. The chair story might be a bit extreme, but I definitely believe the flower story, and that she’s rude to waiters. This is a woman who repeatedly has both of her lead characters be complete assholes to any and all service workers and then brushes it off like it’s nothing.

      1. According to every story I’ve read about her from people who’ve met her in person, she has a huge ego and is rude to people she considers beneath her. And from her twitter, it’s obvious that she can’t take any criticism.

      2. From all I’ve read and heard about EL James it seems to me she’s a completely unlikable person with absolutely no redeeming features.

  4. “Grey. stop this nonsense.”
    Calling people by their last name isn’t commonly done in American culture when you know that person well. It sounds so British (“Fifty points from Gryffindor, Potter!”). Thinking of yourself by your last name isn’t done in ANY culture as far as I know. It makes Christian sound both pompous and weirdly disassociated from himself.

    “sexual congress”
    It’s fucking, having sex, or making love. Nobody calls it sexual congress.

    “My cock twitches in agreement.”
    FUCKING STOP. I wonder how many times EL James uses this particular writing tic, along with Christian talking to himself as “Grey”.

    “Back in the living room I sit down at my piano. This is my solace, where I can lose myself for hours.”
    Just like a certain other stalkerish creep. *cough* This is lazy writing.

    “There’s blood on my sheets. Her blood. Evidence of her now-absent virginity. ”
    There wouldn’t be blood if you had actually taken things slowly instead of pounding her like a jackhammer.

    “E.L. James has never known severe poverty. It’s either bacon OR waffles, not bacon AND waffles, and hardly EVER bacon.”
    I got the impression that the waffles are home-made, not frozen. You wouldn’t say that someone is “cooking” frozen Eggos, because you just pop them in the toaster. They supposedly live in grinding poverty, but his mom owns a waffle iron AND serves bacon for breakfast. Bullshit.

    ““Very.” And I’m not sure if it’s for breakfast or for her.”
    I’d also like to see a count for sexual drive being equated with hunger, because I’m seeing it way too much.

    ““I’d like to stay for today. If that’s okay. I have to work tomorrow.”
    “What time do you have to be at work tomorrow?”
    “I’ll get you to work by nine tomorrow.””
    Was this written for NaNoWriMo, and EL James was cramming to make the word count deadline? That’s the only acceptable excuse for writing like this.

    I’m not a great writer, but this could be easily made better:
    “I have to work tomorrow.”
    “What time?”
    “I’ll get you to work by then.””

    This book is just so, so, so bad. I can’t see a single redeeming quality in it – not in the plot, the characters, the writing, anything. You’re a hero for taking this pile of crap on and not giving up.

    1. I call people by their last name all the time. Usually because there are several Mikes, for instance. But that’s not so uncommon in the US. In fact I have an old boyfriend I’m not entirely sure what his first name actually is. I know I never used it.

      1. This is gonna sound so weird, but… My big interest is football (of the soccer variety). There was a period of maybe 10 years of my life when my entire social life consisted of following my football team. As a result, nearly all my boyfriends in that time period were fans of other teams that played against my team.

        I used to call all my boyfriends by the name of the teams they supported. For example, one of my boyfriends was called “Cambridge.” It suited him way better than his real name :-)

        1. Also, my fiance and I have a friend whose last name is Fisher and everyone calls him “Fish.” It would feel really weird to ever call him by his actual first name. I didn’t even KNOW his first name for years!

    2. It’s been pretty common everywhere I have ever lived (New England, NC, Chicago, Iowa) for the athletic crowd to refer to each other by their last name all the time. Several of my coworkers who were into athletics growing up call me exclusively by my last name. Because of this I am in the habit of saying things like “[Insert My Own Last Name] Pull yourself together!” or the ever popular “get your shit together [insert my last name]” when shit is hitting the fan. I am not even close to the only one who does this.

      But yeah…Chedwad is a pompous ass…

    3. It’s actually pretty common to think of yourself (in an office environment) as you last name in Japanese cultures. I work in an American branch of a Japanese company, and I bet half the people here would have to pause and think at the very least to give most of the Japanese people’s first names.

        1. Yeah, my son is in JROTC, my husband is in the Air Force and was an athlete, and my dad retired from Army (good marksman, but never got the gorilla for sand racing). Between last names and call signs, I’ve known people for years and not known their first names. I think the point stands, though, that talking to *yourself* by your last name isn’t typical.

  5. 1. The “Sexual Congress” bit nearly made me pass out from trying to contain laughter at work.

    2. I am a fellow lover of Giles, and had a dream this week that I met him. As it would be in real life, my exact response was deer-in-the-headlights eyes and a brilliant statement of “uh, ummm, derrr…uh?”. I am sad because I don’t even get to have game in my own dreams.

    1. Dreams like that are the awfulest. I had a dream recently where one of my very good friends died. I woke up, checked facebook, and of course she was alive and I swear to dog I didn’t feel that much relief because I had mourned her in my dream.

  6. Oh man, you are the greatest. The “tomorrow” segment caused me actual pain while I tried to hold in the laughter. =)

    I was going to volunteer to look at the dick pic, but I guess showing it to a stranger probably wouldn’t go over well with Mr. Jen. However, please let him know his creativity has all of our support!

  7. Not being able to ask Kate how to suck a dick, or what you should do if you feel uncomfortable in a sexual situation is probably the most openly manipulative thing Christian does.

    I mean, the whole point of the NDA is about isolation and triangulation, isn’t it? Since it isn’t legally enforceable its only purpose is to trick young, naive women into cutting themselves off from their friends and family, right?

    Doesn’t this narrative also seem to put a weird lie to Christian’s claim that he’s only ever done this with other members of the community?

    1. I absolutely think it does. Oh sure, maybe he was with some actual subs early on that he met via Elena, but I subscribe to the antifan-theory that once his reputation started getting known around the scene actual subs and switches avoided him. When he claims he’s been with 17 subs, I think most of the later ones were either young women interested in BDSM but had never practiced it/only had a surface understanding/hadn’t met anyone in the scene or were abused into the fake BDSM Chedward does.

      There’s a good spitefic floating around the das_sporking reviews that gives a character to the woman Chedward injured – in another she “rescues” Ana with real knowledge (and a giant burger). I’m tablet-posting and can’t find it atm but its great, helps wash off the slime of this series.

    2. Sarah, yes. Thank. You. Straight off the Abuse Power and Control Wheel!

      “ISOLATION: Controlling what she does, who she sees and talks to, what she reads, and where she goes. Limiting her outside involvement. Using jealousy to justify actions.”


  8. I had to pause reading to say that I have a dresser /and/ a chest of drawers and that there is a difference between the two. So calling his furniture a chest of drawers isn’t completely weird.

    1. I was gonna say something similar – that in the south, at least, they’re different. A ‘chest of drawers’ is the up-right thing that is like 4 drawers of about the same size; a ‘dresser’ is the wider piece that fills a whole wall, has several drawer sizes and possibly a mirror on the back.

      1. Well, I was gonna say, as a British type person, that yes we do say chest of drawers all the time. EL James, having done no research, would never say “dresser” because here a dresser is an entirely different piece of furniture. It’s the sort of thing your grandmother would use to display her antique crockery. I *think* you guys call it a hutch. Here, a hutch is something you keep a pet rabbit in at night.

        Also as a British person, I was delighted to see an American use the lovely phrase “couldn’t be arsed.”

        1. Yup, here in Australia we have a chest of drawers, which is literally a set of drawers. Usual 4 or more drawers. A dresser or dressing table tends to be different and includes a mirror.

        2. We call both those things hutches, but we would specify a “rabbit hutch.”

          In the Northeast, what H2 describes as a chest of drawers would just be a dresser, as well. Anything with drawers that goes in the bedroom that clothes go in is a dresser to me. :-)

          Chest of drawers sounds British or very old-fashioned, but I can also see it being Southern. So it’s possible Chedward would have picked it up somehow.

  9. “Has there ever been an instance (in an elevator, perhaps) when he’s wanted to have sex and there just wasn’t time for a good, thorough spanking?”

    I mean, I suspect that EL James would not consider sex in an elevator vanilla, and therefore neither would Christian.

  10. Quoting the article: “You want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible without grossing them out,” he told The Guardian. “You don’t want to make something gratuitous, ugly and graphic.”

    ~ Seriously? So all the times Johnson showed her naked body onscreen weren’t gratuitous and graphic? The movie was made for straight women, and you don’t think they want to see cock? You think they get off on seeing a woman nude? You don’t think THAT grosses them out? And if you REALLY want to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, ESPECIALLY A NEARLY 100% STRAIGHT FEMALE AUDIENCE, then you give them what they really want! Jesus Tapdancing Christ, why is Hollywood so determined to cater to the male gaze, even in a film made exclusively for women?

    1. He’s also been quoted saying that there’s no abuse in the films or books, despite that his character stole a woman’s car and sold it without her permissions. And stalked her across the country. And undressed her without her permission while she was unconscious after having known her for about a day. But no, it’s “consensual” because “it’s all about signing contracts and stuff,” despite that the female character never signed the contract…

      He also admitted to following a woman he didn’t know without her knowledge as preparation for his role in The Fall and laughed about it during the interview.

      He doesn’t strike me as very bright.

    2. I guess some straight guys are so used to having their sexual desires catered to in the media that they can’t think from a different perspective. Honestly, I’ve seen a lot of guys online who insist that women must like lesbian porn, and are astonished that there are women who don’t care for it or who prefer watching men. I was a yaoi fangirl for a while because it equals double the eye candy for me. :)

      1. I’m a woman who likes women, and I don’t like most “lesbian” porn because most of it’s made for straight men and shows absolutely no consideration of what women enjoy.

        1. Sorry, I really meant “girl-on-girl” porn made for straight men, which I’ve heard is quite different from porn made by lesbians for lesbians.

    3. Honestly? I’m straight as an arrow and I would much rather look at a naked woman than a naked male stranger. I mean, I love a penis attached to a man I love, but those things aren’t attractive generally.

      So, while I’m sure other straight women might want to see it, not all straight women do. I don’t want to have sex with other women, but they’re much more aesthetically-pleasing to me.

  11. “…Christian Grey as being sexually adventurous and imaginative.”

    Was he supposed to be characterized that way? I skipped a lot of the book, but I’ve always pictured him as sexually unimaginative and terrified of any sexual relationship that doesn’t involve a stark power imbalance that he’s always been accustomed to. Even in the “vanilla” sex scenes with Ana (as well as in the rest of their relationship), he still needs to feel in control.

  12. Sidling up to her, I gently tug one of her braids. “I love these. They won’t protect you.”

    ~ Why the fuck does he assume she braided her hair to “protect” herself from him? Granted, that IS why she did it, but HE doesn’t know that. There’s no possible way for him to know. Besides, after consenting to sex the night before AND sticking around to make him breakfast (and dancing around like a happy fool while doing so), why on earth would he think for even one second that she doesn’t want sex with him again? E.L. Fudge, you need to THINK things through before you write them down. Just because his comment goes hand-in-hand with Ana’s reason for braiding her hair does NOT mean it’s going to make any fucking sense when a person of at least average intelligence views the entire scenario.

    1. You’re totally right. If you’re writing from a closed point-of-view (like say, 1st person), you have to remember that characters won’t know what another person is thinking unless the other person shares their thought (or unless your POV character is telepathic), and that different people think in different ways. The fact that EL James can’t write two people differently shows that she’s a crummy writer.

    2. Because this is Twilight fanfic and Edward could read minds. No, he couldn’t read Bella’s mind, but because ELJ is a delusional egomonster HER Edward (who is actually her) can TOTALLY read HER Ana’s mind.

  13. If Ana asked Kate or, you know, Google, she’d realize that the bleeding was fairly likely because of a tear.

    Via Scarleteen: The vast majority of people with vaginas don’t bleed. No matter what their vaginal corona looks like, fewer than half of all people with one bleed when they have intercourse for the first time.

    He is terrible at sex.

    1. I didn’t bleed. It wasn’t great or anything, we were both first timers, but I didn’t bleed. Mostly because we went very slowly because he didn’t want to hurt me. Ahem ahem.

    1. EL James seems to adore easy, broad gender politics. I think she even joked during the book launch for Grey that it was easy to write Christian’s POV because men don’t think about much beyond sex and are oblivious to feelings, etc. The crowd ate it up.

  14. I’m having a really hard time believing a billionaire has a clock radio. Maybe because I’m picturing my crappy clock radio from the Bi-Way that I’ve had since I was a child. Are there classy billionaire clock radios?

    1. I wonder if someone just convinced him the $15 one they picked up at Target was high end.

      “Oh no, Christian, this is so exclusive that you’re the only person who owns one.”


      I take into my bedroom and plug it into my wall, the red numbers blinking to life on the black screen. My finger slides against the buttons: ON/OFF. RADIO. ALARM. AM/FM. So many options, I think.

      My cock concurs.

      1. Oh dear GAWD. That is exactly how his monologues go, down the the very last tone-deaf note.
        Back in the day, I had one that took audiotapes so I could wake up to my favorite music. Presumably, some folks replaced these with CD players, and now most people use their phones.
        If he were into Retro, like vinyl, the clock radio would be cool, but everything in his office and apartment is modern, modern, modern. The guy has no quirks to make him interesting. Even his kinks are by-the-numbers.

    2. EL James’s snobby gaucheness is my absolute favorite thing about this series. I can’t remember if Jenny recapped this bit, but in the third original novel Ana humblebrags about buying Christian Chanel Shampoo in France! and Mark Oshiro called bullshit on it hard.

      Like, sis, you can buy that anywhere. And it’s a body wash/shampoo hybrid, so probably not the best for hair anyway. But also I feel like an actual fancy rich person would be using Kerastase or Philip Kingsley or Sachajuan. Not just a luxury brand label shampoo that’s not known for making quality hair care.

      Christian, meanwhile, would absolutely have some kind of high-end wake-up light with whale noises or something.

      But I continue to believe that this is basically a story about a couple in the 80s in England that’s been roughly translated across a continent and a couple of decades. It makes a lot more sense that way.

      1. Really. Lots of thing feel really dated in these books. The food and clothes described seem straight out of the 80s. Maybe E.L. forgot when Edward was supposed to be from.

        1. I’m half convinced that she took such a story, about a British couple in the 80s, that she had lying around on her hard drive, find-and-replaced it to a Twilight fic with some half-assed edits, then did another find-and-replace to change it for publication. The other half of me is convinced she just wrote Ana as herself without bothering to take into consideration how much has changed since she was Ana’s age.

          CW: abuse and rape
          Das Sporking goes over it in more detail in their Final Thoughts (ctrl+f down to “It was a very, very different world. “) on the first book. It’s got some interesting things to say about why it’s popular with fans, too.

      2. One of my favorite things FSoG haters do is research what utter bullshit ELJ’s concept of “high end” is. And surprise-surprise, SMeyer’s original work ELJ lifted from does the same thing, although ELJ is much more name-droppy and specific because in her fanfic Chedward is EVEN RICHER than immortal sparkly vampires. Later on when they go to some dinner at the parents’ (I think) all the dishes are listed in French but it turns out most of the food and wine is pretty mundane and isn’t what would be considered haute cuisine at all. The dishes are in French because it looks “fancy,” that’s it.

        1. I would have to say that Twilight is much better in terms of the “this is so fancy,” because it makes sense that they would have to live a more low-key life to avoid raising questions in such a small town that’s already so fascinated with them.

          But Chedward the Billionaire trying to name drop fancy shit and coming up with like, “Oh, I drive an Audi” is one of my favorite parts of the series. People say I brand drop too much in The Boss, but it’s specifically inspired by Chedward’s fancy schmancy Twinnings tea. Literally all E.L. James had to do was google “top ten most expensive.”

          1. I remember some of those clickbait ad headlines of the type See What Kind Of Cars 10 Richest People In The World Drive. Wealth fantasies for people who cannot imagine being so wealthy that a fancy car is not a status symbol any more.

          2. I love Twinings tea, but I buy it at Walmart. And I drink it because it tastes good and the British people I know said it was good tea to drink for the kind I like.

            As for cars, my millionaire lawyer/doctor grandparents drove Hondas and they kept them for 10 or 15 years at a time.

  15. The food wasting issue he has – I guess he can’t afford Tupperware? Or whatever the bajillionaire equivalent might be? That’s how I avoid wasting my food and not force food down my throat (or anyone else’s). Put it on the list with the tea bags.

    All this talk about him wanting to keep her at the house… uggghhhh. I knew someone who got involved with a guy (her brother’s best friend, actually) who took her virginity and then insisted she stay with him. She ended up living with him for months and was convinced it was because he loved her.

  16. I can’t believe I’m about to defend anything in this terrible, terrible excuse for a book, but I’m American and in my early 30s, and I’ve definitely always said “chest of drawers.” So on that one point, E.L. James maybe didn’t completely suck at writing a believable young American.

    “Sir, you are most melancholy today,” however, very nearly made me spit my drink out. Did he date (oh, I’m sorry, not “date,” because he’s just too dark and tormented and kinky to date people) Leila several centuries ago? Was one of the rules in her slave contract “you must speak to me like you’re a character from a Victorian novel”? Because that is definitely not the way 21st century Americans talk. At all.

      1. If they were re-enactors, that would actually kinda make sense (I know Civil War and Renaissance folks who “speak forsoothly” when they’re doing their Naughty Blockade Runner/Naughty Pirate/ Naughty Bodice Wench/Naughty Sir Seduce-a-Slut role-play), but Chedward Cheesy is modern Modern MODERN.

        Ah, why do we bother? The Eel slapped this whole series together out of spit and glue, and we still take notice of the inconsistencies.

        1. The upside of “Sir, you are most melancholy today” is that it is now my personal canon that Christian Grey’s actual deep, dark secret isn’t “he likes BDSM” or “he had a shitty childhood” but “he’s actually a hardcore SCA member and that’s where he used to pick up subs.” Sure, Ana’s seen his Red Room of Pain, but has she seen his Purple Room of Codpieces? Or his Chartreuse Room of PVC-and-Duct-Tape Weaponry? He uses only the finest imported French duct tape, you know!

  17. I was thinking “Hmm, carrying a blind fold in his pocket. That’s kinda hot.” Then I saw the picture of Mitch McConnell and my lady boner quickly deflated. Then it shriveled and died as I read the rest of the recap.

    Her bleeding and having a difficult time sitting down is not even remotely sexy. It makes it sound like Chedward is a rapey version of the guy that Carrie had jack rabbit sex with before Charlotte’s wedding on SATC. POW POW POW POW!

  18. “Not many people know this, but Sexual Congress is the title of Mitch McConnell’s smooth R&B album.

    (U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, who is about the dopiest looking old white guy you can imagine. His head looks like a melting candle fucked a turtle and their baby was Mitch McConnell.)
    Fun Fact: at least two tracks are just improvised throat clearing and false claims of bipartisanship.”

    I laugh-snorted so hard that the visiting neighbor girl playing cards with my daughter asked what was wrong with me. Unfortunately, it only took as far as “She will be a joy to train” for it to be not funny anymore. By the time I got to “Perhaps I could use her mouth this time”, I had a full-blown ragesad. Also, that part in parenthesis is what showed up when I copy-pasted the picture, which made me laugh again.

    1. I love it when people notice my picture descriptions! I do them for my readers who can’t see the pictures. Most of the time they’re pretty straight forward, but sometimes I can’t help but jazz them up a little.

      1. I’ve never known they were there – I don’t think they show up on mobile, and I rarely have time to open my laptop any more. I might start making more of an effort now ;-)

  19. Man, I love the word fisticuffs! :-D
    This was hilarious, I laughed so hard at the assurance that you wouldn’t just fuck the next tea drinker who visits.
    Also, when he says that his cock twitches in agreement, does anyone picture the bouncing penis from Bruno?

  20. Here’s the thing: Twinings isn’t the poshest brand of tea out there. It’s on the pricier side of what you can buy in a supermarket. It’s good, don’t get me wrong; but if Chedward was such a (British) brand junkie, he would be getting something imported from Fortnum & Mason’s to impress Ana. And that something would almost certainly be loose leaf tea, as he’s such a snob he would certainly hate the idea of a tea bag.

    1. Even the little murderess in “The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane” knew that. Fortnum’s to impress d-bags. How does a bright adolescent know more than Christian Grey, International Man of Filtered Tea?
      For people who love tea for its own sake, or are just plain addicted to it, I swear by Taylor’s Yorkshire. Gold box is supposed to be the posh one, but red box has a caffeine kick like Jolt Cola for breakfast. Couldn’t face a Midwest winter without it.

    2. Yeah we have twinings and it’s just a ordinary store brand. No one would be impressed by Twinings tea. There’s so specialist tea shops that are well known here, that rates much higher on the impressing people scale, and even they wouldn’t be billionaire luxury tea.

      If you’re going to go big, do it properly.

      1. Honestly, loose leaf tea would be much better in Ana’s case. Since she just dunks the bag in hot water for all of three damn seconds, a little pinch of tea leaves in her cup would waste a lot less. (Fits nicely with Chedward’s anti-waste obsession too.)

  21. I watched the BBC’s latest version of War and Peace and wondered if Pierre Bezukhov was something of a Mary Sue character – although maybe more of the script writer than Tolstoy. Maybe that use of the term is just me and maybe I should use the other term.

  22. 1. I feel bad for Kim Basinger that she’s going to be in this garbage after having already been in 9 1/2 Weeks. Which is also rapey garbage. And I hate that my brain is trying to come up with some sort of continuity where this and 9 1/2 Weeks take place in the same universe.

    2. As someone who actually IS a submissive, the “Sir, you are most melancholy today,” thing just…drives me up the wall. Like…that is not how basically anyone speaks freely ever? I don’t have speech restrictions in everyday life, but if I were going to have a conversation with my Dominant like that it would go something like:

    Me: Sir, may I please speak freely?
    Them: Sure, go ahead.
    Me: Are you okay? You seem really down today, do you want to talk about it? We don’t have to keep this up if you’re not feeling well.


    Me: Sir, you are most melancholy today.
    Them: What the fuck? Why are you talking like that? Shut up, I hate you.
    Me: *giggles*

    Which…like…obviously different people do things differently, but usually you’re either on formal manners or you’re not. If you’re being given permission to speak freely, you…don’t use wanky, overly-flowery wording. It doesn’t make sense and I hate that it’s even in there.

  23. “Now, let’s all place our bets on whether or not the final book will be split into two unnecessarily dragged out pieces, in keeping with the Twilight rip-off theme.”

    Really, that was ripped off from Harry Potter, which I think was the only one that actually warranted a two-parter.

    “You know how Queen Elizabeth II would handle this? Fisticuffs.”

    The visual!

  24. “I love these. They won’t protect you.”

    I want to see these scenes acted out, without all the absurd monologue-ing in the way. Like Garfield Without Garflield, or Big Bang Theory without the laugh-track… I’ll bet it sounds even more stilted and creepy when Chedward comes out with these lines, seemingly apropos of nothing.

    Ugh, this isn’t erotica, this chapter is mostly product-placement and The Duluth Model.

  25. Does James seriously think this manure pile makes her Prick-Prince of Doucheland even the smallest bit less creepy, demanding, the whole list of his negative “character” traits? I keep expecting him to just start stabbing Ana with a fork or something, or at least pull the tying-her-to-a-bed-so-she-can’t-leave move. How, how, how has this guy become one of America’s biggest literary heroes to date?

    But I will give Queen Ego of Doucheland one point, at least Ana is semi-tolerable in this, now that we’re not stuck in her overcrowded prop closet of a mind.

    1. “Doucheland, Doucheland uber alles….”
      On the bright side, if James’ tastes are anything like as tacky as her characters’, she will spend her ill-gotten gains on al kinds of useless tat and be bankrupt before you can say, “Remainder sale.”

  26. Woo-hoo! FSOG is BIG winner at the Razzies with FIVE wins!

    Worst picture (tie with “Fantastic Four”)
    Worst Actor (Dornan)
    Worst Actress (Johnson)
    Worst Screen Combo (Dornan & Johnson)
    Worst Screenplay (Marcel–but EL should take top honors here, IMHO)

    Alas, Worst Director went to J. Trank from “Fantastic Four” instead of Sam Taylor-Johnson, but I think even the Razzies knew she was limited by the source material and the arm-wrestling that went on to keep it in.

    1. Someone tagged me in an article about this yesterday, which prompted me to check my Roku again to see if I could yet watch this trainwreck without paying for it. Lo and behold it was on HBOGo (which I have mainly for Game of Thrones), so I finally watched it yesterday.

      Wow. Just … wow.

      I mean, a few true 50 Shades haters had actually said some kind of nice things about the movie, but I didn’t see any of what they saw. It was HORRIBLE. Dornan actually wasn’t THAT bad. With what he had to work with, he pulled it off, though he came across far more serial killer than romantic lead, but considering that this story really is about a stalker/rapist, it was perfect. Johnson wasn’t good and there was NO chemistry. I did like the actress who played Kate.

      Anyway, considering this movie was supposed to basically be soft-core porn, WTF. The sex scenes? WTH. Some butt, some boob, a few props and then pan away? There was barely any sex in the sex scenes. I had watched Elizabeth the night before because I’d just read Alison Weir’s The Children of Henry VIII and felt like a rousing game of Spot the Historical Inaccuracies and there was way better sex in that movie than in 50 Shades.

      So this movie failed as both a romance and a porn. What do women see in this? What is making this popular? Why are they getting excited over every little bit of news coming out about the sequel? Has the world gone collectively mad?

      1. I dunno, being male I can only think it’s because, for women, it’s the equivalent fantasy pic that males fantasize about,[ like having two women (hopefully bi) at the same time. Being male and understanding women a bit better in my old age, that's never going to happen. Still, a guy can fantasize about it.] So FSOG is the female equivalent.

        But you do have to hand it to EL for writing abuse, stalking, and control-freakishness so well. (being a control-freak herself, she put a lot of herself into the writing as she doesn’t have the writing chops to write from outside her own life-experience) Plus she romanticizes it.

        But I’m afraid it’s not just EL. The readers also romanticize the stalking/control/rape. Why, I can’t tell you. Somehow it connected internally.

        Remember a film called “City of Angels” with Nick Cage and Meg Ryan? Cage, the angel, was a stalker. My wife noted that, when she was young, she would have enjoyed it as ‘romantic!’ But as she got older she took one look at Cage and recoiled, saying ‘Eww!!! Stalker!!!!’

      1. Some days. :-)

        And, I mean, I totally get the rich man sweeping her off her feet fantasy part. It’s the rest of it that I just, no. It’s icky. It’s all so icky. It felt more like Grey is a sexually sadistic serial killer grooming Ana to be his partner in crime than a romance. It would have been a much better story, too, that way.

        I felt gross and dirty watching it, and I have no problem with sex in general. I don’t think sex is dirty or wrong or gross in any other circumstances, but watching that movie made me want to become a nun!

        1. Think of it this way: Grey is EL. She never developed the writing craft enough to be able to dissociate herself from her characters (this takes LOTS of experience, something that EL never had time to do) Did you notice that Jack and Grey both do the same things, even though Jack is the ‘bad’ guy?

          That’s her on the page.

          Feel better?

  27. I grew up referring to a dresser as a “chest of drawers” or, more accurately, “chesterdroor”, but it’s entirely possible that’s a southern thing.

  28. The ‘foregone conclusion’ line is a reference to the Brosnan remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, which is pretty blatantly ripped off by both the fifty shades books and the movie. It’s also a far better film/story in every respect, and I loathe that the Eel has gotten away with basically taking chunks of it wholesale in order to shore up her terrible trainwreck franchise. (Also, you should watch it if only because there’s one sex scene in Thomas Crown that’s hotter than everything in this franchise combined.)

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