Fried Green Cosmos and Accidental Stalkers: Chapter 17 of EL James’s “Grey”

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After what was the most boring chapter so far, this latest entry has the audacity to open with the line:

“It’s been an interesting morning.”

Which tells me either that EL James is deliberately fucking with her readership, or else that her formative years were spent rapturously watching mold collect on soggy toast, because what follows is:

We left Boeing Field at 11:30 PST; Stephan is flying with his first officer, Jill Beighley, and we’re due to arrive in Georgia at 19:30 EST.

Congratulations — you’ve just described a normal flight. I was gripped from beginning to end: who’s the first officer? I gasped. When does it land? I pondered.

The only thing on this first page that could be described as remotely interesting is Christian suddenly pretending that he’s gone to Georgia to “work.” Which I now realize isn’t particularly interesting because pretending to work is the only form of work that Christian knows:

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The Mile High Club and SHOUTY CAPITALS: Chapter 16 of EL James’s “Grey”

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Today’s recap should be relatively short because this is another portion of the book where Ana and Christian aren’t together, and EL James can’t really be bothered to think of things for Christian to do when Ana’s not around. So strap in for some vague business, tedious e-mailing, coffee with or without milk, and references to an anthropomorphized cock.

Oh, but fuck me right from the start because it opens with a sad moldy cheese dream. Which I’ll give to you with a heavy warning that it’s the literal worst:

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Eggs, Bacon, Grits, and Rape Threats: Chapter 15.2 of EL James’s “Grey”

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I’m back and we’re going to try to make it through the second half of the chapter today. Prayers and alcohol are always welcome.

Ana has just had a shower — thrilling stuff — and is now in the kitchen about to have breakfast. Since this next scene involves food, you know it’s going to go really well and not come off as abusive and shitty:

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Christian Grey and the Chamber of Apples: Chapter 15 of EL James’s “Grey”

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Last time on the recaps that will never end, I managed to finish up the world’s longest chapter even though EL James had the fucking gall to break off in the MIDDLE of a scene because technically their conversation happened on either side of midnight. Because this is the kind of genius writing mind we’re dealing with — one that doesn’t acknowledge that most sane people would probably still call 1am “night” if they haven’t gone to bed yet.

But frankly if that chapter had gone on any longer I would’ve thrown my Kindle out the nearest available window, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

Anyway, we left off with Christian telling Ana he was going to stick some ben wa balls into her vagina and then spank her. And, though I wish I didn’t have to type that out again, I need to set this up because the next chapter (Monday, May 30, 2011) opens with this context-free poetry:

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Beef Wellington and Boathouse Rape: Chapter 14.3 of EL James’s “Grey”

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We return for the third (and hopefully, please God, final) time to the world’s longest chapter. Christian has just threateningly informed his girlfriend that she is in BIG TROUBLE for making plans to visit her mother without asking him first, and now they return to the table:

Mom has gone all out–best china, best crystal–for Ana’s and Kavanagh’s benefit. I hold out a chair for Ana; she sits down and I take a seat beside her.

So, a few things. This habit that Christian has of referring to Kate by her last name is clearly vindictive and nasty. It’s meant to make her sound like some kind of opponent instead of a normal young woman protecting her friend. What makes it a bit odd, though, is that Christian supposedly regularly works with Kate’s Dad — whose last name is also Kavanagh. Wouldn’t calling Kate “Kavanagh” be a little confusing? You know, unless it’s also a way of reducing Kate to simply being her father’s daughter, as opposed to an independent person.

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Nothing Comes Between Christian and His DJs: Chapter 14.2 of EL James’s “Grey”

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We pick up from my random cut-off point yesterday where Ana had finished her ethically questionable in-house gynecological exam. This chapter isn’t even close to being done. Christian asks Ana how she liked the whole experience:

“Fine, thank you,” she answers. “She said that I had to abstain from all sexual activity for the next four weeks.”

What the hell? I gape at her in shock.

Ana’s earnest expression dissolves into one of taunting triumph. “Gotcha!”

Well played, Miss Steele.

Even in the book’s very rare moments of playfulness — which aren’t remotely funny anyway — he still has to sound like some kind of James Bond psycho petting a cat. Jokes? Oh, how droll, Miss Steele. But you won’t be laughing for long…

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Gynaecology in Narnia: Chapter 14 of EL James’s “Grey”

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New chapter, new day — no transitions.

It’s Sunday. Christian is jogging because EL James quickly ran out of things to have Christian do in the moments where he doesn’t interact with the original text. So he either does vague BIZNES, works out with Rene Sebastian von Tour Eiffle de Louvre, or goes for a jog. But mostly he jogs.

Except today he’s not just jogging — he’s stalking:

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Fried Chicken and Demon Snow Globes: Chapter 13 of EL James’s “Grey”

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Our next chapter opens — with no real transition or attempt at scene-setting — with Christian picking up his sister from the airport. His sister Mia has just returned from PARIS, FRANCE — IN EUROPE — which is apparently filled with French people, who are the WORST — honk honk honk.

“So how was Paris? You appear to have brought most of it home with you.”

“C’est incroyable!” she exclaims. “Floubert, on the other hand, was a bastard. Jesus. He was a horrible man. A crap teacher but a good chef.”

I really didn’t think this dialog could get worse. Not only has EL James refused to explain what Mia was doing in Paris, or who the fuck Floubert is, but we’re also treated to further proof of James’s inability to write any form of American dialect — or indeed any words that could conceivably come out of the mouth of a human being.

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All Hail the Moneydick of Pain: Chapter 12 of EL James’s “Grey”

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The last chapter ended with Christian going home and then getting an e-mail from Ana that implied she was upset. This chapter opens minutes later with Christian still staring at his computer screen because their e-mail back-and-forth took place around midnight. So we’re in the middle of the exact same scene, which was cut in half for no reason other than time. It’s almost like EL James didn’t really think this chapter organization through.

Anyway, Christian sends Ana an e-mail asking her why she doesn’t like him anymore because he’s a child, and then gets up to open a bottle of SPARKLING WATER because only Dickensian orphans drink still.

Minutes later — that I’m sure feel like an eternity to this entitled baby — she replies that she doesn’t like that he never stays with her. Which shocks him, even though — as you’ll remember from the last chapter — she very blatantly asked him to stay, and he refused to do so to “manage her expectations.”

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Please Don’t Have Sex on a Car: Chapter 11 of EL James’s “Grey” (Part 2)

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We pick up from yesterday’s thrilling cliffhanger in which Christian, lord of darkness and anal fisting, has realized that he might just want to go bowling and drink milkshakes with Ana instead of shoving ball gags into her mouth 24/7.

So despite what you might think, he didn’t actually manipulate the women that he’s had relationships with in the past — ALL of whom, according to him, wanted to have a more traditional relationship with him, even though he claims that they were all established submissives who understood “the lifestyle.” But forget that, because Christian is just so emotionally stunted that he’s not even AWARE that he’s deliberately engaging in relationships with the same kind of women with the same kind of expectations over and over again. Poor Christian, you guys! Remember when he was a kid? Remember the moldy cheese?

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