Monday, June 11, 2012

50 Yawns of Boredom

I read and review Fifty Shades of Grey so you don't have to.

I am so bored you guys. The pages keep turning, but I could swear I just keep reading the same three paragraphs again and again. I'm not sure I'm even angry anymore, I'm just exhausted by the horribleness of the story.

Chapter 4 picks up right where the last one left off - Christian is dramatically holding her after dramatically rescuing her from a killer bicyclist, and for the first time in her whole life it occurs to her that she would like to be kissed.

So of course he doesn't.

Instead of kissing her, he warns her to stay away from him. It strikes me this may be difficult for her to do seeing as she's being stalked by him. This is the most melodramatic scene in the book so far. He reminds her to breathe (what?). She thanks him for saving her. They both act like getting hit with a bike is roughly the same as getting hit by a train. She walks away from him and since she hasn't reminded us about her awkwardness in a while, claims to be "vaguely amazed" that she doesn't trip. I write in my notes "you can't be vaguely amazed, AMAZED IS NOT A VAGUE FEELING. SHUT UP." She takes his warning as a rejection and curls up in a ball on the floor of the parking garage sobbing - SOBBING - about her dashed hopes and dreams. She ACTUALLY says that. She has only just admitted to herself she even liked the guy about an hour ago, but now EVERYTHING IN HER LIFE IS RUINED. Her age MUST have been a typo, she can't possibly be 21, she's fucking 12.

An unspecified amount of time later, she finishes her last final exam of her college career, and I weep for the future because I can't believe they are giving college degrees to idiots like this one. When she gets home, there is a package for her. It's a three volume first edition of Tess of the d'Urbervilles. Miraculously, she knows exactly who it's from. Kate is impressed. This paragraph happens:

"I've found one Tess first edition for sale in New York for fourteen thousand dollars. But yours look in better condition. They must have cost more." Kate is consulting her good friend Google.

Kate's deductive reasoning is amazing, she should be a fucking detective. And holy shit, Ana HAS heard of Google, it's just never occurred to her to use it. It also hasn't occurred to the author: when I googled "Tess of the d'Urbervilles first edition" the results I got were between $4,000 and $6,000 dollars. FOURTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS for a shitty copy is a gross exaggeration, but then again HOW ELSE WILL WE KNOW THAT CHRISTIAN GREY IS OUTRAGEOUSLY RICH? The books come with a note enclosed, a quote from the book warning her, again, to stay away from him. Because when I think someone should stay away from me, I send them $14,000 books in the fucking mail. This storyline is so nonsensical it's making me tired. I take a nap.

Later on, Kate and Ana meet up with Jose for some drinks to celebrate their impending graduation. Surprising no one, Ana reports that she has never been drunk in her entire life. She proceeds to drink an unspecified amount of champagne, five, FIVE! margaritas, then heads to the bar to get them a pitcher of beer. She then heads for the bathroom and decides to drunk dial Christian Grey while she's standing in line. When he answers it, she is FUCKING AMAZED that he knew it was her calling him. I roll my eyes and write a note: "YOU ARE 21 THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN CALLER ID FOR YOU. TWAT." During this ridiculous conversation, she pictures him holding a riding crop (if he doesn't have a riding crop in the sex dungeon we can already tell he has I will shit myself). He's pissed off that she is drunk and tells her he's coming to pick her up. She hangs up on him without tell him where she is.

Despite the fact that what she's had to drink already tonight should have left her unconscious, she is only just now starting to feel sick. She goes outside to get some fresh air and is followed by Jose. Jose, it turns out, is a fucking douchebag. He takes full advantage of her intoxication to grab her and try to force her to kiss him while she is very clearly telling him no and struggling to get away. It's the rapiest kissing scene ever, but you guys - YOU GUYS! GUESS HOW IT ENDS. From the shadows comes an authoritative voice, "I think the lady said no." OH MY FUUUUCK STALKER GUY TO THE RESCUE! LIFE IS A MOTHERFUCKING FAIRYTALE! I wish the force was a real thing so I could crush her trachea with my mind.

She throws up all over everything until she is dry heaving. Christian is pissed off that she is so irresponsible and tells her he's taking her home. She, sensibly, says she has to tell Kate she's going first. When they go back inside, Kate is on the dance floor. The nonsense begins again. Christian, who had been dragging her out the door five seconds ago, decides to 1. go to the bar and order himself a beer and 2. take Ana's hand and lead her onto the dance floor. She can't dance, of course, but somehow, despite being fall down drunk, with Christian she dances great! Is it him? Is it the drinking? IS IT MAGIC? No one knows, but what I do know is this author has never been drunk in her life, because anyone who has knows there is no way any of this would have happened. Given how much she'd had to drink and the fact that she has no tolerance whatsoever, Ana should be passed out in the bush with vomit crusted in her hair before her stalker in shining armor ever gets there, and she may or may not still have pants on. Instead she passes out at the end of the chapter in Christian's arms and now I am going to vomit as well.

She wakes up in Chapter 5 in Grey's hotel room suite (he is very rich). Next to her is some Advil and a glass of orange juice, and she finds this controlling rather than considerate. I scream at the book "the controlling part is where he took you to HIS HOTEL ROOM INSTEAD OF HOME YOU JACKASS." He comes in the room fresh from a workout and his sweatpants are, you guessed it, hanging off his hips (3). Somehow he smells like body wash (2) AND sweat at the same time. She asks how she got there and he makes up some complete bullshit about how he couldn't take her home because he was afraid she'd throw up in the car, as if he doesn't have 173 other cars standing by to use while that one gets detailed (or all the leather gets replaced. Whatever mega rich people do to fix car vomit, I don't know). He yells at her for being irresponsible for a while because she needs this since she doesn't have a real daddy, "Well, if you were mine, you wouldn't be able to sit down for a week after the stunt you pulled yesterday." (emphasis mine) She calls him a disciplinarian, he retorts that she has no idea, my eyeballs explode and fire billows from the empty sockets. My note: "Foreshadowing shutupshutupshutup FUCK YOU SPANKING REFERENCES EVERYWHERE." Page 68 contains the SECOND reference to her medulla oblongata and I want to choke her, her editor, her friends that encouraged her to write her thoughts down, Stephanie Meyers whose fault it is that this exists, her husband for not shooting down all of her dreams, and everyone who told me I should read this book, even ironically.

It is at this point that I very nearly write a completely different post saying that I can't read this anymore. She goes on a protracted description of her feelings (she has discovered desire. She's never desired anything before. Eat me.) and makes the rookie mistake of confusing a stalker's obsession for caring about her, a mistake that in real life has gotten people killed many many times. She calls him a romantic hero, going so far as to compare him to Sir Lancelot. At the same time, she continues to try and convince herself that he is not interested in her. He slept in bed next to her all night and never touched her. What other explanation can there be? I can't take this. He stalks her, kidnaps her, and she is UPSET that he draws the line at rape. I can't feel anything but contempt for this character.

She takes a shower and uses his body wash (3) which, she tells the reader, SMELLS LIKE HIM. ORLY? WOW.

After she's showered and changed into the new clothes his assistant has run out and bought for her (she is "in awe" of the underwear. AWE. UNDERWEAR.), she finds him sitting at the breakfast table. He has ordered everything on the menu because he didn't know what she likes and because it's important that we know he's rich. My cousin Simmy pointed out that this scene is entirely ripped off from Pretty Woman. They have an uncomfortable conversation. He explains that he found her because "you can track anyone's cell phone on the internet". That sounded terrifying to me, so I did some research. While it's true you can trace the location of a mobile phone using Google Latitude, the phone you want to trace has to actually be set up by its owner to enable this sort of tracking. At this point I have officially done twice as much research for this book than its author did. He also mentions that he is not going to touch her until he has written consent to do so. This has now gone beyond foreshadowing to blatant spoilers inside her own book. There are so many annoying thing that happen in this conversation I don't know where to begin:
  • "'Not' There I said the word." Ana, if you can't even say the word "sex" out loud, you are in no way prepared for the shit he's been threatening to drop on you since the second you tripped into his office. IN. NO. WAY.
  • She can't understand why he'd be interested in her. Honestly, I can't either. Here's what we know about her so far: She is irresponsible. She takes no ownership for her own behavior and blames others for all her misfortune. She has no plans for her future other than moving to Seattle and continuing to live off of Kate. She has no real hobbies, skills, or talent of any kind. She is naive to the point of absurdity. She's so socially inept I assume she must have been the inspiration for the socially awkward penguin meme. And up until a bike almost ran her over last week she has had the sexual drive and interest of a half dead amoeba. She has to be stunningly attractive because there is absolutely no other explanation of why someone like Christian Grey would give one ounce of fuck about her.
  • In the elevator he loses fucking control and kisses the living shit out of her. And then continues riding in the elevator like that didn't just happen. She wonders whether he is totally unaffected by her presence, having apparently forgotten that she's just said this two seconds ago: "His erection is against my belly." NO,  I'M PRETTY SURE YOU ARE HAVING AN EFFECT. Additionally there is another example of the author forgetting what she'd written earlier. "I have never been kissed like this." No, shit for brains, you have never been kissed AT ALL. You made a REALLY BIG DEAL out of that earlier in the book. TAKE SOME FUCKING NOTES.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for encouraging me to finish reading this asshattery and welcome any new readers, especially the ones from Crasstalk. Y'all made me feel really special with your compliments and/or demands for more and you've made this incredible torture worth it. Mostly. It's REALLY bad, though.


Meg Hann said...

I have made it through the whole first book and some of the second. I'm more tolerant than you are but I do think the same things to myself.

I find it even better that after she gets drunk for the first time ever, she consistently drinks lots throughout the rest of the book. It's fascinating that love makes young women virgins alcoholics.

Mmm, and I'm already in the practice of skimming entire pages that are just too fucking descriptive for their own good in the second book. As well as the fact that I'm not sure how this relationship exists being that if I isolated their conversational exchanges, I can confidently say I talk more to my dog in an hour than they have the entire book(s).

CaptainSnarky said...

I got the link to this from Crasstalk. Thank you for reading this drivel, so others don't have to.

Anonymous said...

new reader to your blog...friend said i had to check it out! i'm getting my MFA in Creative Writing. ...caved a while back and actually downloaded the free kindle sample of this book to check it out, too. ohmygod, made me want to stalk down this author so i could throw a copy of the book at her head...but in order to do that i'd actually have to buy it. so never mind. thanks for bearing the torture and writing, in my opinion, a much more entertaining version of it.

bbqcornnuts said...

This is bbq (@ctpdenver on twitter) from crasstalk again. I think I love you. You are hysterical.

bbqcornnuts said...

Also, WTF kind of gift is Tess OTD? (I abbreviated because I have been drinking). That book is so depressing. I guess it is a good model for a dysfunctional relationship but sheesh. Why not send her a copy of War and Peace or Catcher in the Rye?

I need updates of this on twitter.

Ezbe said...

Quote: "I wish the force was a real thing so I could crush her trachea with my mind."
*Falls over on the couch laughing hard and crying real tears*

Anonymous said...

" Is it the drinking? IS IT MAGIC? No one knows, but what I do know is this author has never been drunk in her life, because anyone who has knows there is no way any of this would have happened. Given how much she'd had to drink and the fact that she has no tolerance whatsoever, Ana should be passed out in the bush with vomit crusted in her hair before her stalker in shining armor ever gets there, and she may or may not still have pants on. Instead she passes out at the end of the chapter in Christian's arms and now I am going to vomit as well."

Brilliant. A pediatrician in my reading group didn't read our book this month because she got distracted by this one. Mind. Blown.

jo wade said...

This blog is far more entertaining and better written than the books. I am so mad that I paid for and downloaded all three - the author did not deserve my cash - I wish you could have it instead.

Anonymous said...

This blog is far more entertaining and better written than the books. I am so mad that I paid for and downloaded all three - the author did not deserve my cash - I wish you could have it instead.


princessdeia said...

New reader to your blog - and I am hooked! I had just been given every odd looks on the tube as I was laughing out loud at this post - the bodywash count ;).

I had to admit, I was playing the "What film/book is this scene ripped off from?" game, whilst reading it and missed the Pretty Woman breakfast scene!

Jayne said...

Yay! You carried on! (I didn't see these posts before I commented last time. I blame the proximity to Fifty Shade for the fact that my brain is apparently dribbling out of my ear.

Anonymous said...

FYI, the first result for a google search of first edition tess is now - you guessed it - $14,000.

I can only assume the popularity of this wretched book has increased the value (read: avarice of everyone in the rare book business) of the tess books. If that doesn't make you hate the world and everyone in it, I don't know what will.

Gotta love capitalism, though.

Patches53 said...

Fair enough that you don't like it but judging by the numbers that do it looks like you're in the minority.
It would be a boring world if we all liked the same books, music, food, fashion, etc.
Just a thought, that's all.

Anonymous said...

I wish someone had told me about this blog BEFORE i read this shitty excuse for a book..not that i 'read' it, as i found it terribly unreadable and had to skip through most parts. I posted on facebook earlier that it was the most badly written thing ive ever read and i was glad i had only borrowed it instead of wasting my money on it, and of course about 50 girls got on my status in defence of their precious 'book' ('omg, lyk how can u say that?! its lyk the best book evaarrr, i totally read all 3 of them n i dont even read books!'). this blog is hilarious and it makes me happy that i'm not the only one who hates it and has restored my faith that there still are intelligent people out there who actually know what a good book is

Anonymous said...

I would like to marry you and have all the babies.

amberance said...

Oh no, you definitely don't want babies with me, I completely suck at babies. They are way to expensive and they are ALWAYS sticky somehow.

Anonymous said...

I have had the best time reading your comments instead of reading that stupid book! I've been laughing to the point of tears! My clever son (22) showed me your "50 --- of ---" posts, and it has been like an early birthday present to read them! Just had to say thanks for making me laugh while you eviscerate this garbage!

Anonymous said...

This is so so good. I considered reading the book for a second but your blog has proved a hundred times more entertaining and better written.

Anonymous said...

In this age of information research is super important. How did she not get that? Oh...because it's easy to write stuff that sounds cool (in your mind) without knowing if it's true. Note to self: DO NOT DO THIS

Bill O'Dwyer said...

Totally loving this piece-by-piece evisceration - reminds me of various "x reads Twilight" blogs.

Incidentally this video is a pretty good indication as to why this and Twilight and all the other books that follow the same pattern are so popular.

But please do keep up the reading! ^_^

Anonymous said...

This is pretty much the EXACT thought process that went through my mind as I read these books.

Also, in the second book (I hate my life, though I read them for free at work), Christian mentions that he makes about $100,000 an hour. I googled top paid CEOs; highest was around 40,000 an hour. Took me about two minutes to find that. "Holy shit"

Jacob Lowe said...

I haven't laughed so much in ages. These reviews are fantastic, thank you!

random kid said...

Honestly, Thank you. This made my day. I'm laughing so hard my eyes are tearing.

Anonymous said...

You have me in TEARS. Absolutely hilarious. There should be a copy of your reviews after every chapter in that unworthy pos book.

Merlyn said...

you had me at the first line of the first post. Thank you for making me feel better about reading this piece o trash.

brokenxxchild said...

I love you so much for doing this. I knew I wouldn't like this book, yet have been really really curious. So thanks so much. After Twilight, I just can't handle any more of this crap.

Lucky Vine said...

"Surprising no one, Ana reports that she has never been drunk in her entire life."

~Pffft, I've been drinking since I was 12! And no, that's not a typo. Since I was 12, not 21. ;)