Monday, February 18, 2013

50 Shades Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

All right, all right, you guys. I'll get back to the reviews now. It had actually been so long since I read the three chapters I'm about to do that I had to go back and skim them all again to remember what my notes were about. I realized in doing so that just being extremely busy working on grad school applications and related moving issues wasn't the only problem I was having in sitting down to write this. I also just really don't even care. I don't think anything I write today is going to be funny because I don't care about the characters in the book. There's so much unending drama that it's ceased to be shocking in any way. She's made such a mockery of the BDSM lifestyle that I don't care to correct the errors anymore. Want to try out some kink? Then read these books and do the exact fucking opposite of every single sex scene she has ever written. That's my advice. Now, let's get this over with.

When we last saw our douchebags, Elliot had just proposed to Kate at the end of an entire chapter that was only written to foreshadow that scene. An ENTIRE CHAPTER of the book was just devoted to the antics of two characters we barely know and could not give one ounce of fuck about. And because the author thinks that suspense always involves dropping some half-assed bombshell at the end of a chapter (rather than, you know, writing a compelling fucking scene people actually want to read), that same shit continues at the beginning of THIS chapter as well. Here is the overly dramatic first paragraph of Chapter 14:
The attention of the entire restaurant is trained on Kate and Elliot, waiting with bated breath as one. The anticipation is unbearable. Silence stretches like a taut rubber band. The atmosphere is oppressive, apprehensive, and yet hopeful. (emphasis mine)
 Jesus Christ where to even start? There is more stupid happening in this paragraph than there are actual words in it. Really, James? The ENTIRE restaurant has stopped breathing because it is of paramount importance to every single person in the room whether this one total stranger will agree to marry this other total stranger? I find that unlikely. And even if they are that fucking interested, it's not because they are all so "hopeful", it's because at any given public proposal, at least a quarter of the people watching are hoping she'll shoot the guy down in front of everyone, because that is a much, MUCH more entertaining story. Also, could you please explain to me in some logical fashion how this situation can be both oppressive and hopeful at the same time? Because those things don't go together.

Anyshit, Kate says yes obviously and then there's drinking of the finest champagne, and then they all go clubbing at the most exclusive club in all of Aspen. I fail to see why she continues to tell us these things, I think by now we can all just assume everything is the best, most exclusive, most expensive thing imaginable unless we are told otherwise. The coat check guy looks at Ana while taking her coat and Christian gets jealous and then the hostess looks at Christian while escorting them to a table and Ana gets jealous. It is obvious that everyone wants to fuck up their marriage. The fact that both these people are paid to specifically make you feel welcome and want to stay there and spend your money can't possibly explain this sinister welcoming behavior. Christian orders water and tells Ana to drink it, which she immediately argues about because DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. Mind you, so far today Ana has had two glasses of wine and a margarita at lunch, three glasses of wine and two glasses of champagne at dinner, and she is about to have a third glass of champagne right now. Also keep in mind they are in Aspen which means they are at altitude, and one of the things that happens at altitude is you get dehydrated much faster. She should have been drinking water all day to counteract that anyway - the alcohol is not going to do her any favors in that department. Ana has an unbelievably reliable habit of mistaking concern for being controlling and being controlling for genuine concern.

So then Ana goes off to dance, and we get the only scene in this whole section that managed to incite any rage in me. Ana is dancing, with her eyes closed for some fucking reason, when she feels a pair of hands on her hips, which she assumes is Christian coming to dance with her. Except that it's not. It's some complete fucking stranger. I need to pause a second to tell you that this exact sort of thing is a huge pet peeve of mine. If some drunk jackoff comes up to talk to me in a bar, I will stand there and listen to him make a fool of himself all night long. But the second that guy tries to touch me uninvited he is going to push a button with me and I am going to lose control and make a scene until someone comes to remove him from the establishment. This is, in fact, just about the only way to get me to shout at a complete stranger in public. Touching someone who hasn't expressed an interest in being touched is NEVER ok. So when this happens in the book and Ana immediately turns around and slaps him across the face, I stupidly think to myself "Yeah! Finally something that makes sense. Go Ana!" Once again, I have failed to grasp who I'm dealing with, because James IMMEDIATELY ruins this by having Ana hold up her hand to show him her rings and shouting at him "I'm married, you asshole!" Because for some reason, the fact that she is married is the ONLY THING SHE SEES WRONG with this guy's behavior. I am not kidding you. Christian immediately comes to her rescue and punches the guy, which I am fine with, but Ana immediately starts to second guess both of them. Maybe a total stranger violating her personal space in a way that makes her uncomfortable isn't that big of a deal. Maybe she shouldn't have hit him. But she knows why she did it, and rest assured it's not because she has a right to dance in a club without getting groped by total strangers against her will. It's because she knew it would upset Christian, and the thought of someone being able to upset her husband made her really angry. It's not about her - her own safety and control over her body doesn't matter at all. It's only wrong because Christian might wind up wif a bad widdle feewing. FUCK YOU. FUCK. YOU. YOU ARE A DISGRACE TO ALL WOMEN EVERYWHERE. I AM ASHAMED TO SHARE THE SAME GENITALS AS YOU. FUCK YOU SO HARD YOUR VAGINA EXPLODES LIKE A GRENADE. YOU DON'T DESERVE TO HAVE ONE.

Ugh. So the rest of the chapter is, everyone goes home, and Ana is drunk, and Christian takes off her make up for her which for Ana is the most astonishing thing that has ever happened in the history of mankind, and then they go to bed without fucking because the Dead Kennedys. Ana wakes up in the morning at the start of Chapter 15 and the first thing she notices is that allegedly her palm is still red from when she slapped that guy exactly one time EIGHT FUCKING HOURS AGO. She is going to continue to complain about how much her palm hurts through the whole chapter. Unless she's made of glass this is complete and utter bullshit. After that there are seven pages of entirely forgettable sex. Literally. I have forgotten every detail about it and only remembered that it happened at all when I went back and skimmed the chapter to find out what my notes meant. Everyone gets ready to go home, which is boring, and then they do go home which is boring, and then there is a series of unbelievably pointless emails that are only there to show the passage of time and which I will read aloud to you in my next video because they are truly, bafflingly, without any sort of plot advancement or even context and are not interesting AT ALL and will somebody, PLEASE, take this woman's writing instruments away from her FOR THE LOVE OF GOD? Apart from another fake bombshell moment, that is seriously every single thing that happens in Chapter 15. The sheer number of trees that were felled in order to print this chapter as many times as it's been printed to date is a tragedy in and of itself. Let us all have a moment of silence for those poor trees.







Thank you. So at the end of the chapter we find out that Leila has appeared at Ana's office building asking to see her. I'm including that information with the stuff from Chapter 16 because that's where it fucking belongs - it is COMPLETELY unrelated to anything that happened in the rest of Chapter 15. Chapter 16 consists entirely of Ana's conversation with Leila, and then Ana's subsequent conversation with Christian. It is somehow miraculously EVEN MORE DULL than the series of "maybe we should have spaghetti for dinner" level emails that dominated the last chapter.

I have just paused in writing this for the last 20 minutes and alternated between rubbing my face in frustration and staring despondently at my notes because it's just so stupid I don't even want to think about it, let alone summarize it.

Ok so here's what happens. Leila shows up and she's got another ex-sub of Christian's with her called Susi, who had better fucking appear again later because so far she has been completely irrelevant, other than for Ana to point out that she and Susi look alike, which we already know from having established that ALL Christian's subs looked like her TWO AND A HALF FUCKING BOOKS AGO. Leila has come to her because she wants to see Christian, but he is ignoring all her attempts. She claims this is because she wants to thank him for helping her and paying for her art school. I have absolutely no idea why she couldn't just write that in a fucking letter. Leila also tells Ana that she was in love with Christian which we also already know because half of the last book was devoted to exactly that. Then Christian shows up, as we all knew he would, including Leila, which was her entire scheme to get to see him in the first place. Christian fires Ana's bodyguard, threatens to cut off all of Leila's school funding and lets her leave with Susi. During all of that Ana's internal monologue is entirely about how can Christian be so mean to this poor girl and oh he shouldn't have fired the bodyguard, that was so unfair! By the way, in the whole rest of the book she hates that particular bodyguard and she is always jealous of everyone who has ever slept with her husband, so none of that makes any sense, and the only note I write in that whole section is "I can't believe how insane this is." Then Ana and Christian argue about the whole thing and Ana wants him to admit that he cares about Leila and Christian claims that he doesn't have a heart and OH MY GOD EVERY SINGLE WORD OF THIS IS SHIT WE ALREADY READ ABOUT ENTIRE BOOKS AGO. In keeping with that theme, we also have some more demonizing of BDSM - the part about how all his subs look like his mother because kinky sex can't just be about kinky sex, it has to be a pathological sickness about wanting to punish his own mother, and the other part about how Elena was a monster and a pedophile who almost ruined his life and now that he thinks about it, maybe he didn't enjoy any of that kinky sex and it left him severely damaged - I can't even get angry about this anymore, this woman's understanding of that culture is as well developed as Wile E. Coyote's understanding of basic physics. Then they argue about going home. Then they do go home. Then they have sex. Then they send some more worthless emails. Then E.L. James does that thing that she has now done in seven out of the last sixteen chapters, which is to end the chapter on a bombshell that is entirely unrelated to the rest of the chapter in a futile attempt to add drama and intrigue to her thoroughly plotless story. Ana's dad has been in a car accident. DUN DUN DUN/DRAMATIC VIOLINS/COMMERCIAL BREAK FULL OF VIAGRA  AND WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT ADS.

I am so bored right now. So bored.

UPDATE: I completely forgot to mention it before, but I am planning to live tweet my reading of a future chapter so you can see my reactions in real time. I'll let everyone know when I'll be doing it, so if you have the book you can follow along as I torture myself.

22 comments:

Laura Mary said...

Before I go kinds of crazy and call the grammar police… the 'waiting with baited breath' line...Is that actually as writ? Did 'baited' actually make it past the (possibly imaginary) editors/proof readers/copy editors/etc...

I'm holding back the rage in case it was a legit typo of yours (no doubt a result of the brain damage caused by reading this tripe in the first place!)

Poor Amber. Will send you cookies.

amberance said...

DAMN IT. No, that was me. It's fixed. Spellchecker is worthless when your misspellings turn out to be actual words. You would know if it was actually written that way because I would have said "Seriously? THIS IS NOT A SENTENCE" in the review. The amount of things I have to fix after I post is staggering. No matter how many times I read it through, it's not until I see it up on the actual page that I see the little spellings and missing plurals and double words. Why aren't there just blog editors floating around fixing things for me? ;)

On an unrelated note, I would like to not be still awake at 4:30 in the morning. Or maybe that is related because this comment is really starting to ramble now. Shut up, Amber.

Laura Mary said...

I have fallen foul of many a useless spellcheck! Once managed to send an email that started 'Dear Jesus'.
Another time I ONLY JUST noticed that I had missed a vital letter from the word 'count'

However neither of these are the worse things I have emailed out...

PS why are you awake?!!?!?!

amberance said...

DEAR JESUS HAHAHAHAHAHAHA that is awesome. I am awake because sometimes my brain is an asshole and it makes up horrible stories that aren't true and make me cry. But it is fixed now. But then I had to fix the typo too. And also thank the people on Twitter who helped fix my sad. And also watch true facts about the seahorse again. And then share that with the Twitter people. And now share it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqYUTTqupOY

OK, I am going to stop talking now. Seriously.

Laura Mary said...

Do you need me to sing you Soft Kitty?

amberance said...

I love you so much right now.

Laura Mary said...

OMG, we can do it as a round! I'll start...
Soft Kitty, warm kitty, little ball of fur...

(PS I find there is no sad that cannot be cured by lolcats
http://www.lolcats.com/popular/10120-going-to-narnia-brb.html)

Jen Summers said...

Every tiny thing about this book blows. I'm sorry you have to write about it while not being able to sleep, that's the worst.

I was trying to pinpoint the moment I realised 50 Shades was trash, but then I remembered it was an instantaneous reaction. Then I tried to figure out the worst part, but it's all the worst. IT IS ALL THE WORST.

His pointer finger circled my puckered love cave. "Are you ready for this?" he mewled, smirking at me like a mother hamster about to eat her three-legged young.

It's like, you would think that would be the worst part of these books, surely. I think it should be part of a scale to measure really fucking awful thing. We could call it the three-legged hamster scale. There are phrases and situations WORSE than that in these books and EVERYTHING about it is wrong. 'Mewling', really? He's mewling? Like a baby kitten? While his finger is orbiting your anus?

Wouldn't it be satisfying to strangle EL James like Homer does to Bart.

I didn't sleep last night either. Hence the rambling.

Anonymous said...

One fact is very clear about this book: It is a great marketing strategy worldwide. What is the reason?. Manipulate women. After decades of women's liberation, many women are unable to meet the expectations that society demanded them. On the other hand, men have been mired in confusion, and that men should act in accordance with equality. What do you get with a book like this?. The aim is for women to return to a traditional role of submission, and that men may use violence in their rooms spoiled with their partners. In this way women feel "complete", and men are not violent in the street, and perform better at work. It's all a mental trap, large-scale manipulation. Also, if there are many women who can not fulfill the role of "submissive", pharmaceutical companies may offer new anti-depressants. It's all planned to manipulate human freedom. (Check "Tavistock Institute" and MK-Ultra)

Laura Mary said...

Hmm... Interesting point but I'm not sure I'd credit someone you uses the phrase 'puckered love cave' with the ability to manipulate women worldwide.
I think we'll survive as a gender okay :-)

amberance said...

Yes, that comment reminded me of a link someone left in the comments of an earlier post to an article about how the books are all about condoning pedophilia. Some of the points were very interesting, but the writer was claiming this was an obvious deliberate attempt to make pedophilia acceptable, and there is just no way that's true. E.L. James can barely construct a complete sentence, there's no way she could have planned and then embedded a pro-child abuse agenda into these books. She's not nearly intelligent enough for that.

Anonymous said...

I also did a live-tweeting of the last book when I read it (though it doesn't compare to the physical/verbal reactions that typed words could not recreate properly). After a while it got quiet because I was just so bored and didn't care enough to keep up with it (I'm noticing a trend) but you're welcome to search for it if you'd like; it was a while ago but luckily I'm not very active on Twitter haha.
@anastazykeesee

Ps everytime I see 'Ana' in those fucking books, it makes my entire being cringe - it's what everybody at work calls me. Fuck you, James.

Shawn Lucas said...

I'm sharing in your boredom as I simply skimmed this particular post. I used to be mad, then sad, then mad, and now just indifferent. I'm sure that it will all come back the first time I see that stupid trailer for the stupid movie and have to live it all over again.

Jane Cartelli said...

I have spent the last couple of days finding the spare time to read every one of your Fifty Posts of Piss. I love them. I am only sorry I have caught up to you in real time and now I have to wait for you to finish the book. I have read the book - and I cannot wait to see what you write about the last few chapters.

Oh, and my copy is an eBook - and it has the first two chapters of Fifty Shades of Christian in it. EL James went back and decided to rewrite the book(s) with Christian as first person. I cannot wait to hear your take on how THAT reads!

Jen Summers said...

NO, JANE, NO!

She's suffered enough.

Hahahaha

After all this, all we Enlish folk re going to have to let her lie down in a dark room and sob gently until all the shades have left her mind.

OR--

OR--!

You guys, we could do an exorcism. Only in order to purge Amber of all that shitty, cooch-puckering fucking, it will need to be a sexorcism.

Laura Mary said...

OMGSEXORCISM!!!!!!!!

Jen...

...

...

I think...

...

I think I love you.

Jen Summers said...

Holy shit, I'd taken three sleeping pills to try and finally kick my insomnia in the cock when I wrote that sexorcism comment. You can tell by all the typos. Frankly, I'm impressed I was at all legible, I think I was typing by throwing plates at the keyboard at speed.

BUT! A sexorcism is now endorsed by Laura Mary, which means we have to do one. Sorry, Amber. Or congrats! (I'm not sure what it will entail.)

Weston-Super-Clare said...

Amberance... They're making it into a film. I think this is for real this time, and not some soccer-mom's wet dream. I am raging so much right now.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/news/a460460/50-shades-of-grey-movie-planned-for-summer-2014.html

The Rob said...

As always, we appreciate your continuing brain-rapeage. We should take up a collection/fund for you to get the psychotherapy you will most assuredly need to purge this awful awful writing from your memory.

Anonymous said...

I am a little over half way through the first book and I hate it. I only kept reading because my friend kept assuring me it would get better and I would love it. Wrong! I have enjoyed reading your blog posts about this ridiculous book far better! Love it... I can't tell you how many times I have laughed out loud!! Thank you Thank you!!

Lucky Vine said...

You said "at altitude" twice so I'm assuming it's not a typo. "At altitude" isn't a thing. You mean "at a higher altitude" or something similar. A type of altitude must be specified, because even sea level is considered an altitude.

Lucky Vine said...

"The sheer number of trees that were felled in order to print this chapter as many times as it's been printed to date is a tragedy in and of itself. Let us all have a moment of silence for those poor trees."

~ Well put. Thank you for bringing this travesty to light. We've all forgotten that trees are innocent victims as well. :)