Thursday, October 18, 2012

50 Shades of Grey Chapter 25

This chapter opens with Ana's Mother continuing to spew generic "FOLLOW YOUR HEART YOU DESERVE EVERYTHING" type cliches and Ana is marveling in her wisdom and HOW MUCH her Mother loves her. I will admit to being a terrible daughter, but I don't usually go off on tangents about ZOMG MOM LOVES ME SOOO MUCH! I mean, you sort of... get used to these things. Am I just a terrible daughter or are most people just sort of accepting that "unconditional love" is the baseline with their own parents*? It just makes Ana seem so... alien, to me.

A page of ZOMG PARENT LOVE however leads to this.

What does Christian know of love? Seems he didn’t get the unconditional love he was entitled to during his very early years.

Okay, so, I have ranted, and ranted, about how this is a Developmental Psychology Fail. I'm sure you guys don't care anymore, but I need to point something else out. Yes, that sort of shit would affect a kid, and could into their adult life. It would not affect them in a way they were likely terribly self aware of, and it wouldn't be something as specific as "no touching and into BDSM" but rather "they have had developmental issues" type thing. I also want to rage that EL James goes to such great lengths to explain Grey is into BDSM because he's damaged. Which is very harmful, and disrespectful, to the BDSM community.


I need Christian Grey to love me. This is why I am so reticent about our relationship – because on some basic, fundamental level, I recognize within me a deep-seated compulsion to be loved and cherished.

And here I thought I could get through this chapter without a drink.

Ahh, Somersby, you understand me, don't you? Alright. Lets try to unpack this nonsense. So, firstly, need? Really? No. You NEED food and shelter. You will survive and eventually get over Grey not loving you, if he didn't. Secondly, being apprehensive about a relationship because you're super into the dude seems backwards. I mean, I get forcing yourself to take it slow because you're waaay too into him and don't want to come on super strong out the gate, but, that isn't what's going on here, is it? Also, why is wanting to be loved and cherished a "deep-seated compulsion" as to... basic human instinct? Wanting to have people who love and value you isn't strange, it's normal and healthy. It's what you DO with those wants/needs that make it a problem. I think the only person who hates Ana more than me is Ana**. Yikes. There is a lot of self loathing as well as internalized-patriarchy (sorry to those of you who's eyes just glazed over). There is an expectation that women should be happy with what we're given and not be greedy and high maintenance and ask for more. More being "love and respect" in this case. Ana thinks there is something wrong with wanting a partner who will love and cherish her, as to thinking of that as "basic condition for a relationship". I hate that EL James is slipping this shit into erotica aimed at women.

Ana continues to angst over Grey's damage and how she doesn't know if he even can love! No, really, that is in the text with no sense of irony. She is haunted and disturbed by the thoughts of his TRAGIC PAST and how TRAGIC he is because he's just so SAD AND TRAGIC! DID I MENTION HE'S TRAGIC? TOTES IS BITCHES!

So they e-mail back and forth and it sounds like typical Grey and Ana e-mails but Ana decides at the end of their exchange that Something Is Up with Grey. There is next to nothing in text to support this. I looked. The Situation is alluded to again, and I'm sure whatever the Situation is will be awful and make me want to punch things.

I become aware that once again the only empty seat is beside me. I shake my head as the thought crosses my mind that Christian might have purchased the adjacent seat so that I couldn’t talk to anyone. I dismiss the idea as ridiculous – no one could be that controlling, that jealous, surely.

Except for Grey. Oh God. Guys. Do you think he really did? Ana has some decent instincts. She is aware that Grey's behavior is jealous and controlling and stalkerish. She doesn't catch onto the abusive, but still, she has observed the red flags. I am immensely bothered that she isn't bothered by them at all. I mean- right. Warlock.  

Naturally Grey is busy dealing with The Situation so Taylor picks up Ana and... is really fucking boring. Taylor just has no personality. Ana is suffocating under his inability (or unwillingness) to maintain a conversation. So she asks him to put on some music. Being a man living the classy life, he chooses Pachelbel’s Cannon. The song apparently lasts until they get to Grey's.


Why am I so nervous? And I know it’s because I have no idea what kind of mood Christian’s going to be in when I arrive. My inner goddess is hopeful for one type of mood, my subconscious, like me, is fraught with nerves.

YOU FEAR HIS MOODS. RUN! RUN FAST!

So we get a hint of what The Situation is. "No trace of her...". I'm guessing his sister or Mrs. Robinson has gone missing. He gets off the phone and then leaps upon Ana, going tongue first because he's so eager. Guys, never go tongue first. Never. She describes things as "almost" hurting but she's so into it that Grey is going to have to have to buy a new mop.

His tongue is relentless, strong and insistent, laving me – swirling round and round, again and again – non-stop.

Grey uses his vortex tongue to then summon his dark lord. The end.

Sadly, no.

He grabs my face with both hands, holding me firmly, and he kisses me hard, thrusting his tongue into my mouth so I can taste my arousal.

Do you think EL James took classes on how to write sexy from someone's Granny? And then they fuck. He heaves her against the wall and it's over and done pretty quick. He's all "COME SHOWER WITH ME" and they get to the fucking before they get to the shower. Ana is too busy gushing over all this lust and hormones to wonder what the hell is going on (though she did try to ask earlier, in her defense) and this is all just so trite.

He undoes the next three buttons of his shirt, removes the cufflinks, tugs it over his head, and discards it on the floor.

Wait, he was just chilling out in his apartment. He wears cufflinks around the apartment? Or was he doing work stuff earlier in the day instead of dealing with what ever crisis has popped up? So he starts to scrub Ana down, she tells him about her new job, and about Jose's art exhibit and asks him to go. He doesn't loose his mind, shockingly, and agrees to go. Grey is much calmer now, until Ana asks if she can scrub him down. He says no, and she asks if she can touch him because OH MY GOD ANA WILL YOU GIVE IT A REST FOR ONE FUCKING CHAPTER?! Grey's response is to stick it in her.

“Put your hands on the wall Anastasia. I’m going to take you again,” he murmurs in my ear as he grabs my hips, and I know that the discussion is over.

We don't even get to see the sex scene. We then flash forward to them chilling out at the breakfast bar. Ana tries to ask about The Situation again and Grey shrugs it off- none of her concern, and tells her to go get changed in her room and be in the play room in 15 minutes. He also tells Ana that he bought her an ass ton of clothes and don't say anything about it or else. Uhm? Okay? Ana is confused about him sending her to her room, and comments that her door has a lock, but no key. TERROR. Then we flash forward to her hanging out in the play room. 

It’s what he wants – and after the last few days… after all he’s done, I have to man up and take whatever he decides he wants, whatever he thinks he needs.

 So, just to under line this. Ana thinks that since Grey pulled some Rom Com shit, she is obligated to fulfill his sexual wants and needs. She feels she owes him.

EL JAMES I HATE YOU SO MUCH!


I can see his naked feet, and I want to kiss every inch of them… run my tongue over his instep, suck each of his toes. Holy shit.


I guess this is the chapter EL James tries to make the book at least a little bit kinky?

“Don’t start with your smart mouth in here, Miss Steele. Or I will fuck it with you on your knees. Do you understand?”
I swallow instinctively. Okay. I blink rapidly, chastened. Actually, it’s his tone of voice, rather than the threat, that intimidates me.


Creeeeepppyyyy. Almost everything he says or does is threatening. Just want to point that one out. So, Grey reminds Ana of the safe words and tells her she won't be able to see or hear him, just feel. She won't hear him because he will be blaring music of his choosing from his iPod. I just face-palmed hard enough I may have given myself a black eye. Are you ready for a long series of title drops?

Okay. A musical interlude, not what I was expecting. Does he ever do what I expect? Jeez, I hope it’s not rap.

Agreeing.

So Grey takes her to the bed, says "This is where I'll be flogging you" and begins braiding her hair. He comments that he prefers pigtails but is too impatient to do that, so one braid. The way her hair is described makes me think it is likely stupid long. Like, down to her ass, or close.

“Touch it,” he whispers, and he sounds like the devil himself.

No, you get no context. He might be talking about his penis, he might be talking about a kitten. You'll never know.


“Good girl. Remember, most of your fear is in your mind.”


A frisson of trepidation mixed with tantalizing exhilaration sweeps through my body, making me wetter.

 Soon Grey will have to start stripping her out of her panties and putting her into Depends. 

Abruptly, the soft silent hiss and pop of the iPod springs into life. From inside my head, a lone angelic voice sings unaccompanied a long sweet note, and it’s joined almost immediately by another voice, and then more voices – Holy cow, a celestial choir – singing acapella in my head, an ancient, ancient hymnal.

Thankfully Ana doesn't know what song it is, so we're spared another title drop. Grey then begins to stroke her while wearing... a fur glove? I'm picturing cookie monster fuzzy gloves myself - because I used to own a pair of Cookie Monster blue fuzzy gloves.


Running his hands all over you.

I’m trying to anticipate where he’s going next… but the music… it’s in my head… transporting me…

Is Ana high? Did Grey drug her? Is she tripping balls? Because that is the only way this makes sense.

And then the flogging starts.

“Aagghh!” I cry out. It takes me by surprise, and it doesn’t exactly hurt, but tingles all over, and he hits me again. Harder.
“Aaah!”
I want to move, to writhe… to escape, or to welcome, each blow…


Did I mention that most of this is written.... like.... this with maybe... five words...? In between each ellipses...

I am dragged into a dark, dark part of my psyche that surrenders to this most erotic sensation. Yes – I get this.
 

Yeah you do.

Seriously, this is all painfully written. I get what EL James was going for. It was meant to be a sensuous sexy thing, but it reads in such a boring way. Stream of consciousness does not need to be littered with ellipses. I also can not even be knackered to go into any detail around the "angelic voices". Just, I got nothing. Nope. Sorry.

Taunting each of my nipples in turn… his tongue swirling round one while his fingers relentlessly tease the other…

He then steals her nipple's lunch money and makes it carry his backpack while calling it names.


So he starts to slobber on her cooter and riiiight as shes about to spew all over the place unties her legs, heaves them in the air, and then starts to pound away. She's supported by her shoulders. That sounds like a really uncomfortable angle for the neck and just- ow?

And as the number of voices in the choral piece increases… so does his pace, infinitesimally, he’s so controlled… so in time with the music.





So exploding orgasms everywhere for all. Even the maid down the hall. She doesn't know what's going on but daaaamn. So since EL James is incapable of not mentioning what every song they listen to is:

“It’s called Spem In Alium, or the Forty Part Motet, by Thomas Tallis.”

No, no youtube link for you. Go find it yourself. I don't want to know. Grey confesses that he's always wanted to fuck to that song. I have songs like that.



Though the odds of spraining the everything trying this one are high.

So Grey rubs Ana's shoulders with his knowing expert hands (gag) and Ana asks what she said in her sleep. He sums up her dream from last chapter and they banter a bit.

“And you are hiding something, Anastasia. I may have to torture it out of you.”

RUN BEFORE HE CHAINS YOU UP AGAIN! And this, boys and girls, brings us to the final chapter. Tune in next time to see THE EXCITING CONCLUSION! Seriously, this is the second last chapter? This book has no plot, awful pacing, abysmal character development... 

Who knows, maybe in the last chapter we'll ditch everything and the book will start to not suck! Surprise! Grey is a Time Lord and now they're about to go off on epic adventures! As always, comments help stave off the soul sucking this book is causing me. Till next week! 


*Assuming you don't have some tragic situation where it isn't. If that's the case, my condolences.
**And my liver. 

14 comments:

  1. This song would make me feel as if I'm fucking in church. I guess it's a turn-on for some people, but I can't really relate to that. I'd rather sex it up to Led Zeppelin or Lacrimosa.

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  2. Thomas Tallis? All I can picture now is "The Tudors." And considering that my mental image of Ana is like a female version of the actor who played Thomas Tallis in that show, that adds a whole new snark level to this.

    On other things, how the blue fuck to people find this sexy? I don't understand how people can get off so much to such a controlling relationship dynamic. I get liking to be controlled or be in control in the bedroom setting, but in pretty much all other aspects of the relationship that kind of behavior reeks of abuse.

    I do volunteer work at a domestic violence shelter, and one of the clients there has the 50 Shades trilogy in her book collection. Catching a glimpse of that made me want to beat myself in the head with a studded paddle while screaming "WHY?!" at the top of my lungs.

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  3. First of all that first video there was sooo funny and it absolutely distracted me from the rest of the post. I had to take a break and start over. Thank you for that!

    I hate Ana so much. I know I should say I hate EL James because she made her, but still, this is horrible on so many level. I just can't even rant about it anymore. Im telling you, the situation is a Villain, there will be drama and declarations of lurve. sigh.

    Thanks again for suffering through that, so we don't really have to :)

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  4. OK so. I'm English and a bit old, and I read Tess of the D'urbervilles and a couple of other Thomas Hardys at school. (I'm also old enough to have gone through university without having to use computers or have an email address...) basically, thinking Tess is a likely reference point is another one of James' Mary Sue-isms, like all the British turns of phrase etc.

    (Roman Polanski's film version, Tess, is likely to blame for a lot of what James thinks is 'romantic' about the story, which as has been pointed out many times is about victimhood - when Grey talks about whether he should be like Alec or Angel he's basically saying 'do you want me to be more like the rapist or the guy that says getting raped is your fault'. Polanski's Tess is ethereal, innocent, beautiful, etc...)

    re Tallis. I feel like the worst kind of snob but basically this book took one of my favourite, favourite pieces of music - and did this to it. Now I read that sales of recordings are up because idiots are buying them because of this loathsome book. I'm not saying that 'it's mine and I hate that people are hearing about it from a democratising book' although I appreciate it sounds like that. But honestly it's because it's *this* book. If more people get to appreciate the genius of Tallis' music for itself, great. If people listen to it once cos of this bloody book and then congratulate themselves for being 'as tasteful as Christian Grey' without liking it for itself (or having the guts to admit they hate it, if that's how they feel) then I hate the world.

    and early on there's a lot of excruciating 'my tastes are so eclectic and obscure' nonsense - he then names Kings of bloody Leon and Tallis - so basically he likes popular mainstream pop and something that is very well-known if you like church music. (See also Pachelbel - I love it, but it's massively popular and well-known. And that Delibes thing? She got that from a TV advertisement.) I hate hate hate this. 'Oh get me I am so original and quirky and obscure' and the author herself has never heard of anything that isn't entirely mainstream. argh. if he was into I dunno a mixture of Norwegian black metal, east London bhangra and Mongolian throat-singing, maybe he could claim to be 'eclectic' and 'esoteric'. This? NO. NO NO NO. And then they listen to Britney bloody Spears.

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  5. Sometimes I think the whole thing is a massive Mary-Sue romantic-fiction parody. To show us all what horrible politics this stuff often has. To make us question the message young girls are getting from these narratives.

    But to sustain this level of shit writing - of using so many words so slightly and maddeningly wrongly, of thesaurus abuse, of dull repetition, of characters that act inconsistently from sentence to sentence - if you were intelligent enough to be doing it as a joke or to make a point, you'd get bored of doing it after 2 chapters. and you'd know that it's too subtle to be recognised as sophisticated parody and your point would likely go unmade. Indeed, your book would contribute to the very thing you're trying to subvert.

    so sadly I think the reasons it's shit are the reasons it's popular. People who don't normally read much are reading this because it's easy to read. The repetition, the simple language, the lack of plot details to have to remember - it's structured like a children's book. Like a James Patterson. Simplistic language, lots of sex instead of the violence, cartoonish characters with no depth.

    thing is, lots of people - most people, even - don't read much, for varying reasons. maybe they didn't get enough help at school, or their parents mistrusted books, or whatever. And there should be much more stuff published that is aimed at people who don't read much, for all sorts of reasons. then shit like this might not gain a stranglehold.

    Publishers do do a bit of it - commissioning bestselling authors to write short, simpler stories and pushing them during national reading weeks and so on. and maybe someone at random house did see the potential in El James' writing for appealing to people in the same way. Maybe the fact that every other sentence is a two word, easy to understand present tense subject/verb - all that I gape, I gawp, I gasp, I flush, I blush, I blink crap - or a mild expletive - Holy Shit! - was what attracted them to it, because it is uncomplicated. Sure she uses a lot of long words too, but because she gets them from a thesaurus and is incapable of choosing one when she can use three, again the overall effect is very simplistic.

    But then what are they doing to say OK, reading can be cool, try this next? They're not, are they. They're just pushing 10000 shite variations of this instead. If I had the mental energy I'd start a blog about all the ripoffs - the Eighty shades of Yellow and similarly titled cash-ins that are all over the place. Luckily for the world I don't have the mental energy...

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  6. EL James knows that "infinitesimally" means "immeasurably small," right? So is this like, hinting that Christian is actually a shrimp in the dick department? I assume the author would know as opposed to the actual character since she's a Super Virgin and has never seen a dick outside of health class.
    Now that that's out of my system.... EL James has this psychology shit ALL KINDS OF BACKWARDS. For a woman who grew up with such an amazingly loving mother, she sure is straight-laced and is needy as shit. Why would someone who has love thrown at them on a daily basis (is it just me or do all her friends/relatives/coworkers want to bang her on some level?) feel so shitty about herself? It's maddening.
    Secondly: sexual awakenings SO do not happen like that. Has the author ever been caned/flogged/whatever, hit???
    Here's how to achieve maximum level of compliance.... get her all worked up to where she's so worked up and desperately sexxxed beyond belief and THEN pull the cane out. You don't just say some sexy things and then go, "Ok, so I'm gonna smack the shit outta you now, enjoy." That is NOT BDSM for Beginners!
    Also, I'm starting to think that in addition to safe words, they might want to start using "START" words when Ana is expected to fucking shut up and play her role. it's getting tiresome. I'm starting to think that neither of these poorly defined characters know what the shit they want. I mean, this is sending the message of "no matter how straight-forward a man is, you always know better!" Straight-forwardness is good! You don't want none of that sugar-coated shit!
    I mean, that's like when a man says, I want to be friends with benefits and a woman tries talking him into marriage. No. Especially when he keeps cutting her off. This book is the bible for unstable women who are constantly at war with themselves. Who wants to be wishy-washy???

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  7. I enjoyed all three books. Now not saying I agree with all the behaviors and reactions of the characters. I just know, it wouldn't have been me. Buuuuut, I took it for exactly what it was. A story. It was entertaining and I liked it. Just like the movie The Human Centipede. Sick-yes, Horrible-absolutely, but will I watch the second one? Yup.

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  8. Are you kidding, Tyler is the coolest character in this pile of bullshit. But other than that lapse of judgement, I love the re-cap as always.

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  9. Strawberry_Pocky_MooseJuly 24, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    Agreed with everything you say but...


    ...what do the Britishisms have to do with Ana being a Mary Sue? I mean, Ana is a total Sue - she thinks she's plain while everything with a penis desires her, she has low self esteem when you apparently only need a single glance at her vagina to start yelling about how intelligent and witty she is, she's *cute* clumsy, and can change an abusive man with the power of twoo wuv. Gag.


    But the Britishisms aren't a trait of Sueness. They're a trait of EL James being British and apparently unable to write her fucking AMERICAN characters with any other voice than her own. And that's what she gets for insisting on basing her shitty fanfic where the source material was based despite having fuck-all knowledge of the place.

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  10. The Human Centipede isn't marketed as something that should be tried, ever. The Fifty Shades trilogy is marketed as something that people should and how relationships should be, and that's what makes it so damaging and rage-inducing.

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  11. heck to the ya about the whole "BDSM ppl r all damaged" thing. ur right it IS disrespectful. I'm into BDSM and I've had a normal & nice childhood.

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  12. You just ruined Sesame Street. How could you.

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  13. I've just installed iStripper, so I can have the hottest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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