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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ern reads 50 Shades of Grey

If you’ve read this blog for a long period of time, you’re probably asking “why?” Sure, sure, I hate Twilight, and this started out as Twilight fan fiction. Sure, I hate horrible writing, senseless/shallow romance, unhealthy/abusive relationships, and stupidity. Sure, I said I would never read this, and I'm kind of a feminist. BUT, one of my friends says I'm being unfair dissing the books. She says, "You can’t knock it until you try it," which is something I said to get this friend to read Harry Potter. My own words, used against me! While a college teacher of mine (who I actually learned a lot from) made the excellent point that you don’t have to drink a whole carton of sour milk to know it’s spoiled, if you want the book's fans to take your criticism seriously, you have to read it. Plus, Leeard wants me to read it/check it out for her, because she thinks I will be less weirded out by the kink. I usually have no problem with kink. Mostly though, I think it will be funny. Reading the book should probably only take about three hours to read anyway. You don’t have to have read the books to follow this post, but know that I’m going to spoil the first book to hell and back. Let's try the Kindle sample.

Chapter 1
We meet “Anastasia Steele,” a Bella Swan stand-in and college student. So far, the writing isn’t terrible (surprised I would say that?), but the prose isn’t what you would call interesting or artful either. That’s okay because it’s easy to read, it’s entertaining, and it serves its purpose. I've read a lot worse. As soon as we meet her, Ana laments that her blue eyes are “too big for her face.” Umm. There’s no such thing as eyes that are too big for a girl’s face. Big eyes are attractive. They make you look innocent, and dudes like that. Ana sounds cute, but, like Bella Swan, she isn’t allowed to know she’s cute. Whatever.

Ana has to go do an interview with billionaire businessman Christian Grey because her journalist roommate, Kate, is sick and needs a stand-in. Ana lives in Washington state. Yep. Still Washington. Ms. James couldn’t even change the location from Twilight. Ana arrives in Seattle to interview Christian, who hires blonde women to guard him at the office. Ana makes a big deal in her head about the blonde assistants. 

But I actually wasn’t hating the whole book yet, which surprised me. I was enjoying myself. But then, disaster: When Ana walks into Mr. Grey’s office, she trips over her own feet and falls to the ground. Ugh. Clumsy women?!! Really? Don’t we have enough of those in freaking chick flicks? As has pointed out, one annoying way to have a perfect female character who isn’t actually perfect is to make her fall down all the time. It’s stupid and lazy. It gives Christian a chance to touch her right away though, as he helps her up with “strong and gentle hands.”

The interview with Christian Grey starts. Naturally, he is young and hot. Ana acts all nervous and Christian teases her. Christian is arrogant and Ana gets rude. Gumption? Naw. She called him a control freak (oh ho, she has no idea). That’s no way to perform your roommate’s interview. You listen to the egomaniac, write it all down, and deliver it to the journalist so that she can write a piece about what an ass he is. Calling a rich, arrogant guy a control freak is a way to a) get thrown out of his office, or b) get him to see you as something he must conquer into submission. I wonder which one Christian picks. /sarcasm.

Christian says, “Immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control things.” Ughh, he’s unbearable. Edward Cullen sucked, but this guy is even worse. During the interview, there’s a lot of nonsense like flushing, heated and steady gazes, and eyebrow raisings. The sparks are flying, even though Ana isn’t impressed with his character. I bet she sleeps with him. He says her name and her heartbeat accelerates. Ana thinks, “He is beautiful. No one should be this good looking.” The questions Kate prepared aren’t good and Ana doesn’t get to ask very many.

We find out that Christian is adopted and has a brother and sister. He has a weird reaction to the question, “Are you gay?” He inhales sharply. Perhaps because he thought it was a disrespectful question? Or one that is too personal? Either way, I think that part should have been omitted. Christian clearly and immediately wants Ana for her youth, rudeness, and cuteness. This goes over her head. Christian cancels his next meeting to finish up with Ana, and now he wants to know about her. He doesn’t get much information, so Ana retains her mystery. As she leaves, Christian touches her shoulders and teases/flirts a little more. Ana calls him by his first name after he uses hers, and then the elevator doors close for her to leave. Way to go, Ana. Now he has to dominate you.

At this point I’m wondering if I can bear this assclown for more chapters. Sidenote: Christian Grey’s eyes are…wait for it…gray.

Chapter 2
Ana rushes out of the building and has what sounds like a mini panic attack. No man has ever affected me the way Christian Grey has, and I cannot fathom why. She calls her reaction “irrational.” Get a brain. He paid attention to you, touched you, flirted with you, and tried to offer you an internship. Plus, he’s hot, rich, powerful, and confident. Even a girl who legitimately hated him and would never sleep with him would be a little affected. There’s no drug like power and control, and no charisma like that of those who have it.

Ana works at Clayton’s, a hardware store in the Portland area, where she stocks shelves. Snore. She should have taken that job. Portland…I wonder if Ana is a hipster. Kate listens to the tape and transcribes it. She picks up on Christians obvious crush on Ana. We have a non-idiot female in the house! Ana doesn’t believe her because she’s a simpleton in this area. Kate says, “Even you can’t be immune to his looks.” That establishes that Ana is picky with guys. Possibly virginal. Of course she’s that way. Ana thinks it’s because she’s read too many classic books with better men. Okay, I can sympathize with that. Kate pounds the point in further with, “You, fascinated by a man? That’s a first.” Ugh, unnecessary.

Friday night, Ana’s photographer friend, Jose, comes to see her. Photographer. Yep, I think we’re dealing with hipsters here. Plus, Ana says, “Organized group activities aren’t really my thing” in this chapter. Jose invites Ana and Kate to a gallery opening where I just know Christian Grey is going to be. If E.L. James is smart (and hey, she’s sold a lot of books, so maybe she is), she’ll build up lots of romantic tension before Ana and Christian sleep together. It won’t happen at least until the middle of the book. Even though Ana thinks she is undesirable, she knows that Jose wants to be more than friends. Like a lot of girls, she’s okay with leaving him in limbo, suffering, because she gets a good guy friend and free emotional support. Bitchy.

Christian Grey visits Ana at the hardware store on Saturday to buy cable ties, rope, and masking tape. That’s not creepy at all! /sarcasm. Man, if this were a horror book, it could be really good. I’d like to give these first two chapters to Stephen King and just have him finish the book. What is with some female writers and “long-fingered hands” on guys? E.L. James has mentioned the long fingers more than three times now. I never really look at a dude and go, “Cute, BUT WAIT, does he have the long fingers I so desire?” Long fingers. The epitome of sexiness. Psh. Christian says he is in Portland to visit a farming division where he is funding research. Has he seen Food Inc.? Stop messing with the food, people.

Christian Grey obviously needs these items for his kinky sex, something he makes clear when he says he can use these items while he’s naked. This goes completely over Ana’s head, and Christian loves this. WHY DO GUYS LIKE STUPID GIRLS WITH THE MINDS OF BABIES? I’ll admit, I love guys with an innocent streak as much as guys love innocent girls, but this is really pushing it. Ana is in college. Get the message, woman. Ana tells Christian that Kate needs original photographs of him for her article. He gives her a “lost look.” What? Christian gives Ana his card with his cell phone number.


Then my Kindle says, “END OF THIS SAMPLE KINDLE BOOK. ENJOYED THE SAMPLE? BUY NOW.” Hmm. Do I want to buy this? It’s like 12 bucks. Think of how much Taco Bell I could get with that. I’ll sleep on it. I’m mildly curious to see how awful this gets.

While we're on the subject of books, Tina Fey's Bossypants was hilarious, and I also liked How Should a Person Be by Sheila Heti, even though it was a little self-important. I felt like it was honest. Read the introduction, and if you hate it, you will hate the whole book. Lots of sex and cursing too.


  1. Well, I had Taco Bell for dinner. It was less than $4...So, you could probably get TB at least 3 times with your "Grey" money. I'm just sayin...In these tough economic times we all have to make hard choices sometimes =)

    1. Hahaha, I get a cheesy gordita crunch and nachos bellgrande and steak quesadillas every time I go. It's around 12 bucks.

    2. It's gonna come down to whether my mom buys me my nightly Taco Bell.

  2. Girl, you've got expensive tastes! Cheap ole me often orders off the value menu :)

  3. I never know where I should post these types of comments but I figured that you'd be sure to see it with your most recent post, so here goes. I was just wondering a few things. 1) Pleeeease recap PLL! I honestly love your recaps more than any other blog because somehow you actually take the show halfway seriously and find things that are halfway decent about it, and it just helps me appreciate it a bit more. 2) Have you heard that Phoebe Tonklin from The Secret Circle is going to be in The Vampire Diaries season 4?? Best news ever, right? I'm still mourning the death of TSC. 3) What are your thoughts about the Catching Fire (Hunger Games) casting that's going down? Sam Clafin could be Finnick Odair...thoughts? 4) You guys should totally develop a Because We Watch Too Much TV app. I am obsessed with your blog. Surely you have some genius friend who could help you with that? :)

    1. Anywhere is always good!

      1) OMG How on Earth did I FORGET PLL aired? I legitimately forgot. What the hell? That never happens. Now I know what I'm doing today... 2) YES. Love her, even if she really needs to get her accent under control. She's so pretty. 3) I haven't seen him in anything, but I think Finnick needs to be a little better looking and have different coloring. Still, if he can act, I'm down. 4) Hmm. That might conflict with our laziness. Blogger has a mobile version though... But thanks!