Possibly the best/worst line in the opening page of chapter nine: “I could gaze at him all day, but I have needs–bathroom needs.”
Thanks, Ana. Thank you for sharing that. Whilst the gritty realism of this novel, knowing our protagonist shits and pees like a regular person, is invigorating, what would be even more thrilling? Maybe some plot?
Christian is snoozing like a bear and Ana is taking this opportunity to nose about his apartment. Some boring yet mandatory musings are touched on while Ana snoops, as well as some unnecessary text messages to Kate. Ana allows herself to cook in his kitchen which, contract or no, is pushy and annoying. The only proactive thing our heroine has done? Cook breakfast for a man.
I could be reading Virginia Woolf.
When Christian arrives, they eat and talk and I can’t help but feel like I’m reading the same dialogue over and over again. Every single time they’re together, he tells her to eat more and that he can’t control himself around her and she bites her lip and mumbles something about being inexperienced. I swear, it’s like between each sex scene the dialogue is copied and pasted.
They have a bath together and Ana decides to go down on Grey. This is all fine until it turns out that she is 100% amazing at performing oral sex, despite never having done it before, never having seen it done before (in life or on film, this admitted in her own words) and having never read about it. So basically all she has to go on is word of mouth and imagination.
Her technique is flawless, a fact I can’t escape because the prose is so graphic and specific. It’s not even sexy because it’s so graphic. It feels like a paragraph from a text book you’d get during your training at a brothel in Nevada. It’s impersonal and too robotic.
Also, I’m not suggesting prostitutes have text books. I don’t know. Maybe they do, but I don’t know.
Anyway, she’s perfect at it and it doesn’t work. Grey comes harder than he ever has before and words of praise spill from his lips. A dom with over fifteen previous lovers has been floored by a near-virgin. It’s a nice little idea but it was executed weirdly. Ana just slipped into another place; an unbelievable place. Where was the ever-present fear and excitement and anxiety of the first blow job? Where was the desire, the passion and the nerves?
Nowhere in this chapter…
Christian is eternally grateful and asks her to consider their arrangement and say yes to being his full-time pet–sorry, sub. Turkey sub.
She doesn’t answer him properly and there’s a little more generic sex.
Suddenly, voices can be heard arguing outside of Christian’s bedroom. The sentence, “You cannot keep me from my son” tells us, the readers, two things. One, that E L James suddenly thinks she’s writing for ‘Game of Thrones’ and secondly that Christian’s mother is fast approaching the scene.
However, just in case we’re all morons who’ve never read a book, seen a play, watched television or even fully grasped the most basic words in the English language, Christian says, “Shit! It’s my mother!”
No. Shit. Sherlock.
The opening sentence of Chapter Ten is, “He pulls out of me suddenly.”
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….aha…ah….ah…..ah…..and this is a bestseller.
Ana is tense and nervous at the prospect of having to exchange verbal niceties with a stranger post-banging and Christian is desperate for her to meet his mother. Grace, his mother, is polite and slightly intrigued because Christian has never introduced her to one of his pets before. He’s clearly trying to domesticate Ana so he can keep her. Shucks. A sex-slave is for life, not just for Valentine’s Day.
After Grace leaves, Christian gives Ana a copy of the contract and tells her she has a few days before their next dinner date to read over it and do some research. When he suggests she use the internet, we’re presented with this lovely line of prose:
“Internet! I don’t have access to a computer”.
Hold. Your. FUCKING HORSES!
So a full-time student, living in an upmarket apartment, attends a good university and studies English but HAS NO ACCESS TO THE INTERNET. Is it an Amish uni? Have I jumped the gun and is this book not actually set in the 21st century, thus explaining both Ana and Grey’s overly frustrating behaviour?
I have to go away from the book for a bit.
I’m back. Christian and Ana go out and share a meal (venison and nettle soup, if you were interested. I surely was not) and the same old dialogue is thrown back and forth. Ana is too thin and delicate and beautiful and Grey is too complicated. God, they’re dreary. Why can’t this be a love story about a tattoo artist and someone allergic to tattoos? Why can’t it be about two golden retrievers, one blind and one not who fall in love? Why can’t it be about two NORMAL PEOPLE WITH HANG-UPS AND REAL PERSONALITIES? That is so much sexier in the long-run. I don’t find either of these two dopes attractive, so their sex scenes do nothing for me.
Ana goes home without Grey but with the contract. She lets Kate grill her about her first-time and Kate tells her she was right to wait and Jose calls so that we don’t forget he exists (thanks, author) and Ana gets herself alone in her room to read the contract fully and decided whether or not she’s going to do it.
I still don’t care. Sign it, Ana, just do something. Just make a choice, please. Have some sort of journey.