Fifty Shades Darker

Chapters Two and Three: If you can’t say “pussy”, get out of the bedroom.

So we ended the first chapter of this “novel” with Ana and Christian reuniting after a break-up that lasted all of four pages.They then attended Jose’s photography show, where he showcased seven gigantic portraits of Ana that he had taken on the sly. Creepy? Yes. On level with Christian Grey? Not even close.

So chapter two begins with Christian “whisking” Ana into an intimate restaurant. The use of the verb “to whisk” makes Christian sound even camper than usual. Ana describes the music playing while they eat and says the singer, “croons in the background about this thing called love”.

Is she slowly becoming every bit as pretentious and cunty as Christian or was she always like that? Regardless, Ana, you know nothing about love. You know about a controlling, one-sided relationship that relies heavily on low self-esteem, narcism and poor life choices.

Ella Fitzgerald never “crooned” a song about that.

Christian then does something that is a deal breaker for me. He orders for Ana when the waiter arrives without asking her. That is enough to tell me that I never want to see said person again. And I’m not saying that purely as someone who has a dangerous number of allergies.

How dare you order her dinner for her, Grey? How fucking dare you; that is so obnoxious, there aren’t even enough words to begin to describe how obnoxious that is. What’s next? Are you going to have them put it in a dog bowl and lay it on the floor for her?

Fuck you.

After this extraordinary show of pomposity, there is about two or three pages of utterly pointless, plotless and repetitive dialogue. The two protagonists have learnt nothing, it seems, as they repeat sentences I could have sworn I’ve read, ohh, a million times before.

The waiter arrives and opens up the wine for them with “an unnecessary flourish”.

Fuck you, Ana, that waiter has probably worked harder in one shift than you ever have in your useless life. Some people have real jobs and can’t just sit around all day fantasising about their abusive ex in a publishing house that hired them, even though they claim to have no email address and seem utterly baffled by computers.

You’re a basic, do-nothing twat.

They eat and discuss banal, first-world things until Christian finally broaches the matter of her being his submissive. She admits that she feels a tad uncomfortable with the punishment aspect of the relationship he wants and then he says something that throws me.

“I’ve wanted you since you fell into me office. You’re exquisite, honest, warm, strong, witty, beguilingly innocent; the list is endless.”

My list describing Anastasia Steele looks a lot different to that one. In fact, she has done nothing in this book or the last to deserve those words.

Witty? Someone who constantly describes themselves as relying on an “inner goddess” is witty? Am I on glue?

Show, don’t tell, E. L James.

They simper and sigh at one another for another three pages before they part ways and Ana returns to her flat which she can somehow afford to rent alone. She discovers upon returning home that Christian has gifted her with an iPad. he has supplied a note explaining how he is incapable of talking about his feelings, so the music on the device will do it for him.

Give me a fucking sedative.

The English language does not do justice to my feeling for you, so here’s some Rihanna.

That was a joke but Ana goes on to say that Christian has downloaded Coldplay, Snow Patrol and Nelly Furtado music.

No Etta James? No Rolling Stones? No Killers? No Paolo Nutini? No Nick Cave? No Jethro Tull? No Adele? No Ryan Adams? You surprise me, Christian.

Of course Christian Grey likes Coldplay.

They exchange some stupid emails and then Ana falls asleep under the illusion that this is all very romantic and not utterly fucking dumb.

Chapter three opens with Ana continuing her email dialogue with Christian, despite the fact that she’s at work. Highly unprofessional? Abso-fucking-loutely. You know, Ana, lots of other graduates, hell, lots of other people who are looking for work would be more than happy to sit in your seat and actually do the work.

A million girls would kill for that job, and you’ve managed to become even more up your own ass than Anne Hathaway’s character from said movie.

Ana’s boss invites her for a drink in the bar across the street after work and, like an idiot, she accepts. Weren’t you just complaining about how inappropriate he is with you, Ana? Were you missing the day that they tell all the girls not to let him take you to the second location? Guess so. Funny, you seem like the kind of girl who watches Oprah instead of the news.

Suddenly, Ana is confronted by a pale woman in a trench coat with greasy hair. She’s your stereotypical crazy, doing nothing to redeem the mentally ill. Thanks for yet another cliche, E. L James. Keep ’em coming.

“What do you have that I don’?” the crazy lady asks Ana.

Nothing, crazy lady. Ana Steele doesn’t have anything special that you lack. Don’t concern yourself.

Clearly we’re supposed to deduce that this is one of Grey’s previous sub missives, who is so traumatised by his attentions that she is now stalking his new partner and saying weird shit that people in real life don’t actually say when they’re ill.

Ana enters the bar and joins her coworkers and starts casually wondering about “ghost girl”.

How fucking sensitive of you, Ana. Really. The depressed and marginalised are lucky to have an ally in you.

After some smalltalk, Ana’s boss says to her, “You’re a bright girl, Ana, you’ll go far.”

So we know for sure he wants to put his dick in her. Such a boldfaced lie, but Ana sucks it up and doesn’t seem to realise she’s a fucking moron.

Then, as if by magic, Christian Grey appears. He kisses Ana and invades her space, forcing himself into a situation he was not told about or invited to.

Is he tracking her phone? Following her with one of those little mirrors you can slip into your book? Is he always three steps behind her with a newspaper that has a tiny, eye-shaped hole?

Is Ana disgusted or concerned by this disgusting and concerning behaviour? No, of course not, she’s utterly thrilled to see him. She has barely enough time to introduce him to her boss before he says, “Come on, baby, time to go.”

Yeah, for you, maybe.

This really is fifty shades darker, the abusive behaviour is textbook at this stage.

Once outside, Grey tells Ana that her boss “wants into her panties” and that he plans to do something about it. Ana acts like a Goddamn fool and then it’s revealed that Christian only went ahead and bought the company that she works for.

You know, because, love.

He says it’s because he “needs her safe” and not because he’s a mental sociopath.

Ladies, if your boss or supervisor is inappropriate with you, take it up with a female colleague or your H.R representative. Don’t have your boyfriend buy out the company.

They go back to Ana’s flat, make out a bit and then get started making dinner. Christian seems out of place doing domestic work and Ana jokingly says, “Have you never chopped a vegetable before?”

He hasn’t.

Isn’t it adorable when a grown man in his late twenties has no idea how to cook or look after himself? Isn’t it utterly charming? Well, of course, he just needs the right girl to do it for him.

Christian gives up on cooking and drags her to the bedroom where they start fooling around. He asks her to tell him what she wants and she blushes and simpers and does all that crap before “pointing to the apex of my thighs”.

Cunt, Anastasia. Just say, “I want you to kiss and/or fuck my pussy.” If you can’t say what you want from sex, you shouldn’t be having sex. If you can’t bring yourself to name the parts of your anatomy involved in fucking, then you shouldn’t be fucking.

If you want to be all prim about it, just say “flower” but SAY SOMETHING!!

The rest of the sex scene is like something a fourteen year-old might write for a sex-ed class. There’s a brief blow job attempt, which Ama passes with flying colours because while she can’t walk without tripping, she’s a born-natural at giving head.

The chapter ends with Grey ejaculating which, as a reader, fills me with a sense of dissatisfied relief, a thought about what to do now and the begging questions, “Is that it??”

Until next time, shaders. xxxx

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