Guys. Your prayers have been answered. Today is the day we put Grey out of its misery.
Grey: Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The last few chapters of Grey have kicked off with Christian having flashbacks leading up to his mother’s death, which represent the loneliness and suffering in his life without Ana or whatever. But you know what it really represents? The insane extent of E L James’s laziness. Because here’s this flashback in Grey:
Mommy is still asleep. Mommy, wake up! She lies still. She is cold. I fetch my blankie and I cover Mommy and I lie down on the sticky green rug beside her. My tummy hurts. It is hungry, but Mommy is still asleep. I have two toy cars. One red. One yellow. My green car is gone. They race by the floor where Mommy is sleeping. I think Mommy is sick.
Mommy is still asleep. Mommy wake up! She lies still. She is cold. I fetch my blankie, and I cover Mommy, and I lie down on the sticky green rug beside her. Mommy is still asleep. I have two toy cars. They race by the floor where Mommy is sleeping. I think Mommy is sick.
That’s it. That is all that is different. This is the “as told by Christian Grey” it took E L James three years to write. The exact same scenes, but with some added details about Christian being hungry and about the color of his toy cars. Except in the original Fifty Shades Freed, “My tummy hurts. It is hungry.” was actually a few sentences before the portion where it is now, so not even that.
This is seriously a book that E L James published and charged money for and got a bazillion people to pay for. I get that the dialogue has to be the same in a parallel novel, but entire passages of prose? I honestly don’t know if it’s better or worse that she even made the slight changes that she did do to this copy/paste job.
Anyway, Christian wakes up from his nightmare and reminds us that this is all Ana’s fault somehow.
I used to have my nightmares under control. Maybe one every couple of weeks, but nothing like this— night after night.
Since she left.
E L James continues her copy/paste job of a novel by having Christian recap the plot for us, as he has been doing during the duration of the plot:
“Have you thought about trying a relationship her way?”
She wants hearts and flowers. Can I give her that?
I DUNNO, MAN. You’ve only spent the whole fucking book asking yourself! You make a “hearts and flowers” jab ten times over the course of this book! You can’t write a book by only ever talking about what the book’s about!
Although speaking of “what the book’s about”, it gets way sadder when E L James tries to convince us at the eleventh hour that Ana has actually had a real emotional impact on Christian “Can I give her that?” Grey:
I frown, trying to recall the romantic moments in my life… And there’s nothing… except with Ana. The “more.” The gliding, and IHOP, and taking her up in Charlie Tango.
If you’re listing the reasons why you and someone else had something meaningful and by your second example you’re stuck with fucking IHOP, there is not a jury in the world that would think this was a meaningful relationship.
Maybe I can do this. [I repeat] the mantra in my head: She’s mine. She’s mine.
Whereas a jury would think this man is 100% going to murder said woman.
Christian wakes up early in the morning “to check on Ana” and goes on a run to her apartment, where he “keep[s] a silent vigil from my stalker’s hide, staring up at the windows and thinking”. Later on, “In the back on my Audi, I plot”. Jesus Christ, you guys, I’ve seen episodes of Law & Order: SVU that have had happier endings than this.
E L James writes a short dialogue between Christian and Mrs. Jones where she flips out because Christian ate a goddamn croissant, and Christian perplexedly wonders “If it makes her that happy, I should have them more often.” Whoop de motherfucking do, E L James. You wrote a bullshit comic relief scene that actually demonstrated that Christian is more willing to eat a croissant to make someone happy for utterly bullshit reasons than he is to leave a woman alone because she repeatedly, explicitly asked him to. HAHAHAHA.
That day at work, Christian’s secretary reminds him that he has Jose’s event that he and Ana had planned to go to tomorrow. He suddenly realizes that “the photographer!” is “my in!”. He emails Ana about scheduling plans to go together, and freaks out when she hasn’t responded in a whole four minutes! That’s love, you guys. If your beloved takes longer than four minutes to email you back, I’m sorry, but that love is bullshit. Eventually they organize plans to go together, deftly avoiding any conversation about how awkward things are between the two of them.
Much more importantly, this bullshit happens:
Olivia sets a plate down on my desk.
“Your sandwich, Mr. Grey.”
“Chicken and mayonnaise?”
I stare at her. She just doesn’t get it.
Olivia offers an inept apology.
“I said chicken with mayonnaise, Olivia. It’s not that hard.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Grey.”
“It’s fine. Just go.”
She looks relieved but scrambles to leave the room.
I buzz Andrea. […] “Get rid of that girl.”
This is seriously a subplot that was added to add some content to Grey: Christian has an annoying assistant, he thinks about having her transferred throughout the entire book, and then he does when one day she brings him the wrong sandwich. That’s it. That’s seriously the whole thing.
To clarify, he does not fire her. But the book doesn’t specify that that’s what “get rid of her” meant for a good six pages, so I spent a solid five minutes thinking this book actually ended with Christian Grey firing someone for bringing him the wrong sandwich.
Also notable is that Andrea protests that “Olivia is Senator Blandino’s daughter”. Close enough, you guys. I’m calling it. Ariel and I have willed an honest-to-god, canonical Blando into one of these books.
But back to Christian’s success that Ana has agreed to go with him to Jose’s event. Here’s E L James trying desperately to write her most flowery prose:
My campaign to win her back is under way. I feel elated; the small blossom of hope is now a Japanese flowering cherry.
Get it? Cuz there’s a flowe- look I want this book to be over just as badly as you do.
Christian – who is totally not interfering with Ana’s professional life, good heavens, he would never do such a thing – asks his HR department to pull information on Ana’s new boss, Jack Hyde. This affords us an opportunity to 1) remember that “Jack Hyde” is the actual fucking name of the villain in this series, and 2) for Ros, arguably the most significant new character introduced in Grey, to still never do anything than complain to Christian Grey about what a bad businessman he’s being, but then just sigh and be fairly content with it.
“I want everything they have on Jack Hyde, and anyone who’s worked for him.”
“Can I ask why?”
“No.” She’s silent for a moment.
“Christian, I don’t know what’s got into you recently.”
“Ros, just do it, okay?”
She sighs. “Okay. Now can we have our meeting about the Taiwan shipyard proposal?”
There is one new character that has been introduced to the story in Grey. Her role is apparently to dish out shit at Christian Grey, which he will be completely unfazed by. I feel like there’s a very unsubtle metaphor in there.
After work, Christian moves onto phase 2 of his plan:
emotionally manipulate the shit out of Ana buy Ana an iPad.
I’m going to buy Ana an iPad. Leaning back in my seat, I close my eyes and contemplate which apps and songs I’m going to download and install for her.
Jesus Christ, how many pages are left of this book?
Christian gets “Anastasia – this is for you. I know what you want to hear. This music on here says it for me. Christian” engraved on the iPad, because I know when I have a $400 electronic device I’m likely to use on a daily basis, I want it permanently engraved with a lengthy reminder of a time I got into a fight with someone for three days.
Do I dare to hope?
Damn it. Yes, I do.
This is undoubtedly at the bottom of the list of questions I had about this story.
Grey: Thursday, June 9, 2011
The book ends with a short chapter composed mostly of a dream sequence. First it’s a flashback to when child Christian met his adoptive family, then to when he first discovered the piano (and explicitly says “I like the noise”, because why not end by contradicting earlier statements that he only learned piano to please his adoptive parents). He gets a lesson from his piano teacher, who by the end of the dream has turned into Ana. They say that they love each other. It is unclear whether he is still a child at this point in the flashback.
He wakes up, declares “Today, I win her back”, and that’s it! Guess we have to wait for E L James to repackage the other two books before we know how this story ends again!