It happens every few years. Some godawful book comes along that represents the worst not only in literature but in humanity itself. They have titles like Jaws (great movie but the book sucked), Bridges of Madison County, and Twilight. Now, of course, we have a book that is a piece of something that cannot be accurately labeled as "shit" because shit at least serves a useful purpose to society as crop fertilizer. That book, of course, is 50 Shades of Grey. If you remember from June, I posted my examination of the book's first chapter and it became the most viewed post in this blog's history, thanks mainly to traffic from a Reddit link. You'd think I would have pounced on the rest of the book but my God this is an awful book although the chapter I reviewed mostly took place in an office and I've been informed that I am shallow and hate stuff like that. How bad is the book? I had originally intended this introduction to be just a few words and look how long it's getting. I'm tempted to just go on and on talking about nothing until either a comet hits the Earth or the North Koreans invade, something Hollywood assures me is perfectly plausible. Oh well, the sooner I start, the sooner I'm finished. Still, it's an awfully nice day out. Maybe I should go kayaking. I've never been kayaking but this seems like an excellent day to start. Oh, fuck it. Here is chapter 2 of 50 Shades of Grey.
When we last left Anastasia Steele (you're really going with that name, E.L. James? Just checking), she had just left the offices rich, dreamy jag-off Christian Grey. In her first person narration, she says, "No man has ever affected me the way Christian Grey has, and I cannot fathom why. Is it his looks? His civility? Wealth? Power?" Oh golly Ana, do you think those things may have had something to do with it? No, that couldn't have been it. Maybe the autographed picture of Christian with Garrison Keillor or his alarm clock with a cute little puppy that barks every hour are what made your panties wetter than you ever thought possible. She reminds herself that he's also arrogant, autocratic and cold which makes them opposites and thus, a hit sitcom relationship is born.
AND SHE'S FEELING BETTER! YAY! Although no Nyquil is mentioned and Ana asks if she ate her soup. What the fuck? Soup? Nyquil knocks out her cold and soup gets all the credit? I expected numerous follow-up questions about Katherine and some sort of closure to the whole Nyquil/soup controversy but all they did was talk about Christian Grey while Ana chewed Katherine out for not explaining what was in the prepared questions she could have easily read herself. Ana went to her job at a hardware store, something I could have left out since absolutely nothing happened. Oh, we did discover that, after four years of working there, Ana knows everything about hardware except how to actually use it.
I'm fully expecting her to describe her four years studying English Lit the same way. Like, she knows a lot about English Lit but can't do any actual English Lit-ing or whatever the hell it is English Lit majors do when they graduate. Anyway, Ana is bound and determined to put the subject of Christian Grey behind her which, I guess, is why we got four more paragraphs of her talking about Christian Grey before she got home to talk some more about Christian Grey with Katherine for another four pages or so. It's basically a retread of the "He's so handsome-arrogant-fascinating-controlling" crap we've been hearing about for the last, what, 8 chapters? 9? Oh crap, that's right. This is only chapter two. Ana basically comes off as someone who has never actually met a man before like that chick from Species or Wonder Woman before she left Amazon Island. The whole conversation culminates in an exchange that made me mad.
Oh wait, I spoke too soon. She's back in the hardware store. Yay? I really did speak too soon. I went back to reading and who do you think just happened to show up at the hardware store?
So, there you go. Christian Grey's voice sounds like either dark melted fudge caramel OR it sounds like something. I've never taken enough drugs to know what dark melted fudge caramel sounds like when it speaks but I imagine it sounds something like this. That doesn't turn me on but I'm not a 22 year old girl. For all I know, they hear that and immediately start ovulating.
Anyway, Ana and Mr. Chocolate Voice go through several pages of banal flirting over hardware supplies. Everything he wants is treated as a come-on and double entendre. It looks like...well, it looks like this.
Yes, I agree, STOP TALKING NOW. This reminds me that reading the Communist Manifesto would probably be more entertaining than this book. The Communist Manifesto must be a really horrible book too, right? I've never read the Communist Manifesto but I have heard the horrible things said by Communist wrestlers over the years and, if it's anything like that, it must be pretty bad.
Moving on, Christian agrees to do a photo shoot for that bullshit student newspaper article Ana's friend is writing. As Christian is purchasing his goods, Ana is saved from involuntarily yelling, "VIOLATE MY EVERY ORIFICE," by the arrival of Paul Clayton, brother of the guy who owns the hardware store and, seemingly, yet another potential suitor for Ana which, I believe, now means that every man, including me, is madly in love with Ana. It also makes this book an even more blatant ripoff of Twilight. Let's wrap this shit up.
dark melted chocolate fudge caramel just to hear it speak and, probably, to find out if it screams when I bite into it.