Friday, August 17, 2012

The Blah And The Grey -- Part 2

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.

Oh yeah, it was all Katherine's fault that you acted like a 13 year old boy trapped in an elevator with a Victoria's Secret model. It's also entirely her fault that you didn't even bother to look at his Wikipedia entry or even glance at the prepared questions before you charged into the guy's office with what would have been the world's biggest boner if ladies got those. Oh, I forgot all about Katherine and the mystery about whether the Nyquil would make her feel better. That was the most exciting thing about chapter one. I'd better keep reading.

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.
First, I have no idea who asked who the sandwich question AND they never explain what sort of sandwiches were eaten. Katherine seems like a roast beef kind of girl while Ana probably had cucumber and olive but, damn it, WE'LL NEVER KNOW! It's things like this that make me think E.L. James isn't a very good writer. The next three pages or so are filled with innocuous details of Ana's life. She studies. She calls her mom and talks about...honestly, I can't remember and I just read it. She calls her favorite step-dad (her mom's been married 82 times, I think) and talks about...I'm guessing English Lit but i don't remember that either. OH WAIT, CARPENTRY! She talked to him about carpentry. I'm not sure why that didn't rate a top spot in my memory but I have it now. Then her friend Jose comes over. The moment he showed up at her door and Ana described him as the first person she met on campus, I wished I could have placed a large wager on whether or not Jose was what every girl in a story like this is required to have, a gay best friend. I'm glad I couldn't though because, so far, he seems to have an unreturned crush on Ana and JESUS FUCKING CHRIST IS ANYTHING GOING TO ACTUALLY HAPPEN? Wasn't this book supposed to be all handcuffs and whips and gross period sex?

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?

Heart failure? Oh dear, she must be reading 50 Shades of Grey. This leads to my favorite passage from the book so far.

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.

Wow, E.L. James really knows how to end a chapter. Just think, in the next chapter, we'll get to see the organization of a photo shoot. They'll probably have to find a photographer on Craigslist and get some lights and fuck all if I know as I have never organized a photo shoot though I'm guessing E.L. James hasn't either. This won't stop her from writing about it, of course. It also won't stop me from writing about it when I do chapter 3 which, at my current rate of cranking these things out, should be sometime in October. I'll try to make it sooner but I make no promises. I'm now going to eat some dark melted chocolate fudge caramel just to hear it speak and, probably, to find out if it screams when I bite into it.


Anonymous said...

Hell that was funny. Keep it up.....err.....I mean keep know!

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If this is Blake Lively, I've already told you it's over. Stop bothering me.

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