Sunday, 29 July 2012

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Seventeen

Ana wakes to find Christian ‘wrapped around [me] like a victory flag’. Let me just tell you, Ana, that there is nothing victorious about this situation for you.

Christian wakes up soon after; she can feel his erection digging into her hip and says, “I flush, but then I feel seven shades of scarlet from his heat.”

Grammar lesson: using ‘but’ in a sentence suggests two contradictory ideas. “I like dogs but I hate cats.” “I love to read but this book makes me want to eat my own brain.” This sentence makes no sense; it’s like she’s saying, “I love chocolate, but I love chocolate cake.”

They exchange pillow talk; Ana asks Christian whether he slept well in her bed. Christian ‘raises his eyebrows in confused surprise’. I typed ‘raised eyebrows confused surprise’ into Google Images and this is what came up:


Christian realises the time and leaps out of bed because he’s late for a meeting. “Sunday,” he says, and the word is ‘pregnant with an unspoken promise’. This is just personal preference but I can’t take it seriously when someone says that a word is ‘pregnant’ with something – especially in this context. Christian leaves, and Ana is pleased with herself for convincing Christian to stay the night with her a whole three times. I sincerely hope she doesn’t actually believe she has any control in this relationship. 

“I grin slowly and climb out of bed. I feel more optimistic than I have for the last day or so.” She hasn’t felt optimistic for a whole day (or so). Your life is so hard, Ana.

Ana emails Christian, saying that she felt debased but she liked it - and she feels guilty for liking it. Christian replies saying that’s completely normal. He tells her to ‘free [her] mind and listen to [her] body’, to which Ana replies that if she listened to her body, she’d be in Alaska right about now. In his next email, Christian says: “Alaska is very cold and no place to run. I would find you.” Um…

It’s Ana’s last day at Clayton’s today – remember Clayton’s? The hardware store she works at, where Christian bought his My First Murderer’s Kit. While she’s on her lunch, she’s summoned to the office by her boss, where a courier has brought her a Blackberry. This novel has more product placement than the Olympics.

Christian has sent her an email, which she reads from her Blackberry, saying that he needs to be able to contact her at all times. Why? It’s nice that he bought her a phone, I guess, but this is just another creepy way for him to track her and trample what was left of her already dubious independence.

At the end of her shift at Clayton’s, her bosses present her with three hundred dollars. I don’t really know why. Maybe they’re paying her off to make sure she never bothers them again? That’s what I’d do.

When she gets home from her shift, Taylor (Christian’s bodyguard, in case you’ve forgotten. The secondary characters in this novel are so forgettable) shows up to collect Ana’s Beetle and take it away for her. Then Jose (Jacob) shows up with Chinese take-out and beers. “We fondly and loudly reminisce as the beer takes effect. It’s been a good four years.” Sorry for bringing this up again but you were a virgin, who only drank virgin cocktails, until two weeks ago, and over the entire four years at college you seem to have made a grand total of two friends and stayed in your apartment reading the same five ‘classic British novels’ over and over. Sounds like you had a blast.

Elliot (can’t remember who this is) shows up and starts kissing Kate (so he’s Kate’s boyfriend), so Ana and Jose head down to a bar to give them some privacy. Ana says that she feels ‘uncomfortable with the unrestrained sexing unfolding’ in front of her, which bodes well for a woman on the edge of signing a contract which will make her a sexual submissive. Also, don’t get me started on the use of the phrase ‘unrestrained sexing’ in one of the world’s best-selling novels.

Again, the author can’t be bothered fleshing out the novel with conversations that don’t include Christian, so we don’t find out what happens at the bar between Ana and Jose. Move along, no character development to see here.

They head back to the apartment a little while later. They hug, and then Jose leaves. Ana checks her MacBook and finds an email from Christian saying the following: “Are you still at work or have you packed your phone, Blackberry and MacBook? Call me, or I may be forced to call Elliot.” Yep, correct. Christian has flipped his lid once more because Ana hasn’t responded to an email. Her phone has five missed calls and a voice message, in which Christian tells Ana that he is not a patient man (that much was evident). This isn’t even borderline madness, it’s absolutely fucking batshit mental and it needs to be curtailed immediately. But, of course, it won’t be.

Ana calls him immediately. Christian says he was worried about her. Bullshit. Ana doesn’t care that he’s literally policing her life; she asks him about his day and says she ‘[wants] his proximity’ and to be able to soothe him. Then – I’m not even joking but, lord above, I wish I was – they do this: “You hang up!” “No, you hang up!” “No, you hang up!” Christ alive. This book makes me want to hang up on life.

The next day (after one of them eventually does hang up), Ana and Kate move into their new apartment, all paid for by Kate’s dad. How convenient. “We both love that we will be in the heart of the city,” says Ana. Because they’re such hip party girls with busy social calendars and so much to do (Ana, at this point, is unemployed and her ‘boyfriend’ wants to keep her under lock and key three days a week).

A man delivers flowers and champagne (Bollinger. That good old Bolly that they love so much) addressed to Ana and Kate. The delivery man is bewitched by Kate, who is described as having her hair ‘piled high with escaping tendrils’:

Don't pretend you didn't do this in the 90's. Also – ‘bewitched’ by Kate. See what I did there? ;)

Christian has sent the flowers (obviously. Did you think it would be from someone normal like their parents or something? Pur-lease) and there’s a helicopter balloon attached for extra cheese.

The next day is Sunday; the day of reckoning. She drives to Christian’s at around 1pm and stands in the lift, checking herself out in her plum dress. I should note that every single time she has mentioned this plum dress, she has felt the need to backtrack and establish that it’s actually Kate’s dress. I couldn’t give a shit whether it was the Queen’s dress; once you’ve told us once that the plum dress belongs to Kate, we, as readers, will probably remember this fact.

The lift arrives at Christian’s penthouse and Taylor is there to greet her. “Good afternoon, Miss Steele,” he says. “Oh please call me, Ana,” she replies. Another textbook example of great punctuation at work from E. L. James. It sounds like she’s telling someone called Ana to call her, when really she should be telling someone not called Ana that it’s okay to call her Ana. With me?

Ana goes into the apartment and Christian is sat reading the Sunday papers. Christian rises and ‘strolls towards [Ana], an amused appraising smile’ on his lips, before ‘[proffering] a gentle light kiss on the lips’. Oh, so we’re just forsaking the use of commas altogether now? Okay, cool. Breakin’ all the rules.

Christian tells Ana that the doctor will be here soon, so she should get something to eat. Christian also mentions that his parents are having dinner that evening and he’d like her to join them. He says he’s never introduced anyone to his family before. Then the doctor comes and puts an end to that conversation before it even really got started. “Ready for some contraception?” asks Christian, like some sort of warped game show host. “Fitted diaphragm? Come on down!” Christian also says that he’d pay good money to watch Ana’s appointment with the gynaecologist. What a totally normal thing to say.

Chapter orgasm count: none yet, but thousands surely imminent.
Chapter alcohol units: beer with Jose, more Bollinger out of teacups.



  1. I bet there was more alcohol involved at the bar with Jose but we will never know. The book is so boring that I was actually interested in that part. Jose probably would have ordered a cerveza, or tequila, because you know: he's hispanic...

    This blog is brillian!!

  2. How did this get published?? Totally agree with you. I mean, I can understand the book doing well due to the sheer stupidity of the people writing reviews about it on Amazon, what I cannot understand is the role of the editor (if there was any) in the making of this "book". Loving the blog.