Fifty Shades Annotated

So, the helpful lady who loaned me her copy of Fifty Shades Darker (because I’m buggered if I’m paying for Twilight fanfiction I could get for nothing) needs her book back, which means I won’t have it on hand to refer to when writing Fifty Shades Fatter.

I could go and trawl the charity shops for a copy but that would mean having it hanging around on my bookshelves and quite frankly that would make me feel dirty, and not in a good way. So I’m going to have to make notes on the manuscript and I thought since the internet is a sick, sick place you can all have a good laugh as I attempt to summarise the literary equivalent of Two Girls One Cup. Can I get through this without losing my fucking mind? Well, let’s see.

Hey, ho – let’s go, as that nice Mr. Ramone used to say.

Ooo. This one has a Prologue. Fancy.

So the prologue is basically Chedward Grullen having a nightmare about the bad man who used to hit Mommy and it’s kind of like Room only even more unnecessary and written with an even less convincing baby voice. Chedward wakes up to realise his demons are back – you can tell this because he thinks What the fuck? They’re back.

This is a grim foretaste of what’s to come. He’s FUCKED UP! IT’S COMPLICATED! OH MY GOD, HE’S SO INTERESTINGLY AND COMPLICATEDLY FUCKED UP I AM SO FUCKING WET RIGHT NOW.

If this kind of thing is likely to get on your nerves, click your back button now. I wish I could do the same.

Ugh.

Chapter One

Ana is miserable – I know, what’s new? She has a ‘hole’ in her chest since she broke up with Dickfacehead, because he’s magical and the only man in the world and she’s Bella from Twilight. Someone has given her a job in publishing even though she’s incapable of constructing a sentence (actually rings true) and her new boss Jack Hyde keeps smiling at her, which makes her even more unhappy because she’s still Bella from Twilight and we all know how much notorious vinegar-tits Bella hated random acts of kindness.

Kate is in Barbados. Jose has a photography show. Dickfacehead sends Ana roses, e-mails her, offers to pick her up and take her to the photography show and she agrees because the alternative is sitting in front of a brick wall staring at her thumbs. It’s kind of apt that neither of these fucking morons understand the phrase ‘I don’t think we should see one another any more’ or understand any aspect of breaking up with someone beyond the annoying moping; after all, this book was written by a woman who doesn’t seem to understand that words mean things.

“Torturous memories flash through my mind – the gliding, holding hands, kissing, the bathtub, his gentleness, his humor and his dark, brooding, sexy stare.”

Ana is clearly remembering a different man to the one in Fifty Shades of Grey – you know, the asshole with no sense of humour whose ‘gentleness’ extended to bawling her out when she forgot the safeword.

“I miss him. It’s been five days, five days of agony that has felt like an eternity. I cry myself to sleep at night, wishing I hadn’t walked out, wishing that he could be different, wishing that we were together. How long will this hideous, overwhelming feeling last? I am in purgatory.”

Yep. It’s not going to get any better, folks. Ana decides that she is in love with Dickfacehead and then starts puzzling over why he is like he is – is it because he had a terrible childhood and his mother was a crackwhore? Probably. If only she could fix him with the power of love.

Ana steals Kate’s dress and boots to go to the gallery, generously bequeathing her veruca in the process. Ana is awful.

Dickfacehead is also awful. First thing he does is interrogate her about her diet and she stares at her fingers and whines. They get into the helicopter. It doesn’t crash; a little part of me dies inside.

Blah blah, did we mention he was handsome and had a helicopter in the last book? Oh, only five hundred times, well, let’s recap. He says that just because they broke up doesn’t mean he can’t take her out to dinner.

YES IT DOES, DICKFACEHEAD. THAT IS WHAT BREAKING UP WITH SOMEONE MEANS.

They go to Jose’s art show – Ana thinks catty thoughts about every other woman in the room, as usual, then throws her arms around Jose and flirts with him to make Dickfacehead jealous. Remind me why we’re supposed to like any of these characters?

Jose’s a creeper and has taken a bunch of candid pictures of Ana in various moods. Must be a boring set of pictures because she has about two settings –  Default Self-Loathing or Horny.

She switches to Horny when Dickfacehead kisses her.

“He breaks off the kiss, panting. His eyes are luminous with desire, firing the already heated blood that is pounding through my body. My mouth is slack as I try to drag precious air into my lungs.

‘You. Are. Mine,” he snarls, emphasising each word. He pushes away from me and bends, hands on his knees as if he’s run a marathon. ‘For the love of God, Ana.’”

The movies of these books are going to be fucking hilarious – just saying.

Chapter Two

Dickfacehead and Placeholder go to a restaurant. Dickfacehead orders steak and chips twice, clearly taking a page out of my parents’ book about what constituted fine dining back in 1979. (Prawn cocktail, steak and chips and a Black Forest gateau. And a bottle of Blue Nun – class.)

He is also spectacularly rude to the waiter. I’m willing to bet that Dickfacehead has probably eaten a fair amount of strangers’ bodily fluids over the years, since he appears to have forgotten the fundamental rule that you should never be rude to the person who is preparing your dinner.

Ana has also forgotten the other fundamental rule – never fuck people who are rude to receptionists, waiters or the staff at the drive-through; they don’t deserve it.

They moo at one another about missing one another and wanting to get back together and I have the cast of Monty Python and the Holy Grail yelling GET ON WITH IT in my head. Of course they get back together. It’s only chapter two.

And he threatens to hit her, and not in a sexy way. “So help me God, Anastasia, if you don’t eat I will take you across my knee here in this restaurant and it will have nothing to do with my sexual gratification.” 

Now I really hope the chef jizzed in his bearnaise sauce.

Blah blah car, music. Oh fucking hell – E.L. James has now gone and smeared her foul kipper scented fingers all over Giacomo Puccini. STOP LIKING GOOD THINGS – THEY’RE NOT FOR YOU.

In a stunning twist that nobody saw coming, Dickfacehead and Ana get back together.

“But I’m a selfish man. I’ve wanted you since you fell into my office. You are exquisite, honest, warm, strong, witty, beguilingly innocent; the list is endless. I’m in awe of you. I want you, and the thought of anyone else having you is like a knife twisting in my dark soul.”

Of course, anyone who was any of the above would be either laughing or retching at this little speech, but because Ana is a thieving, weak-willed narcissist who could lose a battle of wits with an ice-cream scoop, she’s bowled over. Immediately she sets to unravelling his cardboard psyche by asking him about his mother. Apparently Dickfacehead was stuck in a room with his mother’s corpse for four days. Also the author is a fan of Dexter.

Oh, and he’s bought her an iPad. Ana is over her dislike of expensive gifts but is categorically, one hundred per cent, absolutely, definitely NOT a gold-digger. Got that? Good.

Ugh. Of course Dickfacehead likes Coldplay. Still, I shouldn’t complain. Better that greasy fans of this book get their jollies to ‘content providers’ like Coldplay than real music. These things are for you – carry on, shitlords.

Oh God no they’re e-mailing again – already. Oh fucking hell.

Oh – phew. It was only a brief exchange. Nothing of interest transpired in that e-mail exchange, you’ll be pleased to know, nothing besides the fact that it’s June 10th. This will become important later on.

Chapter Three

Ana’s boss Jack tells Ana she looks ‘radiant’ and Ana thinks he’s being inappropriate. He is, of course, being inappropriate BECAUSE E.L. IS DOING FORESHADOWING LIKE A BIG GIRL WRITER LOOK EVERYONE.

“ ‘Can you read these for me and have reports on them by lunchtime, please?’ He hands me four manuscripts. At my horrified expression he adds ‘Just first chapters’.”

How has she worked for this guy for nearly a week and still doesn’t understand how slush reading works? Well, we’re about to find out. Jack Hyde has to be an aspiring rapist because otherwise he’ll just look like a put-upon boss, and Ana is not exactly employee of the month. The first thing she does when she reaches her desk is start e-mailing her boyfriend.

She has a pastrami sandwich for lunch. I’m sure you needed to know this. I did. Fucking riveting stuff. In a sane world this is the kind of thing that gets shitcanned after a cursory glance by the slush reader.

Ana smugs it up talking about Dickfacehead’s eclectic taste in music.

“I wander back listening to a classical piece, Fantasia on a Theme By Thomas Tallis, by Ralph Vaughn Williams. Oh, Fifty has a sense of humour and I love him for it.”

He doesn’t, and I hate him for it. I loathe how E.L. is constantly smacking us over the head with how ~cultured~ Dickfacehead is. Not that I even like Vaughn Williams, but ugh – just ugh.

Oh, and after lunch she e-mails her boyfriend some more! She e-mails him to say she is bored and twiddling her thumbs! Couldn’t you just shit with excitement? He e-mails back to say he could think of something else to do with her thumbs and that he’s ‘doing the usual humdrum mergers and acquisitions.’ For a highly driven workaholic he doesn’t do much…you know…work. He also says her e-mails are being monitored. This is probably a plot point but who gives a fuck even at this early stage?

And there’s a girl – standing outside the office. She is definitely a plot point. This is Leila, aka Golumette, a former sub of Dickfacehead. She’s there to add drama and indicate what happens to a woman when her vagina is no longer being graced by the magic, life-giving, sanity bestowing presence of Dickfacehead’s cock.

Jack says Ana is very bright and will go far, so he almost definitely wants to pork her because Ana is a workshy dumbass who can’t even find something interesting to say about the slush pile. Dickfacehead is an asshole to Jack, and it turns out that Dickfacehead is Jack’s new boss, and Ana’s – Dickfacehead has bought the publishing company.

Ana is angry. “‘I mean, what kind of responsible business executive makes decisions based on who he is currently fucking?’” 

Stopped clock, blah blah. (And in answer to Ana’s question – ‘One in a poorly written book.’)

She’s really angry, you guys. So angry that she sulks all the way home. But when they get home she figures it’s probably okay because some kind of tripswitch has gone off in her weird little mind and it’s Fuck O’Clock. Then he tries to get her to eat and she makes a hilarious joke about not being hungry…for food. This was an old joke back when Voltaire used it in Candide but I doubt E.L. James has read Candide – if she had it would have been co-opted as another prop for Ana’s towering intellect.

Although to be fair nobody has mentioned Tess of The D’Urbervilles yet. Which is nice.

And blah blah blah. A large portion of this book, like the first, is taken up with these joyless, charmless shitbirds negotiating what they can and can’t do to one another in bed. He can’t be touched in certain places, and I couldn’t give a single partially liquid shit. Then it turns out they haven’t got groceries and so they go to the supermarket for a paragraph and Prince Fuckpants turns up his refined nose at the wines because they don’t have Chateau Yquem 1953. This is supposed to be part of some ‘delayed gratification’ scenario but we all know it will end in someone ‘shattering’ or ‘exploding’ like every other time they’ve bumped uglies.

Also it totally doesn’t matter that he bought out the company where she works. Then they cook dinner together and I want to tattoo the words KILL YOUR DARLINGS on the inside of E.L. James’ eyelids. I am so fucking bored already.

“…I explode, magnificently, mind-numbingly, into a million pieces around him, and he follows, calling out my name.”

Called it.

Chapter Four

The only thing worse than Dickfacehead and Ana sharing dull conversation about their various unconvincing issues is Dickfacehead and Ana sharing what the author probably refers to as ‘witty banter’.

“Thank you for the iPad.”

“You are most welcome, Anastasia.”

“What’s your favourite song on there?”

“Now, that would be telling.” He grins. “Come cook me some food, wench. I’m famished,” he adds, sitting up suddenly and dragging me with him.

“Wench?” I giggle.

“Wench. Food, now, please.”

“Since you ask so nicely, sire, I’ll get right on it.”

Seeeeeee? Isn’t it precious? If he talks old-fashioned like in Shakespeare and other ‘Classic British novels’ then it doesn’t matter that he’s basically saying “Get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich, bitch.”

They eat food (This is exciting, isn’t it?) and then Ana’s sex timer goes off again and it’s FUCK O’CLOCK, only this time they decide to get freaky with a tub of vanilla ice-cream because he agreed to try a ‘vanilla’ relationship and it’s a joke you guys oh my God he’s so fucking witty I think I just shit my panties.

“Desire, dark, sleek, and wanton runs hot through my veins. We’re going to have fun, with food.”

Really? In that case I’ll have the wanton soup and an overgenerous helping of commas.

He ties her to bed, slathers ice-cream on her tits and cooch and probably gives her a yeast infection. Good. Then they indulge in some post-coital chit-chat about how great they both are and he invites her to a charity ball. Then they go to sleep and wake up when Ana has one of those helpful revelatory dreams she’s prone to whenever the plot starts sagging. In the dream she saw herself switched places with Golumette. Apparently Golumette attempted suicide in book one, while Dickfacehead was stalking Ana in Georgia.

Then they go back to sleep again and wake up in bed because we have to document their every single movement, except when they do their wee-wees and their poo-poos because the yummy bookclub mummies can’t masturbate to that. Dickfacehead makes several expositionary phone calls about Golumette and then sets Ana up with his personal trainer, which is presumably his way of telling her she’s a skinny-fat hooker. I say hooker because he’s dumped over twenty grand in her bank account overnight but they fuck again and she’s over it because he’s pretty and he makes her woo-woo tickle.

ALSO SHE IS TOTALLY NOT A GOLDDIGGER NUH UH.

Then she wants to get her hair cut. I don’t know about you, but this rivals the pastrami sandwich lunch revelation in terms of excitement. Ana also thinks that she needs ‘to buy some floaty skirts for work’, presumably so she can look bohemian and literary even though she still doesn’t understand Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Every time I think I can’t hate this girl more she goes and ups the ante.

The beauty salon has a BLONDE on reception and as we all know, when Ana sees a blonde she reacts like a cat menaced with the ironing spray. Even worse, the whore-faced flaxen-haired slagbitch has the barefaced blonde whore nerve to bat her skanky blonde eyelashes at Dickfacehead.

She is also wearing ‘very pink lipstick’. That fucking slut.

She then asks Dickfacehead if Ana is in for ‘the usual.’ Yes, Dickfacehead owns the salon and used to bring all his previous subs here to have their minge-hair torn out to his specifications. Isn’t he delightful?

Oh my God – there’s another fucking blonde in the room. She’s beautiful, and she’s touching him. Ana is about to flip her shit and so am I, because for the first time ever E.L. James finishes a chapter with an interesting cliffhanger – it’s Mrs. Robinson.

Chapter Five

Mrs. Robinson’s real name is Mrs. Elena Lincoln. She is the glamorous child-molester who introduce Dickfacehead to badly-researched BDSM when he was just fifteen and for once Ana’s instincts are spot on. She wants to leave and Dickfacehead thinks it’s because of the paedophile in the room, although it’s also because she doesn’t particularly like the idea of getting her hair cut where he used to bring his previous identikit girlfriends to have their pubic hair removed.

Dickfacehead admits that it’s fucked up and then his phone rings and he’s like ‘Killed in a car-crash?’ by way of exposition. Golumette’s boyfriend was killed in a car-crash and Golumette has since gone mental and is now stalking Dickfacehead. This is basically Christmas for Dickfacehead because he can now control Ana’s every move in the interests of keeping her ‘safe’. Also because he’s Edward Cullen.

Ana makes a list of terrible things about Dickfacehead, including the fact that he knows her bank account number. That right there would be grounds for bye-byes on its fucking own, but there’s also the fact that he not only threatens to drag her places by her hair but also insists she go to the beauty salon he’s been using for many years as his own private Fuckateria.

But she’s a moron and we’re only on chapter five, so there’s a whole lot more of this ridiculousness to come.

Golumette has obtained a concealed weapon’s permit and now probably has a gun, so it’s time for security overdrive and so Ana has to go to Dickfacehead’s apartment. Luckily there’s already some clothes there for her, including a $3000 evening gown and cocktail dresses. Who the fuck wears cocktail dresses? Also she wonders why Golumette was a pale skinned brunette like her, and why all his other subs were brunettes. Could it be a plot point? Who the fuck knows? And who fucking cares?

Dickfacehead allows a man to come and cut her hair because said man is a hairdresser and therefore gay. There has never been a heterosexual male hairdresser in the history of forever. Same goes for florists. And ballet dancers.

Oh, and Dickfacehead has a filing cabinet full of information about his ex-girlfriends. He also has a file on Ana, including a copy of her birth certificate, her social security number and her employment records.

So.

Yeah.

She says it’s not fair that he knows all these things when she doesn’t even know how much money he makes and doesn’t need to know.

And then he says this. “I know. That’s one of the things I love about you.”

AND OH MY GOD HE FUCKING LOVES ME HE SAID HE LOVES ME YOU GUYS.

Totally no longer matters that he’s a whackjob with more issues than National Geographic. No sirree. The fact that he’s controlling, intrusive, a stalker, a kidnapper, arguably a rapist and above all a real fucking asshole all pale into insignificance.

Because he said the L word.

Urgh. Onwards.

Then she makes him an omelette and they talk about absolutely nothing for a bit. Ana goes to pick out one of the $3000 evening dresses because now that they’re in love she can accept his expensive gifts. And also it doesn’t matter that he has a dossier on her. Totally not a gold-digger though.

She also starts researching mental illnesses on the internet because everyone knows that the best person to fix deep-rooted upfuckness is a half-bright English major with a Google habit. Also no psychiatric professional with years of training and experience stands half a chance against the powers of a romance novel heroine with a standard issue Healing Vagina TM.

Then she draws on him with lipstick in a way that I think is supposed to be sexy, delineating the areas where he is comfortable being touched. He has scars and she’s moved to tears, because she’s an asshole who thinks people are puzzles to be solved to reinforce her self-worth.

And ding ding ding…it’s FUCK O’CLOCK.

She goes on top and he bitches about having to use condoms.

“I hate these things. I’ve a good mind to call Dr. Greene to come around and give you a shot.”

Hey, that’s a great idea Dickfacehead. Why don’t you get her microchipped while you’re at it?

Then she has a shower. “What a delicious way to spend a Saturday afternoon.” 

Yep. It’s Saturday afternoon. Saturday June 11th. Remember when it was June 10th? No, neither do I, because it feels like about forty years ago. It also serves to demonstrate how mindbuggeringly shallow these people are, because they’ve been back together for just over twenty four hours and are already exchanging I love yous. And they’re not even drunk. Also bear in mind that the whole ‘epic romance’ that played out in Fifty Shades of Grey lasted about a month in real time. These idiots barely know one another.

Then she gets dressed in $540 lingerie and $3295 shoes, but she is absolutely, categorically, definitely not a gold digger and she would totally feel the same way about him if he wasn’t rich and handsome.

And then he sticks some ben-wa balls up her hooey and then gives her a present – a pair of earrings.

“Inside shines a pair of drop earrings. Each has four diamonds, one at the base, then a gap, then three perfectly spaced diamonds hanging one after the other. They’re beautiful, simple and classic. What I would choose myself, if I were ever given the opportunity to shop at Cartier.”

Nothing says simple and classic like four Cartier rocks hanging off each ear.

Oh my God, is this chapter still not over yet?

Remember that masked ball he invited her to, sometime back in the last Ice Age? Yeah, well – they’re going to that. Oh, and there’s a library in his apartment – with a billard table and a Tiffany lamp. We’ve never heard of this before. Do you have an explanation for this, Dickfacehead?

“…The apartment is quite spacious. I realised today, when you mentioned exploring, that I’ve never given you a tour…”

Spacious? If it sprouts any more rooms between books I’ll start picturing an old fashioned police box.

Oh my sweet merry fuck – they can’t even have a section break and get to the party. No, there has to be a scene of them in the back of the car and they have to arrive. They finally meet up with Mia/Alice, who introduces Ana to some friends who turn cunty as soon as they see that Dickfacehead is taken. This is because women cannot have friendships with other women because we are in constant competition for the most desirable men. Honest. Also this book is feminist because it makes women touch themselves. So there.

Dickfacehead’s awful family fawn over Ana. Ana has a bad attack of the Bellas and whines up a storm because Grandma Dickfacehead is far too friendly and overfamiliar. Then they’re told to write their names and put them in envelopes and then – I am not even fucking joking – there is a page dedicated to the dinner menu.

The food, like everything else in this book, is pretentious as fuck.

Salmon Tartare with Creme Fraiche and Cucumber on Toasted Brioche.

Oh, and there’s fois gras with the main, because that’s what posh people eat. Cruel posh people. Come to think of it, I don’t even know what this shindig is in aid of. I’m guessing it’s not for a charity dedicated to bird welfare. There is also no vegetarian option, which seems odd.

Goddamn it – I shouldn’t have to think about these things. This is why the last thing fiction needs is dinner menus.

“‘Hungry?’ Christian murmurs so only I can hear. I know he’s not referring to the food, and the muscles deep in my belly respond.”

Seriously? You liked that tired old joke so much you did it twice? (Spoiler – this was what the gynecologist said to Ana when she gave birth to Dickfacehead’s second child.)

Blah blah blah blah. This party has only just started and already it’s gone on too long. Ana is bitchy about one of the waitresses and then we find out what the prizes in the charity auction are. And Dickfacehead owns a cabin in Aspen, and has generously donated a week’s stay as a prize. I would not to win that prize – it probably looks like the inside of Ed Gein’s house.

Ana bids on it anyway and spends the twenty four thousand that Dickfacehead deposited in her bank account, as a spirited reminder of her financial independence. She’s totally keeping the diamond earrings though.

And oh my fucking God, we are finally at the end of this chapter.

Oh.

Apparently it was two chapters. I missed the page where it said chapter six because they were fucking and I don’t pay any attention to those pages for obvious reasons. So that means we have reached CHAPTER SEVEN.

It’s still June 11th, by the way. Time means nothing when you’re in love. (Space also expands to accomodate rooms the author forgot to write into book one.) I have to return this book by Monday. It’s going to be a rough weekend, isn’t it?

Fifty Shades of Neigh

6 responses to “Fifty Shades Annotated

  1. > How long will this hideous, overwhelming feeling last? I am in purgatory.

    To be fair to Eljames, by this point I can empathize.

    And there’s a reasonably nice use of the subjunctive in Chapter Five, or maybe Six.

  2. For two twenty-somethings, they don’t seem to be aware that there are more convenient ways of communicating than email. You can understand why his telecommunications company do everything possible to keep him away from the office!

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