Ugh. That is all.
…opens with Mrs. Robinson turning up at the apartment. Ana is typically miffed. For all that is wrong with Ana as a character (ie. almost everything) I’m with her on this one – Mrs. Robinson is a kiddy fiddler. The trouble with Ana’s objections to Mrs. Robinson is that they don’t so much hinge on the fact that she groomed a child of fifteen to be her personal sex slave, but the fact that said child might ‘still have feelings for her’.
Anyway, Mrs. Robinson is being blackmailed. She comes over to tell Dickfacehead this because ‘she just wanted to share,’ and that dramatic revelation dies on the vine before the flower could even fruit. But don’t be sad, because I’m sure this trio of shitheads can wring some synthetic drama out of the scene.
“Does [Ana] know how negative you are about yourself?” [asks Mrs. Robinson.] “About all your issues?”
“She knows me better than anyone.”
“Ouch! That hurts.”
“It’s the truth, Elena. I don’t have to play games with her…”
Bullshit. If you bear in mind that Dickfacehead and Dumbass have known each another all of five weeks, and there was about three weeks in Fifty Shades of Grey when they didn’t see one another at all, then they have spent about two weeks in one another’s company – two weeks in which they have spent most of the time playing the kind of push-pull mindgames usually associated with personality disorders.
She leaves and oh my God here we go again – did you love her, did she love you, IT’S OVER, OKAY? Wah wah, issues issues pity me I’m so complicated it’s so hard being rich and pretty and in love.
Can we ever have a normal conversation without it disintegrating into an argument? It’s exhausting.
From your lips to God’s ear. Eesh.
Anyway, you’ll be pleased to know that nothing of importance was divulged during this fresh bout of squealing, except for the fact that Dickfacehead was originally the submissive party with Mrs. Robinson. This will become important later and you will never guess how.
Then Ana calls her stepfather for no reason whatsoever and he asks how things are going with Dickfacehead, they exchange ‘I love yous’ and hang up. That’s literally all that happens. Then Ana looks at her watch and discovers it’s ‘only ten’. It’s like the author was getting paid by the word.
I’m not sure how it’s only 10pm, since Ana had to work late and they’ve already fucked in the elevator, had dinner, talked with Mrs. Robinson and then whined at one another for what felt like forever but was easily half an hour at least. “Because of our discussion, I am feeling strangely innervated and restless.”
Oh dear. You know what this means, don’t you?
Maybe not – it’s not quite Fuck O’Clock yet. Ana goes into the library and finds the ruler from last night’s spanking. Then she cracks it across her knuckles and thinks one of the most horrifying things ever written in a romance novel.
Why can’t I take a little more pain for my man?
Then she reads some of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, presumably only the first line, and nods off.
Then she wakes up and finds Dickfacehead playing the piano, because he’s so cultured and brilliant like that. He’s also pretty bloody inconsiderate, playing the piano at three o’clock in the morning. Presumably his neighbours understand that someone as beautiful and complicated as him must play the piano alone at three o’clock in the morning, because if he didn’t then how on earth would the readers understand that they were supposed to fancy him?
“Why do we fight?” he whispers, as his teeth graze my earlobe.
Because you’re self-regarding assholes and you’re addicted to your own invented drama?
“Because we’re getting to know each another, and you’re stubborn and cantankerous and moody and difficult,” I murmur, breathlessly…
Aw. Look who got a big girl Thesaurus for her birthday last year. And also, what the fuck do you mean, Ana? Getting to know each other? I thought you knew each other, deep down, in the roots of your souls? At least, you did about six pages ago.
Then they fuck on the piano. I’m told this is like the movie Pretty Woman but I’ll take people’s word for that – I don’t think I’ve ever seen it all the way through and Julia Roberts makes me puke.
Then they wake up after about two hours sleep and immediately Ana sets to work rummaging around in Dickfacehead’s mind by asking about his childhood. I don’t care. I really, really don’t care.
There are several more conversations about nothing and then the phone rings and Dickfacehead burps out some lines of exposition that indicate a definite end to the Mrs. Robinson blackmail storyline introduced at the beginning of the chapter. Well, that lasted about as long as Amnesiac Cousin Patrick in Downton Abbey. Onward.
Ana goes to work and tells us that she exchanges friendly conversation with another woman. The woman in question is Claire from Reception, who is black, so instead of being hostile and insecure in Claire’s presence Ana is the literal embodiment of white guilt. Claire is even allowed to remark on how ‘dreamy’ Dickfacehead is and Ana laughs, when usually she starts snarling if another woman so much as breathes near him. The implication here is that Claire, as a black woman, is not a threat to their relationship, which means we can add ‘Possible racist’ to Dickfacehead’s already long list of delightful attributes.
Jack is horrible. Dickfacehead e-mails to say one sentence.
I love waking up with you in the morning.
If you were wondering what these e-mail exchanges amount to, this is pretty much it. It’s one of the few consistent pieces of characterisation in the entire book; it only follows that two people who spend all their time together talking about absolutely nothing spend their time apart sending each other banal e-mails about fuck all.
Two pages of sexy e-mails about how they did sex on pool tables and yachts. Yawn. Also, it figures that Ana is a lousy employee because she never stops e-mailing her boyfriend, but what about him? I thought he was supposed to be a workaholic?
You’ll be pleased to know there’s no sign of Golumette. That’s good, isn’t it? Then Ethan (Kate’s brother. The role of Ethan will be played by Jasper Cullen from Twilight, because that’s who he is.) phones to say he’s back from Barbados and wants to collect the keys to the apartment Ana shares with Kate. Then there are four further pages of silly e-mails and endless fuckaboutery that could have been cut, but then most of this book is things that could and should have been removed by an editor.
Then she goes to the apartment and Golumette is there with a gun. Cue dramatic prairie dog.
Unlucky for some, almost certainly unlucky for me.
She’s here, gazing at me with an unnerving blank expression, holding a gun. My subconscious swoons into a dead faint, and I don’t think even smelling salts will bring her back.
You know, writers and creative writing teachers will tell you there are many ways to blow a really tense, dramatic scene – cliched dialogue, unnecessary details, etc. However, I have to give E.L. some kind of twisted props for inventing entirely new ways to suck at writing. So far I’ve never heard ‘Do not palm off narrative responsibilities on the stupid fucking cartoon characters in your protagonist’s head’, but it probably goes without saying that it has now been added to the list.
Golumette is, of course, round the everloving twist. For once Ana does a thing that I can completely understand and is probably exactly what I would do if I found a madwoman with a gun in my kitchen – she offers to make Golumette a nice cup of tea. Unfortunately Ana is supposed to be American and therefore has no excuse for this kind of behaviour; I do – I’m British. (And incidentally, fuck Twinings Breakfast – Taylor’s of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea. Proper.)
“I never slept in Master’s bed,” she murmurs. She’s like a fallen ethereal wraith. Half a person. She looks so slight, and in spite of the fact that she’s holding a gun, I suddenly feel overwhelmed with sympathy for her…
“Why does Master like us like this? It makes me think something…something…Master is dark…Master is a dark man, but I love him.”
Good master, nice master, master of the Precioussssss…
So, then Dickfacehead turns up with Taylor and Dickfacehead attempts to persuade Golumette to give him the gun, apparently by staring at her.
I realise I’m holding my breath. What will she do? What will he do? But they just continue to stare at each other. Christian’s expression is raw, full of some unnamed emotion. It could be pity, fear, affection…or is it love? No, please, not love!
Yep. That happened. The crazy lady with a gun is less important than our moronic heroine’s insecurities.
Dickfacehead makes Taylor take Ana downstairs and Ana whines that if she goes downstairs then Dickfacehead will be alone with Leila. And they might fuck.
Also her beloved Dickfacehead might end up getting shot and killed, but that’s way down her list of priorities right now. He might like another girl more than he likes meeeeee…
Ana is an astoundingly horrible person. She almost deserves Dickfacehead.
Ethan turns up and we learn that nobody has called the police. Because ‘it’s not like that’. No, it is like that. Now, nobody is saying it’s her fault, but it’s clear that the nice lady with a gun is not exactly swinging on all her hinges right now. The best thing to do would be to call the police and make sure nobody gets killed, then we can talk about how culpable Golumette was for her actions, okay?
But this book was not written by anyone remotely sensible and so Ethan suggests he and Ana go for a drink in a bar across the street – and Dickfacehead can come join them if he’s still alive, you know, after facing off with the pistol packing mamma upstairs. Ana agrees because she’s still in a mushroom-cloud sized sulk because Dickfacehead is alone with Leila. She doesn’t want to stay as close as humanly possible to Dickfacehead in case something happens to him – no, then she would be obeying the instincts of someone who actually, you know, loved him.
Ethan, by the way, is an aspiring neurologist and part time rocket scientist. When Ana tells him about Golumette (Bandaged wrists, staring eyes, hasn’t showered in weeks, waving a gun around.) Ethan says;
“…she sounds unstable.”
Just savour that a moment. I’ll wait.
“Yes, she is.”
“And what’s Christian doing with her now?”
The blood drains from my face and bile rises in my throat. “I don’t know,” I whisper.
Ethan’s eyes widen – at last he’s got it.
What, that Dickfacehead’s life is in immediate danger?
This is the crux of my problem. What the fuck are they doing? Talking, I hope. Just talking. Yet all I can see in my mind’s eye is his hand, tenderly stroking her hair.
See? Terrible, terrible person.
Then she sees Leila being taken out of the apartment, wearing blue hospital scrubs. She’s being taken into psychiatric care and Dickfacehead, Ana’s precious snuggy honey bunny chirpy chirpy cheep cheep lovemuffin and True Love 4EVA is safe and alive.
Ana doesn’t even rejoice for a second, and when he gets into the car with Leila she reaches for the nearest bottle, such is the depth of her despair.
“I take a gulp of the burning amber liquid, the fiery heat a welcome distraction from the hideous blossoming pain in my heart.”
Then once she’s good and drunk, she catches up with Dickfacehead, who is for once understandably angry that while he was up in the apartment negotiating for his life, his ghastly girlfriend was out getting shitfaced and wallowing in her own selfish insecurities.
He’s angry with me? He’s the one that just spent God knows how long with his loony ex-girlfriend, and he’s angry with me?
Look, for God’s sa…oh, fuck it. I don’t have the energy for this any more. I’ve peeled carrots with more common sense and empathy than Ana.
Ana, sensitive soul that she is, then whines that she can’t be everything he needs (a lunatic with a gun, apparently) and decides to break up with him. Then in a desperate bid to keep her, Dickfacehead goes catatonic.
No, really – he does. You know how I said it would be important that he was the sub in his relationship with Mrs. Robinson? And that you’d never guess how? Here it is, in all its Lifetime movie glory – the money shot, ladies and gentlemen.
“You can’t go. Ana, I love you!”
“I love you, too, Christian, it’s just – “
“No…no!” he says in desperation and puts both hands on his head.
“No,” he breathes, his eyes wide with panic, and suddenly he drops to his knees in front of me, head bowed, his hands spread out on his thighs. He takes a deep breath, and doesn’t move.”
What? “Christian, what are you doing?”
He continues to stare down, not looking at me.
“Christian! What are you doing?” I repeat in a high pitched voice. He doesn’t move. “Christian, look at me,” I command in panic.
His head sweeps up without hesitation, and he regards me passively with his cool gray gaze – he’s almost serene…expectant.
Holy fuck…Christian. The submissive.
I think this may be the stupidest book in human history.
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – the main characters in this book consistently talk about nothing. In good moods they moo the sweet nothings of new lovers and in bad moods they retread plot points over and over again in endless circular arguments designed to demonstrate how angst ridden and complicated they are.
This is where you can see this is a find/replaced fanfiction. Twihards would care about Edward and Bella talking in circles for five hundred pages – the rest of us just see a couple of annoying whiners indulging in the emotional equivalent of huffing their own farts.
Chapter fourteen takes this to its illogical conclusion and has Edward/Dickfacehead curled up happily in a metaphorical Dutch Oven of his own making. In case we’re not clear that this is supposed to be a distressing turn of events, Ana is on hand to help out.
I inhale sharply from the shock. No. No, this is wrong, so wrong and so disturbing.
Of course, Dickfacehead is almost certainly doing this on purpose, because he’s been a manipulative piece of shit from the get-go, but E.L. probably thinks it’s a symptom of his psychological complexity. To the
rest of us, he’s just shut down in a tantrum because Ana threatened to ‘leave him’ – you know, like she did before when they broke up for five whole days. Also, they’ve been back together for about that length of time – maybe less.
So he sits there and stares into space while she abases herself and whines about how she thought he was making bacon with the gun-wielding lunatic who may very well have been trying to kill him.
“This is about me not being good enough for you. It was an insight into your life, and I am so scared you’ll get bored with me, and then you’ll go…and I’ll end up like Leila…a shadow. Because I love you, Christian, and if you leave me it will be like a world without light. I’ll be in darkness. I don’t want to run. I’m just so frightened you’ll leave me…”
Once he’s absolutely sure she’s not going to break up with him he comes out of his trance, starts crying and says he has a terrible secret. Because God forbid these muttonheads talk to each other like sensible adults. No, there has to be guns and drinking and lunatics and catatonic bullshit, because that’s what makes them sexy and exciting. Apparently.
Yeah, long story short –
“I’m a sadist, Ana. I like to whip little brown-haired girls like you because you all look like the crack whore – my birth mother. I’m sure you can guess why.”
Because you have an unconvincing Oedipus complex that even Sigmund Freud would sideeye?
Anyway, they cry some more and he asks her to marry him. Ain’t love grand?
Then they eat some food, talk about Leila and he tries to explain that she’s nucking futs and needs rounds the clock psychiatric care. Ana is still convinced he got up to some kind of hanky panky with the crazy lady and demonstrates that while they’ve talked and cried and wailed and gone catatonic and got drunk and laughed cathartically, nothing has actually been resolved.
I hate them both so much – you have no idea.
Then she kicks off again because Dickfacehead gave Leila a bath.
Bathing her, for fuck’s sake – naked. A harsh, painful shudder wracks my body.
“Don’t. It doesn’t mean anything. It was like caring for a child, a broken, shattered, child,” he mutters.
What the hell would he know about caring for a child? This was a woman who he had a very full on, deviant sexual relationship with.
Oh, this hurts.
Then she cries and goes to bed. Then in the night wolves got into the apartment and ate them both. The End.
Yep, there’s more. She wakes up in the night, goes to get a drink and goes back to bed to find him having a loud, thrashy nightmare because she’s not in the bed beside him.
“You left, you left, you must have left,” he mumbles – his wide eyed stare becoming accusatory – and he looks so lost, it wrenches my heart. Poor Fifty.
At this point I would normally say he was playing her like a Stradivarius, but let’s face it, the tune he’s playing isn’t exactly Paganini, is it? It’s more like Baa Baa Black Sheep and luckily for him she’s dense enough to ‘yes sir’ and ‘three bags full’ every single fucking time.
Then it’s FUCK O’CLOCK and I’m kind of pleased for once, because I don’t have to read the next few pages. There’s never anything interesting about the sex scenes, although apparently Ana can have voice activated orgasms now. Which is nice for her.
He still wants her to marry him, which is hilarious, then says they can have kids if she wants.
No. Please no. Can you imagine how fucked in the head their poor children would be? Speaking of fucked in the head, she wants to see his psychiatrist. Oh good. More whining.
Then she’s going to be late for work, and Jack is pissed off again. More e-mail filler. Can’t these fuckheads leave one another alone for FIVE MINUTES? They’d never last – they have no concept of personal space or private time. I would say they probably follow one another into the lavatory but since we’re forced to watch their every single waking moment and nobody has ever left the room for a bathroom break, I’m guessing they don’t piss. And they only have anuses for sex purposes. Not for poo.
Then Jose calls and says he’s looking for a place to crash. Ana already knows how Dickfacehead will respond to this and also finds out that Dickfacehead bought the creeper photos Jose took of her with various facial expressions. (Horny, Weepy, Dopey, Greedy, Bitchy, Needy and Dumb – Ana and the Seven Mental Midgets.)
Boss Jack has just about had enough, since she is not only taking personal calls on company time and e-mails her boyfriend every five minutes, she is also apparently a shitty typist. No wonder E.L. had to make Jack a sleazy creep – it was the only way to destroy any kind of sympathy for the man.
“Jack, is there something wrong?”
He glances up, his blue eyes darkening as his gaze runs up and down my body. My blood chills.
“No.” His answer is concise, rude and dismissive. I stand there like the idiot I professed not to be and then shuffle back out of his office. Perhaps he, too, suffers from a personality disorder. Sheesh, I’m surrounded by them.
That’s because you have one, you solipsistic little shitnut.
Then when she gets back to her desk, Ethan phones and it’s more happy personal chatter on company time.
“Hi, Ana. How’d it go last night?”
Well, the good news is that he didn’t get shot by his gun-wielding crazy ex-girlfriend, but the bad news is that I think he might have touched her woo-woo while she was in the bath. So I decided to break up with him, then he went catatonic and I had to tell him how great he was and how much I loved him and that I wasn’t going to break up with him until he decided to talk to me again. And when he did he told me he was a sexual sadist and he liked to beat me and fuck me because I looked like his Mom. Then he asked me to marry him and we ate macaroni and cheese. But I couldn’t stop thinking about him and his crazy ex-girlfriend so I turned my back on him in bed and cried myself to sleep, then when I woke up in the middle of the night he was having a ‘nightmare’ because he thought I’d moved out – oh, did I mention I moved in with him after being back with him for two days? Yeah, well I did. Then we fucked and it was all better. Somehow. Does that sound stupid?
Just a little.
What she actually said was “Er…fine.”
Then Dickfacehead phones because she didn’t reply to her e-mail RIGHT AWAY. Is everyone in this book fourteen years old?
Jack, for some inexplicable reason, is still not very happy with Ana. He gives her forty-five minutes for lunch and tells her she can make up the time she lost this morning, and she asks him if she’s done something to offend him.
You want a list?
Of course, because Ana has the plot-warping attributes of all Mary Sues, Jack’s hatred of her is because she won’t fuck him, not because she’s so lazy she baulks at the thought of reading four first chapters in a morning, can’t type, comes in late, spends all day e-mailing her boyfriend and talking to her friends and thinks every single fucking thing in the world is all about her.
Anyway, Ana goes out, puts on her iPod, finds a sunny spot and settles down to have a banal, cliche-riddled personal revelation.
Looking back on my life before Christian, it was as if everything was in black and white, like Jose’s pictures. Now my whole world is in rich, bright, saturated colour.
Give me a break. The only thing saturated around here is your knickers. And maybe the author’s brain. Incidentally if the music Ana has chosen as the soundtrack to this revelation is Cyndi Lauper’s ‘True Colors’ then somebody is going to get hurt.
Can I give him up? Do I want to give him up? It’s as if he’s flipped a switch and lit me up from within. It’s been an education knowing him. I’ve discovered more about myself in the last few weeks than ever before.
And yet somehow you managed to miss the fact that you are judgemental, pretentious, selfish, misogynistic and downright comically self-absorbed. It’s also testament to your innate curiosity and Dickfacehead’s magical abilities as a lover that you’re a sexually active woman of twenty-one who still doesn’t know how to masturbate.
Seriously – this whole series could have been avoided if only she had a decent vibrator.
Okay, strap yourself in. Are you ready? Ana’s about to have her epiphany.
And it strikes me like a thunderbolt…
… – that’s what he needs from me, what he’s entitled to – unconditional love. He never recieved it from the crack-whore – it’s what he needs. Can I love him unconditionally?
She toddles off back to work, congratulating herself on her self-perception and depth, then that afternoon Mia phones her. Yep – that’s the third personal phone call today. Oh, and Mia wonders what Ana wants to do for Dickfacehead’s birthday.
Yep. That was Ana’s reaction.
She didn’t know when his birthday was.
These fuckwits don’t know shit about each another. Normally ‘I like to fuck you because you look like my Mom’ comes after things like ‘My birthday’s June 17th – I’m a Gemini if you believe in all that shit,’ but this is what love looks like when you’re this charmless and this stupid.
And she’s fucking e-mailing him AGAIN. Do either of these people do any work?
And then it’s 6pm, she’s alone in the office and Jack is going to try and rape her.
“You know I had to fight with Elizabeth to give you this job…”
Bet you’re regretting that, Jack.
Jack has a ‘despotic fuck-you smile’, in case you weren’t clear that he was evil. He accuses her of being a spy for Dickfacehead so that Dickfacehead could find out what was what before he bought the company, then blackmails Ana for sex – because he’s a rapist. Because if he wasn’t he would just look like someone with an actually valid list of grievances against our neurasthenic drip of a heroine.
She knees him in the nads and runs downstairs, where Dickfacehead is waiting to yell at her for almost getting raped. Aw. It’s like old times, back when she was merrily throwing up in car parks and he was just a handsome kidnapper.
Apparently Jack has Ana’s e-mails to Dickfacehead, which constitute blackmail material somehow. Because the world would be stunned cold to know that Dickfacehead engages in banal e-mail exchanges with his boring, cardboard girlfriend. I don’t care anymore.
Then they have an argument about her not e-mailing on her Blackberry where it couldn’t be monitored and further yowling about her being almost raped and how she keeps ‘putting herself in danger’. Yes, because sexual harrassment is her fault. He really is a prize, isn’t he? Then when they’ve finished squealing and are having dinner she mentions going out for a drink with Jose so that they can start squealing again.
Then nothing much happens and then we have final, concrete proof that Ana is the dumbest fucking woman in human history.
Yes, she goes to peer at the toys in his executive sex dungeon and he shows her buttplugs and anal beads and nipple clamps, then there’s this;
He grins. “Next drawer down holds a selection of vibrators.”
I shut the drawer quickly.
“And the next?” I whisper, ashen once more, but this time with embarrassment.
See what I mean, ladies? Fucking hell.
And it’s FUCK O’CLOCK once more. Thank God.
He needs me…needs me…and as I finally slip into the darkness, my last thought is of a small boy with grey eyes and dirty, messy copper-coloured hair smiling shyly at me.
Considering that he fucks you because you look like his mother, those are some creepy-ass thoughts. Good job, Ana. Also his hair is smiling at you. Have you been at the funny mushrooms?
TIME TO WAKE UP PEOPLE.
The only time there isn’t a constant narration is when they’re actually unconscious, and even then, we’re not entirely safe from dreams. Every single minute of every single day is recorded. Sometimes days sprout whole new hours so that we might be privy to even more meaningless minutae. These people never poo.
Morning is FUCK O’CLOCK because well, I think they only did it once in the last chapter. Ana has granola for breakfast and is apparently calmly going into work like nothing has happened.
“I hope they take on a woman as my new boss.”
“Well, you’re less likely to object to me going away with her,” I tease him.
His lips twitch and he starts on his omelet.
“What’s so funny?” I ask.
Oh Ana – such a feminist. And why am I not surprised that Dickfacehead is exactly the kind of dirtbag who believes that all women are about five drinks away from Sapphic experiments? However, I think Ana is strictly dickly, so all you lesbians who were terrified by the last paragraph can breathe a sigh of relief.
Her new car has arrived and now she’s allowed to drive it because Golumette is currently curled up on the floor of a padded-cell. Jack is apparently unaccounted for but never mind – they’re saving his stalker plot for book three. They’re seeing the therapist this evening and Dickfacehead wants to know why she hasn’t said yes to his marriage proposal yet.
Dunno – maybe it’s because you are two hideously shallow people who know nothing about one another and take no time to find out because you would much prefer to be inserting things into each other. Also the fact that you’ve known each other for less than a month and the fact that you like to fuck her because she reminds you of your Mum. Little bit of a red flag there. Oh, and she’s twenty-one years old, you’re the only man she’s ever had and she has no idea that you’re a terrible, unimaginative lover.
Incidentally, she also has no frame of reference for penis size either, so take that as you will.
But he does have a helicopter.
Anyway, she goes to work and it turns out Jack has left the company rather suddenly. If you’re drinking or eating anything right now I suggest you swallow your mouthful before you read any further.
Ana has been given his job.
“Please, I know this is sudden, but you’ve already made contact with Jack’s key authors. Your chapter notes haven’t gone unnoticed by the other editors. You have a shrewd mind, Anastasia. We all think you can do it.”
“Okay.” This is unreal.
Behold, the MARK OF THE BEAST. Ye shall know it by its ways; it shall wax wondrous in the sight of minor characters even though yea, it is crap. Thou shalt not suffer this beast to live, for it is ABOMINATION. Upon its brows shall shine wreaths of glorious hair and its eyes shall beam all manner of marvellous colours and hues, but thou shalt recognise it in its foulness and call it by the name that is written upon its flesh – MARY SUE.
So, having been promoted to acting editor despite spending less than two weeks at the company and spending most of that time either crying, talking to her friends on the phone and e-mailing her boyfriend, guess what Ana does?
Yeah. Admit it. You thought she was going to e-mail her boyfriend, didn’t you?
Well she doesn’t. So there.
In a stunning plot twist, she telephones him instead.
By the way, if you were thinking Dickfacehead had anything to do with this stunning promotion then you would also be wrong. He swears he had nothing to do with it and we all know he’s an honest, forthright sort of chap who would never throw money at a problem or…pffft ha hahahahahha. Okay, no. He’s not.
He gives her an engagement ring but she’s not allowed to open the box until Saturday, because we have to have some source of suspense now that we’ve effectively run out of plot and there’s still another quarter of a book to go.
Anyway, they go to see Dr. Flynn, Dickfacehead’s psychiatrist. There are two possibilities here – either Flynn is the psychiatric version of Barry Zuckerkorn and operates out of a portakabin behind a titty bar or he is calmly listening to Dickfacehead’s issues, nodding along and making serious bank in the process. It’s probably option B, because his office is pretty pimp. Really pimp.
Actually, due to a spot of two-nations-separated-by-a-common-language confusion, Dr. Flynn may very well be a pimp. His office is described as looking like a ‘gentleman’s club’, which to us Rightpondian types refers to the kind of clubs that sprung up in 18th Century London where men could go for a chop supper and a drink when they weren’t knocking out dirty novels, selling patent medicines, running high class sex-clinics and drawing filthy cartoons for the print shop. (18th Century London was very interesting, unlike this so-called dirty book.) The clubs survived to the present day, and are still thought of as wood-panelled, wing-armchaired hangouts for men of a certain age, weight and peerage, which is presumably what E.L. means when she says it looks like a ‘gentleman’s club’.
Of course, in America a gentleman’s club is rather more…Bada Bing. So American readers are inevitably going to be left with the impression that Dr. Flynn owns a titty bar.
Ana, alone with Dr. Flynn, explains that she’s never been in a relationship before and Flynn tells her that in the time she’s known Dickfacehead he’s made more progress than he has in the past two years.
Oh, and apparently Dickfacehead is not a sadist and Ana shouldn’t worry about that side of him. And that “he’s not insane”. Yeah. Someone’s been making it rain in Dr. Flynn’s gentleman’s club, haven’t they? This guy must be shitting in solid gold toilets.
“In a nutshell, he’s not a sadist, Ana. He’s an angry, frightened, brilliant young man, who was dealt a shit hand of cards when he was born…”
And then he was adopted by a filthy rich couple and suffered miserably – summers in Europe, a pony for each day of the week, operas at La Scala, champagne suppers in Paris, skiing in Aspen. That poor, poor man. I admit, he was also sexually abused, but nobody seems to want to mention that.
“Emotionally, Christian is an adolescent, Ana.” So you, Ana, inexperienced little twit that you are, should absolutely dive head first into a relationship with a giant emotionally unstable manchild. Also I think the doctor is being a bit generous – Christian’s catatonic fit reminded me a bit of that thing toddlers do when they don’t want to go somewhere, when they let their legs go limp and just dangle from your hand.
So, yeah – Dr. Flynn is a terrible doctor, because a good one wouldn’t advise these rancid little psychos to spend another minute in one another’s company, given that they are addicted to their own moronic, neverending psychodrama. That or he’s a minor character and we all know what happens to minor characters when Mary Sue swings by. Let’s face it, he’s already noted the magical power of her Healing Vagina.
Ana goes to meet Jose and invites him to stay at Christian’s place. That should be nice and awkward then. It was just as well – I mean, let’s face it, they were running out of things to whine about, so Jose should fit the bill nicely.
Then Ana drives her car like a big girl while Dickfacehead gives her directions. (I’m terribly sorry – I realise I just called him Christian in the last two paragraphs, when his name is Dickfacehead.) Dickfacehead talks about his previous experience with therapy.
“Baby, I’ve been subjected to them all. Cognitivism, Freud, functionalism, Gestalt, behaviourism…You name it, over the years I’ve done it,” he says and his tone betrays his bitterness.
Well, you know – psychiatry can achieve a lot of things but so far I don’t think it’s ever claimed a cure for Being An Asshole. Also Freud? Is it 1929 in here or is it just me? Psychiatry has moved on quite a bit since Papa Sigmund.
Anyway, they arrive in a chintzy neighbourhood Ana doesn’t recognise and there the chapter ends. God damn this book is awful.