It’s nearly October, and so that means it’s nearly time for NaNoWriMo, that exciting time of the year when everyone loads up on caffeine and Halloween candy and writes uneven novels about zombies.
I’ve known for several months now what was on my schedule for NaNo; the final installment of the Fifty Shades of Neigh trilogy – Fifty Shades Later, An Inevitable Conclusion.
Of course, the trouble with writing parodies of the Fifty Shades trilogy is that I actually end up having to read the fucking things. This is painful for me and probably kind of fun for you, because you get to watch me wail, scream and curse God for letting this happen. I am currently eyeballing Fifty Shades Freed, the final soggy installment in this tepid trilogy. The dotty line under the title is so long that my Kindle almost needs a wider screen. Worse, I’m told that this is the ‘least interesting’ of the three books. I’m not sure how this is even possible, although once upon a time I didn’t think anything could be more pointless and boring than Fifty Shades of Grey; that was before I read Fifty Shades Darker.
Good lord. So if Fifty Shades Darker was the inferior sequel, what does this make Freed? Am I about to read the crap porn equivalent of Jaws 3? Hold me. I’m scared.
Here we go again!
Mommy! Mommy! Mommy is asleep on the floor. She has been asleep for a long time. I brush her hair because she likes that. She doesn’t wake up. I shake her. Mommy! My tummy hurts. It is hungry.
Ironically, this baby talk represents the highest standard of English in the entire book. Not a comma splice in sight. Obviously this can’t last because it’s only a cack-handed flashback to Christian Grey’s Dave Peltzer childhood, which is offered up time and time again as some kind of explanation why he’s a humourless, charm-free shitstain of a man.
Oh sorry – not a flashback. He’s having a nightmare. And he wakes up screaming “Mommy, Mommy,” only to find Ana leaning over him and then it’s okay again.
Yeah. Wow. You know it’s bad when you’ve run out of motherfucker jokes before the prologue is over.
“Hush, I’m here.” She curls around him, her limbs cocooning him, her warmth leeching into his body, forcing back the shadows, forcing back the fear. She is sunshine, she is light…she is his.
“Please let’s not fight.” His voice is hoarse as he wraps his arms around her.
Yep. It’s business as usual. Stone obvious Mommy issues, he has manipulative ‘nightmares’ every time she nips to the loo in the middle of the night and every time they stir from unconsciousness it’s time to pick up the threads of the last inane, pointless argument. At this point we’ve spent about 400,000 words in the company of these two worthless pricks and they’re still the same shitbirds they were on page one of book one. Character development – how not to do it.
And we’re back in the company of our favourite stale fart of a girl, the lovely and endlessly tiresome Ana. Oh joy.
I stare up through gaps in the sea-grass parasol at the bluest of skies, summer blue, Mediterranean blue, with a contented sigh.
It should probably go without saying that if you have three comma splices in your opening sentence, you should hand back your English degree. Luckily we live in opposite-land, where stupid is smart and douchelords are sex gods.
My husband – my hot, beautiful husband, shirtless and in cut-off jeans – is reading a book predicting the collapse of the Western banking system.
Reader, she married him. Not the sharpest tool in the shed. Also – never-nude. All I’m saying.
Obviously they’re not staying at the swankiest hotel in Monaco. They’re staying on a luxury motor yacht, which Ana dismisses as a ‘toy’. I see she’s adjusting nicely to being filthy dirty stinking rich then.
Then she has a flashback to when he proposed to her, because we cannot surmise that this happened in order for her to accept, them to get married and now be on their honeymoon, as explained on the previous page.
I am sprawled on his chest in the flowery bower in the boathouse, sated from our passionate lovemaking.
Who actually uses the words ‘passionate lovemaking’? And how can you make such a fucking mess with prepositions?
Aaaand we’re back in the room on the beach. Ana is getting a sunburn. They moo meaningless words at each other in that whole Mr. Grey, Miss Steele thing they used to do. Only now she’s Mrs. Grey, do you see? Isn’t it exciting?
Kill. Me. Now.
He puts sunscreen on her all sexy and undoes her bikini strap. He tells her he would be ‘displeased’ if she went topless on the beach and says he’s not very happy that she’s wearing so little right now. He’s such a douche.
“Mam’selle? Un Perrier pour moi, un Cola-Cola light pour ma femme, s’il vous plait. Et quelque chose a manger…laissezmoi voir la carte.”
Hmm…Christian speaking fluent French wakes me.
I love how he’s supposed to be this amazing intellectual but speaks fluent Berlitz. Even I understood that and I haven’t seen the inside of a language classroom in twenty years.
Then they go for a swim. Zzzzzz… He carries her into the water.
Several sunbathers on the beach watch with that bemused disinterest so typical, I now realize, of the French, as Christian carries me to the sea, laughing, and wades in.
No, that’s not just the French. Trust me. Also I’m not completely sure that sentence is even English.
Then they get sexy. Yawn.
“Shall I take you in the sea?” he breathes.
You’ve taken in her the C enough times, matey-boy. If this yawnfest is going to pass for any kind of pornography you’d better get with the programme and take her up the A.
“Yes,” I whisper.
Christian pulls away and gazes down at me, his eyes warm, wanting, and amused. “Mrs. Grey, you’re insatiable and so brazen. What sort of monster have I created?”
Who talks like this? And how do we make them stop?
Anyway, they don’t fuck in the sea. Then she drinks some Diet Coke and has another flashback to her wedding day. Once was unfortunate. Twice is just pants-on-head-stupidity.
I hate Ana’s flashback. It’s the worst flashback ever. Kate is being played by a brain-swapped alien who thinks that Christian is great. And Ana is a bitch to Christian’s grandmother – again. José (remember him?) turns up to make a limp little Jacob Black speech to Ana and says that he’ll always be there for her when she gets knocked up with a telepathic CGI hellbaby.
Ana stays in her wedding dress (are we still on this flashback?) because Christian has to be the one to take it off her. Then her mother turns up and her stepdad turns up and they all talk about how great Ana is. (Is this the same Ana?) Then they drive away and Mia (Alice) catches the bouquet and we are still on this flashback?
Yes, we are. And there’s a private plane and Ana is already hissing and spitting because the flight attendant is a pretty brunette. A super start to the marriage.
“Sit,” he says, as he removes his jacket and undoes his fine sliver brocade vest.
Yay! I found my first typo. That was almost fun.
Private plane, pink champagne. Did I mention he was rich? Ana has some kind of foul Anglophile orgasm over the prospect of visiting London, although given her understanding of English literature she’ll probably be wildly disappointed to discover it’s not populated by Dickens characters and Jack the fucking Ripper.
Then they eat food – smoked salmon, roast partridge and potato dauphinoise – and we are still in the flashback. Aaaaaand there’s a bed on the plane.
Finally, we get to the point of the flashback. That was about fifteen pages of utter mimble so that the author could add in another sex scene. Also doesn’t it strike you as perfect that someone like Christian Grey would be so banal as to smirk about the ‘Mile High Club’?
Yes, it’s fuckytime. Already.
“This is like unwrapping my Christmas presents.” He smiles up at me through his long dark lashes.
“A present you’ve had already…”
He frowns in admonishment. “Oh no, baby. This time it’s really mine.”
You married her, shitnut. You didn’t buy her. Well – sort of. I mean, this is Ana we’re talking about. I notice she got over her dislike of expensive gifts pretty damned skippy.
He’s wearing platinum cufflinks – engraved with an entwined A and C – my wedding present to him.
A and C also stand for other things besides Ana and Christian. Just saying.
Reaching up into his second shirt button and mirroring him from earlier, I plant a soft kiss on his chest and I undo each of them and whisper between each kiss, “You. Make. Me. So. Happy. I. Love. You.”
Seriously, is it me or is the writing even worse in this one? Her participles are flapping in the breeze and Ana is apparently undoing her own kisses.
Anyway – they had sex. Woo.
And the flashback is over! Ana wakes up on the sun lounger and her shitlord of a husband is furious. It turns out she’s rolled over and now she’s lying topless on a European beach where a bunch of people who don’t care can see her bare titties. Her titties! Her shocking, naked titties! And she’s just hanging them out there, like they belong to her or something.
Oh dear. I took a break and came back to this. I thought I’d read two chapters but actually it was just one. The flashback threw me off. Seriously – if all your characters do in chapter one is lie around on a beach then a flashback is a reasonable tactic to create some kind of interest. Just don’t make the flashback even more stultifying than the lying around on the beach part.
Alternatively, make the beginning of your book not-boring. I hear publishers really enjoy this.
Aaaanyway. Back in the happy land of Chapter Two (help. me.) Ana has woken from a naughty dream about her wedding night (which happened at thirty-five thousand feet on a private plane, mind you) to find her delightful husband standing over her and snorting like he’s the business end of the Pamplona Bull run.
His eyes blaze with fury. He reaches down, scoops up my bikini top from his sun-lounge, and tosses it at me.
“Put this on!” he hisses.
“Christian, no one is loooking.”
“Trust me. They’re looking. I’m sure Taylor and the security crew are enjoying the show!” he snarls.
When he’s this delightful in chapter two you can tell the book is going to be a non-stop tunnel of love, can’t you? Hey, shitlord – they’re her boobs. That’s right. They belong to her. They’re part of her body.
Ever since Charlie Tango’s sabotaged demise, we are constantly shadowed by damned security.
What the fuck are you talking about? None of you paid even the slightest bit of attention to the helicopter being sabotaged. Just like you never paid attention to the disappearance of the guy who tried to sexually assault Ana in book two. And you never connected the damn plot dots back then, so what’s changed? Obviously neither of you have grown a brain between books, so we’re looking at yet another steaming continuity error.
Oh, and apparently the paparazzi are still interested in Christian Grey. Like he’s Robert Pattinson or something (Spoiler – he is Robert Pattinson. At least in the author’s terrible sex fantasies.)
“L’addition!” Christian snaps at the passing waitress.
Guys, he’s so dreamy. He can be a douche in three different languages. Be still my beating crotch.
Also, how much piss, spit, pubic hair and jizz do you think this man has consumed in his lifetime, courtesy of his revolting habit of shitting on the waiters at every opportunity? Submit your guesstimate and choice of body fluid/substance in the comments section below.
“We’re going,” he says to me.
Oh shit, he’s not going to be argued with.
Well, yes. This is what happens when you marry a bad-tempered toddler who is permanently stuck in the “MINE!” phase.
He’s bristling with tension and anger. My heart sinks. Every other woman on the beach is topless – it’s not that big a crime.
It’s not even a…oh, you know what. Fuck it. I’m exhausted already.
I sigh inwardly, my spirits sinking. I thought Christian would see the funny side…sort of…Maybe if I’d stayed on my front, but his sense of humour has evaporated.
He never had a sense of humour. He’s about as funny as brain cancer.
Taking my hand, he signals up to Taylor and his two sidekicks, the French security officers Phillipe and Gaston. Weirdly, they are identical twins.
Identical twins are not that weird. There were about four sets in my school year alone. Also, who smells a Kindle porn spinoff? (No – really. It’s like a whole subgenre. Apparently it’s only incest if their balls touch.)
Christian leads me out into the hotel, through the lobby, and out into the street. He remains silent, brooding and bad-tempered, and it’s all my fault.
Your fault for what? Having breasts? Goddamn, I already have no idea how I’m going to turn this book into something funny. Chapter two and I’m already profoundly depressed. And really – fuck you, Random House. Fuck you. ‘Liberating’? By whose standards? The fucking Taliban’s?
Anyway. There’s a jet ski. They go on a jet ski. And he’s sulking. On a jet ski. They do this for about five pages and I’m increasingly reminded of the Barbara Cartland type character Matt Lucas used to play in Little Britain.
“WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” said Christian.
How many pages is that now?
“Would you like a drink?” he asks me.
You’d think this would be Ana’s cue to read the cocktail menu for several pages, just to bump up the wordcount. But no. She actually says something worse.
“Do I need one?”
Yeah. I’ll just leave that there. You can probably figure out what’s wrong with that. The honeymoon, ladies and gentlemen.
“You think I’m going to punish you?” Christian’s voice is silky. “Do you want to?”
“I’ll think of something. Maybe when you’ve had your drink.” And it’s a sensual threat.
I don’t know about you, but the last line made me read that paragraph in Zapp Brannigan’s voice. Actually, the whole book is better if you read it in Zapp Brannigan’s voice. Or Gilbert Gottfried’s, obviously.
“Anastasia, you’re my wife, not my sub. I don’t ever want to hurt you. You should know that by now…”
No. She shouldn’t.
It’s no wonder the BDSM community fucking hates this book. Would it blow the author’s tiny mind to learn that some people manage to be subs and spouses?
Ana then starts thinking about the real reason she married him. Come on – you were thinking it. I know you were.
I am rich…stinking rich. I have done nothing to earn this money…just married a rich man.
Truly an empowering lesson for our times. It’s like Richardson’s Pamela all over again. And did you know that Pamela is only about 222,000 words long? It just feels longer. Much longer. I say ‘only’ 222,000 because it’s a mere slip compared to the behemoth of boredom that is the Fifty Shades Trilogy. 607,000 words of complete inanity. That’s only 38,000 words less than Atlas Shrugged.
Then Ana has another flashback, this time to before the wedding when they were talking about prenuptial agreements. Well – Christian’s family talk about it. He throws a massive Tesco cake-aisle sized tantrum and is all NO PRENUPS EVER!!!
Because God forbid anyone thinks his snugglebunny is a gold-digger. Or rather because he doesn’t want her to have any kind of guaranteed income if it all goes tits up. And it already has. Literally.
Christian gazes at me, his eyes bleak. “Anastasia, if you leave me, you might as well take everything. You left me once before. I know that feels.”
Holy fuck! “That was different,” I whisper, moved by his intensity. “But…you might want to leave me.” The thought makes me sick.
There there – chuck it all up. You’ve feel much better when you’ve been sick.
“Christian, you know I might do something exceptionally stupid…”
Too late. For both of you.
I glance down at my knotted hands, pain lancing through me, and I’m unable to finish my sentence. Losing Christian…fuck.
Yay. We have our first inexplicable finger-staring session. And that’s the end of the flashback.
We’re back on the motor yacht and they’re eating nuts. What nuts? Almonds and cashews. You needed to know that, didn’t you.
“Your nuts, sir,” I say with as a straight a face as I can manage, trying to bring some humour to our conversation after my dark thoughts and my bikini top faux pas.
Firstly, that’s not funny. Secondly, they’re called breasts. Having a set is not a faux pas.
He smirks. “I’m nuts about you.” He takes an almond, his eyes sparkling with wicked humour as he enjoys my little joke. He licks his lips. “Drink up. We’re going to bed.”
Still not funny. Would not bang.
Oh my, the look he gives me could be solely responsible for global warming.
Fun fact – these books are some of the least environmentally friendly novels in recent publishing history. Not only are they unnecessarily large but the urgency of the print run meant that the publishers had them bound with a cheap-ass glue that represents some kind of logistical nightmare for recycling plants. The phrase ‘Mommy Porn’ takes on a whole new twist when you consider that this mess of a trilogy is doing its bit to fuck Mother Earth.
“I’m going to make an example of you. Come. Don’t pee,” he whispers in my ear.
I gasp. Don’t pee? How rude. My subconscious looks up from her book – The Complete Works of Charles Dickens, volume 1 – with alarm.
What is this I don’t even
Anyway, it’s sex o’clock, which means its time to describe the furnishings in detail.
He leads me across the deck and through the doors into the plush, beautifully appointed main salon…
God damn it, woman. THIS IS WHY YOU SUCK. ‘Plush’. ‘Beautifully appointed’. These words tell me nothing. They are useless as descriptions. But wait – the sentence isn’t over.
…along a narrow corridor, through the dining room and down the stairs to the master cabin.
The cabin has been cleaned since this morning and the bed made. It’s a lovely room. With two portholes on both the starboard and port sides, it’s elegantly decorated in dark walnut furniture with cream walls and soft furnishings in gold and red.
You know, even if this book is useless as literature, I won’t hear a word said against it as a crash course in prepositional phrases and the ways in which they can come back to bite you. This tired, illiterate drivel pulled me up short on so many bad habits I didn’t even know I had. It may have done nothing for my pelvic floor, but it certainly tightened up the writing muscles.
Anyway, they get freaky with handcuffs and it’s…boring.
They feel solid, the metal cold. Vaguely, I hope I never have to wear a pair of these for real.
That may have been a moment of foreshadowing. I don’t know. It’s unusually subtle (for E.L. James), so we’ll just have to wait and see.
She choose ‘popsicle’ as a safe-word. If you know anything about Twilight fandom this word should send you scurrying for the exits. If you don’t, nothing good can be gained from knowing. Really. Carry on with your beautiful, unsullied existence; you lucky, lucky bastards.
Anyway, it’s really shit bondage – as usual. I’m still not sure why she needed a full bladder for this, but since he’s essentially hog-tied her with two pairs of handcuffs, it would serve him right if she treated him to an impromptu golden shower. Seriously – if she hasn’t already got a bladder infection from the previous 400,000 words of grinding, repetitive sex then she’s definitely got one now.
This is too intense. I can’t stop him. I don’t want to stop him…I want…I want…oh no, oh no…this is too…
Well. I’m glad we’re clear on that.
“That’s it,” Christian growls. “Feel it, baby!”
I detonate around him…
…again and again, round and round…
Not sure how that even works. Especially in handcuffs.
…screaming loudly as my orgasm rips me apart, scorching through me like wildfire, consuming everything. I am wrung ragged, tears streaming down my face – my body left pulsing and shaking.
And I’m aware that Christian kneels, still inside me, pulling me upright onto his lap. He clutches my head with one hand and my back with the other, and he comes violently inside me while my insides continue to tremble with aftershocks. It’s draining, it’s exhausting, it’s hell…it’s heaven. It’s hedonism gone wild.
More like participles, ellipses and metaphors gone wild, but yeah. Whatever gets you through the night, baby. At this point I think even La James has lost interest in their hyperactive-yet-pedestrian sex life and is simply throwing words at the page.
Ana goes to sleep and wakes up, because it’s the only section break the author knows how to do. Then she gets up to pee (bladder infection) and sees something shocking in the mirror.
Holy fuck! What has he done to me?
What? You want a list?