Before we get to the recap, I’d like everyone to know that my British friend told me that the green man is that sign that flashes for you to walk. Ohhhh. See our little walky man is white, cause we’re American, pal. Also, the condoms do come in foil packets, but he has never heard of anyone calling them that. See, even in England they call them condoms, James. So thank you to my friend – to protect the guilty we will just call him “John” – and let’s get back to the sex dungeons, shall we?
Although talk of condoms reminds me of something. While I think it’s good that James is advocating for safe, ha, sex here, do we have to hear about every time he “tears the foil packet” and slides one on? Can’t we just assume they’re taking care of birth control after that first time? Because reading about putting on a condom is about as exciting as watching someone put on a condom. In other words, it slows down the action. Even more. Which shouldn’t be possible.
Okay, on to Chapter 17. 233 pages into this . . . I hesitate to call it book. Shit sandwich with words inside – yes, that sounds better. There are a total of 26 Chapters. 26. That’s just 9 more chapters. That’s not so bad, right? Right??? I may be starting to crack up. It must be from all this arousal I’m feeling.
Ana wakes up with Christian draped across her, suffocating her with his body heat, but Ana just feels smug because he said he didn’t sleep with women but hey he’s slept with her three times already! And it only took a few beatings! Score, Ana!
There are more email wars (Stop it James. Stop it.) She explains that she’s a little upset that he beat the crap out of her but hey thanks for the cuddles and makes the subject of her email “Assault and Battery: The Aftereffects.” Clever Ana. Christian responds and says “Interesting . . . if slightly overstated title heading, Miss Steele.” Um, no, I think she pretty much covered it. He wonders if she can just get over it, you know, for him? She says she feels like running to Alaska and he says he would find her with his cell phone tracking technology. Not if she loses the damn cellphone, jerk. But Ana’s not bright enough to figure that out. She’s probably surprised that boomerangs return when she throws them.
She playfully discusses his stalker tendencies and asks if he’s gotten help and guess whats? He has a therapist who is probably tied up in his office right now. She drives to work and feels sadfaced because she wants Christian but not all that baggage he has. It’s sort of a package deal, nit wit. Speaking of packages, no, not that one, she gets a package in the mail. It’s a Blackberry! You’ll never guess why he gave her that! He writes in his email, “I need to be able to contact you at all times.” It’d be easier if he just inserted a tracking device directly into her brain. There’s a lot of empty space up there.
She doesn’t want it, but of course she keeps it. She gets home and Kate says, “I did note that he stayed.” What – like that’s a good thing, Kate? You don’t think he might have been doing that to control her or anything? Christian’s henchman takes her car and tells her that Christian is a “good man” cause hell it’s not like he has to worry about getting the crap beaten out of him. Probably.
Ana has a nice evening with her friends, including near rapist Jose, who just has such a “boyish charm” ya know. But oopsie, she forgot to email Christian and he is angrymadface Christian now. How dare she have a fun time with friends! He leaves a creepy speech on her answering machine about obeying him properly and she calls back and oh they’re being cute and silly again with all the “you hang up” “no, you hang up”. I want to hurt them both so badly.
She moves to Seattle with Kate and Christian sends her another gift. It’s a helicopter balloon. I’m guessing there’s a homing beacon in it. He also sends chilled champagne. Kate says, “He worries me, Ana.” But then adds “At least it’s good champagne and it’s chilled.” Yeah, that makes up for everything, Kate. Idiot.
Ana goes to visit Christian’s place to have a vaginal exam and is so excited her inner goddess jumps up and down with her pom poms. I bet E.L. James didn’t get to be a cheerleader in high school, what do you bet? I bet it was those evil blondes that were cheerleaders. Well, she showed them.
Chapter 18! You’ll never guess the color of the obgyn’s hair and why it makes Ana all pouty! She’s even jealous of the woman giving her a pap smear. Ana needs a different kind of doctor entirely. The doctor tells Christian to look after her because she is bright and beautiful (how does she know from one exam?) and Ana thinks well gosh that’s inappropriate of her to say. Wait, what, that’s inappropriate? Just . . . nevermind.
She jokes with Christian about not being able to have sex for weeks and he jokingly glares at her like he’s about to murder her and oh it’s such a fun game and they both laugh. He asks what birth control she chose and then reminds her to take her pill everyday. Please do Ana, we really don’t want you two to reproduce.
Ana thinks, “Holy cow. He wants to hurt me . . . how do I deal with this?” Let me think. Call the police, maybe? But then he sexes on her and her brain rattles and she forgets about it because omg he is so hot. They head for the Red Room of Pain and her inner goddess does ballet. He braids her hair and makes his own Ana leash. Then he chains her up to some grid, gets out the riding crop, and ride’em cowboy! Christian whiffs her panties (ew) and shoves them in his pocket. Then there’s some whipping on her sex, you know, down there, and then he sexes her and she has another shattering orgasm and I yawn and think at least it’s done but no he’s not finished.
It’s time for the cable ties – remember those? Ana sold them to him! He ties her up and there’s his merciless onslaught and moaning and groaning and Christian orders another orgasm so boom there she goes on command. Ana is really pooped from all the fun torture sexy times and she and Christian go to sleep. Finally. End chapter.
Gosh, what a cliffhanger. What will happen next? Will they wake up or will his house explode killing them both instantly? My inner goddess claps her hands at this idea.
“He can be such fun one minute, and then he can be so formal and stuffy the next.” (Ch17 p239)
He can also be murderous. Don’t forget murderous!
Here we are again. Last post we covered chapters one and two and some of the main themes (like the theme of awful). We were introduced to our two main characters, Christian Grey and Anastasia Steel. Ana interviewed Christian. Christian stalked Ana to her workplace and bought stuff. And we got to learn about what they’re like. Ana has some sort of psychiatric / personality disorder involving voices in her head that argue about whether they should cheer or jeer her, and cause her mood to swing from obnoxiously shy to obnoxiously rude in 2.5 seconds. Christian is handsome and rich and has fingers and is a stalker. On to chapters three and four!
Kate, Ana’s best buddy that she routinely damns to hell, orders Ana to call her stalker for photos. We have a photo shoot of Grey for the college paper that lasts 20 minutes. Really? This is a college paper, not GQ. Then he invites Ana out for “a coffee”. He offers to have his driver take her friends and equipment home, because that’s totally normal. Kate warns her that Grey is dangerous for a girl so innocent (read: stupid). Kate’s right, but will completely change her mind about him later because James knows nothing about character consistency.
Ana and Christian get in the elevator. Then they walk through the hotel lobby. Then they stop at the traffic light. Ana says “the green man appears and we’re off.” Wait, what? When did the aliens get here? Is the book getting more interesting? But no, I can only assume by context that she is referring to the green traffic light. We call them “lights” in America, E.L.
Finally we get to the coffee shop, and Ana orders tea, because she’s American and is “keen” on tea. Jolly good, Ana. Christian interrogates her. Were those boys she spoke to her boyfriends? Because if a guy talks to you, you must be sleeping with him, right? Then he asks her questions about her family and she tells him a bunch of boring stuff that goes on and on and has nothing to do with the story.
They leave the coffee shop. Back to the green man! Christian is still asking her questions. “Are you studying? What for? Oh, exams, I wouldn’t have guessed that. Why do you wear jeans? Because they cover your butt? I see.” This goes on a while, until Ana steps out and is nearly . . . GASP . . . hit by . . . OMG . . . a . . . a . . . bicycle. Christian, romantic hero, saves her just in time. Thank GOD, could you imagine what might have happened? Like, maybe a skinned kneecap or something. That’s much more frightening than, say, your vampire boyfriend denting a car with his face to save you.
So Christian holds her tight, and he’s like, super HOT and one of the voices in Ana’s head commands him to kiss her. But Christian can’t hear the voice, and tells her dramatically “I’m not the man for you.” Because vampires, I mean, business executives, are dangerous. They go back to the hotel. Ana is super pissed that Christian didn’t pick up on what she didn’t tell him; so she acts like a brat and snaps at him. Christian leaves. Ana goes into the parking garage and drives home. No, I’m just kidding! She folds up into a fetal position on the garage floor and sobs about her dashed hopes and dreams. They had coffee. Once. Holy Cow, as Ana would say, the world is ending.
Kate asks Ana about the date. She concludes that Christian likes Ana, since he ordered kidnapping supplies from her AND asked her out for coffee AND risked his life with that near-miss with the cyclist that could have totally resulted in them both expiring in a fiery ball of death. But Ana knows that he can’t be the man for her because he’s too good looking, and he’s the sun, and she’s Icarus, and why won’t she burst into flames already?
Ana’s psychosis, er, subconscious, talks her to sleep, and she has that dream again where she cannot find a bathroom anywhere. Wait, that’s my dream. She sees gray stuff again, and it’s all very prophetic . . . or something.
Ana finishes her final exam. What the hell, she actually went to college? She and Kate grin like Cheshire cats. Creepy. They go home and Ana gets a “parcel” from Mr. Dahr-cee, I mean, Christian. Oh, wow, the parcel contains three first editions of Tess of the d’Urbervilles. I’m not sure why she would need three, or how he even managed to find three first editions of a book. There can only be so many rare first editions, right? That IS why they call them “rare”. Oh, who cares? They have champagne.
Kate and Ana go out to get drunk. This is so strange for Ana, because usually she’s sitting in the college library reading the classics because she’s, you know, deep and stuff. After Ana’s fifth margarita – remember she had champagne before she even got to the bar – she thinks she might be a touch drunk. Oh, do ya think, Ana? I’m no expert on drinking, but I figure that considering she’s never had alcohol before, that much booze should have killed her by now. If only.
Instead, she goes to the potty (and we get to come along). While she’s there, she drunk dials Christian who demands she tell him where she is young lady so that he can go get her and ground her for a month! She hangs up on him, which is the first intelligent thing I’ve seen her do so far. Ana leaves the bar for some fresh air, and Jose, her good buddy, comes out and tries to sexually assault her. Nice! Never fear, though, Christian Grey arrives to save the day!
Wait . . . how did he get there so fast? Did he hop in the bat-copter? I’d think he’d have trouble finding a place to land in that case. Ah well, no matter. He found her because he traced her cell phone, somehow, which is not at all creepy. Ana barfs, sadly not on Jose, and Christian holds back her hair. My husband did that for me when I was pregnant and had the awful morning sickness, but we’d been married for a year. I couldn’t imagine him being thrilled to do this after just meeting me.
But it’s okay with Christian because drunk, vomiting girls make good targets; um, I mean, because he’s a true gentleman. After she’s done puking, Christian calls 9-1-1; because this looks like a case of alcohol poisoning. No? Okay, so he finds her address (he’s good at that) and drives her home. No? Oh, okay, he takes her back into the bar, forces her to have another drink, and then takes her out to the dance floor. Makes sense. Kate, her other caring friend besides the near rapist, Jose, has found another hot guy who happens to be Christian’s brother, and has completely forgotten about Ana who just minutes ago had staggered outside. Then Ana passes out and Christian yells, “Fuck!”
Oh, a cliffhanger! What will Christian do with Ana’s unconscious body? Bury her up to her neck and draw a funny mustache on her with permanent marker? Cause that’s what I’d do. We’ll have to wait and see. I can hardly wait.
“And stop all this self-pitying, wallowing crap.” (Ch4p50)
Please, Ana, listen to your subconscious, we beg you.