In case you’re just joining us, we’ve already interviewed two characters from Ana Bobana’s memoirs. Taylor, Christian’s assistant and most likely prisoner at the moment, and Ana herself. Lucky us. Now let’s see, who is next on my list to cover Chapter 3 . . .
Christian: You! You are the one who talked to my property.
Alice: I . . . come again?
Christian: Taylor and Ana belong to me. Everything belongs to me. You know the song. This land is my land. This land is my land. This land is . . .
Alice: That’s not how the song goes.
Christian: Why aren’t you fainting from multiple orgasms?
Alice: Cause I think you’re an asshole. And I’m not scheduled to interview you.
Christian: Yes you are. I am going to tell you about my romance with Ana now, Alice. Be prepared.
Alice: You’re seriously creeping me out.
Christian: But first I want to know, what did Ana and Taylor tell you about me? Because if you ask me questions, I get to ask questions too.
Alice: That’s not how an interview works. And anyway, didn’t you tape record it all?
Christian: Of course I did. But Ana mistook my tape recorder for a sex toy and . . .
Alice: Yeah, that’s enough! Taylor hates you and Ana is convinced you’re Jesus. The hot Jesus, like the one in that Mel Gibson movie.
Christian: Jesus isn’t nearly as awesome as I am. Now, about that romance. When she left me, I was having a dark night of the soul, so to console myself, I bought the company she works for.
Alice: You did what?
Christian: I know, right? Like Jesus could buy real estate. Moving on, we shared some very sexy emails. I am a master emailer.
Alice: You bought your ex-girlfriend’s company?
Christian: How else could I track her every movement? I have to know that she’s eating. And what she’s eating. And when. And with who. The usual boyfriend kind of thing. Oh, I discovered she ate a banana.
Christian: Isn’t she? She beguiles me! That’s why so many men want her, but they can’t have her, because she belongs to me. I have the papers and everything. She’s even registered with the American Kennel Club.
Alice: You do know she’s actually a human, right?
Christian: No, no, no. She’s a woman. Tsk. Now where was I? Oh, yes, that new boss of hers, Jack Hyde, wants to steal my Ana, and he can’t have her. I once loaned him some Tinker Toys, and he never gave them back. I can’t risk that again!
Alice: Um, how do you know he’s trying to “steal” her?
Christian: She went to Fifty’s for drinks with people from his company. He was there.
Alice: The bar is called Fifty’s? Seriously?
Christian: I had to stake my claim on my woman! It was difficult to get over to her, because women kept fainting in my path or throwing themselves upon me. They just can’t withstand my sexual prowess or the way my pants hang.
Alice: How do your pants hang?
Christian: I have no idea, but it’s sexy, damn it. I informed Jack Hyde that I was the boyfriend. And then he said he was the boss. For a moment, I thought I might have to pee on her to prove my point, but Hyde realized what a fine specimen of man I am and wisely backed down.
Alice: So you grabbed her by the hair and dragged her home to the cave. I got it.
Christian: But you must hear of our ride in the car! Taylor came to pick us up in my AUDI. I drive an Audi. It’s a fabulous car. There’s a phone in the steering wheel and everything.
Alice: I don’t think you realize the fucks I do not give.
Christian: I told Ana that I bought the company and she seemed a little annoyed with me.
Alice: I can’t imagine why.
Christian: Nor I! But I made her laugh, because I’m so witty and all, and she forgot all about being angry with me and let me into her apartment. She wanted sex, of course, but I wanted her to eat first, because my Ana must eat. I have this need for her to eat because once I . . .
Alice: Yes, yes, you went without food when you were four. We know.
Christian: Oh, crack mommy was so neglectful, which is why I am now sad.
Alice: You’re not sad. You’re a psychopath.
Christian: Ana’s cupboard was bare, not even a bone. So we had to go to the grocery store. Can you imagine? Me, at a grocery store?
Alice: I can’t figure out why there is a scene at a grocery store.
Christian: So Ana cooked, and showed me how to chop a pepper.
Alice: That’s a good skill for her to remember.
Christian: And we flirted, and bumped into one another, and the sexual tension was just so high, but I made sure she put the chicken in the fridge before we got to the sex.
Alice: Very practical of you.
Christian: And then we made love. First I took off my socks . . .
Alice: I really don’t want to hear this.
Christian: There was groaning, and begging, and she tried to suck off my royal staff of manhood and then I ordered her to have an orgasm and she did. I think the training is going well. She really responds to the Snausages.
Alice: That was . . . truly horrible.
Christian: I would love to stay and tell you more, but I am a very busy man. I have emails to compose. And mergers. I make frequent mergers. It’s exhausting.
Alice: Um, hey who’s that over there? Is that one of your old subs who is jealous of Ana and is hoping to make a plot point? Possibly?
Christian: Oh, dear. The situation! I must go!
Alice: Huh, his pants really DO hang that way when he runs.
I have debated whether to recap the next two books in this amazing series. The first book was truly an adventure in awful, but we were left at such a cliffhanger! Ana left Christian! Of course we know Christian is peeking in her window at this very moment, so the question is how long will it be before he murders, er, is reunited with his twu luv?
So I downloaded the sample of “50 Shades Dumber” to my Nook Color (Buy one today! Probably won’t break down in a year!) I got the first chapter and part of the second; and wow, they were pretty fantastic, if you like drinking floor cleaner. I decided to take a short break and actually write some of my own stuff, though I admit I kept looking over it for signs of Jamesism. Crap, did I have that character talk to a voice in her head? Did his pants hang that way? Was that last sentence complete? Do I understand subject / verb agreement, or for that matter, what a subject or verb is.
I’m not entirely sure. But I figure I should get this crap out of my system so that I can further devote myself to writing that doesn’t make people puke and might one day be noticed by publishers. I’m thinking of writing “Twilight Sexy Times” as the title, even though it has nothing to do with that, in hopes of attracting a publisher who will give me millions based on the cover alone. I’m pretty sure that is what James had to have done.
But I haven’t just been focused on 50 Shades, people. I read as well. In fact, right now I am reading The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. It’s really the perfect companion piece for 50 Shades of Grey. I thought, just for kicks, I’d see if Christian qualifies and you will never believe what I found out!
But first, I must present to you an image of Our Hero created by The University of Lancashire (as a project? I’m not sure why.) I stole it from The Telegraph. It’s not creepy at all.
With that charming image in mind, these are 20 items on the test (from pages 98-99). Here we go:
Item 1: Glibness / superficial charm. Check! Well, at least it charms Ana.
Item 2: Grandiose sense of self-worth. Yup. “Look at my big house. Look at my helicopter. Meet my penis.”
Item 3: Need for stimulation / proneness to boredom. The guy has a Red Room of Pain. I think that qualifies.
Item 4: Pathological lying. “I would never hurt you, Ana, I swears!” Whap!
Item 5: Conning / Manipulative. “Stay away Ana, I am no good for you hey do you want a ride in my big helicopter?”
Item 6: Lack of remorse or guilt. “Can’t you get over this whole beating thing?”
Item 7: Shallow affect. Any more shallow and you’d hit rock bottom.
Item 8: Callous / Lack of Empathy. I’m not sure about this one. I mean he did rub baby oil on her butt after beating the crap out of it.
Item 9: Parasitic Lifestyle. If Christian could literally move into Ana’s “down there”, you know he would.
Item 10: Poor behavioral controls. Do we even need to go here?
Item 11: Promiscuous sexual behavior. He’s had 15 subs, plus Mrs. Robinson, plus he apparently paid for sex, all before Ana, and he’s 27. Gee, I don’t know. Is that normal?
Item 12: Early behavior problems. He says that Mrs. Robinson set him on the straight and narrow with BDSM. Hmm.
Item 13: Lack of realistic long-term goals. Does he have a goal besides screwing Ana?
Item 14: Impulsivity. “Hey some girl that fell in my office, do you want a job?”
Item 15: Irresponsibility. Once when he was hanging a girl from his ceiling, he kinda hurt her. I’d say this was slightly irresponsible.
Item 16: Failure to accept responsibility for own actions. “Not my fault you didn’t use the safewords while I was whipping you. Jeez, Ana.”
Item 17: Many short term marital relationships. Well, not marital, but he had 15 freaking subs. And not the sandwich kind.
Item 18: Juvenile delinquency. See Item 12
Item 19: Revocation of conditional release. The only reason he’s not in an institution is because he’s rich. Also that Dr. Flynn is so awesome.
Item 20: Criminal versatility. “Check out my cool room of torture instruments! Also, look at all the ways I can stalk you! Is that cool or what?”
You’re considered a psycho if you qualify for like ¾ of these, and Christian gets – bing bing bing! – every single one. Did James purposely try to make this guy a psycho? I don’t think so. For one thing, she’d have to have done some research. For another, he’s supposed to be this romantic hero. Sure, a damaged hero, but still a hero who can be reformed by love. This doesn’t often happen with psychopaths.
Except Christian because Ana is a super speshul snowflake as we will all see as soon as we read the other two books which will expand on their love story and how Ana is so much better than a psychiatrist or drugs or electroshock therapy. I can hardly wait!
When I reached the end of this turdbucket, um, bestselling book, I felt . . . oh my, what’s the word? Like my inner goddess was assaulted by a stupid stick repeatedly, causing me to bite my lip and frown in a hard line. I’ve forgotten how to make basic sentences, and I no longer remember to eat. My subconscious and I just sit around and drink. And think about Christian. How will we ever survive without our special psychopath? I mean they broke up and . . .
There’s another book. Wait, what? How could there be a second . . . there are THREE of them? Wow, that’s just . . . like caramel mocha fudge brownie buttplugs. . . or something. What will become of Christian and Ana’s epic romance? What role will the riding crop play? Will there be zombies? I mean, besides Ana?
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but inner goddess has woken from her stupor and is insisting I read these other books because she feeds on stupid and there are no new episodes of Teen Mom on T.V. right now. Damn that inner goddess!
So I went to Amazon to find the next book, 50 Shades More Profit, or something like that. And there are all these reviews of the first book . . . positive reviews. And I think a lot of them must be from real people. And I’m so curious why people, especially women people, love this book. Inner goddess insisted I look, though subconscious really just wanted another shot.
So I looked and . . . I just . . . don’t even. Here’s a brief summary of the positive reviews (there are at this moment 4, 239 five star reviews). “Christian is a great male lead because he is so hot and charming! Anastasia is so sweet and her inner voices are cute! You cannot put the book down it is so intense! And it’s not just about sex, it is a LOVE STORY because Ana changes this tortured man with her love. I’ve read each book ten times each. They are the best books I have ever read!”
Now everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if their opinion is wrong. But still, these reviews, along with the many, many, Holy Double Crap, many articles praising the work and how it has done wonders for the sex lives of couples make me weep a little for the future of humanity. But then I find sanity in blogs written by people with way more talent and possibly too much free time and I have hope. Also there are the negative reviews. Amazon currently has 3, 456 one star reviews, and as one reviewer says, the reviews are far better than the books themselves. I have included some of the honest-to-goodness review titles so you can get an idea.
First there are plays on the books title . . .
50 Shades of Really Bad
50 Shades of Dysfunction
50 Shades of Suicidal Thoughts
50 Shades of Regret
50 Shades of Stupid
50 Shades of don’t self publish
“50 Shades of REFUND,” I murmured dryly with a wry smirk.
50 Shades of Boring
50 Shades of Awful
50 Shades of Crap
50 Shades of Bad
50 Shades of B.S.
50 Shades of Amateur
50 Shades of Garbage
50 Ways to Yawn
Shades of Poor Writing
And then some tell you what they really think.
Not the worst I’ve read . . . No wait IT IS.
Warning: You will not be able to unread this book if you decide to try it
Wow. Jeez. Holy Cow! This book is not worth the time or money
THIS is what the hype was about?
If Crap Had an A$$hole, This Would Be Shooting Out of It
Can I give it zero stars?
I want to give this book to someone I hate and tell them it’s awesome. That’s how bad this is.
Horrified this was actually published. More horrified that people are reading it!!!
Oh my . . . am I British, American, or 14?
Oh My, Biting My Lip, Jeez
Make it go away!
Oh my. Oh crap. Holy cow. Holy crap. Holy Moses. Oh No. Frown!
My inner goddess is crying
My IQ dropped 10 points every time I opened the book!
Horribly Irresponsible and Stalker Supported
Zero stars. I’d rather read Itunes agreements
I’ll have whatever the reviewers are smoking, thank you.
A student writing this would receive an F
You have to be kidding me
Are we all just subjects of a social experiment?
The publishing world has hit rock bottom
Terrible is an understatement
Laugh out loud ridiculous!
Entertainment is crimson, er, grey, er . . geez!
Um . . . what?
Will this ever end?
My “down there” is sad that this book is so awful
A “novel” of Twits, for Twits
Complete waste of time, money, and brain space
Stockpile in case of toilet paper shortage
A literary masterpiece (if you’ve had a frontal lobotomy)
So there you go. And no, I haven’t made an official review for Amazon yet – these are from other people. These reviewers are passionately angry, like Christian when Ana breathes funny, and for good reason. The reviews are clearly written better than the book, and the book has sold millions of copies. Bad art makes us passionate, and so we strike back however we can. With snark, with puppets, with gifs, with social media, and with various misuses of Microsoft Word and Photoshop. We are readers, here us snark!
And then go take some Advil with an extra hit of Nyquil.