Tuesday, February 25, 2014

50 Shades Shadier: Chapter 6, part 1

Ana and Christian have sex and get ready for a party. 

I have some bad news to share with you.

Here's what's happening: I haven't been reading ahead for a couple of weeks. I don't know what's going to happen except for in the most general way, since I haven't read this whole book but I have read some plot outlines. Hence, I thought that the end of Chapter 5 was suggesting an implied sex scene, and that we'd start Chapter 6 right after its conclusion.

I was wrong. Chapter 6 starts with a quick trip to Sexville, Population: 2. So that's what we're starting with today. I don't like that any more than you do. I probably like it less! You, after all, might be able to derive some kinky pleasure from my suffering, but I'm just here, suffering. Oh well. We've endured worse.

Oh and here's another thing:

My medical advisor asked me today why I highlight text the way I do rather than doing block quotes like a sensible person. And I said "because I don't know how to do block quotes like a sensible person" and then she said, "I bet if you hit that button there with the big mutterblushing quotation mark icon it'd make block quotes ya dumb idiot." And so of course it did and now I know how to make block quotes and also I learned how to be even more embarrassed about myself. (Editor's note: Our medical advisor may have phrased things much more gently but we don't remember. We were too busy being embarrassed.) So that's why this week's entry is a mix of highlighted text and block quotes. You can pinpoint the exact point where we learned the error of our ways! The highlighting reportedly doesn't transfer well if you're reading this via an RSS reader, so I'll switch to more traditional quotations entirely next week.

Also, next Tuesday is Mardi Gras so we may post something but Mardi Gras is a time for enjoying life and this book interferes with my enjoyment of life so, vacation!

But before that? Work! Where were we?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fifty Shades Shadier: Chapter 5 part 2

Ana and Christian go to Christian's house. Ana draws on Christian with lipstick. 

When last we saw our heroes, CG had just finished carrying Ana around downtown Seattle while simultaneously spanking her. That was pretty gross. Then EL displayed some woeful unfamiliarity with American gun culture. See, EL thinks that you get a concealed weapons permit, and then you get a gun. If you're dangerous and unstable, you probably just get the gun, right? Probably. But anyway. I guess we can't assume yet that Leila has a gun. She's maybe the most polite, Washington-style gun owner ever, and is going to get a bunch of permits first and then maybe get a gun later. But hey. A gun has entered our story. So probably somebody is going to get shot. I know I've got a particular "somebody" in mind I'm hoping for, but I will not tell you his name because I am superstitious like that.

But where were we, exactly?

Our story thus far:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

50 Shades Shadier: Chapter 5 part 1

Ana storms out of the hair salon because she's jealous of Christian's ex-lover, Elena. Christian carries Ana around for a while like he's a goddamn Viking and she's the spoils of war because he's worried that a different ex-lover, Leila, might be armed and dangerous. 

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must inform you 50 Shades Shadier is both easier to read than its predecessor and more frustrating. It's easier to read because the occasional thing actually happens. Ana and Christian worrying about CG's ex-lover Leila is more plot that we got in the entirety of the first book, and we're only a handful of chapters in. And, eventually, Jack Hyde over at Ana's publishing company is going to turn into a plot point as well. He hasn't yet. He's sort of a proto plot point. Great! When you're writing a book it's a good idea to have some kind of plot.

But CG is continuing to make Ana miserable most of the time. He's terrible to her and infantilizes her at every opportunity. So Shadier is a book that presents us with a central conflict (Ana vs. Christian) but displays no curiosity about it. EL seems to think that we ought to become invested in the side story and forget about the main conflict. Or maybe she doesn't even realize that there is still a central conflict. I'm not sure how that could be possible! Once again, Chapter 5 sees CG utterly ignoring clear requests from Ana because he knows better or whatever. Ugh. It's a bit like the government taking every opportunity to say "The terrorists are out to get you! So don't worry that the bank is booting you out of your house! Worry about the terrorists!"

Here's another thing about Leila. Leila, who was once in a Dom/sub relationship with Christian, is a pretty good representation of how EL wants to have it both ways when it comes to BDSM. On the one hand, EL wants to write (bland) sex scenes involving improvised restraints and a few modest signifiers of kink. Fine. Whatever. Enjoy! She wants the trappings of the lifestyle, but she makes sure to let us know that everybody who actually enjoys the stuff is diseased. CG only likes to tie people up because he was abused as a child. And Leila--we don't know exactly what she's into? But we know that she suffered some kind of mental break and now is insane. 

So basically, Ana is magic. Via the power of her (relative) virginity she is able to handle CG's sexy-times, even though the power of his sexiness would surely ruin a "regular" lady! Only she can endure! Because she isn't really that into it anyway. Am I making sense? Leila is just going to serve as another bit of "proof" that Ana is special and that anybody who likes kinky stuff must be a dangerous maniac. 

And that's why this book is also kind of worse than the previous one. Shocking!

Our story thus far:

Friday, February 7, 2014

Fifty Shades Shadier: Chapter 4 part 2

Ana and Christian fight about money, eat breakfast, and then go to a hair salon where the woman who introduced him to BDSM works.

This weekend I'm attending a seminar about how to write a proposal for a non-fiction book and I'm feeling increasingly silly about it. The instructor asked for a one-sentence explanation of the book everybody wants to write and I haven't done it yet because this is the book I want to write. I already wrote it, really. It's long as hell! The current draft of my readers' guide for 50 Shades is like 120,000 words! That's not as long as the actual book, but it's book-length. Maybe I could've intrigued some publisher if I'd done this a couple years ago but really I think it's just too late, right? And I'm taking a day off from work for this! Whatever. Maybe it'll teach me how to write some different book. I can write my memoir. That's what you all want to read, right? Kinda? Great.

Two posts this week. It only seems fair to publish the end of Chapter 4 now because there really isn't much of it left. Mainly just CG and Ana having awkward conversations, followed by one little bit at the end dropped in to set up the next chapter. Yawn. Oh well! Here you go anyway!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fifty Shades Shadier: Chapter 4 part 1

Ana and Christian eat some food and have more sex and then talk about Leila, one of Christian's ex-lovers, who may be stalking Ana. 

Stray thought:

I'm watching this tv show called The Following about this English professor who leads a murder cult. Anyway the murder professor is played by James Purefoy who's a British actor and the more of the show I watch, the more convinced I am that Purefoy would be a perfect Christian Grey. Yes, I know CG is supposed to be 27 or whatever, but everything Purefoy does in The Following fits CG super well. I think they should hold off on the movie and just put Purefoy in instead of whatever young guy they signed up.

This even looks like a scene from our book, right? I mean, minus the hoodie. Christian Grey doesn't ever wear a hoodie I don't think. Yes, I do think it's creepy that I'm watching this show about a murder professor and thinking, "Hey you know what? This is really making me think of Fifty Shades." Oh well!

Back to our heroes!