US’s most cringeworthy lines gleaned from EL James’ new book, “Grey.” Literature, this isn’t (it *is* NSFW).

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I have absolutely no intention of plowing my way through any more of this woman’s work. But I did read these 21 lines the people at US Weekly took from the 500-plus pages of her latest opus, “Grey,” which debuted yesterday.  It basically covers the same story as her first three books, only from the POV of her, uhm, hero, that creepy, whip-loving stalker billionaire Mr. Grey.


I read the lines out loud to my husband, who alternately snickered, groaned and rolled his eyes. Honestly, just when I thought a writer couldn’t get worse–she proved me wrong. I think she should have quit after making an obscenely huge amount of money from her trilogy.  *sigh*

My husband said, “Never underestimate the general stupidity and slavish devotion to crap as far as vast numbers of our population are concerned.”  Sadly, I think he’s on to something there.

Read on–if you dare. 😉

21. I strip off all my clothes and from a drawer pull out my favorite jeans. My DJs. Dom jeans.

20. Boy, she looks good in a harness. 

19. Part of me wants to spank the shyness out of her. 

18. Much as I’d like to, I’m not going to f–k her in the restroom at IHOP. 

17. I ask, “Are you hungry?” “Not for food,” she teases. Whoa. She might as well be addressing my groin. 

16. I could tease and torture her until she begged for release … the images make my jeans even tighter.

15. Once she’s cuffed I step back and take a deep breath, relieved.

14. Oh, this is going to be fun. You’d be amazed what I can do with a few cable ties, baby. 

13. Her sharp intake of breath is music to my dick. 

12. My hand glides down her ass to the blue string and I tug out the tampon. 

11. I’m confused. I wanted to spank her. But she said no. 

10. There’s not a mark on her. The thought is unsettling.

9. She has a fine, fine ass. And I’m going to make it pink…like the champagne.

8. I imagine dripping hot wax onto her breasts and her squirming beneath me. This has a radical effect on my body. 

7. I’m going to make you come like a freight train, baby.

6. She thinks I need some TLC. F–k that Baby. I’ll take your body if you offer it up. I’m doing just fine. 

5. Her cheeks are coloring their familiar rosy pink, like her ass last night.

4. I hold her down so she can’t move, and I start to f–k her, consuming her.  

3. People like me like inflicting pain … I am used to making women cry – it’s what I do.

2. There are three stripes across her backside. I make it four … There’s no one to hear you, baby. 

1. An image of her shackled to my bench, peeled gingerroot inserted in her ass so she can’t clench her buttocks, comes to mind. 

PEELED GINGERROOT? Well, butter my backside and call me a biscuit!

58 responses »

      • I suppose it’s just lines taken out of context — everyone has their own fantasies and it’s often true that fantasies are more attractive when realized in the brain than they are in real life execution (this is how I feel about just about anything that involves food and sex, incidentally). Still. It’s kind of stark, out there as a sentence, all by itself.

        • Yes . . . things can get all greasy and sticky and ouchy in RL. That is a completely new one on me—peeled gingerroot . . . I suppose there will be a run on it at the food stores now.

    • Heehee. Welcome, Helen. I take solace in the fact that, while the US produced the train wreck known as the Kardashians, we have the Brits to blame for Ms. James. 😉

  1. A year or two ago I finally caved, as I was curious what the fuss was about and finally read the first book (sort of). I got very impatient with it quite quickly and after a while just skimmed through the rest of the story. I was curious enough to find out why Mr. Grey was the way he was, so read through synopses of the other two books online to find that out. I really didn’t need more than that. I had no patience for the rest of the trilogy and I can’t imagine bothering with Mr. Grey either. And reading what you quoted really doesn’t sound enticing to me either…

    • Esther, I think that’s what led a lot of people to read the books–there was so much hype and hoopla, you wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I wanted to read them all simply because I was planning a review of the trilogy and felt as if I needed familiarity with what I would be discussing and I wanted to give a fan fiction writer who’d “done good” a fair shake . . . and that led me to write a post in which I could not recommend them. That is still the most-read post on this blog, by the way.
      After reading so many gushing words of praise, many people commented and said, “Thank you!! I thought I was the only one who found this a disappointment and a time-waster!” I will be curious to see how this latest opus fares on the best seller lists.

      • Yes, I too liked the idea of a fan fiction writer making it ‘big’ like that. Maybe if she had told the story in one book instead of 3 it could’ve been better? Less is more and all that…

        • There was a LOT of padding that went into those books—she really should have done it in one volume. However, I am sure she made even more money by stretching it out into three. As it is, things became so repetitive, I found myself skipping a lot of passages, including some of the sex scenes—and if you are doing that with erotica, it really isn’t a good sign. The whole thing kept straining credulity . . .

  2. Your very last comment at the end of your numbered points, made me burst out laughing! ” Well butter my backside and call me a biscuit!” Sounded exactly like what ‘Blackadder’ Rowan Atkinson would say. You should do a rewrite, a parody of 50 shades, with all that sort of totally sidesplitting humour, it would outsell the bestseller ! Can you imagine how you could just add a bit of chilli sauce, a touch of mayo, and cook yourself up a storm with the tasty additions to the erotic!! YOUR HUMOUR IS PRICELESS!

    • Love Rowan Atkinson LOL That “biscuit” comment is actually a variation on a southern saying (we have many such colorful sayings down here). There have been some truly funny parodies written of the whole “Shades” phenom already, so I don’t know if another one would be welcome, but it is a tempting idea.

      • And with an entire novel told from his pov Christian Grey is still no more likeable than before. Now *that’s* consistency.

        • Yeah, I am thinking that, if anything (judging by these lines) he comes across as more of a creepy jerk rather than as a more sympathetic character. I still say if Mr. Grey had had the same “kinks” but worked at Wal-Mart, drove an old pickup and lived in a single-wide in a trailer park, he’d have lost a lot of his allure for readers.

          • There was a similar thing said somewhere a few months ago. If Christian Grey was poor and not attractive his behaviour and personality would make him the creepy stalker on a cop show – or in real life, someone who ended having a date(line) with Chris Hansen and not Dakota Johnson.

            • I have described the character for my husband, and he said, “Geez, sounds like some guy they would have on Investigation Discovery (for those unfamiliar, it’s a channel featuring real-life crime stories)”—and that is true. Sad to say, a lot of women seem to be mostly attracted to Christian’s fat wallet, the lure of helicopter rides, champagne, luxury apartments,expensive cars and designer clothes . . . somehow that trumps his less appealing qualities. “ :/

              • One of my acquaintances says that Christian Grey sounds like a narcissistic sociopath: The description I was quoted certainly sounded like his personality, as I’ve gleaned it from quotes. However when I tried to find a definition that matched the verbal one I’ve heard, I couldn’t anything exactly like it although the words that came up when I searched were ‘charming, manipulative, grandiose, lying, authoritarian, secretive, divisive’. There’s also mention of shallow emotions, or the inability to feel real emotion, lack of concern for others’ pain; it all boils down to one f-ed up psyche. It’s a very sad thing that so many women are buying into this as a sort of romantic hero.

              • I agree—I remember reading a comment made by someone who loved the books. She was gushing about how great it would be to have someone like Christian so attentive to you. Yeah,well, too many women have fallen for guys who initially were charming and showered them with attention—and then that attention became obsession and manipulation and things just didn’t end well.

                The whole scenario James comes up with of the two falling in love, getting married, baby makes three and everything is just picture-perfect with a little kink on the side? That is pure fantasy. You don’t change deeply damaged people; they have to decide to change on their own. They need therapy that’s a hell of a lot better than what the psychologist character in these books offers. I don’t think James did any sort of actual, in-depth research re the psychology of her character . . . she just took the twinkly vampires from “Twilight” and threw in some kinky sex and a sordid back story for her “hero.”

              • One of my female friends says that a lot of romantic male heroes are ‘disturbed’ and women are presented with this as an ideal. Based on my admittedly limited reading of Victorian (or any) romantic fiction I can see what she means when I look at someone like Rochester in Jane Eyre or maybe even Mr. Darcy, but my recollection is that sometimes the nice guys are the ones that end up the romantic hero (like Edward Ferrars and Mr. Brandon in Sense and Sensibility).
                When I had a little job in local used bookstore I do remember seeing some very sick historical novels that came out mid-20th century where the heroine’s first experience of sex always seemed to be rape. (This put me off ‘romantic’ fic for life I think). I suppose those were the 50 Shades of the day.

              • Yes! The creepy “virgin-rape but she kinda likes it then ends up marrying her rapist abuser but hey they’re married and marriage makes everything ok so”. Hurllllll

              • I think it’s some twisted product of repression, where even a newly married woman (which was the case in a couple of books) couldn’t *want* sex. It had to be forced on her violently the first time, so that she feel okay about having done it because it wasn’t her idea.

              • An offshoot of the “lie back and think of England” philosophy . . . in some ways, I feel these books are a setback to ways of thinking we hoped had largely disappeared.

              • This is precisely it. Anastasia Steele is a repressed character w ho would not be out of place in a Victorian novel. Or a Puritan tract.

              • On one hand, she is supposed to be this attractive, sexually appealing young woman who has several young men smitten with her. Yet, here in the 21st century this college grad has never been so much as kissed or even desired to have a man kiss her. She’s almost asexual (in the beginning of the book, at least) as well as hopelessly naive as written by James.

              • Yes, I do remember running across a few books like that—which may have been why I also kept away from romantic fiction for a LONG time. I remember one historical novel by a very respected author which I was enjoying quite a lot—until the hero decides to force himself on the heroine and it was such a surprise—and not a pleasant one—that it basically ruined the book for me. :/

              • I hear you. There was one author whose books I quite enjoyed, until I realized there was quite a prominent theme of the hero spanking, punishing, infantilizing, and in some cases, essentially raping the heroine – who of course, loved this and knew she deserved it all, because her LOVE was delivering the punishment. This showed up, not in her first books, but in book after book after book after she discovered this, uh, fetish. As soon as I realized what was going on, I quelled my rage and nausea and took all of her books out to the dumpster. Just UGH

              • One of my friends is researching real-life religious cults for a paper. The relationship between Grey and Steele would fit right into their ideas about the relationship between the sexes.

              • He already has the money and isolated compound and the kinks. He just needs some kind of theology.

              • I think that’s probably already been done in rl.
                The only surprise is that he only has one girlfriend now. Unless he’s another Bluebeard with a bunch of dead ones in a hidden room.

          • Hi Angie, Karen from LJ here…long time. 😉 ::waves:: I have to agree that your final comment above made me burst out laughing. Frankly,it was better than all of the points from the new book, put together. If Mr. Grey wasnt a billionaire, he’d be arrested for stalking and abuse. I have read many peoples’ problems with this trilogy… It’s not just the lousy writing… it’s also apparently a complete misrepresentation of the BDSM lifestyle and that this is really domestic abuse. Period. And the female lead is just an infantile idiot and beyond a dumb bunny. The funniest thing I ever read in asso. with the trilogy was a review with gifs. Priceless. I laughed till I wept. Will try to find the link for you.

            Oh, and though I didnt comment, I loved what you said in the prior RA post re fandom, policing, agreeing with him, slavish devotion, etc. I’ve taken a massive step back from all of it, as I simply don’t have the time, inclination, or tolerance for strident BS in my life. Was in the middle of dealing with my brother in the ICU over Xmas when the ski trip photo fiasco erupted and that was it. Pretty much my perdonal final straw. You, Servetus, and some others are cool. Good to see Helen’s name here, your writing buddy from RH, yes? But 6 years on…it’s kinda stopped being fun. Which was the point. And I share your concerns re Hannibal. I’m sure the acting will be superb…and disturb me utterly. We shall see. Also love Lee’s work. And I find them both fabulous, regardless. Amazing that some people can’t seem to separate perceived reality from pure perceptionvans bias, and an actor from a character. Sigh. Live your lives people. I think social has just exacerbated the problem. You? Love your work. Congrats on your continued success! Sorry this ran long…. 🙂 Karen

            • Hello, Karen, nice to see you!! Yes, women want to be with Mr. G for all the wrong reasons, IMHO. And I agree, there’s more to dislike about these books than the very amateurish and badly edited (if edited at all) writing. Several of the people who commented on my original post were those who actually DO participate in BDSM and they were pretty much dismayed by her portrayal of this lifestyle, which they described as very misleading and not at all accurate. People who had suffered at the hands of domestic partners in real life despised it. Some of the stories shared with me were heartbreaking. So I couldn’t quite dismiss this trilogy as harmless fun and I certainly could not recommend it to anyone. I am at a point in my life where I just can’t take a lot of excess drama, health-wise (mental or physical). And it seems as if there’s been way too much of it in the fandom in the last year or so, in particular. I got so aggravated at my FB RA page when people more or less told me to take down that ski photo—I stuck to my guns and kept it up. DON’T tell me what I can and can not post at my own page or blog! Sure, some people stopped following the page, but others started. I really did not, could not see what some fans were getting all stirred up about. It puts the “fanatic” that fan evolved from in a new light. /:

              I love RA, but I never forget he’s human and I never forget I have every right not to agree with every word that comes out of his lovely mouth or that is typed in with those lovely fingers. As I said, I don’t agree with everything my husband says/does, and we’ve been together for 30 years in a very loving relationship. I really do have a problem with putting people on a pedestal. I don’t think it’s particularly healthy .

              Oh and yes, there is a second film coming out, presumably to be followed by a third (followed by this latest book, possibly?? *groan*)The director of the first film has bailed out, and James’ husband is apparently scripting the second film. Rumors have swirled re both leads not returning. I get the impression neither one feels it has exactly boosted their film careers. I will be interested to see how the box office is the second time around—apparently “Grey” fans were largely disappointed with the first film because it was just a little too tasteful and not raunchy enough, and people who hadn’t read the books and went out of curiosity were left thinking, “THIS is what all that hype and hoopla was about?! REALLY?!” We shall see . . .

              I am going to try to do more writing on my RA blog, but I sure can’t guarantee everyone will like or agree with what I have to see. And isn’t that the way it is supposed to be?

  3. Is it just me, or does c. grey also have a “voice” kind of like a young girl? He certainly thinks about his jeans a lot. A lot a lot.

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