Oh No: Fifty Shades Darker Chapter Fourteen

Posted on October 30, 2012 by

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As Ariel mentioned yesterday, last weekend we were part of a gender-bending How I Met Your Mother group costume, and, guys, it’s just so awesome I have to share it with you again even though she already did.

Also note how our Ted is totally pulling off the red cowboy boots.

And you want to know what’s even MORE awesome? One of our friends couldn’t go to the party we were wearing this to until way later, so she was the mother. She showed up at the very end with the yellow umbrella, and EVERYTHING WAS AWESOME.

It was legen- wait for it- actually, wait, no, this joke is too obvious. I can’t do it. Sorry.

Ahhh I’m still freaking out about how awesome all of that was. Sigh… okay, I can’t put off Fifty Shades any longer, can I?

Chapter Fourteen

We rejoin our heroes (or Christian and Ana) after Christian resolved the issue of Leila breaking into Christian’s apartment with a gun entirely off-screen and Ana went to a bar instead. They met up, fought, and now Christian’s crying and shit.

The vague alcoholic fuzziness I’m suffering from evaporates in an instant and is replaced by a prickling scalp and a creeping sense of doom as the blood drains from my face.

Ah man, taking a week off from reading James’s writing really put me off guard. What the hell is “prickling scalp”? Who the hell worries about someone and thinks “man, my scalp is so prickly in response to this”? This doesn’t even sound like a headache either. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN.

Oh fuck. My poor Fifty.

I can’t decide what’s worse. James trying to write someone’s thinking eloquently, or trying to write someone’s thinking naturally. They’re both just so terrible.

Compassion, loss, and despair all swell in my heart, and I feel a choking sense of desperation. I am going to have to fight to bring him back, to bring back my Fifty.

Remember how Ana says something about how she doesn’t know Christian Grey very well? Like… every chapter? Because she doesn’t.

“You never give me any time . . . time to just think things through […] We barely know each other, and all this baggage that comes with you”

Case in point.

Maybe I’m just gonna pretend Ana and Christian are fish and that’ll improve this book.

Christian’s still not really sure what to say, and Ana tries to talk through her feelings. Again. So we hear the exact same thoughts about Christian’s sexual past, about Leila, about how Ana doesn’t understand why Christian likes her or finds her attractive, and UGHHH we’ve already read this a million times.

But then something new happens when Christian finally starts talking.

“Seeing her in that state, knowing that I might have something to do with her mental breakdown . . .”

This is, amazingly enough, a side of Christian that we haven’t seen before, and this could be genuinely interesting. A psychologically tormented character who’s spent his whole life trying to get better suddenly faced with the psychological damage he’s inflicted on someone else? This could actually be interesting to read.

“you weren’t responsible for her being in that state, Christian.”

No! Fuck off, Ana! If the man’s going to torture himself anyway, let him at least torture himself over something I haven’t read a billion times!

He gazes at me intently. “Anastasia Steele, you are the most stubborn woman I know.”

God dammit, Ana! And then we move onto the forbidden zones where Christian can’t handle being touched (again) and Christian’s gonna let Ana touch his chest (again) and Christian’s visibly anguished by physical contact with these places where he was abused as a child but he has to do this (again). Ana the wordsmith describes the visceral emotions involved in this intense situation.

Holy cow.

Okay, to be fair, she does actually try to describe it.

He opens his eyes, and they are gray fire, blazing at me. Holy cow. His look is blistering, feral, beyond intense, and his breathing is rapid. It stirs my blood. I squirm under his gaze.

So it’s not that badly written. Except for that holy cow part. I mean, seriously. Holy cow? The fuck?

WRITING TIP: If you’re having trouble describing intense emotional scenes, subtly make your reader think about cows!

Ana kisses him on his chest and it’s too much for him and he starts crying. Then Ana subtly changes the subject.

“What is this secret that makes you think I’ll run for the hills? That makes you so determined to believe I’ll go?” I plead, my voice tremulous. “Tell me, Christian, please . . .”

And then Ana is the dumbest person ever.

He gazes down at me, and he looks utterly desolate. Oh shit—it’s bad.

“My boyfriend has a secret that he thinks will make me leave him. I wonder if it’s bad?” = literally 235 pages of this book

Ready for shit to get really fucked up?

“I’m a sadist, Ana. I like to whip little brown-haired girls like you because you all look like the crack whore —my birth mother. I’m sure you can guess why.”

Ready to be moved by the power of words?

My world stops. Oh no.

No, seriously. This is legitimately one of the most fucked up things I’ve ever read, and Ana’s first response to it is “Oh no”. Let’s pretend Kafka wrote like this.

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect-like creature.
“Oh no.” He thought.

Ana’s concerned this means that she can’t give Christian what he needs, and he responds by telling her that because she’s the first person who’s ever said that she loves him (which I find suspect, given his super loving adoptive family and the crazy stalker exes, but whatevs), he doesn’t need the sadism anymore. Then he, much like the reader, wonders why Ana is still talking to him.

“Why? Because I might think you’re a sicko for whipping and fucking women who look like your mother? Whatever would give you that impression?”

Christian insists that her leaving him was the best thing that could have happened for them, because now he acts like a clingy seventeen year old.

“Don’t leave me,” he whispers.
“Oh, for crying out loud—no! I am not doing to go!” I shout and it’s cathartic. There, I’ve said it. I am not leaving.
“Really?” His eyes widen.

And then he suggests they get married. Ana reacts by literally falling backwards and rolling on the floor with laughter.

I lie back flat on the floor and surrender myself to the laughter, laughing as I’ve never laughed before, huge healing cathartic howls of laughter.

Which, understandably, hurts Christian’s feelings, and the way he reacts, I actually legitimately feel bad for him.

He gently wipes away a stray tear with the back of his knuckles. “You find my proposal amusing, Miss Steele?”

They agree to consider getting married later at a less traumatic time. Christian gets hungry.

He studiously ignores me as he ferrets through the enormous fridge.
“Cheese?” he asks.
“Not at this hour.”
“Pretzels?”

Who the fuck puts pretzels in the fridge?

“So what did you do with Leila in the apartment?”
[…] “We talked, and I gave her a bath.”

Ana’s response is a typical Ana: bizarrely understated.

What an inappropriate thing to do.

She yells at Christian and storms off to bed! Oh no! I wonder if they’ll make up in the next chapter?

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