WARNING: This is not for the squeamish. Vulgar language will be used, repeatedly. Sexual scenarios will be discussed, in detail.
Grey – E.L James
I actually didn’t think it was possible for Christian Grey to come off as even more of a dick than he did in 50 Shades of Grey and its subsequent sequels. As in many things, I was so very wrong.
Take everything wrong with Christian in the first three books and distill that into one condensed version. He is a megalomaniac stalker who truly and honestly believes that disagreeing with him in any way is a punishable offense. Tell him you aren’t hungry when he wants you to be? Then YOU don’t understand that he absolutely needs you to eat, regardless of whether you want to eat, and not eating means you aren’t taking his feelings into account, so obviously, YOU are the asshole.
He truly, honestly, completely believes that taking all control is a good thing for YOU! I mean, he is taking on all the hard work of making decisions, and thinking, and stuff. All YOU have to do is look pretty and cry or come on cue. How hard is that?
At the end of the book, when Ana asks him to really beat her so that she understands how far the BSDM lifestyle goes, he enjoys the hell out of it. He clearly and repeatedly states that this is the best moment of his life.
“I drop the belt, savoring my sweet euphoric release. I’m punch-drunk, breathless, and finally replete.”
Jesus, Mary and the oft-forgotten Joseph – is this shit for real? There are really women in the world who think this is romance? It isn’t. This is torture porn. This is a tragedy. If you take his behavior out of the bedroom and place it in a kitchen, for example, and he beats her (for her own good) because she added too much oregano to the sauce, then it is clearly domestic abuse. From his own point of view, in his own words, he enjoys inflicting pain on her. Not just control. Pain. He thinks her sobbing her heart out is “beautiful” and actually says, “This is what happens when you defy me, baby.” Um no. Not now and not ever will a man raise his hand to “punish me.” I will never deserve it. No woman ever does.
From Ana’s point of view in the other books, he is merely a little boy who has lost his way and needs to be saved by her love. That is so much psychological bullshit that it even hurts to type. From his point of view, it is all much clearer. He is a villain. He really is the monster she pretends he isn’t.
This book makes it very, very clear that she isn’t a person, she is a possession. He says over and over that he “owns her.” He is insanely jealous; making sure everyone from the valet to her father knows that the two of them are together. He is also incredibly insecure so that every joke, every sentence is analyzed to ensure that she isn’t leaving him, isn’t arguing with him, and isn’t in any way offensive to him. It’s odious. It’s insulting. It’s repugnant. He flat out tells her that he doesn’t want to talk to her, he just wants to fuck her and she’s like, sure, sounds great. Really? Maybe for a one-night stand, but for a long-term relationship? Not so much.
If I haven’t yet made it clear what I think about this book, let me provide one last example. Christian hates Ana’s car. Even though she has been driving it for years and it works perfectly, he has decided that she will simply no longer drive it. He takes it, sells it, and gives her a car he prefers. It doesn’t matter what she was driving or what he wants her to drive. That is beside the point. The point is that this is all done behind her back, with absolutely no input from her. When, at the end of the book, she breaks up with him, she returns his car and asks for the money he received from the sale of hers – and his response is to be furious! “It’s always about fucking money.” As if! No, asshole. You stole her car and pocketed the cash! You OWE her that money. That money is hers (and she wouldn’t even be in that position if you hadn’t stolen her goddamn car in the first place.)
Grey is single-handedly the best guide to what a woman should never suffer through in a relationship. Ladies, if the man you love hits you, follows you, steals from you, tells you how to dress, how to think, and even when to eat, then please, run as far from him as you can, possibly while dialing 911.