Anastasia Steele is a fucking idiot and absolutely no craic whatsoever. She's about to finish college and has managed to get to that point without ever getting drunk, kissing anyone or fancying anyone. She mopes about how she doesn't fit in anywhere yet she has people falling over themselves to be her friend and two good looking male friends trying desperately to get into her boring knickers. A fact which she seems oblivious to because, in case I wasn't clear before, she's a FUCKING IDIOT. She also says really stupid things like how her stepfather Ray is "the reason I know the difference between a hawk and a handsaw". Apparently this was something that had to be explained to her.
Anyway, her roommate Kate, who is all no-nonsense and go-getting and says stuff like "capiche" (no one says capiche unless they're in a bad gangster film), needs her to fill in for her and interview mysterious CEO Christian Grey for the student newspaper. So instead of at least Googling this man she's about to interview and has never heard of before in her stupid life, Ana spends some time complaining about her unruly hair and her blue eyes "too big for her face" (because big eyes are, like, SO UNATTRACTIVE YOU GUYS).
When Ana enters Christian Grey's office building for the interview, E.L. James does the most hilariously terrible job of describing it, by saying the words "glass" and "steel" over and over AND FUCKING OVER.
"It's a huge twenty storey office building, all curved glass and steel, an architect's utilitarian fantasy, with Grey House written discreetly in steel over the glass front doors. It's a quarter to two when I arrive, greatly relieved that I'm not late as I walk into the enormous - and frankly intimidting - glass, steel and white sandstone lobby."
After waiting around for a bit, feeling inadeqaute and describing a token African-American man with dreads (of course), Ana makes her way into Grey's office when summoned and falls arse over tit in the door for no reason other than the fact that she's SO ENDEARINGLY CLUMSY. Grey helps her up and the very first physical description of him is "long-fingered".
|Better get used to the idea, because his long fingers are mentioned NINETEEN times in this awful book.|
We're told how young and attractive he is and Ana is now all flustered and makes a balls of setting up the recorder for the interview. She eventually gets her shit together and asks Kate's questions, whereupon he's all arrogant and self-assured and says stuff like "I'm a very wealthy man, Miss Steele, and I have expensive and absorbing hobbies", which as Karen pointed out on Twitter, makes him sound like Ron Burgundy. They finish the interview, his eyes "blaze" a bit and then he as good as offers her a job as an intern, despite knowing precisely fuck all about her.
That Saturday, while Ana is at her part time job in a hardware shop - just as well she knows her hawks from her handsaws, so - Christian shows up with "a ghost of a smile on his lips". He's described that way four times during this book. I think his mouth is haunted.
|Artist's impression of Christian Grey's mouth.|
Also, his voice is "warm and husky like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel... or something". Or something. Jesus Christ, it's like reading a lovesick fifteen year old's diary. Although saying that is actually an insult to lovesick fifteen year olds everywhere. I'm sorry lovesick fifteen year olds, you didn't deserve that.
He proceeds to buy cable ties, masking tape, rope and overalls, which doesn't at all make him sound like someone who has a cheerleader tied up in the back of a Ford Transit outside. Throughout the whole sorry endeavour, Ana is all fumbling and self-conscious and generally unable to interact with another human being properly. They arrange a photoshoot for Kate's article, an exchange during which "he looks lost somehow, and the Earth shifts slightly on its axis, the tectonic plates sliding into a new position". HOLY SHIT, CHRISTIAN GREY CAN CAUSE EARTHQUAKES.
At one point during his little spending spree on murder/kidnap paraphernalia, Ana's so embarrassed that she thinks to herself "I must be the color of the communist manifesto."
I wonder if that means that she was green, like the first edition? Or maybe her face went orange and stripey and a penguin appeared on her chin? Or maybe she DID just turn red, but there was a saucy black gradient around the edges of her face. She's SO talented.
Anyway, the day of the photoshoot arrives and Ana's friend José (one of the dude friends trying his hardest to bone her) has been coerced into being their photographer. Ana, Kate and José arrive at the agreed location, a hotel suite and when Grey walks in, Ana reacts like no one has ever worn a white shirt and grey pants before.
"Holy crap! He’s wearing a white shirt, open at the collar, and grey flannel pants that hang from his hips."
Something you should know about Christian Grey at this point, is that his pants are all too big for him. Every single pants-shaped thing he wears "hangs from his hips". You'd think a billionaire could afford clothes that fit. Also, yet another thing I hate about Ana is that she constantly says "crap" or "double crap". There's even a "triple crap" thrown in for good measure. It's incredibly annoying. As is her constant use of the word "jeez".
Appearances of the word "crap": 94 ("Holy crap" count: 41)
Appearances of the word "jeez": 81
It's fucking ridiculous.
And that's your lot for the moment kids. Stay tuned for Volume 2.