Updated on May 24, 2015
50 Shades of Grey – Chapter Seventeen
So Christian has stayed the night with Ana because she whined about being abandoned. The contract has STILL not been signed. Christian has STILL not had Ana naked in his playroom. I STILL haven’t found a hallucinogenic drug strong enough to make me enjoy this book.
50 Shades of Grey
I’m struggling to resist, but I’m drawn. And then it’s so bright, and I am flying too close to the sun … it’s stifling, overpowering. It wakes me.
Just in case the reference to Icarus in the last chapter was too subtle, EL James hammers the point home with Ana’s dream. Perhaps Ana can communicate with her subconscious after all, given that it spells out everything like a toddler learning to write.
I feel seven shades of scarlet from his heat.
Only seven? I feel cheated.
He grins. “I’m late. I don’t do late. Another first, Miss Steele.”
God, Ana, stop corrupting him.
“Sunday,” he says, and the word is pregnant with an unspoken promise.
The unspoken promise is, “We are going to have lots of sex again”. I thought I’d speak it, in case you were confused by the subtlety there.
She ‘fires up’ the ‘mean machine’, because there are literally no other ways to describe turning on a computer, and emails Christian a detailed analysis of her emotions following last night’s spanking.
“I felt demeaned, debased, and abused. And much to my mortification, I was aroused. And when I was lying in your arms, I felt … sated. But I feel very uncomfortable, guilty even, feeling that way.”
The only thing more boring than listening to Ana yabber on about how confused she is, is listening to her yabber on about it TWICE.
Grey: “…you stood beside me knowing what I was going to do. You didn’t at any time ask me to stop – you didn’t use either safeword. You are an adult…”
So shut up your moaning.
She keeps emailing him, even when he tells her he’s in a meeting and she should go to work. At every point when a normal conversation would end, this one doesn’t, because EL James has sacrificed verisimilitude for laboured, paper-thin characterisation.
Ana: “Will you stop bothering me now?”
He literally wrote “GO TO WORK” in full caps. Ana, GET OFF THE FUCKING COMPUTER.
Yes. I’m an adult, thank you for reminding me, Christian Grey.
Well, it bears repeating.
Oh Christ, just when she goes to work and I think all the email bullshit is over, a courier arrives with a new Blackberry. Naturally she uses it to tell Christian off for sending her another present, even though she’s agreed to LET THIS MAN BUY HER STUFF.
I put the thing in my back pocket, hating it already.
You are not a normal American twenty-something.
…during a hair-curlingly embarrassing speech…
Once I fell over in public and when I stood up I had an afro.
I roll my eyes at [his latest email] defiantly…
Yeh, take that, email! Burn.
Taylor, Christian’s sort of assistant, turns up to take away Ana’s old car. Apparently it’s called Wanda, but since so little time has previously been given to making us form any kind of attachment to this car, the sudden sentimentality of the moment comes to nowt.
Apartment, Beetle, Clayton’s – it’s all change now.
This tendency to repeat everything that’s happened, in a list, is frequent and highly irritating.
[José’s attempted kiss has] been swept under the rug that my inner goddess is lying on, eating grapes and tapping her fingers, waiting not so patiently for Sunday.
Entry #326 in EL James’ Big Book of Bollocks.
There’s a knock on the door, and my heart leaps into my throat. Is it…?
Is it who? No, really, WHO?
[Elliot] seizes [Kate] in a Hollywood-style clinch that moves quickly into a European art house embrace.
Entry #327 in EL James’ Big Book of Bollocks. Seriously, what the fuck is an art house embrace?
We [José and Ana] are uncomfortable with the unrestrained sexing unfolding in front of us.
I’m uncomfortable with you referring to it as ‘sexing’.
I put my arm through José’s. God, he’s so uncomplicated…
Except, you know, when he tries to force himself on you.
Kate and Elliot are nowhere to be seen, but boy, can they be heard.
Let’s go into their room. It sounds more interesting than the shit I’m reading.
I check the mean machine, and of course, there’s an email from Christian.
I may have to drink heavily to get through another of these stilted, cringingly unfunny exchanges.
I grab my phone. Five missed calls and one voice message… It’s Christian.
Three mugs of whisky down and … what? Only one email? Oh well.
“If you say you are going to contact me when you finish work, then you should have the decency to do so.”
I don’t understand. How is this man simultaneously aloof and clingy?
I scowl at the phone.
He is suffocating me.
Says the woman who forced him, on pain of tears, to spend the night with her.
He’d probably like to beat seven shades of shit out of me.
One: stop labouring the ‘shades’ motif. We get it, it’s the title, move on.
Two: given that he punishes you by smacking your arse, I could have done without you referencing shit here. There’s a risk of taking it too literally.
I picture him all those nights ago sitting at the piano in his huge living room and the unbearable bittersweet melancholy of the music he was playing.
Poor billionaire, let me fetch my violin. If only there was someone to save this dear, sweet man.
“You hang up,” I whisper.
“No, you hang up.”
Christ, we’re really doing this? I am not reading this book for vomit-inducing phone calls. HAVE SOME VIOLENT SEX PLEASE.
The phone call lasts for another PAGE, during which time I take a break to scald my face in the sandwich toaster, because it’s more fun. In the next scene, Ana and Kate are moving into their new, swanky apartment.
[Elliot] grins … at Kate, and she almost literally dissolves into the couch.
ALMOST literally. Good save, Ana. You almost talked shit again.
[A delivery man] holds a bottle of champagne…
“Ladies, Good luck in your new home, Christian Grey.”
Ana hasn’t told him her new address, which just proves how resourceful Christian is. He’s a keeper.
“He worries me, Ana. At least it’s good champagne and it’s chilled.”
As long as your stalker has good taste, that’s OK.
It’s Sunday. She’s off to Christian’s. Woo hoo.
I can drive the Audi in high heels!
I don’t care!
On page eight, there’s a photograph of the two of us together at the graduation ceremony.
Now you’ve been captured in newsprint, HE CAN NEVER LEAVE YOU.
“Dr. Greene is due here shortly… She’s the best ob-gyn in Seattle.”
Nothing like a gynaecological examination before Sunday lunch.
“Ready for some contraception?” he asks…
Oh yeh, baby, keep talking.
“I can’t wait to get you naked.”
And thus the chapter ends. You may as well read my intro to this chapter again: it basically still applies.
Read Chapter Eighteen.