I know. You don’t have to say anything. Even the best of us sometimes bite off more than we can chew, and regular readers have obviously noticed that it’s been quite a long time since my last update, despite promises otherwise. As feared, the last few weeks of the semester really got the best of me…but then, I’m not here to make excuses. I apologize for the long wait, as I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for all of you…
But rather than wallow in the negative (especially since that negative is of my own doing), I propose we look at the bright side of this delay. Namely, the rare honor it instills on this blog. That’s right, this is no longer just Mommy Porn and Me, a snarky chapter-by-chapter recap of Fifty Shades of Grey. No, now instead, I feel confident it proclaiming it:
Mommy Porn and Me – The Internet’s Longest Running Fifty Shades of Grey Review!!!
Now, with a new (self-proclaimed) accolade under my belt, I begin again. And, to tell the truth, I feel quite refreshed. Dare I say, even excited? It’s been awhile since I’ve read anything purely for fun…perhaps Fifty Shades will suddenly seem a little better than it did before. Maybe these last three chapters wrap things up in a satisfactory and entertaining manner. And maybe the writing isn’t really as bad as I remember it to be. So let’s check in with the beginning of Chapter Twenty-Four, shall we?!
Christian stands in a steel-barred cage. Wearing his soft, ripped jeans, his chest and feet are mouthwateringly naked, and he’s staring at me. His private-joke smile is etched on his beautiful face and his eyes a molten gray. In his hands he holds a bowl of strawberries. He ambles with athletic grace to the front of the cage, gazing intently at me. Holding up a plump ripe strawberry, he extends his hand through the bars.
“Eat,” he says, his tongue caressing the front of his palate as the enunciates the ‘T.’
Sigh…alright, never mind.
Anyway, it turns out this whole hot strawberry scenario is just a dream Ana is having, having apparently run out of just simple sex thoughts, or having decided that Christian’s bizarre obsession with making her eat is now one of his more attractive attributes. Either way, she is denied strawberry-completion, as Christian rudely wakes her from her sleep. Even though she is upset that she was woken up before the dream could reach the sexy bits, she is aghast at the idea that Christian might be waking her up so early in the morning for sex. Geez, I know Ana is new at all of this and everything, but still, someone ought to tell her that real sex is almost always preferable to dream sex…at least if you’re doing it right.
Ana need not worry, though, as it is not morning sex on Christian’s mind. Rather, he is anxious to “chase the dawn” with her, and although I at first hopefully thought this might mean the novel was plunging into far more intriguing, Irvine Welsh-esque Trainspotting territory, it instead just means that he wants to take Ana gliding, one of his favorite hobbies. I guess we’ll take a rain check on the heroin.
Even though everything we have learned about Ana up to this point suggests she wouldn’t be immediately thrilled with the idea of gliding, she is in fact quite excited by the notion of being crammed into a small, engine-less plane with Christian. She is less excited by his insistence that she eat breakfast first. Thankfully, she compromises, promising to eat a croissant later. And I know you’re wondering why I’m even bothering to point out such a pointless detail, but if E.L. James thought it was interesting enough to include in the book, then it must be interesting enough for this review, dammit!
The drive to the airfield, meanwhile, is “interesting” for three reasons. One is the revelation that “Mr. Classy” Christian Grey has Britney Spears’ Toxic on his iPod…
…though Christian is quick to point out that it was one of his ex-submissives who put that on the iPod, not him. Christian might be willing to share his deepest, darkest sexual fantasies with Ana, but he’ll be damned if he lets her think he’s a Britney fan. Dude has his limits.
The second “interesting” tidbit is Christian’s bombshell declaration that – despite ending previous relationships because the girls wanted “more” – he now actually finds himself wanting “more” himself, with Ana. This bit of aparent character-development obviously catches Ana off guard…
I gasp, reeling. Oh my. Isn’t this what I want? He wants more. He wants it, too! My inner goddess has back-flipped off the podium and is doing cartwheels around the stadium. It’s not just me.
Oh, in case you were wondering why Ana’s inner goddess was on a podium in a stadium, that’s a reference back to a previous moment in the chapter where Ana explained that her inner goddess was accepting a gold victory metal for actually convincing Christian to turn down the music in his car. I figure I should probably include that detail so that you don’t think Ana is weird or anything.
The third and final revelation is that “Mrs. Robinson’s” real name is actually Elena. I guess that’s not really that big of a deal, but don’t tell that to Ana…
Elena! Holy fuck. The evil one has a name and its all foreign sounding. A vision of a glorious, pale-skinned vamp with raven hair and ruby-red lips comes to mind, and I know that she’s beautiful. I must not dwell. I must not dwell.
“All foreign sounding?” Funny, I didn’t take Ana for for one of those types…
Once at the airfield, we are treated not just to the return of Christian’s ever-present but completely personality-free assistant Taylor, but also the arrival of a brand new character…perhaps my favorite character yet….
“Mr. Grey, this is your tow-pilot, Mr. Mark Benson,” says Taylor.
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen…Mark Benson!! Scourge of the skies! Assassin of the airways! Well, OK, in fact I’m making those nicknames up…but can you blame me?? This guy is awesome. I mean, sure, he’s only around for a couple pages, but the few tidbits we get about him are mesmerizing. Whether it’s his British accent, “dazzling smile,” or the “shaved head and a wild look in his eye.” Or maybe it’s James’ odd compulsion to always refer to him by his full name…Mark Benson! I couldn’t help wondering what this guy’s story is. Was he once more than just a tow-pilot? Perhaps one of the most famed aviators in the world, forced by some tragedy to make due with this seemingly below-him job? I know, you might be assuming that perhaps this book is just so boring that I’m grasping at straws to make anything interesting at this point, but I don’t know…I think, given the right actor in the eventual Fifty Shades movie, Mark Benson could easily be the film’s breakout character despite his limited screen-time, a la Boba Fett…
So then they go gliding and it’s really fun and blah, blah, blah. Seriously, do you really care if I recap this crap? I suppose it’s a nice relief to have so many pages devoted to something besides poorly written sex scenes, but still…this shit is boring. Though I did enjoy this highly technical observation of Ana’s:
In front of me is a panel of dials and levers and a big stick thing.
Good thing Ana is now so used to big stick things. You know what I’m talking about!!
Oh, also, Ana’s extremely informed observations continue with this little gem…
The radio crackles into life, and Mark mentions 3000 feet. Jeez, that sounds high.
Why, yes, Ana, you’ll find that planes often go pretty high when they fly. It really cuts down on the whole “planes clogging up the freeways” problem.
After they land, the two are understandably swept up in the excitement of the moment…
As soon as I’m out, he grabs me and holds me flush against his body. Suddenly his hand is in my hair, and tugging it so my head tips back, and his other hand travels down to the base of my spine. He kisses me, long, hard, and passionately, his tongue in my mouth. His breathing is mounting, his ardor… Holy cow – his erection…
“Breakfast,” he whispers, making it sound deliciously erotic.
How can he make bacon and eggs sound like forbidden fruit? It’s an extraordinary skill.
Seriously, y’all, I give up…
Oh, no, wait…there’s still more of this chapter left. Shit.
So, having chosen breakfast over carnal desires, Christian – globe-trotting, multi-millionaire Christian – takes Ana for a fancy breakfast at… IHOP. No, really. The International House of Pancakes. Christian explains that his dad used to bring him here back in his youth, and so it remains a sentimental favorite. All I know is, if IHOP isn’t thinking of cashing in on this with some Fifty Shades tie-in menu items – you know, Denny’s-Hobbit style – then they’re missing a golden opportunity.
While at breakfast, Christian elaborates on his apparent change of heart regarding wanting “more” from their relationship, lest anyone think all this pancake eating is suddenly taking the book in too traditionally romantic of a direction.
“I don’t think I’ve changed my mind, per se. We just need to redefine our parameters, redraw our battle lines, if you will. We can make this work, I’m sure. I want you submissive in my playroom. I will punish you if you digress from the rules. Other than that…well, I think it’s all up for discussion.
As if to prove his point, Christian agrees to Ana’s request to continue actually sleeping with him, in his bed…but stops short of allowing her to pay for breakfast, claiming that would “completely emasculate” me. Not to be a chauvinest pig or anything, but I kind of get where he’s coming from on that one – when you take a girl out for a fancy meal at IHOP, you really should be the one paying. Call me old fashioned…
Following breakfast, Christian drops Ana back off at her mom’s place, where she immediately starts missing him.
Why do I want to spend every single minute with this controlling sex god? Oh yes, I’ve fallen in love with him, and he can fly.
The next day, Ana and her mom go shopping for food for their big dinner with Christian later that night. While at the store, Ana receives a call from SIP, officially offering her the job she interviewed for a few chapters back. She accepts, and her mother and her enjoy a brief celebration in the store…a celebration that is dampened when Christian calls to inform her that something has come up and he will no longer be able to attend dinner. Well…what the hell? Why even tease the dinner scene if you’re not going to deliver? Why, sometimes it’s almost like James was just making this all up as she went along. Oh…wait.
The chapter ends with another fascinating e-mail exchange between Ana and Christian, prompted by her sudden realization that Christian’s sudden change of heart regarding their relationship occurred shortly after he had dinner with…the dreaded Elena!!!
My scalp prickles at the realization. Did she say something to him? Oh… to have been a fly on the wall during their dinner. I could have landed in her soup or on her wine glass and choked her.
Who, calm down, Ana. Anyway, Ana can’t bring herself to just come out and ask Christian if his new found attitude is truly because of something that happened with Elena, even through e-mail…and what’s worse, she is given something else to worry about, as Christian not only informs her that Ana talked in her sleep the other night, but refuses to tell her what she said, only saying “I’d rather hear you say the words you that uttered in your sleep when you’re conscious, that’s why I won’t tell you.”
Man, I can see why Ana refers to Christian by a new nickname as the chapter wraps up…”fifty shades of exasperating,” indeed! Which, by the way, would have also been a far more appropriate title for this book, in general.
I wonder what Mark Benson is doing right now.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Almost as if the universe knew this would be my first chapter in a long while, we are treated to a very healthy number of four new “Oh my’s,” bringing our grand total so far to…