Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chapter by Chapter Synopsis: Fifty Shades Darker Chapters Prologue-One

When last we left our intrepid couple, Ana had just left Christian because he beat the crap out of her for rolling her eyes at him. It should be noted both that Christian has rolled his eyes at Ana numerous times, and that Ana indeed asked him to do it to her. This makes Christian both a hypocrite and a very stupid and sociopathic human being. In other words, the exact right person to walk out on.

When I first read this book, I was sure that half of it would be resolving the relationship issues between Ana and Christian, which should tell you how naive I am still with this author. If you've only read my synopses so far, then you probably have already figured it out. If not, then join the crowd because the horrible story telling has only been scratched at so far.


This prologue is both stupid and makes no sense. I know that the same can be said about the entire book, but I want to pay special attention to the prologue because it's not only told from Christian's perspective while the rest of the book is told through Ana's exclusively, but it's also told through Christian's perspective as a very young child. It basically tells a story about how one day, a man came and beat up Christian's mom, which frankly makes his need to beat up women even worse owing to how horrified Woobie Christian is in his memory. After his mom is beat, the man turns on Christian. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be his dad, or if it's just his mom's pimp/pusher. As a story telling device, it doesn't do anything to further the story, and if it's supposed to make me feel sorry for Christian, then it's not doing his job. He's a grown man now. If he can't take control of his own life, then he needs to use the tools that are currently available to him to do so. Controlling everybody else's life (or, more specifically, Ana's life) won't make him better able to handle himself. In fact, I think worse of him because it shows how disturbed he is, how horrible he knows domestic abuse is, and yet how unwilling he is to face his demons.

Sort of like Gary Oldman's hairstyle in The Fifth Element, you're sure it has some deep meaning, but it's too ridiculous to look very closely at.
Chapter One

OMG, y'all, it's been three whole days since Ana's seen Christian. How is she surviving?

Not too well. She only has a brand-new job to keep her distracted, and we all know that's just not enough. Her new boss, Jack Hyde, the good looking guy with red hair and blue eyes tells her she's been doing a good job, but we're supposed to think he's sinister.

But Ana can't think too hard on that. She has a hole in her chest (could we not get farther away from Twilight here?) where Christian and her old VW Beetle used to be. Her apartment is as empty as her life is currently, and Ana finally misses Kate. Her best friend. That she hasn't texted or e-mailed or spoken to in weeks. Remember her? She featured a little heavily at the start of the first book.

Well, don't worry, we might not need to have her in this book either because there's a delivery at the door from Christian, flowers and a card congratulating her on her first day of work and thanking her for the gift she left him as she was walking out the door, a little glider replica. In order to keep herself from feeling too badly, she decides it's from Christian's secretary, not himself.

So, the days go on. She sleeps and cries and goes to work then goes home and cries and doesn't listen to music at all. She's decided she's become an island state (you know, like "Bloody Ibiza"? Nick Hornby hates you, EL James.) and that she doesn't need anyone.

John Bon Jovi once said, "No man is an island."
Simon and Garfunkel said, "I am a rock, I am an island."

So, Jack is all over her at work, asking personal questions and stuff. I'm sure he's like, "Do you want some coffee? I'm heading to Starbuck's." or, "Hey, we're all heading to the corner restaurant for lunch, wanna come?" and it's just excruciating for Ana. How dare he be all up in her grill? Who does he think he is, anyway? Her boss who will have to work closely with her and wants to make sure he's okay with her personality before he passes her through her probationary review? What a jerk.

Oh, but the bright light at the end of this tunnel...Christian e-mails Ana at her work and asks if she wants him to take her to Jose's show. While working out how Christian got her e-mail addy, she realizes that she'd forwarded her calls from her regular phone to the Blackberry Chrsitian had given her, and that's why no one has called her at all.

So, does she want Christian to take her to the show? Hells yeah she does! Oh my, golly gee willikers, my goodness! She's all twitterpated

Okay, so Christian's anguished face when she left haunts her. What about her anguished backside? Have we forgotten so quickly? I think Ana needs to reach out to one of those domestic abuse hotlines so she can find healing for the pain he's inflicted on her. Then she needs to go somewhere that he can't find her.

At work, Jack asks Ana to a drink Friday night to celebrate her first week. This makes her uneasy, and it should. It sounds like a date.

Bing Crosby thought I was hitting on him at first, too. He had talent.

I just want to point out for the umpteenth time that it really sucks how there can't just be a normal man around Ana. Jack, of course, has to be horrible because otherwise we might wonder why she doesn't get with him instead of Christian.

Ana leaves work and finds Jack at the door. He walks her out and "he's looking toward the Audi SUV in dismay." Um...okay. Yeah. I mean, one of those Porsche Cayenne's would show a guy who's totally posh and rich maybe, but an Audi SUV. Wow. Yeah, a guy like Jack Hyde would never have a chance against an Audi SUV.

Never gonna get it never gonna get it/never gonna get it never gonna get it...

Oh, is he looking at Christian inside of the SUV? Is a guy finally figuring out that Christian is just drop-dead gorgeous, does he recognize Christian? I spent the first book discussing the deplorable characters, I feel like the second book can be devoted to the deplorable writing.

So, Christian looks just gorgeous as always, and of course immediately begins berating Ana for not eating like he wants her to. It can't possibly be that she's had an intense emotional issue this last week and is sort of off her feed because of it. And of course, it's the first thing he says.

Okay, maybe I can complain about this relationship some more.

Ana gets persnickety with Christian, and instead of him being like, "Yeah, you're right, it's none of my business," he's all, "I don't wanna hear your lip, woman. Answer the damn question already." Ana rolls her eyes, which we all know is strictly verboten and then they both start laughing and then Ana starts crying and then Christian pulls her into his lap and they snuggle because this crazy fucked up relationship is clearly what they both want, so let them have it already.

They get in an elevator, and like always, they're ready to jump on each other. Christian tells Ana not to bite her lip because he can't quite remember why she walked out on him.

They strap into Charlie Tango, the helicopter, and they head out. This happens:

"We've chased the dawn, Anastasia, now the dusk," his voice comes through on the headphones. I turn and gape at him in surprise.
She's sure he meant to say "Twilight" instead of "Dusk."

They really ought to call the books "Boring women and the sexually ambiguous guys who stalk them."

Oh, wait, no. She thinks it's romantic, what he just said. Yeah. I romantical.

They talk a bit about the skyline. Christian tries to make a date, but Ana reminds him that they broke up. He gets a little upset at this. She snarks at him and he complains about her tone. Her response is pretty much, "Suck it up, big baby." He decides that he's missed her smart mouth.

You know. The one he liked to physically punish her over.

Finally, they arrive in Portland, and Ana realizes that she's only really been dating Christian for three weeks. For me, this is a wake-up call to everyone. You can't know someone that well in that short amount of time. Look at Marianne and Willoughby.

No, really. Look at them. Until Ana and Christian came along, they were my two least favorite people in literature. Now I think they're awesome. Thanks a lot, EL James. I never thought it was possible for someone to make a more vapid and shallow heroine than Marianne Dashwood, or a more self-serving jerkwad of a hero than Willoughby.
Marianne and Willoughby's love burned too brightly and too quickly. Like a piece of newsprint, it was bound to go up in smoke. Compared to people like Emma and Mr. Knightly, who had a twenty-two year romance, it was bound to fail. But I'm supposed to invest in this three-week long relationship.

Christian refers to Jose as "the boy" which is both vaguely racist and blatantly dismissive. Then he tries to get Ana to eat, which makes her mad. But we all know Ana has no fortitude for anger. She will never stick with it.

They go to Jose's show, and a lady of course drools all over Christian. Then she sees Ana and gets sort of familiar with her saying that she'll want Ana's take on the show. Both Christian and Ana are surprised at this, and Christian wants to know if Ana knows this lady. She doesn't.

Jose finds them and he's wearing a suit. I'm disappointed. I was hoping he'd be in a striped shirt and red beret or something.

My soul taps in time to the rhythm of your heart
I just ain't no good for you, baby

Ana hugs Jose like he's her liferaft. He's her only friend while Kat is away. She hasn't seen him for three weeks. She's such a great friend.

Jose wants to talk to Ana quite a bit, but there's a reporter who wants to talk to him. Christian comes back and finds Ana, remarking that Jose is a very good photographer. Sure, put some black and white film in anyone's hands, and they become Ansel Adams.

A reporter wants a picture of Christian, and he pulls Ana into the shot. Ana brings up how there are no photos of him with dates on the internet. Christian reminds Ana that he doesn't "do" dates with anyone but her.

Okay, they find pictures of Ana on one of the walls. Christian is pissed off, because that's his right. Oh, wait, no. It's Ana's right.

Really, Jose had no legal right to take pictures of Ana without her permission, particularly not for profit or personal gain. There is an expectation of privacy that people can have, and Jose has violated that expectation.

Christian buys all of the photos because he doesn't want a stranger "ogling" her.

Um...I'm imagining that Ana is fully clothed and not naked or sprawled anywhere. "Ogling" sounds too strong a word. It's also Christian's horrifying controlling coming out. What gives him the right? Hey, Ana, remember how you broke it off with this moron? Can you do that again.

No, of course she can't. She thinks this is all very cute.

And she thinks Christian is just gorgeous.

But then they have a short argument. She thinks that he can't tell her that he likes her "smart mouth" and then want to punish her when she crosses his lines. He wants her to actually communicate. Then he wants her to go and eat with him because she's clearly going to starve to death. He calls Jose "the boy" again, and Ana stands up for her friend.

Oh, but the last time Christian saw Jose, he was trying to kiss Ana. Well, he's never hit her, has he? Ana says. Christian calls that a low blow.

What does he call it when he hits her?

So Ana says goodbye to Jose like a good little Stepford Wife, and Jose gives her hugs and apologizes about the photos of her. Ana, true to her doormat nature, says it's okay and gives him a kiss. This of course enrages Christian and he pulls Ana outside so he can kiss her himself.

She's his. She's all his. She knows this, right?

So, not even one chapter in, and they're back together. Of course. I should have known.

Ana apologizes for having Jose as a friend and hugging him like she would a friend. She and Christian go off to eat together.

Sorry, guys. I know your day just got a lot worse. I know mine did. Why am I doing this? To myself? To you?  I honestly thought there'd be some down time between them while they both worked on their separate issues, and I even further thought that the book would be from Christian's perspective because of the prologue.

Anyway, here we are, right back where we left off. Christian is still ordering Ana around, and she's still taking it.

Be back with more soon.


  1. I can tell you, I was pretty disappointed with the whole book and a half I read (thanks to you i now don't need to read the other book and a half - thank you!) but i felt cheated when they were back together so quickly. Why did EL James feel like the timeline had to be so short. Surely it would have been better to string it out over time with a slow building relationship? Even Bella and Edward managed to take things a little slower (or does it just seem like that now??)

    1. Edward and Bella at least talked about stuff now and then. Christian and Ana have sex. That's all. Whenever they talk, it's an argument because they both want different, incompatible things in a relationship. It's nice that they have good sex, but what are they going to do when Christian gets erectile dysfunction and Ana's libido starts waning?

  2. The only way I'll make it through these books in *any* way is by reading your posts--and even then, I get so irritated by the goings-on with the Leading Idiots that I want to throw something.

    I'm so very glad I didn't buy this trash. (Bless you for enduring it.)

    FWIW, I have to agree on the Marianne/Willoughby thing. Only Lydia could be loathed more as a character, but that's due to her complete stupidity and lack of awareness...Marianne simply let herself get caught up too far in the idea of love, and fell for an ass. She got used, and badly, but came out well in the end.

    *struggles to avoid Col. Brandon talk*

    Marianne wallowed for awhile, but ultimately grew and changed...Bella/Ana? Good God, if only! They are forever frozen in this state of blinded infatuation.

    1. I don't know, Marianne was willing to die there for a quick minute... I was glad when she snapped out of it.

  3. Love your work! I've passed this on to others who also loath these books (well, the first one, no one i know has progressed to the 2nd). I'm so keen to see what you make of the rest, although at the same time i worry for your mental health, having to read such utter drivel.

    1. I'm doing the second and third chapters now, and I almost started crying last night. You'll see why, but it's really bad. I am keeping healthy, though. The fact that I can yell at the book helps.

  4. Hi, I've not posted on your Fifty blog entries before, but I assure you I have been following them with great interest. First, huge congratulations on showing what these books are really about and for communicating it so well. I only hope more Christian Grey fans come round to seeing the monster he really is. Once the movie comes out, I can imagine women everywhere will be swooning, saying how perfect he is. This is terribly depressing.

    Apologies for the disjointed set of comments that follow. I just type things as they come to mind!

    I have been in the habit of reading the relevant chapter of Fifty and then reading your corresponding blog entry to put the chapter into the correct context. I must be a much bigger masochist than Ana will ever be if I am continuing to read into the second book in the series. Please don't stop writing these entries - they really do make me laugh (well most of the time, when I'm not depressed by the serious issues highlighted).

    So yeah, I have to agree that the length of time it has taken for them to get back together is insanely short. It's like James' inner goddess is thinking "I can't wait to get back to writing about the sex!!" Can I be honest here and say that I do not have several people living in my head. Am I normal?

    I was starting to have respect for Ana, standing up for herself, realising all her hideous errors and doing the right thing, but then she just loses it all... and for what? Some good looks and frequent sex? I imaged that when Christian came to collect Ana, he would first of all apologise and then they would talk, properly talk. But no. And in fact Christian's first comment to Ana in this book made me seethe and I cannot believe that she got into the car after that. I can't help but feel we're supposed to be identifying with her but she is such a douchebag. I would like to think that if I were in her shoes, I would not be walking the same paths. I also can't help but notice that not only do all the women in this awfully fictitious world think Christian is sooooo HOT HOT HOT but also, it seems like every single guy in the book is automatically attracted to Ana. It's like James is trying to tell us "this is the ideal couple and everyone wants to be with these people" Uh, no, thank you! If my man started trying to micromanage my life and became insanely jealous when a friend of mine had taken photos of me, I would not stand for it. If he then started beating me whenever I stepped out of line, I'd think something was totally wrong.

    By the time I get to the end of this trilogy (assuming I do) I expect to find Ana a new woman, strong and self-willed, not with Christian (who will have been arrested for a myriad of offences) and has found REAL love with a normal human being, in fact any of the guys she's met so far would be great. But I am not going to hold my breath for this outcome.

    By the way, in the first book when I read the phrase "foil packet" for the umpteenth time, I did actually find myself rolling my eyes. Thank goodness no one saw! Sheesh.

    1. If you asked me about three months ago if I thought highlighting condoms was a good thing, then I'd agree. now, though, I think you can mention them once or twice, but then you have to assume that your reader relizes they are being used.

      Your hopes for Ana...oh god bless you. yeah. Don't hold your breath.