Linotte Reads “Fifty Shades of Grey”: Chapter Thirteen

Happy Monday, Persephoneers! We’re now on Chapter Thirteen of Fifty Shades of Grey, so let’s buckle ourselves in and get ready to watch–or read–more of this train wreck.

My mom is oozing contrition, desperately sorry not to make my graduation”¦.”Ana, honey, I’m so sorry,” my mom whines down the phone.

Ana’s mom.

Oh if only you knew. There’s an obscenely rich guy I’ve met and he wants some kind of strange kinky sexual relationship, in which I don’t get a say in things.

Then why aren’t you telling your mom about it and seeing what kind of advice she might be able to offer?

I rarely wear makeup – it intimidates me. None of my literary heroines had to deal with makeup – maybe I’d know more about it if they had.

I detect Special Snowflake Syndrome here.  Come on, it’s makeup.  It’s not a big deal.

And there it is”¦ that familiar pull and charge from him, it connects somewhere deep inside me. I shift uncomfortably under his scrutiny, my heart palpitating. I must keep my cool.

But we all know you won’t, because you enjoy being a doormat.

I take a long draft of my wine. My subconscious taps me hard on the shoulder. You must keep your wits about you. Don’t drink too much.

Yeah, Ana, you don’t want to drink too much and end up like this.

I reach across and pick up my first ever oyster. Okay”¦ here goes nothing. I squirt some lemon juice on it and tip it up. It slips down my throat, all seawater, salt, the sharp tang of citrus, and fleshiness”¦ ooh. I lick my lips, and he’s watching me intently, his eyes hooded.

Um, is this supposed to be like the scene in which she became, um, acquainted with his favorite body part on a first-name basis?  And that whole thing about Christian watching her intently makes him sound like a cobra ready to strike, in which case call Honey Badger.  Bye-bye, Christian!

Just for the record, Honey Badger thought that Christian was delicious. And Ana got upset after Honey Badger ate Christian, but Honey Badger don’t care.


“”¦And right now, I know you want me, Anastasia.”
My frown deepens. How can he tell?
“I can tell because”¦ “
Holy shit, he’s answering my unspoken question. Is he psychic as well?
“”¦ Your body gives you away. You’re pressing your thighs together, you’re flushed, and your breathing has changed.”

OK, this is not sexy.  This is something out of a rapey romance novel from the 1980s.  Christian is showing absolutely no respect for Ana’s autonomy or the fact that she said no.  I hate seeing this bullshit when it comes up.  She said she wasn’t interested in the arrangement.  She isn’t being coy or playing hard to get.  No means no, it doesn’t mean yes if you look for seekrit meanings behind it.

And since I’m on the subject, the only way in which this would be sexy is if it were during an episode of “Sherlock” and Sherlock said this to someone he was attracted to and who also was attracted to him.  In some  of the Doyle stories he ended up helping out women who were or who had been in situations like this.  Ergo, Sherlock is no would-be rapist, unlike Christian Grey, even if he is a high-functioning sociopath.

Really, this is just an excuse to sneak in a pic of a guy who is sex-ay when there is much unsexiness in this part. OH, HAI, BENNY! Come on, bask in the sex-ay.


I flush and stare down at my hands. That’s what I’m hindered by in this game of seduction. He’s the only one who knows and understands the rules. I’m just too naïve and inexperienced. My only sphere of reference is Kate, and she doesn’t take any shit from men. My other references are all fictional: Elizabeth Bennet would be outraged, Jane Eyre too frightened, and Tess would succumb, just as I have.

OK, let’s play What Would That Literary Heroine Do?  Ready?  Let’s go!

1.  Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice would have very eloquently told him to go fuck himself.

2.  Madame de Merteuil from Les liaisons dangereuses would  have come up with a way to blackmail him and make a game out of this by now.

3.  Nana from Nana would have been like, “OK!”  Then she would have found a way to make him go through his entire fortune trying to keep her and plunged him into financial ruin and turned him into a wreck of a man before moving on.

4.  Undine Spragg from The Custom of the Country would have contrived a way to marry him, spend all his money, and then divorced him to marry some titled European.

Something tells me you should have studied more French literature, Ana.

“You know, when you fell into my office to interview me, you were all ‘yes, sir.’ ‘no, sir.’ I thought you were a natural born submissive. But quite frankly, Anastasia, I’m not sure you have a submissive bone in your delectable body.”

Ana, when Susan Ivanova from “Babylon 5 ” is judging you for your crappy taste in men, it’s bad. And she got with some hot guy who turned out to be an alien-hating douche (but he was really hot; he was Robert Scorpio on “General Hospital”). But for God’s sake, listen to Ivanova.

I don’t even know how to categorize him. If I do this thing”¦ will he be my boyfriend? Will I be able to introduce him to my friends? Go out to bars, the cinema, bowling even, with him? The truth is I don’t think I will. He won’t let me touch him and he won’t let me sleep with him. I know I’ve not had these things in my past, but I want them in my future. And that’s not the future he envisages.

OK, Ana, honey?  It’s really bad when I suggest you hook up with this guy:

When committing to this guy and living in a sewer for the rest of your life seems better than a three-month fling with Christian Grey, then it’s time to run.


And that’s a wrap for today!  Hope you had fun, because I sure as heck did!


5 replies on “Linotte Reads “Fifty Shades of Grey”: Chapter Thirteen”

Madame de Merteuil from Les liaisons dangereuses would  have come up with a way to blackmail him and make a game out of this by now.

Thank you for reviving my love for French literature and their morally ambiguous but self-possessed heroines, and for these recaps. I had an interesting chat about Shades of Grey with the nurse who was taking my blood sample (she HATES “those” vampire novels, btw). “Those books every other woman seems to be reading. I don’t understand, if she’s not into that stuff he’s into, why stay?” she said. Exactly. For a  hit romance novel it seems really clinical and passionless, the dialogue especially.

Yes, the dialogue is awful.  When you look at it with a critical, literature-studying eye, it’s bad, but couple that with a feminist eye, it becomes worse.

And yo, she’s supposed to be a literature student.  Wouldn’t you think she would have had to take at least one class of lit beyond British lit?  I took a lot of French lit for my minor, but are you telling me she didn’t at least have to read Camille or Madame Bovary?  Come on!

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