Linotte Reads “Fifty Shades of Grey”: Chapter Twenty-six

Happy Wednesday, all! It’s with a teary eye and a slightly giddy feeling in my heart that I write the very last recap for Chapter Twenty-six of Fifty Shades of Grey. This is the very end of this book, but take heart: There are still two more to read, recap, and poke fun at! More about that later, so let’s get this shit show on the road!

Shrouded in darkness, Christian sits in a bubble of light as he plays, and his hair glints with burnished copper highlights. He looks naked, though I know he’s wearing his PJ bottoms. He’s concentrating, playing beautifully, lost in the melancholy of the music…. He looks lost, sad even, and achingly lonely ““ or maybe it’s just the music that’s so full of poignant sorrow.

Still of John Travolta from the 1976 TV movie "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble"
Just like The Boy in the Plastic Bubble!

“˜So, let me be clear. You just want me to follow the Rules element of the contract all the time but not the rest of the contract?’
“˜Except in the playroom. I want you to follow the spirit of the contract in the playroom, and yes, I want you to follow the rules ““ all the time. Then I know you’ll be safe, and I’ll be able to have you anytime I wish.’
“˜And if I break one of the rules?’
“˜Then I’ll punish you.’
“˜But won’t you need my permission?’
“˜Yes, I will.’
“˜And if I say no?’
He gazes at me for a moment, with a confused expression.
“˜If you say no, you’ll say no. I’ll have to find a way to persuade you.’

Isn’t that coercion? Isn’t that not good? This whole thing isn’t good. This no relationship. He still wants everything on his terms. Ana, why is your head so far up his ass?

“˜We can do this all day, baby, but I will get you, and it will just be worse for you when I do.’
“˜No, you won’t.’ I must not be overconfident. I repeat this as a mantra. My subconscious has found her Nikes, and she’s on the starting blocks.

Cartoon image of The Flash
So her subconscious is the Flash? Is this what she’s saying?

“˜Well”¦ no,’ I reassure him. Jeez ““ that’s how he feels about people touching him? “˜No. I feel ambivalent about it. I don’t like it, but I don’t hate it.’
“˜But last night, in the playroom, you”¦’ he trails off.
“˜I do it for you, Christian, because you need it. I don’t. You didn’t hurt me last night. That was in a different context, and I can rationalize that internally, and I trust you. But when you want to punish me, I worry that you’ll hurt me.’

Oh, yes, Christian. Whatever you say, Christian. Because I love being your sex doll and I love it when you objectify me and treat me like I can’t make up my own mind or do things on my own. Once again, such a great model for healthy relationships!

“˜I want to hurt you. But not beyond anything that you couldn’t take.’
He runs his hand through his hair, and he shrugs.
“˜I just need it.’ He pauses, gazing at me with anguish, and he closes his eyes and shakes his head. “˜I can’t tell you,’ he whispers.
“˜Can’t or won’t?’
“˜So you know why.’
“˜But you won’t tell me.’

I want to hit you, and I like punishing you, but I can’t tell you why. Maybe it’s because you’re a fucked up abusive asshole, Christian!

This is a man in need. His fear is naked and obvious, but he’s lost”¦ somewhere in his darkness. His eyes are wide and bleak and tortured. I can soothe him, join him briefly in the darkness and bring him into the light.

Line drawing of Branwell Bronte in profile
Oh, yes, Branwell! I can save you and bring you to the light!

Abruptly, he clasps my arm in a firm grip and turns, leading me out of the great room, up the stairs, and to the playroom. Pleasure and pain, reward and punishment ““ his words from so long ago echo through my mind.

It’s like LARPing Paradise Lost.

“˜I am doing this so that you remember not to run from me, and as exciting as it is, I never want you to run from me,’ he whispers. And the irony is not lost on me. I was running to avoid this. If he’d opened his arms, I’d run to him, not away from him.

You should have been running away from him a long time ago, dimwit!

I close my eyes, bracing myself for the blow. It comes hard, snapping across my backside, and the bite of the belt is everything I feared. I cry out involuntarily, and take a huge gulp of air.
“˜Count, Anastasia!’ he commands.

Yup, this is what he does. He beats her backside with a belt. Isn’t that just fucking awesome? And this is the breaking point for her, the point at which she decides to leave him. Really? It took you long enough!

“˜This is what you really like? Me, like this?’ I use the sleeve of the bathrobe to wipe my nose.
He gazes at me warily.
“˜Well, you are one fucked-up son of a bitch.’
“˜Ana,’ he pleads, shocked.
“˜Don’t you dare “˜Ana’ me! You need to sort your shit out, Grey!’ And with that, I turn stiffly, and I walk out of the playroom, closing the door quietly behind me.

Wow, Ana, you finally figured it out! Congratulations, Ana! Maybe if you had figured it out sooner this hot mess of a book would have been a lot shorter, huh?

I clasp the door handle behind me and briefly lean back against the door. Where to go? Do I run? Do I stay? I am so mad, angry scalding tears spill down my cheeks, and I brush them furiously aside. I just want to curl up. Curl up and recuperate in some way. Heal my shattered faith. How could I have been so stupid? Of course it hurts.

Of course it would hurt. What do you think he got off on? You didn’t have to bend over backwards to please him. So I’d just chalk this one up to experience and move along.

What was I thinking? Why did I let him do that to me? I wanted the dark, to explore how bad it could be ““ but it’s too dark for me. I cannot do this. Yet, this is what he does; this is how he gets his kicks. What a monumental wake-up call. And to be fair to him, he warned me and warned me, time and again. He’s not normal. He has needs that I cannot fulfill.

Painting of Lady Caroline Lamb, a young woman in Regency dress
So this means you won’t attain your lifelong goal of being Caroline Lamb to his Byron? Aw, that sucks! Sorry I don’t feel sorry for you!

I did follow my heart, and I have a sore ass and an anguished, broken spirit to show for it. I have to go. That’s it”¦ I have to leave. He’s no good for me, and I am no good for him. How can we possibly make this work? And the thought of not seeing him again practically chokes me”¦ my Fifty Shades.

David Bowie as Jareth from "Labyrinth," with a sneer on his face.

I gaze at myself in the mirror. A pale and haunted ghost stares back at me. I scoop my hair into a ponytail and ignore how swollen my eyelids are from the crying. My subconscious nods with approval. Even she knows not to be snarky right now. I cannot believe that my world is crumbling around me into a sterile pile of ashes, all my hopes and dreams cruelly dashed.


The elevator doors close and it whisks me down to the bowels of the basement and to my own personal hell.

And I’m so relieved to finally be released from my own personal hell of reading this book!

But regardless, it’s been fun making fun of it and calling James out on her bullshit. This is one of the most poorly written books I have ever read. And it has some pretty warped themes about what constitutes a healthy relationship, and there are many things which she didn’t research well at all. But there are still two more books, and I fully intend on following through and reading and recapping them for all of you. But I’m going to give myself, and all of you, a break until after the election. I need some major brain bleach after this!

6 replies on “Linotte Reads “Fifty Shades of Grey”: Chapter Twenty-six”

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought part of the point of a BDSM relationship was finding someone who…you know…enjoyed BDSM.

I was ranting about this book to a friend. She, apparently, had to read this book as part of a book club. And she liked it. One of the other people in the book club had said that she wished she had read it earlier in her marriage.

When I heard that, I went WTF?? Not only is everything I’ve seen pretty short on real kink, but it is REALLY goddamn short on enthusiastic consensual kink, and really the only reason why it could be called consensual at all is that for some reason Christian has the power to produce infinite orgasms, and Ana is dumb.

The infinite orgasms at the drop of a hat thing confuses me as well, and apart from all the hugely problematic consent issues, it makes the sex scenes really boring. Blahblahblah, he does some stuff, she comes a lot. There’s no suspense,intrigue,or detail to make it interesting.

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