Notes from when I read Grey by EL James

  • Saudamini Jain, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jun 28, 2015 12:35 IST

When 50 Shades of Grey was adapted into that awful film, we figured we’d had enough for a year. But then last week, we got Grey. It’s EXACTLY THE SAME book – which, in case you were living on Mars and knew nothing about, is the torrid romance and sexual life of a sadist zillionaire (Christian Grey) and a fresh-out-of-college virgin (Anastasia Steele) – but this time, from Grey’s point of view.

I read the book, didn’t hate it as much as the original, and took copious notes. Here are some: We just received a review copy. Hmm, nice cover! The editor is not pleased: "Are you seriously going to read all of it?"

2. Must wrap it in newspaper and pretend it’s Amitav Ghosh.

It starts with a flashback – toddler Christian, toy cars and his mommy (who he refers to as "crack whore"). Baby Grey sounds like Vicky, the robot, from Small Wonder.

He just met Ana and he’s wondering what her skin would look like "warmed from the bite of a cane". So creeped out – is this what some men think when they meet young reporters?

This is better than the trilogy. If only because we’re no longer subjected to Ana’s inner goddess moaning, "Oh my!"
He wants to do WHAT with peeled ginger? Do people actually do this? Must google. Okay, so as it turns out, it is legit and it is gross. Brunch is a family magazine, so I can’t tell you anything about it.

Books are her first love. So he thinks he’s "competing with Darcy, Rochester and Angel Clare: impossible romantic heroes." Gotta love the irony of a fictional impossible hero/sexual predator competing with more fictional impossible heroes.

What is it with some men pretending we smell like apple? I have not met a single woman who smells like apple. I did – for a while – but that’s because I was wearing Victoria’s Secret Enchanted Apple.

All this stuff about Ana being so perfectly white with such flawless skin is getting annoying. #EverydayRacism

More racism: "As she tells me she likes her tea weak and black, for a moment I think she’s describing what she likes in a man." Interestingly, Judy Mozes, an Israeli minister’s wife, just tweeted about US President Obama, "Do u know what Obama coffee is? Black and weak (sic)". Coincidence much?

The only other writer who peppered her books with so much food was Enid Blyton. But she was writing in a world just after War II where food was rationed. What’s James’s excuse? Obese America?

The sex is kind of sexy, actually. If you found this on Literotica, you’d actually enjoy it.

A phrase that teenage girls (and their mums) are going to use after reading this book: SHOUTY CAPITALS, used to describe angry text in uppercase.

Fun Bollywood BDSM fact: Priyanka Chopra murdered one of her husbands for precisely this in 7 Khoon Maaf.

"You do realise you could be actually having sex instead of reading this tosh, don’t you?" A friend just texted. I should not have posted about this online.

Would anyone like Christian if he weren’t so rich? Would EL James have gotten so rich if her hero wasn’t?

STOP STALKING HER, GREY! You can’t just track her cellphone, or follow her to Georgia when she specifically told you to and you cannot buy the company she works at! In the real world, this man could end up in jail.

. So could you if you were to try all this kinky stuff at home. Some of it is illegal under section 377.

Despite the spanking, the whip and whatnot, the sex sounds pretty much the same.

. Then again, everybody has sex the same way. But most people don’t fantasise about suspending their partners from the ceiling – I hope!

From HT Brunch, June 28

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