E.L. James' smash hit trilogy of erotic novels — Fifty Shades of Grey (also a half-billion dollar movie), Fifty Shades Darker, and Fifty Shades Freed — centers on the torrid romance between young Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, a sexy, mysterious billionaire with a dark past and a taste for S&M. On June 18, Grey's birthday, James released Grey, a nearly 600-page retelling of Fifty Shades from Anastasia's lover's perspective.
We read the entire book (you're welcome) and discovered that, when it's not too busy regurgitating the original book's prix fixe menu of light bondage sex scenes, Grey mostly depicts Christian checking his emails and referring to his penis in the third person.
But seeing the world from Grey's point of view also gives us access to his innermost, unvoiced thoughts and desires. As it turns out, those innermost thoughts and desires are really, really irritating. Enjoy?
- Her voice is high; she’s feigning disinterest. It makes me want to laugh. Women rarely make me laugh.
- Breakfast has been delivered and I’m famished. It’s not a feeling I tolerate—ever.
- Her eyes widen. They really are beautiful, the color of the ocean at Cabo, the bluest of blue seas. I should take her there.
- She’s one of the few women I’ve met who can sit in silence. Which is great, but not what I want at the moment.
- I like my women in skirts. I like them accessible.
- Anxiety blooms in my gut. She’s a young woman, drunk, somewhere in Portland. She’s not safe.
- The clock at my bedside says 7:43. When was the last time I slept this late?
- I press the button and the music is back. We both listen, now lost in the raw sound of the Kings of Leon.
- The darkness is quiet, perhaps subdued by my libido.
- The sweet appreciative noise echoes through me—to the end of my cock.
- Her face is a picture of maidenly outrage.
- Bringing affordable first world technology to the third world is something I’m determined to do.
- Diamonds in her ears would complete the ensemble; I must buy her a pair.
- [At Ana’s graduation.] I’ve been ogled, and had eyelashes batted at me, silly giggling girls squeezing my hand, and five notes with phone numbers pressed into my palm.
- “Ana, baby,” I whisper, holding out my hand, and like the good woman she is, she steps into my embrace.
- I forgo the Cristal and the Dom Pérignon for a Bollinger, mostly because it’s the 1999 vintage, and chilled, but also because it’s pink…symbolic, I think with a smirk, as I hand my AmEx to the cashier.
- His wife is cloying, thrusting her perfect, surgically enhanced breasts in my direction.
- “Dad jokes”—my father excels at them.
- Her sharp intake of breath is music to my dick.
- Her words travel directly to my dick, passing “Go” on the way.
- And she’s pissed at me; maybe she has PMS. She said her period was due this week.
- Ana arches a brow, impressed by the GT500. Yeah, it’s a fun drive, even if it’s only a Mustang.
- Much as I’d like to, I’m not going to fuck her in the restroom at IHOP. She deserves better than that, and frankly, so do I.
- When I look up again, the paintings in my foyer, my Madonnas, bring a mirthless smile to my lips. The idealization of motherhood.
- I stop to change the music and drag precious air into my lungs. I want something… violent. “Pump It,” by the Black Eyed Peas. Yeah.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.