Serial book-doer E.L. James has done it again. Grey has hit the shelves with a squelchy thud, and this time the world of not-BDSM, where non-people do not-plot things to and with each other, is told from Christian Grey’s perspective.
Cleverly, the book is called Grey, because it’s about Christian Grey but it’s also from his viewpoint, and Grey is his surname, so, because the book is about him, the title matches his name, which is what he calls himself.
But the real genius of this shift in the narrator’s focus is that it opens up the possibility of an almost infinite number of sequels. And so, to celebrate this milestone in publishing, and to honour the least interesting character in literary history, it is my pleasure to offer you a taste of what is to come…
Grey from the perspective of Grey’s left slipper
I cannot deny it any longer. He touches my sole. Strong fingers close around me. Oh god. He’s going to get me off.
Sometimes he tugs me off. Sometimes he’s more gentle, getting me off with a slow, firm sweep of his hand.
If I had opposable thumbs I would torment the socks in the sock-drawer like this. But I don’t have opposable thumbs. I am weak, I am pathetic. No wonder the socks despise me.
My lambswool lining is damp. With sweat. Why do his feet sweat so much? It’s because of my lambswool lining. I do this to him. I make him sweat.
He wants me. He uses me. He walks all over me. I don’t care.
Grey from the perspective of Grey’s cat
The woman has come over and my man is fornicating with her on my bed.
She sounds as if she is pain. I wonder if my man also has spines in his penis like I do? Let me jump up on my bed and stare at my man’s penis and check…
The woman is looking at me and saying that I am “weirding her out”.
My man is getting up. He does not appear to have spines in his penis. This is not surprising. My man is an inferior animal. He has put me outside the door.
One sunny morning, when he chokes to death on his protein shake, I will eat his corpse. Instinct tells me that I will go in through his anus, where the flesh is soft. One sunny morning.
Grey from the perspective of Grey’s penis
hello i am pennis what is your name actually dont bother if yur a gurl bekoz i’m not going to remember it goddamn i am a big pennis i am the biggest pennis in the wurld i must be like 25 inches long, why have i got so big? 2 mins ago i was sleeping in his shorts and now i am like 28 inches long, maybe the gurl is coming over it’s so boring they yak and yak and then he ties her up and she’s like all ooh aah and he’s all like ooo you are my plaything i am a mysterious tormented master of the univers and i’m like PEOPLE can we pleez focus on me but even tho it’s lame it’s kind of hot and – OOO HERE COMES HIS HAND, hellz yes he’s put loob on it and everything, just as well bekoz i am like 34 inches, he usually does this when he is looking at nekkid pikchers of her on his phone or is he – thaaaat’s it a little higher pal that’s the spot yep you got it, he’s moving around, i’m gonna see what he’s looking the dirty little voyer, is it porno is it – ?
oh ffs he’s looking at himself in the mirror, god he’s such a dick, still hand is nice and warm and squishy so might as well.
EL James from the perspective of her editor
It’s her. Standing in the doorway. Wearing nothing but a coat made out of the skins of literary critics.
“You came,” I whisper.
“We had an appointment,” she says. “To meet here, at this time. It was an agreed meeting at a specified time.”
“Yes,” I murmur. “That’s what ‘appointment’ means.”
“So?” she smiles. “What do you need?”
She knows what I need.
I need to be punished. I need to be hurt. Humiliated for spending decades studying literature. For learning how to construct sentences and characters. For believing in art. For becoming an editor. For clinging to the idea of quality in a world in which this exists.
She slaps the manuscript down. I flinch.
“Read it!” she snaps.
Christ, the pain.
The searing agony of the words, so many words, crowded together like sheep. Jesus, that’s a shit simile. But that’s the world I live in. A world where it doesn’t matter what you write, because none of it matters.
“Did you…?” I can barely get the words out. “On the internet, I saw an article. I think it was Buzzfeed. Did you…They said you…” I’m sweating.“They said you wrote ‘Her sharp intake of breath is music to my dick.’” I feel like I’m going to pass out. I know it should be “as if I’m going to pass out”, but who the fuck cares? I can’t look at her face. “Did you really write, ‘Her sharp intake of breath is music to my dick’?”
She points at a page. “Right there.”
I clutch at the desk.
I will swoon.
I need to escape.
I need more.
“Tell me something,” I whisper, “Tell me something that will kill the last shred of artistic idealism I have in this dark, shriveled heart of mine. Tell me something that will obliterate me.”
She leans close. Her lips brush my ear.
“I sold a million copies. In four days.”