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Update, 6/29: Someone who had clearly never been on Twitter before had the terrible idea of letting E L James host a Q&A about the latest Fifty Shades book. They started a hashtag and everything, but instead of the earnest, behind-the-curtain-y inquiries James & Co. were counting on, they got stuff like this:
#askeljames Do you ever wonder how powerful your books could have been if you'd had Ana break free of the abuse in the end?June 29, 2015
#AskELJames If your sons behaved like Christian Grey does towards women, would you be okay with that? If so, WHY?!June 29, 2015
#AskELJames Is it only ok for Christian to stalk, coerce, threaten & manipulate Ana because he's hot, or is it also ok because he's rich?June 29, 2015
Are you as homophobic in real life as your books are? Asking for a friend. #AskELJamesJune 29, 2015
And this, which means she at least has tons of material for her Mean Tweets segment:
Which do you hate more, women or the English language? #AskELJamesJune 29, 2015
Are you going to answer any of these questions, or do you need Stephenie Meyer to do a Twitter chat first? #AskELJamesJune 29, 2015
Update, 6/23: Not knowing that it would shatter all their illusions about its titular character having even vaguely interesting thoughts and any friends besides his penis, 1.1 million unsuspecting readers bought paperback, eBook, and audio editions of Grey in four days, Time reports (opens in new tab).
"This is an astonishing number of books to sell over a weekend and speaks to the engagement and passion readers have for the Fifty Shades books," Anne Messitte, Vintage Anchor's publisher, said in a statement. "Christian's side of the story is proving to be irresistible."
Granted, his views on period sex (opens in new tab) alone are worth the price of admission.
Update, 6/18: These quotes from Grey really speak for themselves, so I'm just going to remind you there are 576 pages in the book, out today, then leave these here.
This is still my favourite section from the book. #Grey pic.twitter.com/ICEojyQfo9June 18, 2015
Starting to think that Christian's Grey only friend IS his cock. #Grey pic.twitter.com/CvWB5QLzurJune 18, 2015
"I want to make you come like a freight train baby." #Grey pic.twitter.com/iryq0JrH5rJune 18, 2015
Sexual moment in Grey: "She has a fresh, wholesale fragrance that reminds me of my grandfather's apple orchard." pic.twitter.com/DegKMhpJdYJune 18, 2015
"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." pic.twitter.com/KgdB3AHIf3June 18, 2015
I’m reading the new 50 Shades of Grey today so you don’t have to. pic.twitter.com/RlvzaVzH39June 18, 2015
Someone get Scott Bryan a knighthood.
“In my closet I strip off all my clothes and from a drawer pull out my favourite jeans. My DJs. Dom jeans.” #GreyJune 18, 2015
This is my favourite bit from #Grey so far. It tops Barry. pic.twitter.com/eSHDCBWIuUJune 18, 2015
I'm so bored of reading about Anastasia's lack of appetite that I've gone and bought myself a Snickers. It is 10.30am #GreyJune 18, 2015
Guys, I've found out who Christian's inner goddess is - it's literally his penis. "My cock agrees." "My cock concurs." #GreyJune 18, 2015
"Her hair is beautiful. Lush. Long. Thick. Idly, I wonder what it would be like to braid." #GreyJune 18, 2015
Kat Brown, please email me so I know where to send your medal.
Christian just described Ana's facial expression as a "huge cock-tightening grin", and... oh god, ELJ, I can't even. #greyJune 18, 2015
Christian just described himself as a "louche fucker". If I had known this was coming, would have used #louchefucker as my hashtag. #greyJune 18, 2015
One of Christian's aides passes Ana her jacket. Christian's reaction? "Christ, Olivia is annoying - mooning over me all the time." #greyJune 18, 2015
ALL SHE DID WAS PASS THE GIRL WHO INTERVIEWED YOU HER COAT NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU CHRISTIAN (plus also you are her boss) #greyJune 18, 2015
Thank you for your service, Jodi McAlister.
Update, 6/17: The fictional first-person account of a Seattle tycoon with...interesting sexual proclivities is apparently very appealing to a lot of people. "So far this year, Grey by E.L. James is the #1 Kindle pre-order of 2015," Amazon wrote in a recent press release. Simultaneously, Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman (opens in new tab) is the top print pre-order, suggesting there is still hope for us as a species.
Update, 6/11: There are still seven sleeps until Christian's combination birthday/book launch, but one group already knows they're not going to be into Grey—like, at all.
In a statement Wednesday, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which previously protested the Fifty Shades movie, called the sequel out (opens in new tab) as the narrative of a "man who tortures and coerces his 'love interest' for sexual pleasure."
"In reality, too many women suffer every day at the hands of violence and abuse," the statement read. "For such brutality to be considered 'sexy' entertainment, or justifiable because of the abuser's past experiences or wealth and power, is offensive and an affront to every abused woman in America. The continuation of this series perpetuates the mainstreaming of domestic abuse. It sends the false message that victims can 'fix' violent, controlling partners by being obedient."
The organization urges readers to boycott the spinoff and presumably any leaks of the stolen manuscript (opens in new tab). They'd probably be fine with you watching this hilarious, brutally honest trailer (opens in new tab) again, though.
Update 6/3: In the wake of E L James' announcement of a fourth installment in the Grey series, fans everywhere are jumping for joy at the thought of more hot scenes from Christian and Anastasia. Unfortunately, if the book makes it to the big screen there is a chance there will be no Grey and Steele as we know them.
Neither Jamie Dornan nor Dakota Johnson are contracted for a spinoff film, but the actor's representatives are planning to renegotiate pay due to the first movie's box office win (opens in new tab). Hopefully, Grey will now be included in this discussion.
In the meantime, we've got the whole summer to pore over the new novel. Imagination is almost as good as the big screen, right? RIGHT?
Original post 6/1: As Fifty Shades of Grey fans well know, one of Ana's major reservations regarding her and Christian's relationship is that she feels her knight in shining S&M armor doesn't open up to her. (Also, rope burn.) He's such a bro, basically; fine with stripping her naked, cropping a whip across her genitalia, and then kissing it better, but sharing his feelings, it's too much. They don't have enough emotional intimacy! It's a valid complaint on her part.
And it's one that Fifty Shades author E. L. James is here to rectify, for her readers if not for Ms. Steele herself. Out of nowhere, James announced on Twitter this morning that she'll be releasing a book re-telling Fifty Shades of Grey's story, but from Christian's perspective. The book, titled simply Grey, will be released in just over two weeks—no, really, so cancel everything else you planned to read this summer, or at least make space for one more book—on June 18th. Because that's Christian's birthday:
A post shared by E L James (@erikaljames) (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by on
He's not the type to celebrate with cake, after all. And Ana would struggle to eat her slice.
In a press release accompanying James's tweet, her publisher Random House quotes a line from her dedication—Grey is for "those readers who asked...and asked... and asked... and asked for this," she writes. After all, Christian is definitely a believer in the power of persuasion, persistence, and nipple clamps. One of these things is not like the other, but who wants to quibble with Christian?!
The book will apparently answer questions like "what is it about [Ana] that captivates him?," "why can't he forget her?" and hopefully also where the phrase "laters, baby" comes from. It's unclear whether Christian's inner goddess will feature in his narrative, but let's hope so—if nothing else, so we can imagine a mini, angelic, and sweaty Jamie Dornan dancing the samba shirtless, because that's the sort of thing Christian's inner goddess would do when Ana agrees to sign his sexy non-disclosure agreement.
In the release, E. L. James is also quoted as saying that "Christian is a complex character," which is arguably both an understatement and overstatement simultaneously. "Readers have always been fascinated by his desires and motivations, and his troubled past," she continues. "Also, as anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows, there are two sides to every story. It's been a great pleasure to return to my happy place—writing." And it'll be a great pleasure for many of us to return to our happy (guilty pleasure) place reading the results too.
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