This past week, amidst the outpouring of national pride surrounding the London Olympics, Britain has harbored a dark, shameful secret: 50 Shades of Grey has just become their best-selling book of all time. It finally eclipsed each individual Harry Potter tome to snag the top spot and has just been named the biggest-selling book from Amazon.co.uk in its 14-year-history.
As one Daily Mail commenter put it:
Rowling: an inspiration to a generation. James: an embarrassment to society.
– Matt, Northampton, 2/8/2012 6:40
Now before Americans start celebrating their intellectual and moral superiority to their British cousins, it should be noted that 50 Shades of Grey has been #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list for close to six months so it won’t be long before we reach the same humiliating benchmark.
Also, just in case you’re still tempted to read it (and please, I beg of you, just don’t — it’s not even entertaining in an ironic way), here are the best context-free hilarious quotes I highlighted and never used in previous articles:
“I roll my eyes in exasperation and gaze at the pale, brown-haired girl with blue eyes too big for her face staring back at me”
Damn me! Damn my full lips, rosy cheeks, sculpted brows, heart-shaped face and long, long lashes! I’m so terribly plain! (Plain is, like, old-timey British for ugly. I know this because I read super old British books like Wuthering Heights).
“To be honest, I prefer my own company, reading a classic British novel, curled up in a chair in the campus library.”
I’m so wonderfully, wonderfully unique. Also, I went to a magical school wherein the campus library had comfortable chairs and no one listened to their death metal too loudly and it wasn’t mostly just filled with incredibly stressed-looking people clutching their heads, staring at textbooks and sighing loudly while erasing their notes furiously. My library was a place of grace and refinement.
“I sit down, fish the questions from my backpack, and go through them, inwardly cursing Kate for not providing me with a brief biography. I know nothing about the man I’m about to interview. He could be ninety or he could be thirty.”
First of all, if Christian Grey is the most breathtaking Adonis ever to step foot on the planet Earth, I think most people in the Northwest would know about him. But even if he wasn’t some kind of local celebrity, which the book then goes on to explain that he is, it’s called Google you baffling moron.
“Miss Kavanagh.” He extends a long-fingered hand to me once I’m upright.
I don’t know why, but when an author describes someone has having long fingers, I’m instantly grossed out.
“…I work on my essay on Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Damn, that woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong century.”
I bet you anything that that’s her actual thesis.
“His tongue caresses my name…”
See: long-fingered hands.
“I am restless that night, tossing and turning, dreaming of smoky gray eyes, coveralls, long legs, long fingers, and dark, dark unexplored places.”
Enough with the long fingers. Also, coveralls? What the fuck? Take me, you rich, controlling farm hand!
“He likes soccer — European soccer especially”
Ah, yes, of course. As opposed to American soccer, where they wear pads and the ball is curiously lemon-shaped.
“Would you like to go?”
“To Paris” I squeak. This has thrown me — who wouldn’t want to go to Paris? “Of course,” I concede. “But it’s England that I’d really like to visit.”
He cocks his head to one side, running his index finger across his lower lip… oh my. “Because?”
I blink rapidly. Concentrate, Steele. “It’s the home of Shakespeare, Austen, the Bronte sisters, Thomas Hardy. I’d like to see the places that inspired those people to write such wonderful books.”
First of all, on behalf of all actual English majors who took their studies seriously, fuck you. Second, what are you going to do? Stand in the middle of a moor and find a tree to smash your head against for the sake of posterity? Don’t act like you’re going to walk around the countryside, taking in the mystical air of England. You see one moor, you’ve seen ’em all. Go to London. See a show or something. Visit a museum. Get some actual culture in.
“I magic a smile on my face and stroll over to the laptop.”
What does that mean? I hate you.
“It’s Friday, and we shall be celebrating tonight, really celebrating. I might even get drunk! I’ve never been drunk before.”
Sounds like a real barn-burner. I hope you don’t get all crazy and read a book written within the last century.
“[Kate’s] all tiny camisole, tight jeans, and high heels, hair piled high with tendrils hanging down softly around her face, her usual stunning self. Me, I’m more of a Converse and T-shirt kind of girl, but I’m wearing my most flattering jeans.”
SO PLAIN! SO HORRIBLY, TERRIBLY PLAIN! I’M A TAYLOR SWIFT SONG COUPLED WITH ALL 19 EPISODES OF MY SO-CALLED LIFE MADE FLESH!
This is probably only from the first quarter of the book, and I’m already done with this. I hope these have been good, because I honestly don’t have the strength to continue.