My last recaps were of Grey, which — if you hadn’t heard — had the fantastically original idea of retelling the whole first book of the 50 Shades trilogy, but from Christian’s point of view.
And in theory, getting inside of the head of a 27 year old self-made billionaire orphan crack baby with Mommy issues who loves BDSM should’ve been interesting. But instead, it revealed some uncomfortable things about how EL James views men. Namely, that they’re all fuck-hungry sociopaths.
But it’s possible that EL James believed that psychologically damaged crack baby orphan kinksters had the mindset of misogynistic sociopaths, sure, but such a thought process wouldn’t necessarily extend to all men.
May I introduce Maxim Trevelyan. Yes, Maxim.
Let’s get started:
Mindless sex–there’s a lot to be said for it.
This is our introduction to our new hunky leading man.
No commitments, no expectations, and no disappointments;
None? None at all? Never?
I just have to remember their names
Just wait: you guys will never see this expert comedic twist coming:
Who was it last time? Jojo? Jeanne? Jody? Whatever. She was some nameless fuck who moaned a great deal both in and out of bed.
haha woah — you got me EL. I thought for sure he’d at least be able to remember their names, because he literally just told me that! Man, this guy is fucked up something crazy!
Side note: You know it wasn’t Jojo you complete clown.
Then we’re treated to a very very very drawn-out “big reveal” that tonight he’s not with Jenny or Janey-Janine or Joey Jo-Jo.
Tonight — it’s Caroline.
But who’s Caroline??!?!!
Here — spread across what felt like 40 pages — is who Caroline is:
my best friend
my brother’s wife
Well, okay. If you explain it I’m sure it’s probably fine.
So the papers aren’t finalized, or?
What a twist. What a ride.
Anyway, Maxim’s brother (“Kit” — because clearly you name the first son Christopher and the second son Maxim because anything goes at that point) is dead. And Maxim is sleeping with Christopher’s wife/ex-wife/not ex-wife/widow.
He feels bad about this. We know he feels bad, because he tells us he feels bad. And he feels bad for her. We know this because he reflects on the word “widow”:
It’s a sad, lonely word for a sad, lonely circumstance.
Good chat, buddy.
Anyway, Caroline wants to have more sex but Maxim doesn’t because he feels guilty even though Caroline is his best friend, his first love, and his “first fuck” (classy).
He has sex with her anyway, though. Because he’s broken or whatever.
Then he falls asleep.
Then he wakes up.
Caroline leaves him a note on his pillow, asking him to go for dinner that night with his dad (her Father-in-Law) and “the stepsow” which is clearly what women call their Step-Mother-In-Law because all women hate women, etc.
He thinks back on the fact that, despite him and Caroline being friends since 13, and one-time lovers, Caroline somehow married his brother instead. This is not explained, simply mused upon.
Here’s some real prose from that section:
We’d almost danced the dance so many times, but that night I resigned myself to fate, and with an unerring inevitability I fucked my brother’s wife.
This is some of my favorite stuff from EL James — the bizarre blending of “modern” roughness, ie “I fucked my brother’s wife” with some unbelievably overripe bullshit like “danced the dance”.
A guy who brags about fuckin’ mindless, nameless babes doesn’t also go, “Oh, that night. I remember it well, sir. ‘Twas the night my body was twined in hers’ in the rhythmic dance of St. Lucifer himself!”
Pick a voice, EL. Pick it, and stick to it.
Anyway, he thinks about what a terrible person this makes him. So Maxim is just Christian with a new name and a British accent.
But you probably already knew that.
As Maxim thinks back on this “disaster” of a situation he’s in, he lets a few pieces of information slip, including that they first had sex literally the night they heard “Kit” died.
Oh, and how did Kit die? This is my favorite bit.
Why the hell was he riding his motorcycle on that bleak and icy night?
In ANY other story — ANY other story — this would be the start of a mystery. But, and I’m willing to be proven wrong here, I guarantee you that this is all we’ll ever find out about Kit — old reliable, trusty Kit. Who died on an icy night in a motorcycle accident.
Anyway, I’m not going to make it to the end of the chapter here because on the one hand, EL James just keeps writing the same stuff over and over — ie. I’m a monster! I love to fuck! My brother’s dead! — but every now and then she throws in a bit of writing that’s so perfect I just don’t have the heart to skip it. So please, if you’ve been considering finally getting into shape and you’re looking for a great workout plan, let me leave you with Maxim’s routine for a little inspo:
[…] [I]t’s what I do best, fucking some eager, attractive woman into the small hours of the morning. It’s my favorite recreational activity and gives me something to do – someone to do. Fucking keeps me fit[.]
Well, that’s not all. Let’s not kid ourselves.
Running, fucking, and fencing, they all keep me in shape.
Good to know. See you guys round the track.
Til next time — mist furiously, my friends.