5 Things We Need to See Christian Address in EL James’ ‘Grey’
EL James, author of the wildly successful Fifty Shades trilogy, revealed this morning (June 1) that she'll release a new book called Grey on June 18. As the caption in her Instagram announcement explains, the novel will show readers the "he-said" side of Fifty Shades of Grey from Christian's point of view.
It's not the first time a popular love story has gotten its script flipped after fans have re-read the first book a million times, and the ink has dried on all the film development contracts. Twilight, the YA vampire romance novel from which Fifty Shades originally drew its inspiration, was narrated entirely by Bella — but author Stephanie Meyer decided to write a follow-up with Edward's version of events called Midnight Sun. Meyer seems to have abandoned her efforts (she's shared parts of the book here), but James simply cannot walk away from market demand.
According to the writer (via a press release on James' blog), "This book is dedicated to those readers who asked...and asked... and asked... and asked for this." She goes on to provide some insight into what subjects the book will probe: “Readers know Christian as someone who exercises control in all aspects of his life. His world is neat, disciplined, and empty—until the moment that Anastasia Steele stumbles into his office. What is it about her that captivates him? Why can't he forget her? He is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist.” A storm indeed! The perfect storm of emotion, leather-handled floggers and sexy non-disclosure agreements.
We'll have several hundred pages' worth of Mr. Grey's thoughts in a few weeks. But until then, here are five things from the original book (i.e. NOT the movie, necessarily) that we hope he'll delve into — check them out below.
Hey Christian, remember when you first met Ana Steele, and you showed up at her job? And then you had her help you locate (and purchase) cable ties, tape and rope? Did you mean to come off as a super creepy murder-y dude? Because you in that moment, you were wholly indistinguishable from Jamie Dornan's character on The Fall. Who really is a straight-up serial killer. Of single women. Seriously, he carries rope around and everything. The similarities are striking. What's up with that? Please explain.
Ana didn't own a computer, and despite being a college student, her sole means of internet access was to borrow her roommate's laptop. Then, when you said you made her an email address, her response was "I have an email address!?"
Did the fact that a college student seemed so flummoxed by technology alarm you at all? Because to be honest, I thought maybe she was lying at first, or there was something wrong with her brain maybe? I'm just saying — my five-year-old nephew knows how to set up Skype.
What's the deal with your sex jeans, bruh? In the book you're always "wearing old, faded, ripped Levis" when it's time to enter the Red Room of Pain. Ana makes several almost fetishistic references to you "older, ripped, soft, and over-washed" pants. It's a thing; there's think pieces about it and everything. Jeans with knee ventilation are very on-trend, but the book came out in 2011, and light denim is kind of schlubby TBH.
Are all the jeans sentimental gifts from a friend, or did someone tell you that you look best in some ill-fitting, holey Girbauds, or what?
WHAT IS YOUR JOB, CHRISTIAN? For real: What does it entail? Ana overhears you having a few business-jargon-laced teleconferences in the first book, where you made remarks such as "tell Barney the prototype looks good" and (the absolute best thing to say when someone can only hear your side of a phone conversation) "no, I don't want publicity for Darfur." You do indicate that you're trying to end world hunger, but...like...how?
A Google search comes up with this hollow Grey Enterprises site. It claims to be working toward "a bright future," but that's what Cyberdyne claimed to want as well, and after five Terminator movies it feels like someone had a larger plan. Please explain your credentials and verify whether you are, or are not, a nascent super villain.
For the most part, Christian, your apartment is much like James describes your pre-Ana world in the quote up top: Neat, disciplined and empty. Grey is an opportunity to peel back the seemingly unflappable facade you presented in Fifty Shades, and we simply can't know a man's true self without seeing what embarrassing stuff he hid before Ana came over.
Show us the medicine cabinet — no, show us what was in the medicine cabinet before you moved it to a second location. Can't wait to read the book!