Starting today, everyone obsessed with the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books will start reading a new instalment in the series — “Grey.”
“Grey” follows the same exact plot as “Fifty Shades of Grey,” but from the perspective of the gorgeous and troubled billionaire Christian Grey instead of naive and impressionable Anastasia Steele.
The new instalment is an intriguing look into one of the most mysterious and beloved characters that captivated readers back when the original 2011 book came out. As Anastasia describes him, Christian is “a white knight in shining, dazzling armour.”
But the new peek into the character’s psyche might have given her — and original readers — a run for the hills.
We got our hands on a copy and broke down how the characters differed in the key book scenes.
Their first meeting in Christian Grey’s office
When Anastasia shows up to interview Christian for her school paper, the awkward 21-year-old literally falls into the room. In “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Ana is understandably embarrassed.
Double crap — me and my two left feet! I am on my hands and knees in the doorway to Mr. Grey’s office, and gentle hands are around me, helping me to stand. I am so embarrassed.
But Christian in “Grey” is immediately taken with this “whirl of long chestnut hair, long limbs, and brown boots.” As he helps her up, he immediately notices her eyes.
Clear embarrassed eyes meet mine and halt me in my tracks. They are the most extraordinary colour, powder blue, and guileless, and for one awful moment, I think she can see right through me and I’m left… exposed.
And while readers might melt at that line, he immediately sexualizes her one paragraph later:
I wonder briefly if all her skin is like that — flawless — and what it would look like pink and warmed from the bite of a cane.
Their second meeting at the hardware store
For those unfamiliar with the plot, Christian literally stalks Ana after their first meeting since he’s so taken with her. After having his trusted bodyguard find out where she works, he proceeds to go and visit her there.
Ana is just doing her job, and has no idea what a stalker her soon-to-be-boyfriend is.
Here’s the scene from her perspective in “Fifty Shades”:
Mrs. Clayton asks me to check on some orders while I’m sitting behind the counter at the register discreetly eating my bagel. I’m engrossed in the task, checking catalogue numbers against the items we need and the items we’ve ordered, eyes flicking from the order book to the computer screen and back as I make sure the entries match. Then, for some reason, I glance up…and find myself locked in the bold grey gaze of Christian Grey, who’s standing at the counter, staring at me. Heart failure.
While Christian seems mysterious and intriguing in “Fifty Shades” while talking to Ana in the store, in “Grey” he comes off like a pig. In one scene, he lets her walk ahead of him, not to be a gentleman, but to check her out and see if she would make a good submissive partner in the bedroom.
Letting her walk ahead gives me the space and time to admire her fantastic arse. Her long, thick ponytail keeps time like a metronome to the gentle sway of her hips. She really is the whole package: sweet, polite, and beautiful, with all the physical attributes I value in a submissive. But the million-dollar question is, could she be a submissive? She probably knows nothing of the lifestyle — my lifestyle — but I very much want to introduce her to it.
Christian is insanely jealous
Christian is extremely possessive of Ana in “Fifty Shades of Grey” and we get a look into just how possessive in “Grey.” In one scene, he meets her best friend José Rodriguez who is also a college-aged kid and immediately becomes competitive with him.
Ana notices in the “Fifty Shades” book that Rodriguez seems colder to Christian than to herself, but thinks nothing of it after the two men shake hands. Christian, however, is brooding over their possible relationship.
Rodriguez gives me a dark look as we shake hands. It’s a warning. He’s telling me to back off. He likes her. He likes her a lot. Well, game on kid.
This is a grown 27-year-old man — who also happens to be a billionaire — acting jealous of a soon-to-be college grad who is friends with the 21-year-old girl that he’s met only three times. Pull it together, Grey.
Christian saves Ana from a cyclist
After being rebuffed by Christian when asked if he has a girlfriend — “I don’t do that” — a dejected Ana “turns abruptly and stumbles into the road.”
This is a turning point for both characters.
Ana, meanwhile, is just happy to be so close to him. She thinks this is the moment he’ll kiss her.
Via “Fifty Shades of Grey:”
It all happens so fast — one minute I’m falling, the next I’m in his arms and he’s holding me tingly against his chest. I inhale his clean, wholesome scent …
He’s staring into my eyes, and I hold his anxious, burning gaze for a moment, or maybe it’s forever … but eventually, my attention is drawn to his beautiful mouth. And for the first time in twenty-one years, I want to be kissed. I want to feel his mouth on mine. Kiss me, damn it!
Readers never knew what was going on in Christian’s head here. In “Grey,” we find out he may have deeper feelings for Ana than just sex, but he dismisses them.
S—. She wants me to kiss her.
And I want to. Just once. Her lips are parted, ready, waiting.
Her mouth felt welcoming beneath my thumb.
No. No. No. Don’t do this, Grey.
She’s not the girl for you.
She wants hearts and flowers, and you don’t do that s—.
When Ana sees Christian’s “play room” for the first time
Perhaps the most central scene of the book is when Christian takes Ana to see his “play room” or the “red room of pain” where he keeps all of his BDSM accoutrement.
Ana is in awe of the room, and describes it in great detail, from the huge bed to all of the whips and chains.
I turn and he’s regarding me intently, as I knew he would be, his expression completely unreadable. I walk farther into the room, and he follows me. The feathery thing has me intrigued.
Christian, meanwhile, watches her from the door, unmoving. We find out in “Grey” that he is extremely worried Ana will reject both him and his lifestyle.
Ana stands in the middle of the room, eyeing all the paraphernalia that is so much a part of my life: the floggers, the canes, the bed, the bench…she’s silent, drinking it in, and all I hear is the deafening pounding of my heart as the blood rushes past my eardrums.
Their first sex scene
In “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Ana is mortified to reveal that she is actually a virgin. Christian decides they will have “vanilla sex” instead where he doesn’t engage in any BDSM play and says sweet things to Ana like,”You have the most beautiful skin, pale and flawless. I want to kiss every inch of it.”
This line makes Ana “flush.”
But when we see this same scene from Christian’s perspective in “Grey,” it doesn’t feel sweet any more:
“You have the most beautiful skin, pale and flawless. I want to kiss every single inch of it.” There’s not a mark on her. The thought is unsettling. I want to see her marked … pink … with tiny, thin welts from a crop maybe.
In the ultimate scene at the end of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” Ana asks for Christian to show her the worst sort of thing he can do. He takes her into the “play room” and tells her he is going to hit her with a belt six times and they will count together.
From Ana’s perspective in “Fifty Shades,” each strike of the belt makes her hate him more and more. She can’t believe he’s willing to hit her so hard and is disgusted by him.
But reading from Christian’s perspective in “Grey,” he’s extremely happy. The girl of his dreams “asked” for him to inflict pain on her — something he finds sexually arousing — and she doesn’t use any safe words to get him to stop. Christian thinks she’s into it.
I drop the belt, savouring my sweet, euphoric release. I’m punch-drunk, breathless, and finally replete. Oh, this beautiful girl my beautiful girl. I want to kiss every inch of her body. We’re here. Where I want to be. I reach for her, pulling her into my arms.
But when he realises she’s angry at him, he’s upset and confused.
My euphoria vanities. I’m stunned, completely helpless and paralysed by her anger. The crying I know and understand, but this rage…somewhere deep inside it resonates with me and I don’t want to think about it.
It’s probably the most revealing part of “Grey” and a satisfying explanation for readers for the most shocking scene in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” books. In “Grey,” Christian is not a callous monster, but someone who is into BDSM and thought he could fulfil his ultimate fantasy with his submissive partner who never uses their safe word, even when she feels uncomfortable.
After he realises how angry she is, he’s upset and hurt. It’s a big turn from “Fifty Shades” where the reader doesn’t know his reaction at all.
If anything, reading “Grey” made me like Anastasia more while “Fifty Shades of Grey” made me like Christian more. In both books, I was annoyed by the narrator and found myself drawn to their idealised romantic partner.
“Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as told by Christian” is available in paperback in stores and digitally Thursday, June 18.
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