Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Andrew Shaffer

Book Title/Author: Fifty Shades of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin (aka Andrew Shaffer)
Publisher/Year Published: July 31st 2012 by Da Capo Press
Where I got it: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5 stars

Summary:via Goodreads
A shrewd, laugh–out–loud parody of E. L. James' bestselling Fifty Shades of Grey series:

Young, arrogant, tycoon Earl Grey seduces the naïve coed Anna Steal with his overpowering good looks and staggering amounts of money, but will she be able to get past his fifty shames, including shopping at Walmart on Saturdays, bondage with handcuffs, and his love of BDSM (Bards, Dragons, Sorcery, and Magick)? Or will his dark secrets and constant smirking drive her over the edge?
I have never read Fifty Shades of Grey*. I've heard a lot about it and realized quite quickly through some snippets that Fifty Shades was not a book for me. That said, I am sort of obsessed with the phenomenon that is Fifty Shades and have read a few reviews, followed a lot of romance community's opinion and listened to one hilarious podcast. Knowing how much I enjoyed the tongue in cheek podcast, I knew 50 Shames of Earl Grey was right up my alley. It did not disappoint. In fact, it did the opposite.

This book is a parody and boy does it do a good job at it. There were quite a few instances of me being afraid of disturbing the peace with my laughter. Like the TSA was going to come take me off the airplane sort of thing. It does a great job of parodying not just the ridiculous story lines of Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight but also how they're horridly written. It takes a really smart written book to be able to ironically write badly.

I knew enough about the general gist of the source material to highly enjoy this book. You don't have to have read either of the sources to enjoy it, though I would suspect people who had would pick up more of the subtle parody. I did however knock a star off because it did start to drag a bit toward the middle to the end of the book. This may be a limitation on the source material, but I was getting a bit bored a little over halfway through.

Overall, this book was a really fun read. If you are looking for a light read that mocks current pop culture as well as "those" popular books, give this a try. There are some sexy-times, but they usually culminate in being only a few lines or doves coming out the hooha. You know, the normal stuff.

PS: Kudos on the awesome cover. The first 80 times I looked at this cover I didn't notice the 'special' gesture our tea drinker is making. Love it!

*Sidenote: Seriously, every time I spell 'grey' or 'gray' I think, "Which way am I supposed to spell it again?" And I work in a job where 'greyscale' is a word I type all the time.

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