Nyx Book Reviews

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Review: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin

Title: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey
Author: Fanny Merkin
Series: None
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

224 pages
Published July 10th 2011 by Da Capo Press
ARC received through Netgalley

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This is the first parody book that I’ve trusted myself to read. At least, unless you count Pride, Prejudice & Zombies a parody. I’ve passed up the Twilight ones, the Hunger Games ones, and one or two lesser known ones, just because I figured it wouldn’t be for me. Until I encountered Fifty Shames of Earl Grey.

I hate the idea of Fifty Shades of Grey. I don’t hate the book itself, I just hate the idea of the book. It’s mommy Edward-Bella porn. A middle-aged woman just sat at home and thought, man, that boy Robert Pattinson is so hot with his tousled hair and I’m-stoned look that I want to write copious sex scenes about him, even though he is probably half my age. If this was written by a man, he would be called a pervert. The fact that this book is essentially fan-fiction just rubs me the wrong way. EL James didn’t invent new characters; she just took them, altered them a bit so they fit her story, and that’s it. In my opinion, Fifty Shades should have just stayed fan-fic.

Over the last few months I have read so many about the Fifty Shades books that I feel like I have read the book itself. I must have read at least a quarter of the book, just from all the quotes. I refuse to buy it; not going to reward writing paid fan-fiction. But, having a good laugh at the expense of it.. That seems like my thing!

And it was. It really really was.

I thoroughly enjoyed Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. It mocks the bizarreness of the original, and adds a fine dash of surrealism to the story. Where many parodies always strike me as petty and condescending, for me Fifty Shames stayed far clear of that. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. I admit that I have chuckled out loud at certain passages, something that rarely happens for me when reading a book.

I would definitely recommend Fifty Shames of Earl Grey for everyone that isn’t completely blown away by the Fifty Shades of Grey hype, or those that are but do enjoy parodies. If you don’t at least have a rudimentary awareness of what happens in the Fifty Shades books, this might not be for you.

For your enjoyment I have added a few quotes:

“With his tousled brown hair and brilliant gray eyes, he’s the kind of guy you want to write fanfic about.”

“Would you like a tour of the building? Perhaps a peek inside my sex dungeon?”

“Hello, Miss Steal,” he says, gazing at me gazingly with his gazing gray eyes.

“I’ve already seen him at what I figured was the depth of his shame, buying a Nickelback CD. Do I want to know how deep his perversions go?”


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?

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