willaful's Reviews > Fifty Shames of Earl Grey

Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin
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's review
Jul 31, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: arc-gift-or-netgalley, made-me-laugh
Recommended for: anyone who hasn't lived on a deserted island for the past year
Read on July 31, 2012 , read count: 1

I read the first three chapters of this parody a while back and was impressed, not only by how funny it was, but by how much a sense of the original book it conveyed. I hadn't read any of Fifty Shades of Grey at that time, but it made me feel like I had. (And indeed, when I started the actual Fifty Shades, the beginning felt so familiar, it read like a parody itself. This may be partially why I have yet to get past chapter six.)

It's hard to maintain a parody for an entire book but Shaffer had a lot to work with. Here we're introduced to the unique workings of the mind of our narrator, "Anna Steal."

"I walk through the glass doors and into the lobby, which is floor-to-ceiling glass and steel. This fascinates me no end, because buildings back in Portland are made of grass and mud.

An attractive blond woman behind the receptionist's desk smiles at me as I walk in. I assume she's the receptionist, because I can't think of any other reason she would be sitting behind the receptionist's desk. Unless maybe she's filling in for the real receptionist, who could be on their lunch break. But then I remember: it's almost two, and I doubt anyone takes their lunch breaks that late. So this must be the actual receptionist."

An of course Anna's love interest, Earl Grey, is simply the most fascinating and incredible man ever born:

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

"He smiles at me, though he smiles most of the time. Maybe I should just start mentioning when he's not smiling? That would be easier."

"We're at Earl Grey's penthouse apartment at the top of one of the tallest, most elegant-looking steel erections in downtown Seattle. It's directly across the street from his office; he commutes back and forth using a zipline stretched between the two buildings. The inside of Earl Grey's bachelor pad is amazing. It's almost all black and white, with a few splashes of puce and cadmium red."

"Earl tears one of the packets open and slides the condom onto his turgid python. 'I'm surprised that fit,' I mutter.

Did I say that out loud? What is this man doing to me?

He just laughs. 'These condoms are tailored,' he says. 'So you went into a store somewhere and they measured you? And what -- made them just for you?

'The perks of being part of the .00001%, Anna,' he says."

I have only two complaints. One: the running gag about Earl Grey being secretly a gay cross-dresser? That's really old. And two: I loved the original smiley face tie cover.

(reviewed from e-arc provided by netGalley)
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