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Fifty Shames of Earl Grey: A Parody Paperback – July 31, 2012
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Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Next Best Thing
About the Author
Fanny Merkin lives in a Beverly Hills mansion purchased using the embarrassingly large advance she received for Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. She is a former Walmart employee who writes under the pseudonym, "Andrew Shaffer," for publications as diverse as Mental Floss and Maxim. Andrew Shaffer is the author of Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love. He reviews romance, erotica, and women's fiction for RT Book Reviews magazine.
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I traded off reading this book and a regular romance novel at the same time and I found it sort-of hard to go between the two. This book pokes fun at everything and when I'd go back to the other book, I'd have to remind myself that these romance phrases are meant to be more serious now.
Anna was mostly, completely stupid. She knows almost nothing about life and her internal monologue is ludicrous. "I gaze into his gazing eyes gazingly like a gazelle gazing into another gazelle's gazing gaze." Part of poking fun and very funny to read.
But what I loved more was some of the "more serious" silliness. Kissing after eating: "Perhaps we shouldn't have started kissing so soon after eating. Your mouth tastes like you ate an entire garlic bulb." When Anna has some stinky feet: "'I love your scent, Anna' he says, placing his noise an inch away from my toes and inhaling deeply. His eyes grow wide with surprise. 'But perhaps, I shall start with your knees. Good idea.'" You find that in romance novels so often; that people never smell stinky or anything. It's just so funny and laugh out loud to have someone poke fun at that. But that was definitely the hard part alternating with a "serious" romance novel.
If you remember from the first 50 Shades book, the last little bit is the big spanking scene. This book takes that scene and makes it completely hysterical. One of the times that Anna seemed totally real and intelligent. Instead of being dark and heavy, this one completely turns it around and gives everyone the silly absolution they need.
Bottom line, you can't go into this book expecting a serious take on 50 Shades. It's a silly book, meant to make you laugh and be totally over-the-top insane. I'd compare this book a little bit to the Scary Movie franchise, but it also reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams. Will I buy the second book in this parody series? Maybe, but probably not for full price.
These books were ripe for the picking, and Andrew Shaffer pounced on that opportunity with his capable writing chops and tongue-in-cheek wit. Shaffer's Shames is the love child of Airplane and Fifty Shades... 1 part absurdity, 1 part hilarious, and 50 parts irreverent.
Shames follows the love story of Earl and Anna, documenting their unusual courtship and the exploration of their many and varied hang-ups - all done with a perfect humorous touch and mocking tone. I found myself giggling and snickering on each page, and always in anticipation of what crazy path Shaffer would be taking us on next.
Do you need to have read the Fifty Shades series to enjoy this book? Absolutely not. Will you enjoy this book more if you read the Fifty Shades books and, as many did, found them to be perfect comedy fodder? Absofrigginlutely!
Shaffer's clever writing and sharp wit were the perfect tools to deliver up a side-splitting parody of the Fifty Shades novels. The book is a quick and light read and chock full of laughs.
Good parody thrives on sustaining humorous pacing. Mr. Shaffer--again sans an editor--extends needless narrative between some potentially potent streams of bon mots. He just can't resist the urge to wax in-eloquently.
Perhaps the next time around Mr. Shaffer's style will have smoothed out, and he will have recruited a hard-nosed editor. All in all, not a bad outing. Good, but not wicked good.
Unfortunately, it was a let down, and , at best, minimally amusing.
would not recommend others to bother buying and reading.
If you loved 50 shades, this was an insult to your intelligence, even if it WAS meant to be a parody.