Audio Book Review Quickie: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Andrew Shaffer, writing as Fanny Merkin

Psst... are you sick of hearing about Fifty Shades of Grey? Yeah, me too. So when I first saw that a parody came out, I did not rush to get a advanced reader copy. However, my Twitter feed spoke out in official support of Fifty Shames and this pushed me to request a copy. I'm glad that I did so.  

Once I got past the initial corniness of the parody, I began to enjoy the book. Firstly, the narrator is amazing. She has a tone that is a mesh of Anna Feris and Drew Barrymore (as Gillian on Family Guy). I'm not sure that I would have enjoyed reading the book half as much as I enjoyed listening via audio book.

We pretty much follow Fifty Shades scene-by-scene. We begin by meeting the naive, virginal Ana Steele who has been compelled by her middle-aged, alcoholic roommate Catherine to interview the notorious businessman, Mr Earl Grey. Ana finds herself to be the object of the affection of Mr Grey, who seems to be an ideal catch (if you care nothing of a man, more than his money). Yet, Mr Grey has shame in his life - 50 shames, to be exact (which are listed at the end of the book - and include being Team Jacob) - he's into BDSM (Bards, Dragons, Sorcery, and Magick) - which is explained as erotic LARPing.

What I loved about this:

I loved that Ana's inner goddess was replaced by an inner guidette, who's thick Jersey accent is Ana's internal accompaniment. 

I loved that Shaffer/Merkin "accidentally" refers to Mr Grey as Edward - often.

I loved the synonyms for anatomy:

  •      Carnal Cave
  •      Pink Palace
  •      Heavenly Gates
  •      Man Trap
  •      Mud Flaps
  •      Rigid Disco Stick

I would recommend this book .... to folks that want to read Fifty Shades to catch references; however, actually don't care to read the book because of it being poorly written. I also suggest this to folks that enjoyed the Scary Movie franchise ... as I can see this as a follow-up to the 50 Shades film in the works. I would also recommend this book to readers who enjoyed 50 Shades but know that its not a good book and can have a good laugh at themselves.

My favorite quotes:

"It's like I'm writing a novel in my head ... a first person narrative ... a crappy one."

"Earl Grey has fought for me and I am his prize, like at the bottom of a cracker jack box."

"Now I'm going to make babies with your face!"

"My fairy princess name is Labia Majora."

"My fiance's name is Earl Effing Grey. If you don't tea bag me right this second, I'm calling bullshit"

"Gazing at each other gazingly."


Andrew Shaffer was recently a guest on the No Math Allowed podcast