Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.

Fifty Shames of Earl Grey

Fifty Shames of Earl Grey - Fanny Merkin,  Andrew Shaffer While I may request a fair amount of titles from NetGalley, there are few review copies for which I keep refreshing my email, hoping for approval. Andrew Shaffer/Fanny Merkin's Fifty Shames of Earl Grey was one of those titles. I'd read the three sample chapters Shaffer had posted earlier on his blog as "Fifty-One Shames" and I was eager to see if the wit he'd demonstrated in those early chapters could be sustained over the entirely of a book. Ostensibly, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey is a parody of the best-selling trilogy beginning with Fifty Shades of Grey. Fifty Shames stars Anna Steal and Earl Grey, a Walmart cashier and billionaire tycoon respectively who meet and inexplicably fall in love. Anna is dumb as a post and Grey -- well, Grey has his 50 shames, which he believes isolate him from the rest of the world. Shaffer has filled the book with obvious plays on the book, but as someone who did no more than skim the story when it was in its original form as a Twilight fan fiction, I can assure you that you'll still find the book funny without it. More than a simple parody, it skewers American culture and the associated cult of idiocy that appears to have led to what most have admitted is a poorly written book sitting atop the best-seller charts for months.I'm hard to please when it comes to comedy, but found myself laughing out loud frequently when reading Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. Shaffers's wit draws from pop culture far beyond the novels he's meant to be parodying, and the intelligence behind the gags and the research behind some of the plot points (I really don't want to spoil anything for potential readers) surprised me for a book written so quickly to take advantage of the other books' press.Here's hoping Shaffer has a long career ahead of him in parody and satire, this generation's Jonathan Swift.

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