Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey

Like everyone on the planet I just finished reading FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. In case you’re one of the eight who haven’t read it yet – it’s a love story about a college graduate, Ana and her kinky boyfriend, billionaire Christian Grey. It’s only told from Ana’s side, and we get her account in minute detail. There’s not an expression she doesn’t over-analyze, a line of dialogue she doesn’t examine for hidden meaning. Add to that, she has her inner goddess and subconscious chiming in every other paragraph. I kept yelling at the Christian character: “Gag her!!”

That said, it’s shattering sales records worldwide. It will sell a lot more books than mine, but it’s my own fault. Silly me, I didn’t have a room of pain in my tract house in Woodland Hills.

Still, I figured a way to get on the bandwagon. Why not write the same book but from Christian’s side? So I did. As a gift to you loyal readers and a way of saying thanks for buying my book (you have bought my book, haven’t you?), I’m going to give it to you for free. See what you think?

I spend most of my time in my giant swank office. I’m the equivalent of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs except I’m also gorgeous looking and not dead. I preside over a massive global conglomerate that feeds the poor (thus making me likeable) and brings in billions. I’m always on the phone speaking generically. “Get me those numbers, Ted.” “That sounds risky, I’ll need to look over the proposal.” “Reschedule the acquisitions team for Monday at 3:00.” So you can plainly see I’m legit.

On Friday night I fly down to Portland to see my brother and pick up some items from a hardware store. I fly my own helicopter. I also play concert piano, have read and can quote the classics, collect fine art and first editions, and look awesome in jeans. It’s clear I’m an expert helicopter pilot because I say things to the tower like, “Charlie-Tango descending to 1000 feet.” Don’t even try to make sense of it. You have to be a pilot.

I go back to Seattle because I need to be at my desk and look over reports when I tell people on the phone, “Have Brian call me tomorrow, and I want a meeting with his people.”

But before you know it I fly back to Portland to speak at a college graduation. My speech goes over well because I’m incredibly charismatic. Those kids hang on every generic word.

Home again in Seattle I drive to Bellvue to have dinner with my equally wealthy step-parents and siblings. They have a large mansion. The food is delicious.  I'm a foodie and wine connoisseur too.  

A few more days of taxing business decisions (“I’m not going forward till I see the projections!”) and I need to take the corporate plane to Savannah, Georgia. As you know, I’m also an expert glider pilot. But my trip is cut short. A business emergency.

I fly back to Seattle and now on the phone I use an angry tone. “Unacceptable!” “Call Gary. We have to re-think this.” That’s me in crisis mode – firm but in complete control.

And that’s about it. Oh wait. During this period I also banged a high-maintenance loony college chick.

Hmmmm. Now I that read it over, it might be a little short for a novel. What do you think? I’ll add a scene where he walks on water.

37 comments:

hannahalyon said...

Don't add anything, it's perfect! The length is great, no one would read three entire books of stuff like this ;)

JJadziaDax said...

This could probably apply to pretty much any romance novel to be fair. I hope you've seen Ellen and Gilbert read it, those two are fantastic. I also love this
http://i.imgur.com/SbDX2.png

Raymond Hope said...

Everyone I knew kept raving about this book. All of them (mostly women) were incredulous when I told them I haven't read it.

So I finally did.

My initial inclination of wasting my time was verified.

I'm not going to bash this book, because the author, despite her literary weaknesses, seems to be a marketing genius. Sex definitely sells.

I like your take. I wish I was as subtle.

Make him walk on water, see the future, read minds, maybe be part dragon. It would be improvement on this character.

Johnny Walker said...

I have no intention of reading 50 Shades of Grey (but maybe I should?). As I understand it; It's just unabashedly out and out porn. Badly written, out and out porn.

At least that's what my female friends tell me... Although as much as they complain about how terrible it is, they still read it. A guilty pleasure, it seems.

One of the Eight said...

I won't give in... Proudly, I remain:

"One of the Eight"

I've already printed the tee-shirt. I expect to sell millions of 'em..

Roger Owen Green said...

Perfect length - what do we want for nothing?

Tom Quigley said...

Maybe you should also add "I don't often drink beer, but when I do, I drink Dos Equis. Stay thirsty, my friend."

Rock Golf said...

Oh, dear. My wife told me I wouldn't be interested in reading her copy, because it was a book on interior decorating.

SphincterBoy said...

These books are good for one thing. My wife read the series...and then read it again. We hadn't had sex that frequently since we started dating.

An (is my actual name) said...

One of the eight as well, unless you count reading a few excerpts on Amazon. Funny book, though I don't think the inner goddess stuff was meant to elicit that response. Your take on the characters was far more engaging. I enjoy well-written porn as much as the next honest woman, but this wasn't it. I've read better Cheers smut on fanfiction.net. But hey, I don't begrudge anyone their outlet, no matter how goofy. At least the book delivered some recognition for the genre market.

Michele said...

As another eight I feel the need to defend 50 Shades of Grey. It is, after all, written from the perspective of a college girl. I remember dating older guys who seemed, to my 20 year old eyes, to have that sort of "Most interesting man in the world" aura about them. Anyway, it is entirely possible that that is the way the character understood, or remembered the conversations. That said, I have no plans or desire to read this book I've got way too many Anita Blake novels to finish up.

Cap'n Bob said...

I'll be needing one of those t-shirts. Why read this sludge when I have a dozen Orrie Hitt novels awaiting me?

The Curmudgeon said...

I didn't keep count but it there are apparently more than 8 -- although I heard a few excerpts read on Jimmy Fallon's show one night -- anyway, now that I've read yours, I don't need to read the original.

Thank you.

MikeBo said...

Ken,
I would buy your new romance novel, but since I got it for free, I won't argue. I don't intend to read the "real" Shades of Grey. I haven't jumped on the summer novel bandwagon since I waded through "Atlas Shrugged. (1962)

Anonymous said...

I am in love. You stirred a passion in me I didn't know existed. Julie

A_Homer said...

I haven't got the time nor the interest to read 50 Shades of Grey. The one aspect of it that interested me was that that it developed from a fanfic (Twilight)
Yours was great. Best bit was the placement and amount of time he gave to that crazy woman.

Anonymous said...

I DID THAT IN HOLIDAY! KINDLE! TOLD FRIENDS I WAS READING GORDON RAMSEY AUTOBIOGRAPHY, THAT'S THE THING WITH KINDLE, YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIST OF BOOKS! WOMEN THINK THE SAME! GOOD FOR HER!

Tim W. said...

It appears we eight all read your blog, Ken. And while I haven't read it, I have to say I've certainly benefitted from it, like SphincterBoy (if that is his real name). It's turned the clock back 15-20 years on your love life. For that, I approve of the book wholeheartedly.

Shan said...

Brilliant, Ken. I'm sold.

BigTed said...

As long as we're jumping on the bandwagon, how about a book of "50 Shades" riddles:

Why didn't Christian Grey date the Olympic gold medalist?
She couldn't be beaten.

What did Ana wear on her first date with Christian?
Spanx.

Where did he rent his limo?
Hertz.

How did she feel when he arrived late to the dungeon?
Fit to be tied.

XJill said...

Attn fans of Fifty Shades like SphincterBoy. There is much, much better and even sexier fanfic on the internet for free. Yes, FREE! There are literally thousands of "Fifty Shades" and the like on good (i.e. not fanfiction.net) fanfic sites. Have fun!

p.s. Ken - LOL.

RCP said...

More...MorE...MORE!

Breadbaker said...

Please, the title is "50 Shades of Grey." "Shades of Grey" is a novel by Jasper Fforde that is imaginative, funny and will never make international bestseller lists because it also requires the reader's concentration and doesn't include a lot of sex.

Anonymous said...

8I think I liked this book better 25 years ago, when it was called "9 1/2 Weeks"; this is a more blatant rip-off than "Twilight" is of Buffy and Angel, and apparently meant for the same crowd. Jeez, she could have at least ripped off Anne Rice's "S&M erotica" books-- now THOSE are sexy.

Cheers,

Storm

Number Six said...

I haven't read it.

I don't want to read it.

I will never read it.

One of the Eight

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I haven't read it, and have no plans to do so.

But I like your take. Although: Hollywood has on occasion done that for real to novels. The one that sticks out in my mind is THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE. The novel was her story; the movie was his.

Nick said...

Love the people don't really like talking about the fact that it was written as Twilight Fan-Fic where the names were changed and the "Vampire-ness" (whatever of that actually existed in those books) was removed...

Jill Nesbitt said...

Count me as one of the 8 women.

After reading all the bad reviews, I couldn't understand why anyone would intentionally read a poorly written book when there are so many good books still to be read. Ken??

Having said that, I'm currently reading your book and thoroughly enjoying it.

Bron said...

Well played sir! Sadly I am not one of the Golden 8, but oh how I wish I was. The first book, albeit badly written (they ALL are) was still a page turner. The second, not so much. The third, not at all. My poor husband had to put up with me saying "when will it END???". (I am one of those people who just can't not finish a book I've started. Clearly I have issues.)
One of my favourite lines though was from Christian (and I may be paraphrasing here) "I earn $100,000 an hour."

The TV Diva said...

as a female who reads proper novels with good porn IE anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon or JR Ward, i refuse to read these books on principle. thanks for summarizing it, as this is exactly what i thought it would've been just based on what reviews its got. it appears to be the Twilight for the Adult crowd. Nuff said.

Christine Bernardo said...

One of the 8 too

Anonymous said...

How about the next step. Present a pilot episode for tv based on your version.

A_Homer said...

er.....Now I'm confused:
"Cosmopolis is simply the film with that Twilight guy in it. Robert Pattinson plays Eric Packer, a twenty-something billionaire who spends most of the movie sitting in the back of his stretch limo as his driver takes him across Manhattan to get a haircut."

Carol said...

I also haven't read it, (so more than 8, maybe?) outside of some exerpts and this delicious and brilliant 'sporking' of the book: http://das-sporking.livejournal.com/242338.html (recommend it highly)

Everyone knows it started out as a Twilight AU fanfic, and I find it sad that the fanfic writer is as bad a writer as the woman who wrote Twilight, and that the two of them still manage to make a zillion dollars.

I know unpublished writers who can write rings around these people without trying, and yet somehow remain unpublished. The world is a strange place.

On and Anonymous "Storm" I thought the SAME THING about 9 1/2 weeks. And that writer never pretended the male protagonist was the paragon of male perfection. Sigh.

chuckcd said...

Just a ripoff of "The Story of O" from the seventies.
Been there, spanked that...

7 of 9 said...

One of the eight (or 7 of 9). Haven't read it, never plan on it. But I loved your last line. Perfect ending.

cadavra said...

Orrie Hitt! Wow, there's a name from the past! I remember reading "Summer Hotel" back when I was a teenager. Amazed his stuff is still in print. The things you learn on this blog...