Saturday, February 21, 2015


This is a re-post from several years ago when the book came out.  But with the movie now out and doing boffo business I thought it would play better now than when I originally wrote it.  
In case you’re one of the eight who haven’t read or seen 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.


John O'Hern said...

perfect. Love you're phrasing and the characters sense of humor. Self deprecating...all that. And the last line of course. Between the snow and the success of that crap I think I will blow my brains out after all!!!

check out Sweetspot:Confessions of a's funny anyway

Diane D. said...

Yikes! I don't think I have ever read anything that was so effective at showing just how inconsequential a woman can be to a certain kind of man. It may be short for a novel, but it is an amazing portrait of a man portrayed in fewer words than I would have believed possible.

I wonder if, in a relationship, a man can ever mean so little to a woman.

Your blog is never boring, Ken Levine!

Oat Willie said...

You should do more reviews like this. Where were you when 'The Ten People You Meet In Heaven" came out?

Unknown said...

Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy in 1 Minute (Parody)

CarolMR said...

Ken, can't wait to read your review of the "Two and a Half Men" finale. I hope you will eventually write one.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

CarolMR: I actually really enjoyed that, broken fourth wall, animation, in-jokes, and all. Granted, a lot of the humor was at Charlie Sheen's expense, but I liked the way Chuck Lorre handled that at the end.


Eric J said...

Funny then. Funny now. And I haven't even read the book or seen the movie, but have been unable to avoid the hype.

Anonymous said...

This is great Ken. Awesome.
I am not DONE with book
Will read more of it when
DONE watching the movie. I enjoy
this way. BTW my bookstore has a great DEAL on the audio book, omg.

CarolMR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CarolMR said...

Wendy, I was a little disappointed in the TAHM finale. A lot of loose ends were never tied up. You're right about the humor being at Sheen's expense. Sheen and Lorre - a couple of male egos bruised! I agree with you that the end was funny. My favorite part was the return of another character - I won't give it away in case someone is going to watch it.

Smurch said...

"I'll add a scene where he walks on water."

C'mon, that's been done to death....

Mike said...

There's an apostrophe missing from giant swank office.

chuckcd said...

Giant swank orifice...?
Oh wait, ...never mind.

Tim Norton said...

Good riffs on the Oscars, Ken. The show was predictably endless, bloated and self congratulatory, much like the average acceptance speech.

All the best in your Far East odyssey.