528 Pages of Garbage — the most hilarious review EVER
Unless you’ve been living in a cave six feet underground with no access to any sort of media, you already know the story. Here’s the gist: Bored, middle-aged wife and mother Erika Leonard decides it’s time to unleash that novel that’s been inside her all her life, the one that’s going to change the world. How? By adding that bit of zing that will tingle the nether regions of the missionary-sex mommies out there — kinky sex! BDSM! (gasp) Of course, Ms. Leonard has no personal experience with BDSM, its practices or lifestyle, etc., so she dutifully researches The Internet for information (because you know, everything you read on The Internet is true). And she writes, and she writes, and she writes — not just one, but three booky-books. Renames herself E.L. James, and the rest is history, and another reason to fear for humanity.
Do I sound pissed off? Yeah, kinda. If I may be allowed to rant a bit here (and even if I’m not, screw it, it’s my blog), it’s not fair. I spent a year-and-a-half researching (and reliving) my own life in order to write a book about it, with plenty of real-life experience in kink, more than enough to scratch the Mommy Porn itch. I edited, re-edited and then edited some more, trying to make it a decent read, interesting and compelling without being overwrought or manipulative. And yet, as books go, it’s barely a blip on the radar.
But then this woman comes along, and with her sole knowledge of BDSM gleaned from The Internet and other crap erotica (she patterned her writing after that Pulitzer-prize winning novelist, Stephanie Meyer, of the Twilight series), she pens this melodramatic, misinformed mish-mash. BOOM! She becomes a superstar and is rolling in the royalties. Her Amazon page alone has, at last count, 8,351 reviews. (Granted, nearly half of them are negative. But I doubt she’s weeping into her piles of money over that.)
My book, by the way, has 16 reviews. All five-star, for which I am thankful. But come on.
I apparently went about this all wrong. Perhaps I should have fictionalized myself, first of all. Then I should have composed my book chock-full of cliches and repetitions, thrown in a whole lot of “holy crap” and other inwardly expressed phrases of shock and awe, and titled it “Fifty Shades of Red.” And of course, renamed myself E.L. Scott.
Anyway… the review I mentioned in the title of this blog is not going to be mine. Because I will not read this dreck. I refuse. But now I don’t have to, thanks to a blogger I discovered yesterday via a friend on Twitter.
She calls herself Amberance, and her blog is BizzyBiz. She has been blogging since 2005, but I haven’t gone back to read earlier posts. If they are as brilliant as her “50” series, I am in for hours of entertainment.
What Amberance did was read “Fifty Shades of Grey,” even though she didn’t want to and knew she’d hate it, and she took her readers through the book, step by step, chapter by chapter, relating the story as it unfolds. But in this retelling, she added her own commentary.
Warning: Ms. Amberance is an outspoken young woman. And she didn’t just dislike “Fifty Shades.” She hated it, with all her heart and soul. She was furious with it. She is fond of four-letter words. And her angry rants throughout make Lewis Black sound like Little Mary Sunshine.
But oh my God, is she funny. Scathing. Freaking hysterical. I thought I would break a rib, I was laughing so hard.
The review is broken up into several posts, written as she progresses through the book. First up is 50 Heaves of Puke, in which she announces she’s started the book and she will be reviewing it. Here’s an excerpt:
I was entirely blindsided by how earth shatteringly awful this book actually is. I had a notebook on me to take notes so I could remember what I didn’t like about it. After ONE chapter I had two pages of notes, largely written in all caps and containing insightful criticisms such as “I hate everyone in this book” and “Go die”. After TWO chapters I was actually yelling. Out loud. At a book.
And this, folks, is just the beginning. Now, look to the blog archive on the right-hand side, under June, and you’ll see 10 more blog entries starting with 50, with titles such as “50 Yawns of Boredom,” “50 Sobs of Anguish,” and my favorite, “50 Bags of Douche.” Read from the bottom up.
But first, set aside some time. You’ll need it. You’ll want it. And do not consume any food or drink while you read. You will spew it all over your monitor.
Ms. Amberance skewers everything about the book — the bad writing, the obvious cliches, how thoroughly unappealing the main characters are, and — perhaps the most egregious — the way the BDSM world is misrepresented. The most tired cliche of all: People into BDSM are fucked-up and disturbed. I am not sure whether or not Ms. Amberance is into TTWD, but she seems to know a hell of a lot more about it than E.L. James does.
I loved her asides. She’d quote bits and pieces of dialogue and scenes, and add her comments, often in angry CAPS. She accuses Ms. James of being far too intimately acquainted with a thesaurus (OK, she didn’t put it that way, but I’ll let you read for yourself). Later, when a particular phrase had been repeated over and over and over, Amberance muses that perhaps Ms. James lost her thesaurus, or maybe she just shoved it up her ass for the time being. I nearly fell off my chair.
Sometimes, she’d get so frustrated, she’d simply yell at the book. Shutupshutupshutup. Stop, stop, STOP. You did NOT just say that. Yes, we know. You’ve already told us that a hundred times.
I could keep on quoting, but I’ll stop. Oh, OK, just one more. Toward the end, one of my favorite outbursts: “Fuck this dialogue with a deer antler.” I love this woman’s mind!
Anyway, y’all, I’d say this series is a must-read. Even if you liked the damn book, you’ll laugh at this. I guarantee it. May I spend eternity in Hell with nothing to read but the Fifty Shades trilogy if I’m lying.