Fifty Shames of Earl Grey - Fanny Merkin,  Andrew Shaffer
Andrew Shaffer: *reads about Fifty Shades of Grey* This is popular and people are book shaming, but it can't be that bad…Bella Ana: Oh, look something shiny! Oh, look a boy!Edward Christian: This girl looks like my birth mom. I want to go all sadistic on her!Andrew Shaffer: . . . what?Edward Christian: I will stalk you to the ends of the earth.Bella Ana: Oh my! I get off on brushing my teeth with your toothbrush. *swoon*Andrew Shaffer: . . . no, really. Am I being punked? A monkey could fling better crap than this! (Actually, you can read some of his real thoughts while he was reading it here.)So now we have Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. A hilarious parody of the improbable bestseller written by Shaffer as Fanny Merkin – a name I didn't realize was a joke in and of itself until I saw Gisellelx's status update. The same goes for the cover of the book (hint: look at how he's holding the tea cup…). That is just a prelude to what you can expect reading the actual book. Bella Swan Ana Steel Anna Steal, Wal-Mart employee, meets Edward Cullen Christian Grey Earl Grey, richie rich business man, when she interviews him for Boardroom Hotties as a favor to her roommate Rosalie Kathleen (oh, yes, the book has great moments of name misuse). Grey is immediately drawn to Miss Steal and begins stalking courting her. Anna is amazed by shiny objects his attention and quickly falls for him in return. What follows is the hilarious and utterly ridiculous story of them coming together and working through Edward Christian Earl's "fifty shames." The book is filled with some of the worst and hilarious that pop culture has thrown at us recently (including Dr. Drew being…well, Dr. Drew, Jersey Shore mostly represented by Anna's inner guidette, 16 & Pregnant, and a very special Brony!). Unlike a lot of parodies I've read, however, this one never strays from what is actually being lampooned. Merkin underscores everything that makes Master of the Universe Fifty Shades of Grey an awful fan fiction "book." Anna's stupidity. What a sociopathic nut job Earl is. The overly incredible situations, each increasingly unrealistic and ridiculous. Reading this bordered on mentally exhausting because Merkin does a great job of highlighting the semi-literate, grade school writing of FSoG and the mind-numbing stupidity of the characters, especially Anna. The only thing this parody was missing was an obscene amount of ellipses. The best part of the story is that an opportunity to make a dig at how unethical and wrong it is to steal from another author and publish one's fan fiction is never missed. Most of the book is eminently quotable, whether the line is just plain funny or made hilarious by the insight behind it. For those of us suffering through the popularity of FSoG it is, in a word, fantastic!I was provided an ARC of this book through NetGalley.