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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fifty Shades of Ellen

No, this is not going to be a review of "Fifty Shades of Grey." Why? Because I haven't read it. Nor do I intend to. The most I've done is flip through it in a bookstore. However, I've been keeping up with the mass media about this book (one of three), about the author, about the phenomenon that is this trilogy. I watched E.L. James on "20/20." I've read the reviews -- both from vanilla readers and those of us who know BDSM firsthand (no pun intended).

My impression? It's a vanilla imagining of what we do, not to be confused with what we actually do or what we're about. It's written by a bored housewife who did all her research on the Internet, and it's being gobbled up by legions of bored housewives who engage in missionary sex once every couple of weeks or so and wonder what this kinky stuff is about. It's an S&M version of those overwrought, clichéd romance novels I eagerly consumed in high school and college as a closeted spanko, surreptiously seeking the occasional spanking scenes. And finally, it's yet another twist on that tired old chestnut storyline, "young, naive girl gets enmeshed with an older worldly gentleman, who just happens to be conflicted and damaged, but they complete one another." Meh.

Anyway... a friend on Facebook passed this on to me, and it's simply too good not to share. The incomparable Ellen DeGeneres, attempting to do an audio version of the book -- as one might expect, she had a bit of trouble with it. Enjoy!


  1. I saw this on another blog and it is funny. I think she does a good job.

    I'm not going to read it, either. I would much rather spend my time reading a great bio like Late Bloomer!

  2. I saw it too, and thought that she wasn't too comfortable with the subject matter.

    I have downloaded the book, but am in no hurry to start it.


  3. Bobbie Jo -- aw, thanks! :-)

    Hermione -- I would imagine many are going to read the book simply for the sake of cultural literacy. I thought of doing that myself, then thought.... Nah!

  4. I saw it on Spanky's blog. Have downloaded the book to my Kindle and will probably take it with me to read on my summer break.


  5. Crystal -- yup!

    Ronnie -- Damn! I'm embarrassed. I thought I'd found something original, but it turns out Spanky posted it nearly a month ago! I really need to keep up with my blogs better. Oh well...

  6. I would rather read a book entitled 50 Shades of Erica Scott!

    1. Serafina -- I'm flattered! Thank you.

  7. O gah how funny. Thanks! But she should have read Fifty Shades of Gravy. She could have worked with that.

  8. That was very funny. Hate to admit this but this is the first time I found her attractive.


  9. 50 Shades of Red might be a better working title.
    I haven't read it (probably won't). I am tempted to get one of those text-to-voice readers and download a copy of the book. .... Onto a friend or co-worker's computer. Imagine one of those scenes as read by a halting robot voice, just loud enough to carry to the nearby offices.

  10. Emen -- glad you enjoyed it.

    Jon -- I thought she looked pretty when her hair was a little bit longer. It softened her look.

    Anonymous -- now THAT is a diabolical idea! :-)

  11. Hi, Erica. (bree waves) :)

    I ranted too much, so I condensed it into this:

    I will not read this book nor see the movie of it when it eventually comes out. I probably shouldn't be blasting this book without reading it, but it is for the same reason I will never see that new "Dark Shadows" movie either. I know I am near the sewage plant without having to see it.

    Ellen D. is at her usual hilarious self for me. One of the few who can always make me laugh in spite of myself. :)

  12. Bree -- (waving back) I don't regret seeing the movie; I had to see for myself how stupid it was. But yeah, I'll pass on reading this trilogy. Too many hours of my life that I won't get back.

  13. Hi Erica -- LOL She was funny and i could tell she was uncomfortable,she did an ok job :-)Your book is much better and i would rather be reading about you cause your the BEST :-)Much Love and hug's from your naughty girl Jade xoxo

  14. Jade -- I would be uncomfortable too, reading that junk! :-)

  15. Haha, I love Ellen. She always cracks me up. Thanks for sharing the video. Did you see the SNL Mother's Day spoof on the book that Craig posted? That one was pretty funny too.

  16. Lea -- I saw the SNL sketch when it first aired. This is why I still watch that godawful show... once in a great while, they still get it right! :-)

  17. I absolutely love Ellen's wit and humor. And I don't think she was really uncomfortable with the subject matter, but was just acting that way in her own comedic, satiric manner. Thanks for passing it along. I hadn't seen it.


  18. Pam -- I agree. I think some people are misunderstanding. She's not uncomfortable with the subject matter; she's making fun of cheesy, badly written prose.

  19. 'Fifty Shades' may well be rubbish - I can't say as I haven't read it and probably won't. What I will say is that if I had written a derivative of a published author as fan fiction and it had subsequently gone on to be as successful as 'Fifty Shades of Grey', even taking over the number one fiction spot, I don't think I would lose too much sleep over what the critics were saying about it.

    Just a thought.


  20. Hi Erica! I just want to say I'm not trying to start a debate, which wouldn't be much of a debate because no one here seems to really want to read it or has read it. But I'm 132 pages into the 514 pages of the first book in the series. And I'm liking it. :)And I consider myself both a spanko and a BDSM-er. I guess I like the whole young- innocent- (and mostly vanilla) girl being awakened by the knowledgeable, domineering but ultimately good older man. Yes, it's a sexual mind trip for me, but what's wrong with that? Actually, the heroine is almost 22 and the hero is 27, so really, there isn't as much of an age gap as it might have seemed from wherever you got your info. It does seem to have a lot of sex scenes as well as some spanko ones and general S& M ones. Anyway, just wanted to put my 2 cents in and say I think it's a delicious book and many people will probably end up liking it if they give it a try.

  21. I heart Ellen. Always.

    I read the first book, second, and am on to the third. It's a light read but I do have a major beef. Christian Grey is fucked up. I mean, seriously, psychologically fucked. Once again, we have our lifestyle being depicted as dysfunctional -- and there really aren't that many spanking scenes because the heroine does not particularly enjoy it. She just goes along because she loves him.

    But I am on the third book. ;) So I do enjoy it a little bit.

  22. I had the good fortune a few weeks back to witness a discussion about 50 Shades of Gray that involved a mildly-drunk retiree and my fiancee ... a librarian and self-described book snob. It was HILARIOUS.

  23. I've always loved Ellen! She manages here to poke fun at the book itself, those housewives who have given it such notoriety, those who are "seriously" into spanking and such, and at her own reactions to all the above! Brilliant, and very funny!

    I found out about "Gray" from an article in TIME magazine, of all things. "Fan fiction" from the "Twilight" stuff, isn't it? And I'm betting ANY of the stories that appear in "Discipline and Desiore" each week are better done and more authentic. I wonder what it would take to get proper attention?

    When Anne Rice wrote the three "Sleeping Beauty" books under the pen-name-- what was it, Roquefort? No, that wasn't it, although they were pretty cheesy. I had to go look it up, "A. N. Roquelaure"-- she apparently went and got a bunch of fetish books from the adult shop for research.

    The Sleeping Beauty stuff was way over the top (pun perhaps intended)and there was an attempt at defining the psychological aspects of all this. It did very little for me, except for the fact that it inspired my literary ex to do some empirical research of her own. I hope her bottom still remembers. ;-D

  24. hedgehog -- good point. No doubt E.L. James is not caring, all the way to the bank.

    Bonnie-Jo -- well, you know what? You're the first "one of us" who has said you like it. So that, to me, is more valid than vanillas swooning over it. :-) Certainly no controversy, as all opinions are welcome (honest!).

    Pink -- I can imagine that it would be rather addicting. An easy read, not too taxing on the brain, easy on the imagination. But yeah, I'm tired of dominant males and submissive females being portrayed as emotionally fucked up. You should write a report when you're done with the third!

    Cousin Barnabas -- welcome! (beaming) Oh, I would have liked to be a fly on the wall for that discussion. Librarian, huh?

    Wolfie -- Rocquefort?? LOL! Well, I've said before that I made it through the first of the Beauty trilogy and a little into the second, and then gave it up. It turned me off on so many levels.

  25. I have to add my two cents here--I am enjoying the book I thought I would hate.

    Bonnie-Jo has it right. The book has me alternately smiling and tearing up (tearing up because the things described are so far from my personal experience, and I am attempting to get over the loss of my long-distance top, who decided to resign recently, as he no longer has the time available to indulge in delicious fantasy with me). Smiling because the book contains a lot of genuinely humorous and human moments. 'Nuff said.

  26. Dana -- oh, dammit. I'm sorry about your LDT, honey. :-(

  27. That's awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Well I read it Erica, every bit if it, I kept waiting for the good part, and I waited, at least lets have a good spanking...... it never happened :( What a waste of time, you description of it even though you didn't read it is right on, don't waste your time.


  29. Craig -- funny, huh?

    Dave -- interesting! You're the first man to chime in. I didn't see any good spanking stuff jumping out at me when I flipped through it, either.

  30. Gilbert Gottfreid did a reading of "Fifty Shades" that was fucking hilarious. Must see.

  31. Anonymous -- hah, yes, I saw that too! :-)