I see from the posters outside my local cinema (local = forty-five minute drive in good weather, assuming no logging trucks) that the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey is about to hit the screen.
As it happens, a while back I watched the first Fifty Shades movie on DVD, because, among other things, the book had sold a million-bajillion copies and I too want to sell a million-bajillion copies of my books. I’m told that the movie was a reasonably-faithful line-by-line/scene-by-scene transfer of the book to screen.
The movie contained a number of protracted and deadly-dull sex scenes, which were scored with insipid and deadly-dull background music. I discovered a way to improve them. First, turn off the sound on the video. Substitute either “The Song of the Volga Boatmen” or “The Song of the Horse-Drawn Machine Gun Cart.” (This also helps with the movie’s various protracted and deadly-dull walking-around-Seattle scenes, driving-around-Seattle scenes, and jogging-around-Seattle scenes. Not to mention the prolonged and deadly-dull flying-in-various-aircraft scenes.)
I also found a chapter-by-chapter discussion of the book by someone who’s knowledgeable about both BDSM and literature, and who has actually lived in Seattle. It’s very funny.
The first chapter is here: Let’s Read Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter 1!
“You sound like a control freak.” The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them.“Oh, I exercise control in all things, Miss Steele,” he says without a trace of humor in his smile. I look at him, and he holds my gaze steadily, impassive. My heartbeat quickens, and my face flushes again.
I’m supposed to be making more helpful comments than just “oh God I’m laughing too hard,” here. I’m supposed to be witty and penetrating and stuff. But oh God, I’m just laughing too hard. This is the kind of innuendo that would embarrass James Bond. It would embarrass Roger Moore James Bond.
“Besides, immense power is acquired by assuring yourself in your secret reveries that you were born to control things,” he continues, his voice soft.
Chapters 24 (“Eat,” he says, his tongue caressing the front of his palate as he enunciates the ‘t’. Go ahead and try this. Try and say “eat” that way without spitting”eaTUH” or “eathhh” all over your keyboard. You might want to be alone in the room for this) and 25 (“Oh, Mom.” Hot, unwelcome tears prick my eyes as I cling to her. “Darling, you know what they say. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.” I give her a lopsided, bittersweet smile. “I think I’ve kissed a prince, Mom. I hope he doesn’t turn into a frog.” This is backwards. She kissed a frog, and the frog gave her a big song and dance about how maybe if she’s very good he’ll consider being a prince. One day a week. Maybe. And his princehood is going to involve a lot of being green and hopping) aren’t linked from the index, but exist. Spoiler alert: Chapter 26, the final chapter, doesn’t appear to have been done and it’s been over two years so I’m not holding my breath for it to appear any time soon. Still, this is funny and brilliant and worth reading.
So, at the end of the day, I don’t think I’m going to be selling a million-bajillion copies of any of my books, because if this is what it takes, well, I don’t think I can do it.