E.L. James is having a particularly inauspicious June.
The author — whose Twitter Q&A earlier this month turned into a pretty clear PR nightmare — got her writerly comeuppance in the The New York Times Book Review last week.
Her latest work, Grey, retells 50 Shadesfrom the perspective of its domineering protagonist and that twitchy thing in his pants.
As you probably suspected, the NYT ripped the book — and James’ efforts — to shreds in the most delightfully erudite way.
After issuing condolences to the 1.1 million people who rushed out to buy the book, the reviewer went straight for the jugular, calling into question whether or not Grey should be called a “book” at all — or E.L. James an author, for that matter. Read on to see our ten favorite zingers below …
1. “Christian is incredibly young, rich and powerful, even if the name of his business, “Grey Enterprises Holdings Inc.,” sounds a little silly.”
2. “Thus the first book became yet another sexually graphic star-crossed romance, newly accessible to e-reading women who would never touch a paperback with Fabio on its cover.”
3. “It went on to inflict more pain through bad writing than through any of the elegant floggers and ropes and cuffs lined up in Christian’s leather-upholstered, state-of-the-art “‘playroom.'”
4. “[We] now get the same story from Christian’s point of view, and there are two new elements: his insecurity and his Greek chorus. The chorus, which has a lot of opinions, is in Christian’s pants.”
5. “Since she has very limited ways of hitting the hyperbole jackpot, she must actually say that when Christian has a hot thought, his penis concurs, as if the two were ever in disagreement about Ana. When he’s not conversing with his lap, he’s offering unspoken taunts to Ana: ‘Oh, I could stop your fidgeting, baby.'”
6. “That’s right: Ms. James’s own imagination is limited, and she has already taken it about as far as it’ll go.”
7. “Damn! (This is Christian’s favorite inner thought, followed by, ‘Get a grip, Grey!’)”
8. “When a billionaire who is the son of a crack whore has recurring dreams about being loved by his Mommy, isn’t his whip collection some kind of cry for help?”
9. “Speaking of cries for help, Ms. James leaves herself badly exposed by this book’s flagrant air of desperation. Her own fans write better stories about Christian Grey than she does.”
10. “Anastasia has left him. “Do I dare to hope?” his head wonders. “Damn it. Yes, I do,” the voice in his pants replies.”
And, there you have it. See the review in full over at The New York Times Book Review. It’s a doozy.