Tag Archives: new depths of boredom


This is it. This is finally it. The last chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey. Twenty-six is a strangely appropriate number, because this monster of a book often feels like a marathon; it hurts like hell, you think it will never end and it may very well make you throw up in public.

The chapter begins with Ana waking up, and I don’t even care because I don’t have to read any more of this crap once this chapter is over.

Continue reading


Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter Seventeen – Butterflies Do Not Work That Way

So, I’m still staggering through line edits for Fifty Shades Later and my recaps of Fifty Shades Freed and once again wondering how these terrible books ever managed to get so long.

It turns out that the Fifty Shades Trilogy is actually longer than Lord of the Rings. Strange, but true.

For reference, and sans appendices:

The Fellowship of The Ring weighs in at a chunky 188,000 words, rounded to the nearest thousand. That’s pretty heavy even for a fantasy novel. The Two Towers comes in a little lighter at 156,ooo words, and The Return of the King is the svelte sibling of the three at a relatively slim (for Tolkien) 137,000 words.

Now, that adds up to 481,000 words. That’s a lot of words, but quite a few things happen in the space of those 481,000 words. Compare and contrast the Fifty Shades Trilogy, which barely have enough plot to fill a small trade paperback and yet still flop onto the scales at an astounding 621,000 words.

That’s 140,000 words longer than all three Lord Of The Rings novels put together. If you added the wordcount of The Silmarillion to Lord Of The Rings you would still come up 10,000 words short of the total wordcount of the Fifty Shades novels.

If I’m flagging on these recaps, then that’s why. These books may be the longest and dullest things committed to print since Atlas Shrugged. I mean, nobody’s made a seventy page speech about the magical unicorn powers of the free market yet, but I’m still up to my tits in e-mail filler. Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter Eleven – The Aristocrats!

I’m so close to being done with Fifty Shades Later that I thought it might be an enjoyable little retrospective to watch that Bronies documentary on Netflix. After all, I’ve spent close on a year finding out more about bronies than I ever needed or wanted to know – it felt like an interesting way to say goodbye.

We lasted about forty-five minutes. Holy Christ, this thing is dull. It’s like an endless, one-note puff piece in which a collection of tiresome young men and boys talk about how much they like ponies. And that they’re not gay. But they like ponies. And they’re persecuted for liking ponies. And not gay. Even though they like a cartoon for little girls.

Writing the Fifty Shades of Neigh series has been a weird experience in a lot of ways. The strangest one is that – in attempting to create a faithful parody of Fifty Shades of Grey – I’ve had to try and stifle my own instincts as a writer. For example, the characters in the original are so static they may as well be cryogenically frozen. They rarely grow or change in any significant way throughout the books. In writing the parody I wanted to carry that across, but it felt totally self-defeating, like trying to swim against a current. It was like I had all these panicked little instinctive voices in my head, all of them freaking out because I was going against something that everyone from Stephen King down had told me was a fundamental truth of good fiction – characters need to change and develop.

Eventually I gave up. I couldn’t keep it up. I listened to my gut – change was too vital a thing to toss aside. Even if – in Hanna’s case – she just got a mani-pedi and a new weave, there was still a joke in there in that she thought a pedicure constituted growing as a person. The one character who’s remained totally static is Crispian Neigh, which goes right to the heart of why I hate him and hate writing him. He’s boring. He’s a one-note joke. He’s a grown man who likes My Little Pony and isn’t that whacky and weird?


It’s the reason why I spent most of the Fifty Shades of Neigh series trying to avoid writing about Crispian – if the books were just one long brony joke they’d almost be as boring as the originals. Almost. You could practise for a lifetime at boring the tits off people and still not approach the depths of boredom we’re about to plumb in chapter eleven of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Yes, it’s time to read the Sex Contract. Clause by clause, paragraph by paragraph, epoch by geological epoch. Soul-crushing boredom is the new Sexy. Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter Ten – Out To Lunch At The Roadkill Grill

Happy New Year, people. I hope you have a happy, healthy and wealthy one. And what better way to celebrate the beginning of a shiny new year by plunging back into one of the dullest books in human history? Well, I can think of a bunch of better ways, but I’ve committed to this garbage and I like to see things through. Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter Nine – Deep Bloat

Last time on Fifty Shades of Grey, after seven stultifying chapters of teabags, cable ties, amateur neurosurgery and some of the worst commentary on Tess of the D’Urbervilles since Marie Corelli kicked it, Ana and Christian finally had sex.

It was actually rather dull. Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter Eight – Let’s Do It!

I seem to have come down with a terrible cold just in time for Christmas, leaving my head too fuzzy for any other kind of writing. So I’ve been writing Fifty Shades recaps in between doses of cold medicine and the usual Christmas cooking. It’s fun cooking with a stinking cold – you can never be sure if anything tastes the way it should. It’s possible I may have made the world’s most alcoholic vanilla cream custard; I couldn’t be sure if it really tasted of Marsala or needed more.

Anyway – another Christmas, another recap. You’ll be thrilled to bits to discover that after seven chapters of soul-searing boredom, Ana and Christian are finally about to do all the filthy stuff that made these terrible books so notorious.

Sort of.

Okay, not really.

You can’t expect these people to be interesting lovers. They’re dull enough when they have all their clothes on. Beat me on the bottom with a Woman’s Weekly

Fifty Shades of Grey: Chapter Three – Are (Boy)Friends Electric?

In the first two chapters of Fifty Shades of Grey, we met Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. It was not an auspicious meeting, seeing as she was a twitchy ball of self-loathing and he was a buzzword spouting cretin who may very well also be a serial killer.

Luckily (or not) for him, Ana thinks he’s just so literary and already wants to get into his Dolce e Gabbanas. Well – kind of. I don’t think she even knows why her underwear gets humid whenever he’s around and even when it does her imaginary friends pipe up and tell her that he could never, ever love her because she’s too mousy and unattractive. And she is, by the way. She’s so ugly that every male character who isn’t Christian Grey has so far pledged undying love to her.

I’m not holding out much hope of this book getting any better. Continue reading