“ Author: C. T. Grey / Format: Hardback / Date of publication: 27 September 2012 / Genre: Humour / Subcategory: Parodies & Spoofs / Publisher: Pan Macmillan / Title: Fifty Sheds of Grey / ISBN 13: 9780752265452 / ISBN 10: 0752265452 „
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I bought this book on the strength of a review on Ciao, and also the fact that it was 20p for the Kindle version was another bonus.
As you may have worked out, this is a parody of the 50 Shades of Gray series that gained a huge following amongst a certain demographic of females a couple of years ago. Its talk of 'naughty sex' and punishments had housewives the length and breadth of Britain demanding to be handcuffed and whipped. Thankfully the popularity of the book seems to have died down, and we are hopeful that those females affected by these events will be able to sit down by the summer of 2015.
As the title suggests, this is a parody book and somehow manages to combine the two subjects of sheds including S + M (sheds and mowers) and MILF's (mowers I'd like to fix). While a book on sheds wouldn't be something I would normally read, I did find that this one was really funny, and as it is a short book, I had it read in around 10 - 15 minutes.
The main character in this book is Colin Grey, and within the first few pages, we are introduced to his monochrome mosaic wall - his 50 sheds of grey. We are then taken on a journey through Colin's life, his shed based encountered and the effect that each shed had on his life. Of course, each section is accompanied by shed pictures.
This takes us on a journey through Colin's life and all the sheds that have made their mark on his life, from his first experience with Lady Christina Mellors, whose garden was lush and overgrown (not like nowadays, when the tendency is for a small strip of lawn, or no lawn at all...). He lost his shed virginity to Christina and thus started the string of females through his shed doors with varying degrees of success. He finally meets Brenda, who is easily pleased and they settle down to a life of domestic bliss, just him, Brenda and their shed. That was until the day that Brenda read 50 shades of gray, and their life changed....
There are lots of double entendres and if you, like myself, have a mind that tends to be ever so slightly in the gutter, you should appreciate the humour of this book. I found that as I had read the book that this parody was based on, I could recognise some of the nods to that book, but you don't need to have read the book or even have much knowledge of sheds to enjoy this book.
As I said before, at the time of writing, the Kindle version is available to download for 20p, which is a great price for a good read such as this. And I feel a lot less cheated than when I paid almost £4 for the original 50 Shades of Gray.
This would be a great gift as well, so long as the person who you are giving it to isn't too easily offended. Though, mostly the action is assumed rather than described graphically. It is a really good, if short read and very funny in places. There is also a hardback version of the book available for £5.00 (at time of writing, although I am sure it will soon drop in price) and would make a great gift for someone whose sense of humour errs on the side of naughty.
Written as a parody of the erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey this book presents the reader with the love that dare not speak its name...the love of a man for his shed.
The parody began on twitter and the account has 100k followers - the book has also been extremely popular and is available in hardback for a fiver at Amazon - or a mere 20p for the kindle version.
The plot - well such as it is - involves Mr Grey reminiscing about his youthful encounter with an older woman and his wife's desire to try new things after reading Fifty Shades....all against a gardening themed backdrop. The book is very short and it took me less than an hour to read its 144 pages - even allowing for pondering time over the many black and white pictures of sheds and the time it took for me to laugh at the long list of twitter-sized double entendres.
This one made me laugh:
"Harder," she cried, gripping the workbench tightly. "Harder!"
"Alright," I said. "What's the gross national product of Nicaragua?"
The book is really a stream of these snappy little jokes and I enjoyed relating the funniest to my other half. There is something very English about the tongue in cheek humour in this tome - and possibly a bit middle aged...but then I am English and middle aged. I enjoyed it.
My daughter bought me this book and its sequel Fifty Sheds Damper for Christmas this year (I hadn't the heart to tell her I'd already got it on kindle). The hardback is quite small but has a quality feel to it and I feel it makes a good stocking stuffer or a daft pressie for someone who appreciates silliness.
If you aren't sure whether this this is your cup of tea or not I'd recommend you visit the twitter page first - you will soon see what to expect from the book.
~A little bit of naughty in the best British tradition~
Fifty Shades of Grey was the big hit of 2012 and you'd have to have spent the year on a desert island to not have heard about it. If, like me, you feel you've read enough reviews to know that you don't want to read the book, you might like to instead consider an alternative volume which goes by the name of 'Fifty Sheds of Grey : Erotica for the Not-Too-Modern Male' by C.T. Grey, or possibly by someone who might be pretending that's his name.
Women have long known that there's no place the average man is happier than in his shed. In effect the rest of the house is ours, ladies, but in the garden shed he's king of all he surveys. Give that 'average' man (whatever that may mean) a collection of 'almost working' mowers, a few old cans of creosote and a row of jam jars filled with screws, nuts and bolts, all sorted by size, and he's in heaven. And if that 'average' mail - especially the older ones - were faced with a wife who's overindulged in Fifty Shades of Grey and is feeling a bit frisky, what better place would there be to go and hide than in his shed.
Someone on facebook tipped me off to the existence of a Twitter page called 'Fifty Sheds of Grey' earlier in the year. I hunted it down, and despite my normal total rejection of Twitter, I spent a few good minutes laughing like a drain as I scanned through the posts by this fictional character, a man obsessed with sheds. A few of the lines were so funny that I was boring those around me for weeks after by recommending they go and have a look. Whilst scanning through the treats on offer on Kindle, I found that there's an e-book by the same name, and since it was available for a mere 20p, I thought it had to be worth buying.
~Getting Fired up with Mr Grey and my Kindle~
Fortunately, my Christmas present to myself was a Kindle fire and I suspect that you do need one of the new Kindle formats to get the best out of this e-book. Most of the photographs are in black and white but even so, they'll probably not look that great on the older Kindles. On my new toy, they are bright and crisp and all in the right place on the page.
I could tell you lots about the plot, but if I'm honest, there isn't really much of one. Our 'hero' and shed lover Mr Grey is sitting in his high-rise office which is painted in white and decorated with a set of black and white photographs on one wall. These are his photographs of his fifty sheds. As he waits for a woman to arrive and interview him, he looks at the photos and tells us about his adventures in these various sheds. It's not terribly big or clever as plots go, and it's little more than a framework on which to hang lots of jokes about sex and sheds. But before you dismiss it, I have to say that some of them are outstandingly funny jokes about sex and sheds.
~Dirty photos? Only if he's not washed the shed~
Page after page we are presented with beautiful photographs of sheds and little stories about them. Some of the jokes are poor - for example after writing about emptying water butts, he tells us "I like big butts". That's not exactly genius. Then, just when you think it might all be a bit pathetic, he pulls out a stunner like "Lady Christina eyed me lasciviously as I removed the flagstone. That was it - the woman was thoroughly depaved". That got a guffaw from me and a retelling to my poor husband.
He tells us that S&M stands for 'sheds and mowers' and 'MILF' means 'Mowers I'd Like to Fix'. He regales us with tales of his relationship failures. When faced with a woman telling him "You can do whatever you want with me", he takes her to Nandos. When he asks a woman to put on a rubber suit and mask, it's because "You can't be too careful with all that asbestos in the shed roof".
~By the time I'd finished, her bottom was bright pink. I'd mixed up the baby oil and Thousand Island dressing again~
I've not read 50 Shades of Grey and I don't want to. I've read enough reviews to follow what's being parodied and to find this book absolutely hilarious for the 15 minutes or so it takes to read it (and look at all the nice photos of sheds). This is the kind of book that should probably be read in private, not because it's smutty (well only mildly smutty) but because it's so bloody funny that you will NOT be able to stop yourself reading bits out to anyone who's sitting near by. My poor husband was quite indulgent and put up with this with little more than the odd "Yes dear" but if you read it on the bus or the library I can imagine some serious problems.
Of course you don't really need to pay even the 20p I parted with as you can find most of the great one-liners on Twitter, minus the lovely photos. Just google 'Fifty Sheds of Grey' and Twitter and I'm sure you'll be able to track it down. However, if you aren't good at Twitter threads and you'd rather have all the wit and wisdom together in an easy to read format, I strongly recommend a download.