Tag: 50 Shades of Grey

The Martian by Andy Weir

Posted December 9, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Speculative Fiction / 4 Comments

The Martian by Andy WeirTitle: The Martian (Goodreads)
Author: Andy Weir
Published: Crown, February 11th 2014
Pages: 384
Genres: Speculative Fiction
My Copy: ARC from Edelweiss

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

In a freak dust storm NASA aborted a mission on Mars. leaving behind one astronaut; the crew evacuated thinking him dead. Now Mark Watney is stuck, with the damage done to the equipment he might not have time to starve to death. He was the first person to walk on Mars and he is going to be the first to die there too.

The age of the self-published novel is upon us and every now and then we hear people talking about a book getting a publishing deal and going on to be hugely successful. Fifty Shades of Grey being the first of these, then came Wool and I believe The Martian will be the next sensation book. I can’t help but think of this book as Moon (the movie) set on Mars. You have this man verses nature, fight to survive type thriller but help is about 225 million kilometres away (that’s the average; it does depend on the time of year).

You have a few parts to this novel; firstly you have a log book telling the majority of Mark Watney’s story. Then you read about NASA’s rush attempts to find a way to save him and finally you get a first-hand account of Watney when the epistolary style won’t work. The tension that builds in this book is key to why this novel works so well; this is edge of your seat thriller writing at its best.

What I loved the most about this novel was the humour, while this was a tense book, the little one liners thrown in really worked for me. I just liked how Mark Watney’s mind worked; it was a case of too much time on his hands. At one point in the novel he uses maritime law to work out how he can become a space pirate. Then the novel gets scientific, I’m not good at science but I did wonder how accurate this part of the book was. I’m not going to try mixing Oxygen and two parts Hydrogen to make water, it just sounds too dangerous.

For me, I loved every minute of reading The Martian, which is a little surprising; I can’t remember when the last time I truly enjoyed a Science Fiction novel. There are some that I got a lot out of but nothing this enjoyable. This book isn’t going to be released till February next year and unfortunately the self-published ebook is no longer available. Having said that, pre-order this one; I think there will be a lot of hype behind this, but don’t let that stop you from ordering first.


Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Andrew Shaffer

Posted September 26, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Humour / 0 Comments

Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Andrew ShafferTitle: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey (Goodreads)
Author: Andrew Shaffer
Series: Fifty Shames #1
Published: Da Capo Press, 2012
Pages: 224
Genres: Humour
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I’ve not read many parodies before but Andrew Shaffer is mildly amusing on twitter so I thought I’d give his book a go. Fifty Shames of Earl Grey is an obvious dig at Fifty Shades of Grey but it also has fun with the Twilight fanfic elements as well; clearly pointing out the similarities of the two books with lines like; “I’m Edward Cullen. I mean, ‘Earl Grey.’ Have a seat?” This novel reminds me of a Leslie Nielsen style parody with the farfetched and over done humour, but that’s what makes it so much fun to read. Earl Grey is a billionaire with fifty secret shames; some of them involve his love of BDSM (Bards, Dragons, Sorcery, and Magick) while others are even worse, like his love of Nickelback.

Obviously this is never going to be high literature with lines like “Moan,” I moan. “Moan, moan, moooooooan.” but is this book supposed to reflect the literary flaws of 50 Shades and Twilight or is this just meant to be a fun read? I’m not going to think too much about it, I went into this book for a fun read and that is how I will review it. I’ve heard people claim that Edward Cullen and Christian Grey are hot but none come close to Earl Grey because “HOLY MOTHER EFFING SPARKLY VAMPIRES IS HE HOT”.

Let’s face it Andrew Shaffer had a lot of fun with this book, from the pseudonym (Fanny Merkin) to the cover and everything in between. It was awkward and unexpected; I had so much fun reading this book. I don’t normally highlight but my kindle version of this book has over thirty different highlighted passages in it. I really enjoyed what Shaffer did with this book; highlights for me included the Spanking scene with the Count from Sesame Street and the Cleo sex quiz (which I really want to read the other 200 pages of). They are making a movie of Fifty Shades, and if they ever decided to make a parody I really hope they consult Andrew Shaffer. This was a fun read and I’m looking forward to Fifty Shames in Space but right now I need a sandwich.

If you don’t believe me check out what Tiffany Reisz, author of the BDSM erotica series, The Original Sinners says about this book; “I’m not telling you to buy Fifty Shames of Earl Grey because I’m banging the author. I’m telling you to buy Fifty Shames of Earl Grey AND I’m banging the author.”

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Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Posted May 23, 2012 by Guest Post in Erotica, Guest Posts / 20 Comments

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesTitle: Fifty Shades of Grey (Goodreads)
Author: E.L. James
Series: Fifty Shades #1
Published: Vintage, 2011
Pages: 528
Genres: Erotica
Buy: Amazon (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I first came to hear about Fifty Shades of Grey through blog posts and friends, and couldn’t believe all the hype and excitement this book was creating amongst the reading world. It was phenomenon. I read several romances and erotica in the past so I became curious. I think the only thing that I was holding me back was the BDSM relationship. I’ve hardly read any books that involve BDSM, so I was slightly a bit nervous. But curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give it a go.

Now that I’ve read it, I’d have to say it was the worst book I have ever read and I want my 2 weeks back. When a few people mentioned that it was mommy porn, I should’ve taken their comment seriously, and not just waved it off as a silly and biased comment toward this genre. By the end of it, that is exactly how it felt.

The sex scenes were continuous, repetitive and boring; one scene, after the other, going through the motion of sex with a little variation of positions or setting but it was all the same – Porn. There was nothing sexy about it. It lacked any passion, class or emotion and I was numb the whole way through. As far as the BDSM was concerned, there was nothing new that I haven’t read previously. It was more talk and negotiation on how far Ana will go than the act itself. There were a few bondage sessions here and there but it was very light.

The writing was pathetic and utterly ridiculous, which made the characters unlikable. Ana is meant to be this intelligent, 22 year old literary student but her personality didn’t match to her persona. The constant use of these juvenile words and phrases such as ‘Inner Goddess’ or ‘talking to the Subconscious’ or ‘Holy Fuck’ almost made me want throw the book against the wall. She would gush or blush over the most so trivial things and came across as being an immature and stupid lady. It’s how I would expect a young teenager to act.

Christian on the other hand, I had an instant dislike him immediately. He’s a deranged and twisted character who likes to dominate every aspect of Ana’s life, not only in the bed; he would question her on how often she would eat, stalk her and set out rules on he would like her to act/behave around him – otherwise she would be punished (BDSM style). I felt the author tried very hard to make him seem appealing or sexy by Ana gushing and being aroused over his looks, charm, sexual comments but his behaviour was a complete turn off and he sounded creepier to me. I honestly can’t understand what women can see that is so appealing in Christian’s character!?!

All in all I think this series could be a great introduction to the genre, if you are new and interested in reading erotica as they ‘flying of the self’ and most people are raving about it. But unfortunately, it didn’t work for me and I have no intention of continuing the series in the future.

This is a guest post by Mish; when she is not reading she is busy moderating that Aussie Readers group on Goodreads. Big thanks to her for this post and being the first guest blogger on Literary Exploration.