I read Jasper Fforde’s Shades of Gray three years ago. At the time, all I wrote about it was that I didn’t want to live in the strange dystopia Fforde created. Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? But I did look forward to the promised second book in the series, Shades of Gray 2: Painting by Numbers. It didn’t materialize, so I wasn’t able to further follow the amusing characters from Shades of Gray.
Instead, along came Fifty Shades of Gray by E L James. What’s an author to do? This book, promoted as the first of a trilogy, attracted more attention, and of a different sort, than Fforde’s fantasy novel. It is listed as being for “mature audiences” and was dubbed “Mommy porn”, whatever that means. No, I didn’t read it…
THEN what turns up (in the entertainment section of my local paper) but “Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody”! It is described as a sharp witted, satirical musical comedy which includes strip tease and audience interaction. A little web surfing revealed that it is “unauthorized” and has a cast of three. Most reviews say its funny and, like Fifty Shades of Gray, appeals mostly to women.
I would imagine E L James is peeved, though perhaps any publicity is good publicity. I wonder if Jasper Fforde would like a parody of Shades of Grey to be produced? I certainly would! Musical comedy dashes off in all sorts of strange directions (consider “Urinetown”).
Mr. Fforde, please release the next volume of Shades of Grey. I promise to buy it, in hardcover no less!