[Book Review] Fifty shades of brains

EDIT: I'm bloody tired of getting 50 Shades of Grey spam posts on this review thanking me for writing this and talking about how great E. L. James' book is (or that the movie will be).  Seriously, half of this post is about how I can't stand 50 Shades of Grey.  Comments are now turned off.

Fifty shades of brains / B. F. Dealeo (book website, Powell's Books)

When Survival School student Aurora Foyle interviews Seattle's premiere zombie hunter, Caligula Green, she encounters a man who is intense, intelligent and incredibly perverse… and not in a good way. She falls for him nonetheless and agrees to become his apprentice in order to remain at his side (or better yet, on his lap).
Unfortunately, as the controlling, charismatic Green starts to train Aurora in the fine art of offing the undead, she discovers the zombie apocalypse has affected her lover far more than she imagined. In fact, the guy may have gone slightly insane -- something that may happen to her if she's not careful.

Dark, droll and delightfully depraved, Fifty Shades of Brains will amuse you, disgust you, and it just might eat your face off.
At one point I thought the 50 shades books were kind of cool, I mean, they were an amazing example of success with self-publishing, breaking boundaries in sexual content in popular novels, and introducing people to new aspects of sexuality.  Right?

Then I actually read the books.  Actually, I started hearing some things that made me be not so sure about the series pretty early on and then read the books.  Either way, I believe that if I'm to tear apart a book that I should at least have read it first.

I have read all three books.  Even my fiance was happy when I finished reading them.  The only "tingling" I got from the book was not "down there" but one of wishing bodily harm on fictional characters.  Let's just leave it as I found it to be a very misleading and unsafe representation of the lifestyle/sexuality that it supposedly exposes, filled with characters that were utterly un-engaging, and poorly written to boot.

There is one thing about 50 shades that I do like though - the parodies and criticisms that have resulted (this is one of my favorites, a hysterical chapter by chapter tear down), including titles like Fifty Sheds of Grey or Fifty Shames of Earl Grey.  I may have not read these books, but the titles make me smile.

Then I came across Fifty shades of brains.  They had me at "Sex.  Zombies.  Really Annoying Present Tense Narration."  The rest of the synopsis had me laughing so hard I was crying.  At work.

Fifty shades of brains is sick, twisted, hysterically funny, and brilliantly written.  And did I mention sick (if having a main character named 'Caligula' wasn't enough of a hint)?  This book is ridiculous on par with Evil Dead/Army of Darkness, but with sex and witty lines from more than Bruce Campbell.  And now I'm picturing Bruce Campbell as Christian Grey and I'm REALLY not sure how I feel about that.

Moving on now.

Obviously as a parody book it is useful to have at least a passing familiarity with the source material, in this case, Twilight and Masters of the Universe/Fifty Shades of Grey.  The book is still hilarious on top of being sick and twisted without the familiarity, but lacking that would mean missing a number of clever jokes.  Little things like "my inner goddess/rebel-without-a-cause/psycho chick/librarian/etc" or the 10-page contract ("Flip back to Chapter 7 if you really need to read these again. What kind of book would print these twice?  Or three times?") complete with safewords ("Shit, you've gotta be kidding me?" and "Fuck you, asshole!  You're on your own!") are a little bit funnier when you know what they're spoofing.

A few of the bits that made me snicker/chortle/or otherwise express mirth:
"He looks across the table at me, his eyes burning with unfathomable emotion. Or maybe it's conjunctivitis." (p.42)

"There's something about you, Aurora. Something completely irritating, yet irresistible, like a badly written BDSM novel." (p. 42)
"Hard Limits: Never fight zombies with fire. Never fight zombies with gynecological instruments. Never fight zombies with leopard stilettos." (p. 63)

"Suddenly it was like I was dating a needy vampire." (p. 154)
Fifty shades of brains can be read online for free or you can buy a DRM-free ebook or the physical book.  Quick note on the ebook, it is available through them directly as PDF or EPUB and sideload the file, or you can buy for Nook/Kobo/Kindle for a slightly higher price and access through the appropriate app.  If this sounds amusing but you'd prefer to read something where one of the leads doesn't get turned on by zombie killing I'd recommend checking out another project by one of the authors, a fun library comic named Unshelved.


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