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Fifty Shades of Mr Darcy: A Parody
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Fifty Shades of Mr Darcy is a quite amusing, somewhat risque parody of the books Fifty Shades of Grey and Pride and Prejudice. It follows Lizzy Bennet and her confusing, alarming attraction to the very strange Mr Darcy, who has many unusual habits.

I found the writer's style to be easy to read and I got through the first half of the book in one go, with a few laughs and a lot of smiles. The self-aware prose and the asides to the reader are often entertaining and the satire is for the most part well-observed, although there are a few jokes that are too obvious, and there are some misses among the hits. I also found that towards the middle, there was a bit of a slump in the pace and I got a bit bored. The parts with Mr Darcy's benefactor were a little over the top for me as well.

The main problem I can see with this book is that it's best suited for a very small, specific set of people - those who've read the original books but aren't attached to the characters and thought Fifty Shades of Grey was often ludicrous. If you read and really enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey, then you probably won't appreciate the way that this book mocks the writing style of E L James and disparages the characters and plot. If you haven't read Fifty Shades of Grey, then you will miss out on a lot of the jokes - and indeed, the jokes that require you to have read FSOG first are always the strongest ones. Those who haven't read FSOG will not understand the references to Lizzy's body parts being in incorrect places, they won't appreciate the jabs about her subconscious, and they won't be amused at the parallels between scenes in FSOG and FSOMD, such as the scene at the hardware store in FSOG where Mr Grey purchases some ambiguous items, and the way it's lampooned in FSOMD with a trip to the haberdashery store to purchase some material for curtains. The parallel scenes in FSOMD are entertaining enough by themselves but they are vastly enhanced by knowing the original scenes. Therefore, the ideal audience for this book is people who've read a decent amount of FSOG (the first 100 pages, I would say), but who found it ridiculous. If that applies to you, then this is a great book for you. If not, then you may still enjoy this novel, but you'll be missing out on a lot of the jokes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It is reasonable to surmise that anyone choosing to read Fifty Shades of Mr D'Arcy: a Parody probably has a fair idea of what they are letting themselves in for. Personally I thought that it would provide a little light relief, but in fact, although a very short read, it was a lot more entertaining than I could reasonably have expected.

Elizabeth Bennet lives with her four unmarried sisters and parents. Her mother's ambitions for them are far more modest than to get them married off. She just despairs of getting any of them laid! However, Jane, the eldest daughter excites the attention of a newcomer to the neighbourhood, Mr Bingley who lives with his sisters Carrotslime and Looseata, whilst Bingley's friend, D'Arcy appears interested in Elizabeth herself. D'Arcy is much given to smutty innuendo and schoolboy level dialogue and apparently has rather unusual sexual proclivities, as a result of his school days at Beaton. However, from an early stage you wonder whether he is all mouth and no trousers.

After a lengthy period of verbal jousting with Elizabeth, D'Arcy proposes a contract. This is far from your everyday, common or garden sex slave contract. For example, clause 1 states `The Dominant may use the Submissive in any sexual way he sees fit, at any time, except when the vicar comes to tea'. Poor Elizabeth is clearly confused by some of the terms. The expressions waxed, exfoliated and safe words must have passed her by during her sheltered upbringing. However she does appear to be intrigued by what is being proposed.

Eventually the action commences. There is a particularly harrowing scene when Elizabeth is soundly thrashed with.........a toothbrush. D'Arcy clearly gets a lot more out of this than the unfortunate Elizabeth who is disappointed to get barely any sensation at all. Although mildly bawdy, it is doubtful whether anyone is going to get very offended by any of the content. The author manages to describe any naughty bits rather whimsically. For example Elizabeth's so called ladyparts which, apparently have a life of their own. I thought Elizabeth's alter egos which regularly carried on a conversation with each other were particularly entertaining - her subconscious, the Inner Slapper and her Gaydar, which appears extremely well developed for a young lady of the early 19th Century.

Humour is very individual. I can quite imagine that some will find this so puerile that they will give up on it. However, personally I have quite a warped sense of humour and so found it very entertaining and, at times, extremely funny. Few would dispute that William Codpiece Thwackery has not come up with a work to eclipse Jane Austen's contribution to great English literature. However, it beats Fifty Shades of Grey hands down if you will pardon the expression.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 9 December 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book (along with Fifty Sheds of Grey: A Parody: Erotica for the not-too-modern male) is my favourite humorous spin off from the Fifty Shades mummy porn genre. It is hilarious from beginning to (unexpected twist at the) end.

The basic idea is that this is a sexed-up version of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice. It's good quality schoolboy humour rather than porn though. "Think Northwanger Abbey, or Mansfield Pork ..." "She ran on, tears blinding her, until Mr Darcy grabbed her by the shrubbery."

The good news is you do not need to have read any of the original Fifty Shades trilogy, nor be a scholar of nineteenth century literature, to enjoy this book. So long as you've heard the buzz around the former and seen a BBC costume drama or two, you'll know enough to thoroughly enjoy this book. It's a perfect gift for a female friend with a funny bone or to make you titter on the journey to work.

To set the scene, the book opens as follows: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good riding crop must be in want of a pair of bare buttocks to thrash. At least, that was how it seemed to Elizabeth Bennett. Tied to the bedpost in Mr Darcey's boudoir, stays unlaced and her bloomers in a state of disarray, trembling in anticipation ..."

Along the way there is everything from vanilla sex and rumpy pumpy to other words for too saucy to include in this review, to the Blue Broom Cupboard of Seriously Kinky S***. And then there's the Sage-Green Shed of Shocking Artefacts at the far end of the wildflower garden, covered in ivy and overgrown with lichen. "Mr Darcy strode ahead, his gaze fixed, not saying a word. Elizabeth felt her chest palpitating with anxiety. Could she cope with what was inside? What perversions lay within?"

Definitely worth the read to find out. A thoroughly enjoyable book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've not read the Fifty Shades series, but it proved impossible from all the hype not to glean an educated impression of it, so I found this parody very funny indeed, especially towards the end when Elizabeth and Darcy were discussing how best to end it. Darcy, poor soul, is a very mixed up character in this book but how can a reader bear to discover the truth about his fifty shades?
It is rude, no doubt offensive in some quarters, but Jane Austen has survived a great deal over the years without much harm to herself. I've never been a Janeite and I welcome parodies, and this I feel is a very good one. The jokes are excruciating, sometimes in more ways than one, but somehow Lizzie shines through, strong here as in the original and drawn off the path of modesty not entirely against her will. The other characters are mainly ciphers - Mr Bennet is even admitted to be one - but I liked Lydia, drawn here not to immorality but to big business, and loved the skewed view of the time where all forms of immorality are encouraged but for a girl to want to work is too disgraceful to be countenanced. I also liked the references, often wistful, to inventions yet to be invented.
All told it was very funny, very self aware, and even at times moving; who could forget the scene with Darcy in the playroom? Maybe I could have done without Phil Collina and Chris de Burgh but all told a most enjoyable parody.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Unlacing Pride and Prejudice and giving it a tongue in, er, cheek Fifty Shades of Grey makeover, this is saucy, irreverent, silly - and hilarious.

Following Austen closely, this has some wonderfully surreal moments (Mrs Bennett dirty dancing with young hussars at the Netherfield ball; Elizabeth and Charlotte doing tequila slammers). Mr Collins has become Phil Collins and can't help quoting himself (on Lady Catherine de Burgh, widow of Chris: "She'll get a hold on you, believe it. Like no other. And before you know it you'll be on your knees").

Funniest, however, is Mr Darcy via a take-off of E.L.James' inimitable prose: `his flint-grey eyes boring into hers as though trying to tunnel right through her eye sockets'... `his gaze fixed upon Elizabeth, running one of his long index fingers back and forth across his upper lip'... `Mr Darcy's grey eyes had lost their warmth now, and turned as dark as the blackest sea. His palm was twitching, as if it had a life of its own'.

If you found FSoG excruciating, and don't mind Austen being re-made as a cross between a Carry On film and those saucy British seaside postcards, this is laugh out loud funny - great for a giggle!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I haven't read 50 Shades (but my lady is at the moment) or Pride and Prejudice. I do, however, recognise a splendidly witty parody that mingles 19th century prudishness with outrageous 21st century eroticism.

In terms of look and feel, Fifty Shades of Mr Darcy struck me as quite similar to the BBC comedy series "The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff". The author (splendidly surnomme'd as William Codpiece Thwackery) employs the humorous technique of writing a sentence or two of stilted and pompous pseudo-Victorian/Dickensian dialogue and then hastily deflating it by inserting some risqué contemporary sexual references. I loved a woman's conscience being referred to as her "inner slapper" for example.

Sometimes the humour is reasonably subtle, but, on occasion, the gags are a bit laboured (check out turning down the bedsheets around page 19).

It's far more hit than miss though and I found myself laughing out loud more than any parody I've read since Bored of the Rings: A Parody.

Definitely worth a look if you're broad-minded and could do with a good laugh!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There is no doubting the description of `Fifty Shades of Mr Darcy' as a parody - narrative that deliberately copies the style of someone else and lampoons its characters so as to be funny. Certainly this is achieved by author William Codpiece Thwackery (alias for 19th century novelist and humourist William Makepeace Thackeray; himself a parodist) - but how much is a send up of recent best seller `Fifty Shades of Grey' and how much of the classic `Pride and Prejudice'? I never found out as I quickly became tired of the hackneyed humour and set it aside. I rarely fail to finish a book but on this occasion I failed to fulfil my Vine Voice obligations. However I read enough to be able to acknowledge eloquence in the writing coupled with amusing double entendres and witty one liners - but often at a sooty schoolboy or saucy postcard level. Narrative is well suited to a cleverly entertaining magazine article - but it palls as it progresses, and I lack the stamina to continue with what is a tedious full length novel. For me it is below `average' and hence 2-star rating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book didn't appeal to me nearly as much as it obviously has to others.

The basic premise is a good one, and there is some real humour derived from subverting Jane Austen's picture of 19th Century propriety with Mrs Bennett distraught because her daughters haven't yet been ravished, for example. The idea of Mr Collins as Phil Collins is also very funny to begin with, but the rather laboured jokes about his lyrics and song titles did wear pretty thin - and that's what I thought about the whole book, really. It's an inspired comic idea which would be great for a sketch or possibly even a 30-minute programme, but for me it couldn't support an entire book and I found myself skimming a lot while admittedly enjoying the occasional chuckle.

At least part of the problem is that I have not read 50 Shades Of Grey. This may be better if you have read 50 Shades, but for me it was a good comic premise and some funny ideas which made me laugh in places, but which was stretched far too thinly to maintain my interest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 19 December 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I have had the misfortunate to have read a number of the "50 Shades" bandwagon books and this is by far the best of them.

It obviously doesn't take it as seriously as so many of the other authors do and because it is thumbing its nose at them it is enjoyable.

I started to snigger inside when I read the first page and I sat there in the doctor's waiting room with a daft grin on my face and it wasn't because of the "naughty" bits, it was because of the complete irreverence with which the author has taken Ms Jane Austen's most famous book and has the characters take issue which what is written in both "50 Shades" and "Pride and Prejudice".

If you're looking for a little fun, without the groping and groaning, then this is probably for you. To be honest I haven't laughed this much since Sean Bean played Mellors in the TV version of "Lady Chatterley".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 25 October 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Full admission: I haven't read either of the originals. But I'm pretty sure I know plenty about both - Pride and Prejudice due to other media, and 50 Shades due to extensive research and review-reading.

So I can safely say that this book is FAR more entertaining than 50 Shades - and, in my opinion, better written!

It's a parody book - it's over the top, overly rude, utterly silly, and very funny. There's no depth, but there doesn't need to be, this is pure entertainment. If you're not a fan of 50 Shades (as I'm not) you'll enjoy the out-and-out mockery - I think perhaps if you're a fan with a sense of humour, though, you'll hopefully be able to see the light side of the book and thus enjoy this anyway! Pride and Prejudice is just as mocked, but I found that felt more like loving mocking than anything else.

So, a light, amusing read. Nothing groundbreaking, obviously, but still enjoyable.
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