Grey Book Cover

Penguin Random House UK

Are you ready for a good laugh at somebody else's expense? Then we've got a doozy for you. 

In perhaps the most hilariously scathing review since the Guy Fieri Times Square restaurant fiasco, the paper of record has now taken on Grey, the latest book in the Fifty Shades series. As can be expected in a review that begins with "Condolences to the 1.1 million people who rushed out to buy EL James' Grey," the reaction to the novel was not positive. 

It's a rough go for the author, who had to endure first this weekend's scathing write-up and now an all-out assault from a Twitter Q&A, but as innocent bystanders it's hard not to sit back and watch it all like a car crash. We just can't look away!

After that zinger of an opening line, the reviewer is hesitant to even use the terms "author" and "book" to describe James and Grey. The Times believes the novel, which retells the love story between Ana and Christian from Christian's perspective, is an example of James' "limited" imagination reaching its, well, limit. Not only do they point out that the newest book offers no fresh storylines or information (all of it having been hashed out in the original Fifty Shades) and uses tired hyperbole in description, but they remind us all that the entire concept of Fifty Shades is a "failure of imagination."

"She didn't exactly invent these characters in the first place," says the review. "She was a Twilight fan who appropriated them, tweaked them and made them hugely salable for a while." Ouch.

However, the Times does give credit where credit is due (in the success of the franchise), even if it does come with a backhanded compliment: "Ms. James, a former writer of fan fiction who is nothing if not shrewd, has managed to outshine the many authors who write similar, better or crazier material than her own."

All in all, the piece serves as a reminder to never piss of The New York Times.

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