GO
Loading...

Fifty Shades of Profit

Woman reading book
Brand New Images | Stone | Getty Images
Woman reading book

Raise your hand if you've read the erotic best-seller "Fifty Shades of Grey."

Oh my.

The trilogy of erotic novels is at the top of the New York Times Best Seller list, and the first book has just been named the fastest selling paperback of all time in the UK. The New York Times reports the books sold ten million copies in just six weeks, and the author’s estimated net worth now tops $6 million with book deals and a movie contract.

Well, good for author E.L. James and publisher Random House!

I read the first book. It's horrible. Sure, there's a lot of sex ... and other stuff. But who knew a book with so much steaminess could be so boring? Take away the phrases "Oh my", "Holy cr*p" and "Jeez", and the book would only be 20 pages long.

Fifty Shades’ success has generated controversy over its poor writing rather than its BDSM erotica. Amazon.com has been flooded with hilarious, negative reviews like this one: "Characters 'murmur' 199 times, 'mutter' 49 times, and 'whisper' 195 times (doesn't anyone just talk?)"

Still, there are those die-hard, devoted fans like the ones who recently paid $40 each to hear E.L. James speak in Chicago, where one woman described her as “God’s gift to middle age."

Still, the antics between the trilogy's two main characters, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey have been good for business at certain retail outlets. This story from the NBC station in Philadelphia profiles an entrepreneurial hardware store manager dealing with a spike in rope sales. "Probably get the softer stuff," suggests the appropriately named Bob Wipplinger.

Maybe I would have enjoyed the story more if I'd bought it as a book on tape. Maybe if it had been turned into a comedy and been narrated by former Aflac duck voiceover actor Gilbert Gottfried. Well, it’s my lucky day, and yours. In what may be the funniest video of the year, here is Gottfried reading portions of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Warning: content, language, and you may laugh so hard someone will run into the room to make sure you're ok, which is what my husband did.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

Humor