A Coupla Shades of Taupe: A Parody
By Court Burback
Published On: June 18th 2012
Publisher: Diversion Books
Alexandra at a level normally portrayed by Rob Lowe in Lifetime movies. But unlike Rob Lowe, Pagan doesn’t want to beat her with a tire iron and bury her beneath the town bridge—he wants to make her his live-in sex slave.
After I read Fifty Shades of Grey, and posted a few hate messages to E. L James on her Twitter handle, I still couldn’t stop making fun of the book. Yes, I admit, the hours I spent reading FSOG are the ones I’ll always loathe.
After a month of reading it, there came a savior to get my life back on track after reading FSOG- It was Court Burback with her book A Coupla Shades of Taupe.
But if eager young Alexandra wants to feel the caress of Pagan’s ear hair against her cheek, she’s going to have to play by his rules. When Pagan reveals the special room he’s built to live out his sexual proclivities, Alexandra’s natural reaction is to cold cock him and call the police. But the clown chained to the wall assures Alexandra that Pagan is a stand-up guy, and if she gives him a chance he can introduce her to a world of unimaginable pleasure. Alexandra takes the leap and agrees to be Pagan’s unquestioning “submissive,” and the two embark on a sexual journey that would make Gloria Steinem put a loaded gun to her temple.
A COUPLA SHADES OF TAUPE is a romantic, tender tale of blossoming emotions and hardcore schtupping. A Pulitzer is inevitable.
As the name says, it is a parody of the record breaking, crappy bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey. The action of the spoof starts right from the name of the book. After that there’s no stopping. While Anastasia Steel dies over the looks of the rich and young entrepreneur Christian Grey in FSOG, in ACSOT, you’d find Alexandra Aluminum’s heart captured by the wealthy Pagan Taupe who plays the dominant in their BDSM relationship.
The book has a slow start, but after just a few pages, I was laughing into my palm, because it was that funny. My ribs hurt. Soon after ten or so pages, I had a million of “WTF!” moments at the awkward situations Pagan and Alex created. Ahead of that, it made me laugh like mad.
There’s nothing about FSOG that the author has not made fun of in the book. Be it their names, the incidents, the characters or the novel on the whole, you have everything to chuckle at. The best part of it was the spoof at E. L. James and her writing style. That absolutely cracked me up. I’ll quote a few examples:
“I’m sorry if I came off as a bit…controlling,” he says with a mischievous grin. “But I’m a man that enjoys exerting control, you see. And I believe that there are those that would actually enjoy relinquishing their will to feed my—” He sighs. “I don’t know how many other ways there are to insinuate that I like control, Miss Aluminum. But it’s important that someone, say, a bored, sexually frustrated housewife, understand that we’re blatantly and unimaginatively setting up a future sexual dynamic here.”
My eyes drift around the office. The room is cold, clean, and clinical, and, like his garments, bathed in colors that a lazy romance novelist might describe to insinuate his personality.
He nods. “Alexandra, do you know that it’s been, like, two whole pages since we had sex?”
My eyes widen. “Really? Shit.”
“Should I just, I don’t know…do you on the desk or something?”
“Yeah. That’s cool.”
I bend over the desk and Pagan pulls out his pork sword and whispers generic sexy things and then velvet caresses, moans of ecstasy, castles in the sky, blah blah blah. Five minutes later he’s sprawled naked on a couch scarfing a hoagie and watching Say Yes to the Dress.
Pagan sighs. “Alexandra, this is my sister Mina. She’s another fairly forgettable character and only appears in this one scene.”
There are hardly many writers, I believe, that can pull as good a comedy as Ms. Burback. Be it Alex’s syphilis stricken friend Candy, the ‘Sometimes Girlfriend’ goat of Pagan, the tied up clown Bill, or the human rickshaw that Pagan gifts Alex, Ms. Burback gives you something to giggle at in every single paragraph.
I hate comparing authors, but since we are talking about a lampoon here, I’d like to tell you that while FSOG was gross and erotic, ACSOT is a hilarious tale of the sexual tragedies and comedies of Alex and Pagan’s relationship.
Ms. Burback has a graceful writing style of her own, and the way E. L James writes is not even worth the comparison. ACSOT, unlike FSOG, is very well written, well edited and not repetitive at all.
I’m sure that you will crack-up after reading A Coupla Shades of Taupe, if you read and Hated FSOG. Even if you haven’t read it, you would surely have a nice laugh reading the book.
Nevertheless, I do not recommend this for FSOG lovers. They better wait for E. L James’ next, while I will be looking forward to the coming works of Ms. Burback.
I wish her good luck with the book!