Anyone aroused to apoplexy by the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon will be truly enflamed by the ebook that trails just behind EL James’s top-selling trilogy in the iTunes charts.
It’s called The Diamond Club, and it’s “a crowd-sourced erotic stunt novel” – which sounds pretty much like the literary equivalent of an orgy.
Though it purports to be by a writer called Patricia Harkins-Bradle, it is in fact the work of magician Brian Brushwood and Justin Young, who run a weekly comedy podcast, NSFW, and assembled it with help from their fans.
In the fortnight that its heroine Brianna Young has been wreaking revenge on her multi-milllionaire philanderer ex-lover Roman Dyle, her steamy antics have garnered 120 star-ratings on iTunes, with an average of four and a half stars. Three days after publication on 29 July it peaked at No 4 in the iTunes chart, behind only the Fifty Shades trilogy, and it is still up at No 12.
On the Goodreads website the reception has been mixed: “I loved this book. I really liked the development of the protagonist over the course of the novel. Brianna’s story of picking up the pieces of her heart and career after Roman’s betrayal is nothing short of inspirational,” wrote one reader, while another pleaded: “First of all, please do not compare this to Fifty Shades of Grey. That is first and foremost a steamy hot love story with kink. This, however, is just trash. It is dirty porn at best.”
Blogging about it on Vook, which produced the book, Matthew Cavnar explains that “this steamy, narratively incoherent, beekeeper-sex-loaded hit” has its roots in an older New York publishing scam, Newsday columnist Mike McGrady’s 1968 book Naked Came the Stranger.
How comfortingly old-fashioned that makes it sound.
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