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This week in Fifty Shades: sales records, music records, Bret Easton Ellis

It continues to dominate (ohoho) seemingly every news story to come out of the publishing world, so let’s get all of this week’s Fifty Shades of Grey news out of the way in one quick go, shall we? It’ll be just like ripping off an Elastoplast. Unless that’s the kind of thing you’re into, in which case, ew.

  • It’s now officially the bestselling book in the UK. Ever. And not just on Amazon. Its 5.3 million copies sold across print and digital put it ahead of any Harry Potter book, any Dan Brown book and even The Highway Code, which increasingly looks as if its high sales are entirely down to confused buyers mistaking it for a sequel to The Da Vinci Code. This means more people are interested in the ins and outs (steady) of Christian and Anastasia’s relationship than, say, safe U-turn procedures. So if a Fifty Shades fan offers you a ride any time soon, ask them to be more specific before accepting.
  • Rumours continue to circulate about casting and creative personnel for the inevitably forthcoming film adaptation, with the latest batch of screenwriters potentially preparing to adapt the novel including, weirdly enough, Dan Fogelman – to date, best known for his work on Disney animations, including Bolt, Tangled and both Cars films – and the vilified-by-the-internet showrunner of the American adaptation of The Killing, Veena Sud. The shortlist conspicuously does not feature Bret Easton Ellis, who had previously campaigned for the gig and reacted in typical Bret Easton Ellis fashion by posting something moronic, ill-informed and eyeroll-provoking on Twitter: namely, that gay White Collar and Magic Mike star Matt Bomer would be an unsuitable choice to play the lead, because it’s Christian Grey, not Christian Gay, or something similarly facile. Obviously, no gay man has ever pretended to be straight before, ever, and therefore all are ill-equipped for such demands.
  • EMI is releasing a compilation of all the pieces of classical music referenced throughout the trilogy, signed off on by EL James herself, called Fifty Shades of Grey – The Classical Album, so you don’t get it confused with Fifty Shades of Grey – The Dubstep Album. There’s not really much to add to that that isn’t self-evident, except to note that the tracklisting contains Tallis’ Spem in alium, which is only one letter away from being ‘sperm’ and so is funny because sex.

bestsellers, Bret Easton Ellis, EL James, Fifty Shades of Grey

Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.


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