Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Fifty Shades Of Grey author has a new book called The Mister and, surprise, it's very bad

Screenshot: Vintage

Are you feeling in the need for some smut? Everyone needs a little now and then, and Fifty Shades Of Grey author E.L. James wants to be your go-to-gal for erotic reading. But, alas, you might not actually get anything out of it as her newest book is reportedly really bad. It’s called The Mister and, according to some scathing reviews, it’s not only dull as hell but lacking in the BDSM that (maybe) distracted you from the tepid writing of the Fifty Shades series.

The trailer for the book, which was tweeted out from the Fifty Shades UK account, seems like it came right out of the pages of an SNL parody. But it leaves much to the imagination, with only a “He’s here” to whet your appetite.


It centers around Maxim Trevelyan—say that five times fast—a grown-up rich kid who’s also, if you haven’t guessed, the titular Mister. He sleeps around, doesn’t worry about his plentiful money, and seems to have it really going well for him. Soon, he inherits a noble title and gets a new “daily” (a.k.a. housecleaner) named Alessia Demachi, a sex trafficking survivor who speaks broken English. What better way to take advantage of the already out-of-balance power structure than to involve the two in a sordid romance? E.L. James, your groundbreaking ideas really take the cake.

Entertainment Weekly’s Dana Schwartz called the book “unoriginal and dull from the syntax up,” giving it a dang “F,” which, she noted on Twitter, was her very first. She also writes that Alessia’s Albanian roots are a way to basically make her a meek, naive Eastern European woman who is in desperate need of a man to help her through. So, beyond being poorly written, it’s lazy and treats the PTSD that comes with sex abuse in a “horrific” manner.

As Kayleigh Donaldson writes for Pajiba, you dear reader, might have already known The Mister was going to be bad. But she also tweeted out some...interesting excerpts to really hit it home.


E.L. James is such a fangirl for the idea of powerful men falling for hopeless, docile virgins. It’s basically a staple character personality trait for her heroines at this point. And, as the first tweet shows, Maxim is not well-equipped or empathetic enough to deal with a survivor and it shows. “E.L. James is to these topics what Hannibal Lecter is to vegan cookery,” Donaldson wrote in her review.


Twitter’s also intrigued by the work, but only in how it somehow manages to be 500+ page “passionless experience” that isn’t even as funny as Fifty Shades, which, to be clear, was funny only for how many times Anastasia Steele regurgitated the term “inner goddess” (*eye roll*).

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About the author

Alani Vargas

Alani Vargas is an entertainment writer and A.V. Club contributor. Her work also appears on Showbiz Cheat Sheet, INSIDER, Bustle, Refinery29, and Elite Daily.