June 11, 2015

I stole the new Fifty Shades book, and here’s what it’s about


Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.55.11 AMWhen the news broke that Penguin Random House would be publishing Grey by E.L. James, a sequel/retelling/reboot/deboot? of the Fifty Shades trilogy written from Christian Grey’s POV, it was met by surprise, then massive speculation. Would the reported 1.25 million books sell through immediately, or almost immediately? How did the publisher manage to keep this secret until less than a month before publication? And how exactly would the book fill its reported 576 pages?

But then, the unthinkable happened. The BBC reported earlier today that a copy of Grey has been stolen from the publisher’s UK office, ten days before its release date.

Kent Police has launched an investigation after Random House discovered a copy of Grey had gone missing on Monday.

It is feared thieves may leak the novel, or sell extracts to the media.

This is unfortunate news for any publisher, and PRH appears to have gone on a total information lockdown.

Random House and solicitors for the publisher would not give any other information about the missing book.

“We have no comment to make due to an ongoing police investigation,” a spokesman said.

A spokesman for Kent Police said: “Officers are making inquiries after receiving a report that a book had been stolen on 8 June.”

Calling this “the most audacious theft of the modern era” would be an understatement, but it would also be self-serving. Because this theft was completely arranged, at great expense and care, by me and me alone. That’s right: I stole Grey, and I’m ready to tell you everything.

The heist was a thing of beauty, but I won’t bore you with the details except to say that it’s a damn fortunate thing that all British buildings still come mandatorily equipped with orphan-width chimneys. Right now, I have the manuscript safely held in the most secure location there is (underneath my cat). I want Penguin Random House to know that I have no intention of making a profit by selling this manuscript to the highest bidder. Instead, because I believe it to be a public service, I plan to reveal the most shocking revelations of Grey here, right now.

In Grey, it’s revealed that:

Liam O'Brien is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Melville House, and a former bookseller.