More Fifty Shades of Grey are coming, but this time it will be known simply as Grey.
E.L. James announced on Monday she has written a new version of the erotica trilogy, this one from the point of view of the bestseller's primary male figure, randy billionaire Christian Grey.
"This book is dedicated to those readers who asked...and asked...and asked...and asked for this," she says on the new version's opening page, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter. The book will be published on June 18, or as fans probably know, the fictional character's birthday.
Is James cashing in? Maybe, but considering the trilogy has so far sold more than 125 million copies, it's not as if she needs the money. Perhaps she only wants to toy around with perspective.
Plenty of authors have done much the same thing, although rarely with their own characters – Tom Stoppard in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Margaret Atwood in The Penelopiad, J.M. Coetzee in Foe. Add to it the works of fan fiction that explore familiar stories in new ways and the list grows vastly longer.
James's announcement got us thinking, what other characters would we like to see get the chance to tell their side of things?
Daisy Fay Buchanan (The Great Gatsby)
We can all agree that no matter whose version of events we can accept in The Great Gatsby, Tom Buchanan is probably a class-A jerk. But what about Daisy? Does she think she has a "voice full of money?" And what does she really think about these men fighting over her?
Sancho Panza (aka The Squire, Don Quixote)
Sancho Panzo has got to be the most fascinating sidekick in the history of literature. No matter how mad Don Quixote must seem, his faithful squire goes along for the ride, in part out of loyalty and in part out of promised riches. He's got the potential to be the most interesting straight man of any comedy duo ever. We need to know: what he was thinking during all those misadventures?
The Whale or What Did I Ever Do To These Guys? (Moby Dick)
Countless term papers have been written about what the whale represents in Herman Melville's classic tale. The book itself is so freighted with metaphysics and comes with such a (well-deserved) reputation as one of the most important novels of all time that reading it can be a deadly serious experience. Surely there's a humorist out there with an absurd streak willing to take a crack at telling one of the greatest novels ever written from the whale's point of view? Start with a ridiculous name. "Call me Buddy."