January 18, 2010

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Unless I have a review copy, it's rare that I'd review such a recent book (this came out December 29th in the US). But, I've been on the waiting list at the library for this title ever since I heard about it last fall, and couldn't wait to read it.

If I told you that Shades of Grey reminded me of as many as a dozen other books I've read, would it make you think it wasn't unique? I'm afraid that it would, and that'd be sad. There WERE so many things in it that reminded me of so many other books that I've enjoyed, but in many more ways, this is a wholly unique work.

Jasper Fforde has an incredible sense of humor. His humor is intelligent humor, including plays on words and often making cultural or literary references. There's all this in this book (there were several times I laughed out loud), but also a much deeper plot. I can't wait to see where he takes it next (this is the first book in a trilogy).

Fforde's Shades of Grey is a dystopian novel set in a colortocracy...social standing is determined by which color you can see and how much you can see of it. Eddie Russett is a Red, the second lowest color on the spectrum (the lowest being the Greys who can't see any meaningful color). He and his father are sent to the Outer Fringes so that Eddie can conduct a chair census as he's been deemed to need humbling.

That's about all that I want to say about the plot. Any more, and I'm afraid I'd ruin it. If you enjoy humorous reads or dystopian fiction, I recommend this book highly! I can almost guarantee it'll make my top-10 list this year.


  1. So what books did it remind you of? I think I can mesh such reminders with the idea that a book is wholly unique.

  2. Let's see how many I can remember:

    Snow by Orhan Pamuk (because he traveled to a distant town and everyone talked to him)
    The Hunger Games books
    The Giver
    Gathering Blue
    The Thursday Next novels (for obvious reasons)
    The Adoration of Jenna Fox

    And probably a couple of others, too!

  3. This will be in my Top 10 for sure!

  4. hi...
    i wanna ask...is this book is an easy reading book or i need to have a really deep thought to understand the story? give me your response here.http://coffeecrackers.blogspot.com/2010/01/client.html

  5. Thanks Ron....
    this book will be in my wish-list...


Thanks for joining our discussion of this book!

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