Monday, April 26, 2010

BOOK: Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron by Jasper Fforde, 388 pages

Colourful Challenge; It's the End of the World

In a world where your social status is defined by the colour you can see (Chromatacia), Yellows are on top with last names like Primrose, McMustard, and Courtland. The Reds - Russetts, Oxblood, and Ochre are just above the lowly Greys. I loved all the synonyms for colours in this book, among other things.

If this had been my first Fforde, I'm not sure I would have made it. He crams so many allusions and jokes and ideas into every page that it can be hard to read. And setting up a whole new world after the Something that Happened (to our world) is a lot of work. It can be very tough reading in the beginning. But I stuck with it, knowing that Fforde has a sure hand and can write the most amazing new worlds, and then once the book picked up, I flew to the end, anxious to find out what might happen - a little romance, a little adventure, some treachery and enlightenment. And a plethora of spoons, because in a world with a spoon shortage, you know there must be some hidden somewhere.

Eddie is the perfect protagonist - a little naive with a sense of fair play. His discovery that his world is not quite what he thought it was, that the Head Office might have an agenda, is slowly revealed by anther new wonderful character, Jane Grey. I look forward to more Eddie and Jane (does Jasper Fforde really have a thing for Jane Eyre or what?) adventures.

There are two more books planned with Brunswick and deMauve: Painting by Numbers and The Gordini Protocols.

also reviewed by:
chris at bookarama
alison at piling on the books

another library book