Posted by: thebarbarianlibrarian | February 11, 2010

Shades of Grey

Way way back I jumped on the Jasper Fforde bandwagon when I read The Eyre Affair. I was thrilled to find out The Well of Lost Plots was available for sale during my trip to Britain before it was released in the US. As his books progressed I fell less in love though, and definitely wasn’t a huge fan of his Nursery Crime series. Then as I was ordering books for my library I came across his newest, Shades of Grey, and rolled my eyes as I read the blurb:

This inventive fantasy from bestseller Fforde (The Eyre Affair) imagines a screwball future in which social castes and protocols are rigidly defined by acuteness of personal color perception. Centuries after the cryptically cataclysmic Something That Happened, a Colortocracy, founded on the inflexible absolutes of the chromatic scale, rules the world. Amiable Eddie Russett, a young Red, is looking forward to marrying a notch up on the palette and settling down to a complacent bourgeois life. But after meeting Jane G-23, a rebellious working-class Grey, and a discredited, invisible historian known as the Apocryphal man, Eddie finds himself questioning the hitherto sacred foundations of the status quo. En route to finding out what turned things topsy-turvy, Eddie navigates a vividly imagined landscape whose every facet is steeped in the author’s remarkably detailed color scheme. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to see the story for the chromotechnics. -Publishers Weekly

I mean really, wft?!?!

Then a couple weeks ago I needed a new book on cd for my car, and Shades of Grey was sitting there on the new book on cd shelf, all alone, and I decided to give it a chance.

It took a little bit to get into it, the crazy terminology is a bit much, but then things really started to flow, and I was hooked. Remember how much I hated Going Bovine? Well this book was just as crazy, but it was good crazy, it made sense. As soon as it finished, I rushed to my computer, desperate to know if it was going to be continued – and apparently it’s the first in a trilogy. I can’t wait for the next two!



  1. I borrowed this book with the intent to read it, but I only got a few chapters in. Wasn’t SUPER excited by it but everyone says the beginning is slow. I need to commit and get back to it… so many books, too little time!

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