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An astonishing, hotly anticipated new novel from the great literary fantasist and creator of Thursday Next, Jasper Fforde.

As long as anyone can remember, society has been ruled by a Colortocracy. From the underground feedpipes that keep the municipal park green to the healing hues viewed to cure illness to a social hierarchy based upon one's limited color perception, society is dominated by color. In this world, you are what you can see.

Young Eddie Russett has no ambition to be anything other than a loyal drone of the Collective. With his better-than-average red perception, he could well marry Constance Oxblood and inherit the string works; he may even have enough red perception to make prefect.

For Eddie, life looks colorful. Life looks good.

But everything changes when he moves with his father, a respected swatchman, to East Carmine. There, he falls in love with a Grey named Jane who opens his eyes to the painful truth behind his seemingly perfect, rigidly controlled society.

Curiosity--a dangerous trait to display in a society that demands total conformity--gets the better of Eddie, who beings to wonder:
Why are there not enough spoons to go around?
Why is everything--and everyone--barcoded?
What happened to all the people who never returned from High Saffron?
And why, when you begin to question the world around you, do black-and-white certainties reduce themselves to shades of grey?

Part satire, part romance, part revolutionary thriller, this is the new world from the creative and comic genius of Jasper Fforde.

Book Reviews

Shades of Grey
Average rating
4.9 / 5
1 person found this helpful
1984 meets Monty Python
December 22nd, 2014
Not to be mistaken for the, uh, romance novel of similar name. This one has an interesting take on post-apocalyptic fiction (the relevant apocalypse was 700 years ago, and has as much bearing on the lives of the characters as the middle ages have for us). I'd describe this book as a light-hearted cross between 1984 and Monty Python. This book is one of my favourites! I loved the world-building, snarky humour and that this book is just sheer fun to read.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
October 12th, 2013
This is very different from his Thursday Next series. Fforde does a terrific job of dangling clues to the underlying mystery, while keeping us entertained by the unusual world he has created. While the tone boarders on darkness, the lead characters are engaging and the pacing good. Shades of caste systems, concentration camps, witch trials, Logan's Run, and Bradbury color the book. The writing, the interesting premise and curiosity have me wishing the next book would come out!
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1 review

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