Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Fforde is one of those authors that you either love or can’t stand. He’s just got such a strong writing style – silly, rather absurd, witty, that you’ll either enjoy or run away screaming. I fall into the first camp. I love me some Fforde and so I was so excited when I stumbled over an arc of his newest a few months ago. With all my Printz reading I could get around to it and then stupidly I forgot to take it on vacation with me. I remedied this by picking it up as soon as I got back.


That’s my review.

Not really, but it totally could be. This is the first in a new series that is completely different than the Thursday Next or Nursery Crime novels, at least in the sense that it is a different world. Fford has created a world, presumably far into the future time on earth, where people are placed into a hierarchy based on color – a Colortocracy if you will. Not of their skin, but of the color they can perceive. You can be a Purple (the best), Yellow, Red, Blue, Orange, or Green. Or a Grey. If you’re a grey you’re really sh*t out of luck ‘cause you don’t see any color at all and you have to do all the drudgery work for your entire life.

This Colortocracy was set up after Something That Happened. What that something was, no one knows…only that there have been several Leapbacks (where the government reduces knowledge and technology).

So, basically totally awesome. Fforde is always exceptional at his world building. Truth be known, I never really got it why the people could only see one color – but I assume it is because of genetic engineering or something. And the fact that I didn’t understand it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book at all. And it really set up some fabulous jokes. Like glimpsing specific paint hues to get high and such.

If you’re into the absurd, pick it up. You won’t regret it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved the Thursday Next books; I'm going to have to seek this one out. Thanks for the reminder!