Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
A Novel

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Terrible things happen to good people and bad in "Shades of Grey," but the novel's tone, while hardly sentimental, is neither lugubrious nor particularly hopeless. I don't know what Fforde is like to live with, but from a literary standpoint he's a happy man whose style and outlook owe little to the grim fatalism of Orwell or Philip K. Dick.
-LA Times

Synopsis

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.
 

About Jasper Fforde

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JASPER FFORDE is The New York Times bestselling author of the Thursday Next series, the Nursery Crimes series, and most recently the novel Shades of Grey. He lives in Wales.
 
Published November 6, 2009 by Penguin Books. 398 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, War, Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Shades of Grey
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LA Times

Above average
Reviewed by Ella Taylor on Jan 04 2010

Terrible things happen to good people and bad in "Shades of Grey," but the novel's tone, while hardly sentimental, is neither lugubrious nor particularly hopeless. I don't know what Fforde is like to live with, but from a literary standpoint he's a happy man whose style and outlook owe little to the grim fatalism of Orwell or Philip K. Dick.

Read Full Review of Shades of Grey: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

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