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Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Shades of Grey (edition 2010)

by Jasper Fforde

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,5841932,313 (4.08)1 / 362
Title:Shades of Grey
Authors:Jasper Fforde
Info:Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library

Work details

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

  1. 120
    The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (shallihavemydwarf)
  2. 82
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Othemts, TomWaitsTables)
    TomWaitsTables: The dystopic comedy by by Jasper Fforde, not the adult novel read by housewives.
  3. 40
    The Island of the Colorblind by Oliver Sacks (bertilak)
  4. 20
    Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith (simon211175)
  5. 76
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Othemts)
  6. 11
    The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry (ahstrick)
  7. 02
    Theory of Colours by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (bertilak)
    bertilak: In particular, see Goethe's section on pathological colours.
  8. 04
    Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder (bucketyell)
  9. 04
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (KCLibrarian)
    KCLibrarian: Both books create believable societies unlike our own in some ways, but recognizably human in other ways. Both raise challenging societal questions and have some surprise twists and turns along the way. Both authors deftly ease their readers into the fantasy worlds they create, and by the time the story ends, leave readers wanting more.… (more)

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English (191)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (194)
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
Shades of Grey is set in a dystopic world where people can only see one shade of color naturally (any other colors they see are artificial), people are judged by what hues they are able to see and how strongly, and the government is very strict. Eddie Russet is from a lower family of red-seers who is looking to marry up to gain status in a society that he takes no issue with. However, when he is sent to a different town for work he meets people who open his eyes to some of the things occurring under the government's nose, as well as some of the injustices of the system that he has, up until now, believed in. He makes friends, and enemies, as he finds his way in the world. Annoying straight, the reader sees his character change over time as he learns the truth about the society in which he lives, and he becomes more likeable as you realize that he is trying to stay true to what he believes is right, all the while changing his definition of 'right' as he learns more. I enjoyed this book, and I am interested in reading the others in this series.
  GretchenLynn | Aug 11, 2015 |
I got this book for free from Making Connections, in exchange of an honest review.

There are some writers..hand them anything and they turn it into a story..Michael Cargill is one of them.

The three stories in this anthology are simple stuff but that doesn’t make them less interesting.

The first story,”Shades of Grey”, is about John. He’s a man who works for the government and is absolutely insane.

The second story is “There and Back Again” which focuses on James who is a British soldier taking part in a war for the first time. The ambiance and the emotions of the war are described beautifully, as is the feeling of guilt and shame when a soldier is asked to retreat.

The last story is called, “Down the Rabbit Hole”, about Tom who has an abusive father whose behavior is getting worse everyday. Then Tom’s favorite toy bunny starts to talk to the kid and solves his problems its own way.

All three stories are based on characters that are flawed due to events in their past and are trying to rise above it. ( )
  MiduHadi | Jul 5, 2015 |
Bloody good book. That's all there is to it.

If you can accept the bizarre premise - and I can understand why some readers may not - of a society four-hundred years after some as-yet unclear 'Something' that happened, whose structure and socio-economic statuses are all based around citizens' colour perception, you'll find this a gripping dystopian mystery-ish science-fantasy thriller. If there are any downsides, they may be that there are a few too many characters to keep up with, and of course the ending is not a final-resolution but a lead-in to the eagerly-anticipated sequels. But they are minor issues - Fforde sets up this very different future society with fun characters and manages to sustain the twisted logic of it all the way through. ( )
  dtw42 | May 22, 2015 |
Curiouser and curiouser dystopian story. Looking forward to the next one. ( )
  Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
In this dystopian future, a person's social standing is determined by what color of the spectrum they can perceive. Eddie Russet is part of a the Red clan. The Russet's have been trying to rebuild their hue for generations and Eddie might be the reddest red in years. His strategic marriage will officially restore his family's rank among the Reds. The only problem? He doesn't love Constance Oxblood, his half-promised sweetheart. That wasn't a problem until he meets a girl named Jane. Jane is a Grey. She can't see any colors, which makes her essentially a slave. But Jane is just too interesting for Eddie to pass up. His ill-starred pursuit of her will take him beyond the bounds of polite society and reveal secrets that the government has long wished to keep hidden. ( )
  Juva | Apr 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
In structure, Shades of Grey moves like most other books in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, but in tone, it has more in common with comic novels such as Catch-22.
Fforde is an author of immense imagination. Not satisfied with just a few layers of Dickensian jokes and revisions of the physical universe, he creates an archeological treasure trove for readers.
All this is serenely silly, but to dispel a black mood and chase away the blues, this witty novel offers an eye-popping spectrum of remedies.
added by Katya0133 | editKirkus (Dec 15, 2009)
It's all brilliantly original, lf his complex world building sometimes slows the plot and the balance of silly and serious is uneasy, we're still completely won over.
added by Katya0133 | editBooklist, Keir Graff (Dec 15, 2009)
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.
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (Nov 23, 2009)

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jasper Ffordeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Buckley, PaulCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garduno, KenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagin, DanielDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, StevenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There is no light or colour as a fact in external nature. There is merely motion of material...When the light enters your eyes and falls on the retina, there is motion of material. Then your nerves are affected and your brain is affected, and again this is merely motion of material...The mind in apprehending experiences sensations which, properly speaking, are qualities of the mind alone. —Alfred North Whitehead
Welcoming you to the undeniably
enjoyable and generally underrated
sense of being known as existence
First words Males are to wear dress code #6 during inter-Collective travel. Hats are encouraged but not mandatory.
It began with my father not wanting to see the Last Rabbit and ended up with my being eaten by a carnivorous plant.
It began with my father not wanting to see the Last Rabbit and ended up with my being eaten by a carnivorous plant. It wasn't really what I'd planned for myself -- I'd hoped to marry into the Oxbloods and join their dynastic string empire. But that was four days ago, before I met Jane, retrieved the Caravaggio and explored High Saffron. So instead of enjoying aspirations of Chromatic advancement, I was wholly immersed within the digestive soup of a yataveo tree. It was all frightfully inconvenient.
Apart we are together.
Last words
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Welcome to Chromatacia, where the Colortocracy rules society through a social hierarchy based upon one's limited color perception. In this world, you are what you can see.

But Eddie Russet wants to move up. When he and his father relocate to the backwater village of East Carmine, his carefully cultivated plans to leverage his better-than-average red perception and marry into a powerful family are quickly upended. Eddie must contend with lethal swans, sneaky Yellows, inviolable rules, an enforced marriage to hideous Violet deMauve, and a risky friendship with an intriguing Grey named Jane who shows Eddie that the apparent peace of his world is as much an illusion as color itself. Will Eddie be able to tread the fine line between total conformity—accepting the path, partner, and career delineated by his hue—and his instinctive curiosity that is bound to get him into trouble?
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670019631, Hardcover)

From the bestselling author of Thursday Next—a brilliant new novel about a world where social order and destiny are dictated by the colors you can see

Part social satire, part romance, part revolutionary thriller, Shades of Grey tells of a battle against overwhelming odds. In a society where the ability to see the higher end of the color spectrum denotes a better social standing, Eddie Russet belongs to the low-level House of Red and can see his own color—but no other. The sky, the grass, and everything in between are all just shades of grey, and must be colorized by artificial means.

Eddie's world wasn't always like this. There's evidence of a never-discussed disaster and now, many years later, technology is poor, news sporadic, the notion of change abhorrent, and nighttime is terrifying: no one can see in the dark. Everyone abides by a bizarre regime of rules and regulations, a system of merits and demerits, where punishment can result in permanent expulsion.

Eddie, who works for the Color Control Agency, might well have lived out his rose-tinted life without a hitch. But that changes when he becomes smitten with Jane, a Grey Nightseer from the dark, unlit side of the village. She shows Eddie that all is not well with the world he thinks is just and good. Together, they engage in dangerous revolutionary talk.

Stunningly imaginative, very funny, tightly plotted, and with sly satirical digs at our own society, this novel is for those who loved Thursday Next but want to be transported somewhere equally wild, only darker; a world where the black and white of moral standpoints have been reduced to shades of grey.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:21 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Welcome to Chromatacia, where for as long as anyone can remember society has been ruled by a Colortocracy. Social hierachy is based upon one's limited color perception. society is dominated by color. In this world, you are what you can see, and Eddie Russett, a better-than-average red perception wants to move up.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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