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Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Shades of Grey (edition 2010)

by Jasper Fforde

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,5441902,368 (4.07)1 / 358
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

Recently added byprivate library, areni55, rena75, bflanik21, hudsonshuman, Jess_Moore, kimtaylorblakemore
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English (187)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (190)
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
I hated this book at first. It's so random and disorienting that I couldn't get into the story. But I liked it after I gave up on trying to make logical sense of everything and just rolled with it. This book has a very unique storyline and crazy characters. Overall I would describe them as unlikable with the exception of Jane, and later on, Edward. The pace of the book is slow, but only because you have no idea where the story is going. I'm glad I stuck it out. By the end I felt more satisfied with the world building and my ability to picture it. I'm really excited to read the next book in the series. I listened to this as an audiobook and I really liked the narrator. He has a voice that goes with the absurd and strangely serious personalities of the characters. ( )
  ladonna37 | Feb 7, 2015 |
Description: Welcome to Chromatacia, where the societal hierarchy is strictly regulated by one's limited color perception. And Eddie Russet wants to move up. But his plans to leverage his better-than-average red perception and marry into a powerful family are quickly upended. Juggling inviolable rules, sneaky Yellows, 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, Eddie finds he must reckon with the cruel regime behind this gaily painted façade.

Thoughts: I seriously loved this when I read it in 2010 and, since I seem to be revisiting books lately, was excited to explore Chromatacia again with Eddie. I wasn't disappointed.

John Lee is not the best reader I've encountered but he was perfectly acceptable and didn't detract from the story. I actually think I picked up many more references this time around, although I would attribute that to 4 more years of brain betterment through reading than to listening to Mr. Lee's narration.

My only regret is that I choose to listen to this now. I've stoked the fires of my love for this story just in time to sit and wait and wait and wait for the next in the series to come out. It's killing me!

Rating: 4

Liked: 4
Plot: 4
Characterization: 4.5
Writing: 4
Audio: 3.5

https://www.librarything.com/topic/172068#4654737 ( )
  leahbird | Jan 20, 2015 |
The book starts off pretty goofy, but if you can get into it, the story is good. Warning: There are two sequels planned. (I did not realize this until the end.) ( )
  lavaturtle | Dec 31, 2014 |
Picked this up based on a recommendation from Patrick Rothfuss.
Some great world building but gave up after after half the book was done. ( )
  kaipakartik | Dec 17, 2014 |
I wanted to rate this book much higher, but then I started getting bored.

It was fascinating from the very start because the world was completely new. I've seen this theme of Color hierarchy before in other books, but Fforde takes it to a completely different world. So many things were absolutely brilliant. Peeking at green, hues as medicine, yataveo trees (which is real myth), color scraps, toshing, etc. I loved learning about this world.

One systematic logistically plot device that I was struggling to understand was the rankings of colors. Purple is so much higher than Red. But an Orange could never become a Purple, and a Red could marry into the Purple line - but Orange is greater than Red? Seems a little funky.
And could anyone possibly get to Alpha level without eugenics? Having negligible amounts of the other two primary colors would simply be too difficult. And is it possibly for a low Red to go to Purple then to Blue and then to Green? But that's okay, maybe it'll be explained better in later books.

Another thing that you just have to laugh and say it's artistic license is how one pumps color into things of the world (like grass or gardens). I don't quite get it, but it's a fantasy world so it was interesting to think about.

But I just couldn't appreciate the characters. Jane was cool but we had to watch the world through Eddie's eyes for 500 pages. Eddie was a little too passive, too naive. It was great watching him say no, but he didn't have any real passion or motivation. And I am annoyed at how easy it was for them to start liking each other. I didn't believe their love at all. I wanted more progression.

I was also really unhappy with what Fforde did with Eddie's father at the end. Would that have really happened? He seemed so much more chill. Ah, it's like characters forced to do actions against their already-presented nature to move the plot along.

So the book got more than a little dull in the middle. I was like... where's the freaking plot?

I was completely frustrated by the end of the book. Finally his eyes are open and he's less ignorant and there's only 50 pages left? My goodness! This book was too slow for me. It was just a set up of the world and character introduction. There was simply not enough plot to keep me interested.

2.5 stars rounded down. Had potential as a story if it was condensed and added more action/plot. I can't justify 500 pages of a novel as only a world set up without any plot. I probably won't pick up the rest of this series. A pity, because I like Fforde as an author.
Recommended if you like books similar to The Giver by Lois Lowry. But beware, not much plot. Be prepared for a long ride of world and character introduction. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 187 (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
Disambiguation notice
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:57 -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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