Tuesday, April 13, 2010

shades of grey

I read this in February but just realized I never posted about it here. -- This is my review from the library's website. 390 pages.

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
The problem I have with trying to tell someone about an awesome fantasy novel is that a large part of the charm and appeal of the book lies in the amazingly complex world which the author has created. It can be very tricky to describe that new world without giving away too much detail or citing a dozen examples. So, for simplicity’s sake, I will defer to an excerpt from the publishers blurb:
It’s our world, but not as we know it. Entire cities lie buried beneath overgrown fields and forests. Technology from other time peppers the landscape, and there is evidence of great upheaval.
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.
Eddie Russett is on the verge of adulthood. His upcoming color perception test that will determine his place in society, his value on the marriage market and his career prospects. Eddie is ready to unquestioningly take this place in society as a Red, but unfortunately, first he is sent to conduct a chair census as punishment for a prank.
When he travels with his father to a town on the Outer Fringes, where the Rules of society are less strictly enforced, Eddie begins to realize that all of the black and white truths of his world are actually a palate of shades of grey. With help from an aggressive and intimidating girl named Jane, with whom he immediately falls in love, Eddie learns that while curiosity and questions can be dangerous, the answers may be the most frightening thing of all.
Interesting side note: The library’s subject headings for this novel are Color blindness-Fiction, Dystopias, Fantasy fiction, and Love stories. Not a combination of subjects I would anticipate seeing in too many more novels. Ever. Jasper Fforde is a strong satirist and delightfully witty, especially as the readers recognize some of the historical references from the Previous times.
I’m really glad I don’t live in Jasper Fforde’s new fantasy world. But I thoroughly enjoyed visiting and I look forward to his next novel, which I hope will continue Eddie’s story.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home