Shades of Grey

By Jasper Fforde
(Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670019632, 400pp.)

Publication Date: December 29, 2009

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the January 2010 Indie Next List
“Set in a future world in which a caste system of color rigidly defines each individual, our naive young hero -- who wants nothing more than to marry up-color -- is sent to the outskirts of the civilized world as punishment for prideful behavior. Here, he falls in love -- and must answer some uncomfortable questions and face dangerous truths. Fforde's characters are quirky, fresh, and engaging, and he draws from a seemingly bottomless well of hilarity. Funny, fast-paced, and fabulous!”
-- jennie turner-collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH


Description

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 the Author

Jasper Fforde traded a varied career in the film industry for staring vacantly out of the window and arranging words on a page. He lives and writes in Wales. The Eyre Affair was his first novel in the bestselling "Thursday Next" series. He is also the author of the "Nursery Crime" series.

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