My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Outside of the Thursday Next series, Fforde's characters tend to be pretty stock creations. That doesn't keep him from being able to construct a first rate satire of the dystopian trends of our times. A key theme is that human nature will always manage to subvert whatever system is imposed on it, and those most egregiously subverting it will always be the ones most self-righteous about upholding it. You might think of this as 1984 with a sense of humor, but that doesn't give enough credit to Fforde for all the original ideas he packs into this book.
Absolutely. It's an easy listen. The plot is straightforward enough, but there are lots of extras that could be picked up on a second time around.
This story does well on walking the edge of the absurd. It stops just short of too much. It never becomes silly or stupid.
The word is very well thought out and quite detailed. The reveal of all the intricacies is long and woven in with the story, letting you come to grips with all the differences slowly.
Each chapter starts with a bit of law or knowledge from the world, and it is always something funny. A part of one lists the conditions in which the chicken is considered a vegetable (to help meet the dietary needs of vegetarians, of course).
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, A hoper, a pray-er, a magic-bean buyer. If you're a pretender come sit by my fire
This book creates an entire compelling world in such a short amount of time. The story is interesting, the narration is perfect. Fforde is known for kind of meta-fiction, which this isn't, so it's a bit out of character. Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to ANYONE who has ever enjoyed a work of fantasy/sci-fi/dystopia -- it is a truly unique story that is worth your time.
Shades of Grey is an intriguing, compelling novel, which I know because I read the print version first. Wanting to listen to it while I did other things, I bought an audible copy, but couldn't stand more than 5 minutes of it, if that.
The story is narrated by a 19-year-old boy. John Lee is obviously a mature man, with a slightly cynical air and other intonations and phrasings that violate the character. By all means read the book, but don't bother listening to John Lee try to imitate a young, somewhat innocent and somewhat earnest young man.
This doesn't have the humor and imagery of the Tuesday Next books and it took a while to understand the world and the story but I got into it near the end. I look foward to liking the next in the series more than the first. New beginnings can be such a difficult adjustment when one is spoiled by Ms Next
This book was intriguing, but ultimately unsatisfying. I especially dislike the ending. If this is the beginning of a series (Fforde certainly likes his series), I won't be bothering with the others.
John Lee remains one of my favorite narrators, however. With a lesser narrator, I might not have finished.
I enjoy Mr. Fforde's Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series, and expected it to be written in a similar style. However, the level of description of the environments was exhaustive, in both senses of the word. Though description may be important in a visually related world, I found it to be tedious, and ended up not finishing the book, which I rarely do.
I would recommend Thursday Next or the Nursery Crimes, but not this one unless you have a lot of patience and a better sense of visual memory than I. However, I might be interested in an abridged version, as an editor might make this book a bit better.
Based on my love of Fforde's books, I would recommend a sequel, as it would be unlikely he would write a second less than awesome book.
Audible addict since 2001. Avid Reader who loves to exercise. I started listening to books in 1997 & now I can't goto sleep without it.
I love Jasper Fforde. I hated this book. The book did have a few paragraphs of brillance mired by pages of boring text. Trying too hard to be abstract made this book unreadable. This is not in the Nursery Crimes series or Thursday Next series but I don't even recognize Fforde's humor or style of writing. I was truly disappointed with the entire book. I hope Mr Fforde overcomes this fiasco to write interesting prose again.