"Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place. Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy is determined by your perception of colour.Eddie Russett is an above average Red who dreams of moving up the ladder by marriage to Constance Oxblood. Until he is sent to the Outer Fringes where he meets Jane - a lowly Grey with an uncontrollable temper and a desire to see him killed.
For Eddie, it's love at first sight. But his infatuation will lead him to discover that all is not as it seems in a world where everything that looks black and white is really shades of grey . . .If George Orwell had tripped over a paint pot or Douglas Adams favoured colour swatches instead of towels . . . neither of them would have come up with anything as eccentrically brilliant as Shades of Grey."
©2010 Jasper Fforde (P)2010 Isis Publishing Ltd
Hopeless Classicophile and devoted Italophile
The narrator is fantastic and adds a dimension to the story beyond the depths of my imagination - and that's deep!
The plot is so very clever. Simple on the surface, but with complex layers like the colour spectrum he uses as the premise of his story. Jasper has done a great job - again... and, if possible, I think better than his Thursday Next novels.
His voice and narration is charming, dynamic and extremely clever particularly given the demands of the story line and the number of characters. Wonderful. I'd listen to him talk about weeding the garden.
Eddie Russet has to be the most memorable, both for his character development by Jasper through the story and his character portrayal by Gareth. Hard to pick though because Jane is very close.
I think if people don't read this book they have missed a brilliant story by an clever author at the top of his game. I'm giving it to friends as a gifts just to spread the love. Thanks Jasper. Marvellous.
I like them both, but the audio version really did bring the book to life. I especially enjoyed all the different voices by Gareth Armstrong.
The Eyre Affair and The Big Over Easy by the same author. He takes you to a completely different place with each novel, and keeps it going at a rollicking pace, making it a good, fun read.
He was spot on with all the voices, adding a little venom here, a little uncertainty there, and was an absolute pleasure to listen to.
Perception is everything,
I can't recommend this highly enough - it was a wonderful thing to listen to in the car (I put it on my iPhone and listened through the car speakers), and highly entertaining.
"Surreal, Crazy - and wonderful"
If you haven't discovered Jasper Fforde yet then now's the time to start listening. Although it took me a while to get used to the voice of the narrator the quality of the writing and ease of the delivery soon had me hooked.
This story - like most of Fforde's books- is almost impossible to explain and if it sounds crazy, that’s because it is – Don’t be put off – go with it and you will not be disappointed!
Born into a society in which any colour is jealously hoarded and marrying 'down spectrum' is frowned upon, Eddie Russet (a Red) does not look destined for success...Sent to East Carmine to conduct a chair census (a punishment for trying to improve Queuing) Eddie has soon fallen for a 'Grey' girl who seems more likely to do him serious, and potentially life threatening, injury than to agree to marry, or even date him. This proves to be the least of Eddie's worries however, as he soon discovers that a tendency towards curiosity does not improve one's chances of survival - particularly when many so members of the community seem keen to hasten his demise.
Why is making spoons forbidden? Where do people really end up after 'Reboot'? Can Eddie find enough Loganberry jam to persuade the Apocryphal man to tell him the truth about the 'Something that happened' - and - the most important question of all - can he survive long enough to find out?...
Mad, funny, and brilliantly crafted, the only warning I will leave you with is that it leaves you desperate to listen to the sequel…
"I hope there is a sequel"
An interesting view of the future and a different take on a class system. As usual, Jasper Fforde delivers a story that is off the wall. I didn’t want to stop listening to this and Gareth Armstrong’s narration certainly helps. I really hope there is a sequel to this as I would love to know how things progress.
"Absolutely brilliant... But where's the rest?"
I'd given up on a previous Jasper Fforde due to appalling narration, but this was much better read, and a great story. I love the story, and it has the quirkiness of Douglas Adams without becoming parody or spiralling into nonsense. The characters are all great, and I was hooked.
Only one problem. Where's the rest of the story? It ends on a cliff-hanger, for this is part one of a trilogy. The other two? Not available as audiobooks anywhere.
If you're able to follow up this story with the hard copy of the other two books, then I'd encourage you to read them all. Unfortunately, I'm visually impaired so rely on the availability of audiobooks. Hurry up with the rest, please!
An intriguing and very well-written first book... although it's been a long wait for the sequel.
"Jasper Fforde at his best again"
Honestly just another wonderfully written and engaging book by Jasper Fforde leaving me with exactly the same feeling as I do with his Nursery Crime series... Where is the next book?!
In all seriousness a great read that can only be described as if Douglas Adams had decided to rewrite George Orwell's 1984 instead of write the Hitchhikers Guide. It's funny, witty and with plenty of mystery left to round off with hopefully another long series diving deeper into the brilliant concept behind this book.
"One of the best fiction books ever written"
Better... no. But it is still very good.
The depth with which the story is told, this is a book that can always be re-read / re-listened to.
I've never listened to such total rhubarb ! Total waste of a credit. I do not recommend. 😠
"Strange but brilliant"
It took me a while to get into this but when I did I was totally hooked. It is totally unlike anything else I have read or listened to but it is a great story and I look forward to the follow up.
The world Fforde creates is original and imaginative, a kind of Brave New World on acid.
The thing I liked least about the novel was the character of Jane, she's the kind of overly-violent love interest that a 12-year-old might think was cool. I got tired of the isn't-it-so-cute-when-girls-punch-you motif, especially as it is repeated so often.
Probably not. While I think he has a great imagination, the book just had something missing - it's hard to define what, exactly. I didn't really feel that the book said anything new about oppressive societies, and again, I found the character of Jane really off-putting.
I found his voice pleasant and clear.
It made me laugh, it made me cry. A comedy with a dark undertone and a gripping story. Full of clever twists. Excellent reader
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