"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…
"Fforde makes alternative reality a reality"
The book was very readable and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I listen to audio books for a different reason, I use them to relax at night, I read books for the experience of reading, this book was well read and with the right accentuation, I enjoyed it.
That would make a spoiler
Yes (although I couldn't)
Someone please cajole Mr Fforde into writing the sequal
"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!
"Shades of a good story"
I really like Jasper Fforde, he is a great, quirky writer. GA was perfectly good as a narrator.
This was fine, but his Thursday Next books are better I think.
Consistent, reliable, amusing.
"Fantastic ideas storyline keeps you hanging"
great ideas and themes to the book.
felt the book was written in the hope a film will be made out of it, which made it a bit boring and predictable at times
yes - though not such a long one!
i've not listened to any before - great
its written for one - not too sure i'd bother to read it
love the concept of the book, in part too descriptive and slow pace.
"Genius from Jasper, as usual"
Fantastically original, amusing, imaginative stuff with some unexpected plot developments and Jasper's usual barking sense of the surreal.
Escapist and extremely vivid storytelling.
The Dad I think.
A not so technicolour dream
Yes. Jasper Fforde should be knighted, sanctified and asked to run the country. Check out the Big Overeasy and Fourth Bear on Amazon. And Audible, can we have these two as audiobooks??
The imaginative story line. The clever jumbling of familiar things and experiences into a new setting.
Although the book is funny there are some sinister, Orwellian, undertones which adds to the quality of the story. I'm delighted to see that he has quite a number of publications so I've just down loaded another one.
If you like Terry Prachett you will like this author.
"A brilliant book, but...."
The book, Shades of Grey, is great. However, my one criticism of the audio version is that the narrator sounds far too old for the 20 year old protagonist Eddie Russett and his peers. Even the father of Eddie is portrayed with an 'old man's' voice which made me constantly think of Dick Van Dyke's older banker character in the film Mary Poppins. A character in his 40/50s shouldn't sound like a man in his 80s with badly fitting dentures. As I've previously said, the book is great and so very imaginative. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes a little bit of sci fi laced with subtle comedy, a touch of horror and a whole different world of colour - or not - as the case may be.
"Funny, witty and entertaining"
As usual Fforde has written a highly original and funny book which entertains, amuses and intrigues the listener at the same time. His world is populated by characters who are presented as human; flawed and likable at the same time. The plot rolls and turns this way and that to keep you interested as well - an excellent listen - highly recommended.
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