Shades of Grey

Shades of Grey

The Road to High Saffron : [a Novel]

Book - 2009
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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.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009.
ISBN: 9780670019632
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY FFO


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SPPL_Violet Mar 26, 2018

Ladies and gentlemen, put your whips away. Jasper Fforde's brilliant novel, "Shades of Grey," is about a post-apocalyptic world that is socially stratified based on what colors people are naturally able to see. The Greys, people who only see in shades of grey, are the lowest caste comprised primarily of laborers and servants. Our hero, Eddie Russet, a Red, meets Jane Grey, a...well, you get it. This is a fantastic novel. Sharp and witty. It ends on such a wonderful cliff hanger. But, I've got news for you. I've been waiting for a sequel for years. YEARS!!!! I'm still waiting. Read at your own risk.

CRRL_MegRaymond Feb 09, 2018

Chromatacia is a "Colortocracy" - one's social status is set by one's color perception. Eddie Russett wants to "marry up".

Aug 03, 2015

This is NOT that dirty/scary book, you know which. It is an amusing, intelligent science fiction novel. Jasper Fforde is an accomplished author with wit to spare. Also try his Thursday Next series, especially if you love literature.

Apr 25, 2015

Despite the fact that this book starts off slowly, it is still one of my all time favorite books. Fforde elevates his work to the next level with this truly creative novel that had to be outside his comfort zone. I'm just sad there's still no sequel: this book BEGS for a sequel.

Mar 02, 2015

The story was good but took awhile to get into.
Whoever converted this to e-book did a really bad job. Many instances of words run together, extra characters out of place, messed up the flow many times.

May 28, 2014

A very good book with a main character who is a little naïve but forced by circumstances to open his eyes to the hypocrisies around him and make tough moral and ethical decisions. The novel is set in England after an unnamed catastrophe has affected people's ability to perceive colour. I find the Thursday Next series to be getting a little tired, and appreciated this change of pace. I hope there is a sequel. (Jasper Fforde has a habit of announcing books that never appear.)

mcanufftara May 19, 2014

Author really beats you over the head with the color theme. If you're looking for subtle world-building, this isn't it. Funny, whimsical and absurd, but nothing deep. It's a satirical look at social hierarchy, but these insights aren't new.

Feb 24, 2014

If you're already a Jasper Fforde fan, you'll be delighted that there's a new series in an entirely new setting. If not, this would be a great place to start. Don't be scared off by the title, this has no s&m or graphic sex. It does have great storytelling and not a little social commentary in a world where one's social position, career, and marriage options are dictated by what color(s) you can perceive - and how well.

Aug 22, 2013

If not gold, a daffodil yellow.

Jun 15, 2013

This a wonderful book. I have recently decided I needed to branch out of the genres that I normally read and decided to start with this novel. I wasn't sure I was going to like this book in the beginning. I had a hard time getting into the flow of the writing style and here quite a few vocabulary words I was not familiar with. I soon got passed this and begin to really enjoy this novel and had a hard time putting it down.

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Nov 10, 2016

Benvolia thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Birgit Armsdorfer
Mar 17, 2010

Some rules: The cucumber and the tomato are both fruit; the avocado is a nut. To assist with the dietary requirements of vegetarians, on the first Tuesday of the month a chicken is officially a vegetable. Unnecessary sharpening of pencils constitutes a waste of public resources, and will be punished as appropriate. Pocket handkerchiefs are to be changed daily, and are to be kept folded, even when in the pocket. Handkerchiefs may be patterned.


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