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To Read: Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron

January 16, 2010

I was at the local bookstore picking up my new copy of A Wild Haruki Chase and took a look at the Indie Bound table to see what was new and interesting.  Set in the future where “a caste system of color rigidly defines each individual,” Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron by Jasper Fforde looks terrific.

Ever since I read Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, I’ve been intrigued by novels set in a future world.  I am always amazed at the creative and unique ideas the author has of the future and Fforde is no exception.  He has created a world in which people see in just one natural hue.  The government pumps in artificial color, but without it, the world is just your color and gray.  The color you see denotes your rank: greens are higher than reds, blues dominate and grays sit on the bottom rung.  No one can see in the dark, so the night is terrifying.

Our hero is in the House of Red and is bumbling through his life rather uneventfully until he meets a lowly gray and learns the world is not really as it has seemed to him.  She brings new ideas and changes, a dangerous notion in this color-focused society.

I only read the first chapter while at the bookstore, but I think this bright novel is going to be a wonderful look into a curious future, with some thoughtful themes as well.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2010 10:39 pm

    It’s odd that you mention this: I read the first few pages, too, and want to take it the rest of the way eventually.
    Have you read this guy’s Thursday Next novels (The Eyre Affair, etc.)?

    • Kimberly permalink*
      January 18, 2010 11:28 am

      I haven’t read the Thursday Next novels, have you? We should both read Shades of Grey and have a virtual book club 🙂

  2. Jen S. permalink
    January 20, 2010 9:02 pm

    Sounds great! Reminds me of The Handmaid’s Tale, too.

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