Since it’s Jasper Fforde I’m a little biased. If I ever met the man I’d probably go all starstruck and start babbling, crying or just stand there frozen like a complete idiot.
I love this man’s work. From his Thursday Next series to the Nursery Crimes. His imagination is outstanding and he makes me laugh, cry, get indignant, or whatever in just the right spots.
Now he has a new series starting with the book Shades of Grey about a distopian world of colourblind people. Sound strange? It is, but infinitely believable. This man has the ability to take the utterly absurd and make it credible.
So, what does that mean for me as a reviewer? Yup, you got it in one. I’m giving this book full marks. Since I read it on my Kindle, I didn’t actually read the back of the book blurb so I had no context for the book. I just dove right in.
Fforde drops us in the middle of his new world without any background or explanation. We pick it up as it goes along. And that’s fine. The journey of discovery of how this brave new world works is an even greater pleasure than the story itself.
In a typical book review, I’m supposed to tell you what the book is about but since the greatest pleasure I received in reading it was figuring that out, I’m not going to tell you.
I will say that the story is a coming-of-age tale and although the characters are twenty years old, they feel more like teenagers as the culture they live in treats them like children, even once they become adults. The protagonist learns to not just accept what’s in front of him and learns that doing the right thing for everyone might mean doing the wrong thing to some.
But Fforde does this without preaching and while entertaining us from the beginning to end. All while crafting one of the strangest futures I have ever visited.
Highly recommendable. Check it out (yes, that’s an Amazon affiliate link…)