08 January 2010

Coffee-Stained Pages: Jasper Fforde

I know that in my introductory post I said I'd be starting the year with The Children's Book by A. S. Byatt.

Well, I'm a huge Fforde Ffan, and the long-awaited Shades of Grey was released at the end of December, so of course I had to pick it up after Christmas!  So when I went shopping with SIL I got it with the full intention of reading the whole thing this week.

That didn't happen.

But I did start it, and I'm already enjoying it immensely.

Here's the synopsis of the book from Barnes & Noble's website:
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 begins 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.
I haven't even finished the first chapter, and already Shades of Grey is revealing itself to be another fun, quirky, brilliant work of prose by the bestselling author of the Thursday Next series.

Here's a little infomercial to give you an idea of the mindset of the world of Fforde's new book:

What book is starting you out for 2010?

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