It’s probably about time that I update you on everything once more. More to force myself into accountability than because any one actually cares.
I am proud of myself for keeping up the blog schedule as promised, sometimes very few people read them. But that is okay, I am writing to write – not really to be read. Mostly I find myself in the last week of the month not having written, and then just write whatever it is that’s on my mind. There’s no great deal of forward planning, but that’s also okay, because it’s mine and I get to make the rules! And slowly but surely, the number of followers I have is growing – currently sitting at 13. So thank you all!
I’m nearly finished my 14th novel this year, which I am quite proud to say, and I have loved most of them! My review of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul will be up soon as my May read. I have read quite a mix of genres and authors so far this year, and will be endeavouring to continue – rather than be sucked back into my contemporary YA hole where I am safe and comfortable. A complete list of my novels read this year can be found here.
I have finalllllly been able to leave my dreaded restaurant job, not for anything particularly thrilling, but better than what I have had. On the holiday front though, I am very excited!! There’s less than 40 days left until we leave – and that cannot come soon enough. We’ve booked all our flights and accommodation across England now, so just planning all the exciting things to do! If anyone has any suggestions for cool things we should do/ places we should go – please let me know!
Stay excellent x
Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
How does one summarise a Jasper Fforde novel? This is such a tricky task! To simply run down the plot, would, I fear, vastly undersell his work.
Fforde has, again, crafted a new world. This one, vaguely resembling our own, but with a spoon shortage and people-eating swans. A world with a strict social hierarchy based on your perception of colour, and a rulebook crammed with instructions for almost every occasion.
To read only on face value, this novel is a vastly entertaining read, brimming with the ridiculous antics of Eddie Russett as he sets out to redeem himself, and marry into a prestigious String Factory-owning family. However, peeling back the layers of the weird and wacky, there lies a powerful and biting satire. Shades of Grey houses a vicious totalitarian regime, willing to dispose of any citizens who fall out of line with their guidelines.
Fforde’s trademark dry humour, and unique wit drives this novel. His originality is unparalleled in mainstream literature, especially in dystopian novels. He has drawn comparisons to Douglas Adams, which, on the side of absurdity, definitely hold up. However, Adams was seemingly bizarre for the joy of being bizarre. Fforde’s absurdity serves to highlight the almost 1984ish level of ruthlessness displayed by the governing body of Chromatica.
While Shades of Grey took a little longer for me to get my head around, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It is undoubtedly eccentric, but herein lies the charm of the novel and the characters. I especially loved the unpredictability and strength of Jane, and the ride she takes Eddie on.
Shades of Grey really has everything you could ask for in a novel; adventure, romance, mystery, humour, creativity – undercut by biting social satire, an investigation into government, gender and class roles. It is, overall, probably the most enjoyable, least soul-destroying dystopia I’ve read. I can’t wait for the sequel, although anything is yet to be announced.
View all my reviews