Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Serious Nonsense

Jasper Fforde is a seriously funny writer.  And while that statement constitutes a bit of oxymoronic thought, it is indeed true.  Fforde has basically resumed where Douglas Adams left off when it comes to creating parallel worlds that address some serious issues veiled in nonsensical prose.  Fforde and Adams are the grown-up literature of choice for those who appreciate Alice in Wonderland, yet want something not found shelved in the juvenile section of the library.

A librarian recommended Fforde to me last year knowing I was an English teacher and a voracious reader (i.e. Book Booster).  I began with The Eyre AffairHarboring a soft spot for capable, tenacious heroines, who nevertheless possess vulnerability, I consumed the entire series.  Moving on to the next Fforde offerings, I can’t say I embraced his Nursery Crime books; truthfully, I did not get beyond the first chapter.  When Shades of Grey (not that Shades of Grey) came out, I checked it out only to return it being far too busy with other projects and such to dedicate time to it.  Then came the warmth of late spring.  Aah–hammock weather.  I found time for Fforde.

I could spin out a satisfactory summary, yet why not let the invented wheel roll?  Here’s what GoodReads has to say: 

Shades of Grey 1: The Road to High Saffron


Stunningly imaginative, very funny, tightly plotted, and with sly satirical digs at our own society, this novel is for those who loved Thursday Next but want to be transported somewhere equally wild, only darker; a world where the black and white of moral standpoints have been reduced to shades of grey.

This is the first in the series and it ended with quite a cliffhanger.  Now that school is almost out and the drowsy days (and the cozy hammock) beckon me, I look forward to continuing my found Fforde series.  I do like a good series.

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5 thoughts on “Serious Nonsense

  1. well who could resist someone as like-minded as adams and with towel day just around the corner as well. like definitely have to add him to my must-read list!

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