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Klara Z

Jasper Fforde

With a feeling of huge regret, I'm about to take Jasper Fforde's new novel, 'Shades of Grey' back to the library, more or less unread. Having been a very enthusiastic Fforde fan in the early days  (beginning with 'The Eyre Affair') and having been a contributor to his website, and even in correspondence with him at one point (one of the things I liked about Jasper was the way he entertained and communicated with his fans outside of the novels), something seemed to go wrong for me when he moved away from the Thursday next books to his 'Nursery Crime' series. Then (disastrously in my view) he wrote a fifth Thursday Next book, which was confusing and very inferior to the lst 4 (in my view) and now he's written 'Shades of Grey' ( a kind of sci-fi dystopia with social satire) which is, to my mind, turgid, unreadable and utterly unfunny. There are comments like this from other Fforde fans on Amazon. Oh dear...
Melony

Klara, I hate to hear that - I have only started Thursday Next: First Among Sequels and am just on the Jurisfiction chapter, which is clever and funny.
Klara Z

Well, of course, there may be other Fforde fans, who WILL like 'Shades of Grey', but I couldn't get on with it at all! And I'm afraid I didn't like 'First Amongst Sequels' either---the first four Thursday Next books which I DID love, are in pride of place on my main bookshelf, all ready to be re-read when I have time, whereas, sadly 'First Amongst Sequels' is in my 'pass on to someone who will give it a good home' box!
county_lady

Klara I didn't preorder Shades of Grey but thought I would wait for the paperback because I too was disappointed by First Among Sequels.

Rereading the first four Thusday Next books I realised that the nursery crime stories featured the detective from The Well of Lost Plots which somehow made them more enjoyable and I do hope Fforde recovers his light comic touch.

Embarassed edited as the first post was incorrect.
Evie

I too have been waiting for the paperback - and will still give it a go, but thanks for your comments, Caro - I have felt that none of his recent books have lived up to those first three.  I did like the nursery crimes books, but not as much as the first three Thursday Next books; and I was disappointed in First Among Sequels too.  Anyway, will still give it a go, but am glad I resisted the hardback, even at half price on Amazon!
Melony

Oh, thank the Lord!!  I do think First Among Sequels is clever and funny, but I don't like it!!!  I am so glad to know I am not crazy! Smile
Melony

Well, it was a little tedious, but it had some wonderful parts.  Now I should go back to the beginning and read the first in the series and comapre it to First Among Sequels. Fforde will have a new Thursday Next out in January '11?
Thursday Next

Well that doesn't sound good. I haven't got round to Shades of Grey yet, was like you an avid fan of the first three Thursday Next books (as my screen name might suggest...), largely unmoved by the Nursery Crime ones and disappointed in First Among Sequels.
county_lady

Amazon has the latest Thursday Next installment, One of our Thusdays is Missing, hardback half price, I couldn't resist that but have still to read either Shades of Grey or his fantasy book The Last Dragonslayer.

I do hope he is back on form.
Ann

me too county lady  Smile
Evie

I still haven't read Shades of Grey, but keep looking at it in the bookshop!  Too many unread books to justify it at the moment, but I may not resist much longer.
Julia

I think all our group loved the Thursday Next series - but we were very divided on Shades of Grey. We wondered if Thursday Next appealed to "book-lovers" with all the literary associations. I loved Shades of Grey - but as an artist I enjoyed the plays on colour and colour theory. We were half way to a theory that Shades of Grey wasn't as popular as it appealed more to those of a visual bent than a literary?
county_lady

I have acquired a copy of Shades of Grey but I'm unsure when I will get to it, my two centuries of  SF readathon has only reached 1949!
Gul Darr

County Lady, I wouldn't mind betting that you read it before you read The Silmarillion Wink
county_lady

Gul Darr wrote:
County Lady, I wouldn't mind betting that you read it before you read The Silmarillion Wink


ooh! Embarassed
county_lady

There is no way to describe One of our Thursdays is Missing without giving away too much of the plot. And I would say it is all plot though the featured version of Thursday Next does experience some expansion in character.
All in all, apart from a mid section that I lost interest in, I found it  an enjoyable enough romp and it has the air of bringing the series to an conclusion.
My verdict was better than First Among Sequels but I certainly felt the series has gone as far as it can.
Gul Darr

Thanks, County Lady. I'm not sure if I'll ever read Shades of Grey, but I would like to try One Of Our Thursdays Is Missing.
btw Sorry if my previous reply sounded like a reprimand! It was just meant as a joke. Apologies if it caused offence.
county_lady

Gul no offence taken, rather I'm rather embarrassed that I have so many books bought but still unread.
county_lady

More embarassment at too many 'r's and rathers!

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