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More than 50 “Shades of Grey” – A Review

The world Jasper Fforde creates in “Shades of Grey” is imaginatively as vibrant as an EDM festival (which would definitely be Leapbacked technology!)

Why would we have use, in 2023, for dystopian novels of the oppressive, 1984-like Panopticon style? Isn't the general population more concerned about the excess of sloth gripping the younger generations, pushing us collectively toward an “Idiocracy” future? Perhaps. However, despite living through the past two years of the worldwide pandemic, I found tremendous value in reading a fantasy novel and the relationships that sprouted forth.

The oppressive society of The Collective described in Shades of Grey resonated with the feelings of oppression I felt the last 25 months. The juxtaposition of Eddie's dutifulness to The Collective with Jane's free-form shirking of social expectations and laws mirrored my absentminded masking, handwashing, testing, and internal desire to see a concert, take a bus, sit at the library again. The duality between Eddie and Jane, and the candid Apocryphal Man, all speak to a weary tension sitting in my heart.

I particularly enjoyed the absurdity of the spoons. Worship over pointless cutlery feels appropriate during a time where crypto has become a multi-billion dollar cultural masthead. In Shades of Grey, spoons are so valuable they are outlawed; it is this desire that makes them valuable to others. Cryptocurrency, in many popular use cases, has this same problem (see: NFTs). I am not well-versed in the world of the blockchain enough to draw anymore parallels, but the comparison seemed too enticing. Even Eddie returning from High Saffron with a “spork” and positioning it as the new thing, mimics every hourly new “-coin”.

I really enjoyed Eddie and Jane's relationship, and the setup of the plan to take The Collective down from the inside in the name of love.

The whole idea of color being the stratifying factor is incredible. It is inherent, yet decides so much of society and the wrong (or right) color can literally kill! The Mildew is caused by exposure to a fucking color. Unreal.

Day 12 of the #100DaysToOffload. It’s been too long, but a review on one of my favorite books!