Friday, May 17, 2013

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

The opening paragraph of Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey:
It began with my father not waning to see the Last Rabbit and ended up with my being eaten by a carnivorous plant. It wasn't really what I'd planned for myself--I'd hoped to marry into the Oxbloods and join their dynastic string empire. But that was four days ago, before I met Jande, retrieved the Varavaggio and explored High Saffron. So instead of enjoying aspirations of Chromatic advancement, I was wholly immersed within the digestive soup of a yateveo tree It was all very inconvenient.

I laughed. I was so confused--what happened to the writer's oath of "never confuse" or maybe Jasper Fforde has built up enough cache so that he can indeed confuse but make people read more--but  also so tickled that I had to read on. I mean how can one be eaten by a carnivorous plant and call it merely inconvenient?

What about you? would you be put off by the many questions--what's the Last Rabbit and how does one get eaten by a plant and for goodness sakes, what does it mean to retrieve the Caravaggio and explore High Saffron and what are these things anyway?--or would you be intrigued enough to want to read on?

Frankly, I would have passed except I knew Jasper Fforde and I have enough information about the narrator that I am curious to see how my questions would be answered. What do I know about this guy? Well, that he had a dream dashed/postponed, that he is somewhat accommodating to his father, that Jane is an important person in his life. Probably the most pressing question right now for me is: how did he survive being digested to tell his story?

And also, because it made me laugh.