Red Side Story

Wit and intrigue abound in Red Side Story, the long-awaited second book in the satirical dystopian Shades of Grey series by Jasper Fforde (The Constant Rabbit; Early Riser).

Eddie Russett could have great expectations if not for the fact that he's about to be tried for murder. In the society that developed during the five centuries that followed the little understood "Something That Happened," status is determined based on the colors a person can see. Eddie can see a high enough percentage of red to be an attractive marriage prospect and to possibly become the Red Prefect someday. Unfortunately, he is likely to be found guilty and sentenced to death by color exposure in the Green Room. He's also having an illegal opposite-color affair with Jane Brunswick, a low-level green.

Fforde swiftly brings readers up to speed on the series' conceit and previous events, so those who have not read Shades of Grey (or who read it when it was published in 2009) will not be lost. His trademark absurdity and dry wit is on full display as Eddie, Jane, and a shifting collection of allies attempt to discover what secrets have been hidden by the Rules and escape almost certain execution. Fans of Fforde's Thursday Next series will particularly enjoy the literary humor during a performance of Romeo and Juliet that has been heavily revised to reinforce this society's principles. As Eddie and Jane unearth dramatic revelations, readers will be eager to see where their adventures take them next. --Kristen Allen-Vogel, information services librarian at Dayton Metro Library

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