Red Side Story (Shades of Grey #2) (Hardcover)

Red Side Story (Shades of Grey #2) By Jasper Fforde Cover Image
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The long-awaited follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Shades of Grey—in an EXCLUSIVE EDITION for North American readers, complete with a never-before-published short story

“Fforde's books are more than an ingenious idea. They are written with buoyant zest and are tautly plotted . . . and are embellished with the rich details of a Dickens or Pratchett.” —The Independent

Welcome to Chromatacia, where life is strictly regulated by one’s limited color perception. Civilization has been rebuilt after an unspoken “Something that Happened” five hundred years before. Society is now color vision–segregated, everything dictated by an individual’s visual ability, and governed by the shadowy National Color in far-off Emerald City.
Twenty-year-old Eddie Russett, a Red, is about to go on trial for a murder he didn’t commit, and he’s pretty certain to be sent on a one-way trip to the Green Room for execution by soporific color exposure. Meanwhile, he’s engaged in an illegal relationship with his co-defendant, a Green, the charismatic and unpredictable Jane Grey. Negotiating the narrow boundaries of the Rules within their society, they search for a loophole—some truth of their world that has been hidden from its hyper-policed citizens.
New York Times bestselling author Jasper Fforde returns to his fan-favorite Shades of Grey series with this wildly anticipated, laugh-out-loud funny and darkly satirical adventure about two star-crossed lovers on a quest to survive—even if it means upending their entire society in the process.

About the Author

Jasper Fforde spent twenty years in the film business before debuting on the New York Times bestseller list with The Eyre Affair in 2001. Since then he has written another fifteen novels, including The Big Over Easy, The Constant Rabbit, and Shades of Grey. Fforde lives and works in his adopted nation of Wales. Visit Jasper’s website,, find him on Facebook at Jasper Fforde Writer, and follow him on X, Threads or Instagram @jasperfforde.

Praise For…

Praise for Red Side Story

“Cleverly constructed, with engaging characters and lots of good jokes, this sparkling Wizard of Oz-inspired fantasy is . . . one of the quirkiest dystopias ever imagined.”
The Guardian

“Fforde is one of modern literature’s most reliably enjoyable visionaries . . . The jokes are excellent, the pacing breathless and the last line a classic.”
The Observer

“Fforde paint[s] a flamboyant and Terry Pratchett-esque picture laced with laughter throughout.”
The Irish News

“Imagine if 1984 were silly and it was ok to laugh . . . A  fun yarn with just a sprinkling of jeopardy and a generous dose of rollicking adventure.”
Reader's Digest UK

“There is no denying the inventiveness of Jasper Fforde’s worldbuilding, nor his ability to under­stand human nature.”
Locus Magazine

“Another tribute to Fforde’s black comic wit and untameable imagination, Red Side Story presses whimsy into serious service, its dystopian vision, like all the best ones, a thought-provoking indictment of current social ills.”
—WAtoday AU

“It's a tale of a young couple's thirst for justice and answers in an implacably rigid society, where the prisoners are also the guards, and cages of convention bind the citizens to only one way of thinking - or suffer the consequences . . .”
—Scala Radio Book Club

“The infectiously hilarious verbal byplay, whimsical scientific plausibilities, and some unanswered questions at the finale will have fans hoping for more.”
Booklist, Starred Review

“A refreshing spin on the life-after-apocalypse genre . . . Puns and references to the world as we know it are numerous, direct, and often absurdly funny, à la Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Fforde expertly interlaces the most serious existential discussions with humor, favoring fun over drama.”
Kirkus Reviews

“The satirical dystopian setting and memorable characters highlight Fforde’s skill with worldbuilding and dialogue.”
Library Journal

Praise for Shades of Grey

“This insanely clever novel from the author of the best-selling ‘Thursday Next’ series sounds like a cult classic for people who crave a rich brew of dystopic fantasy and deadpan goofiness. Fforde has now created his most original story, an elaborate social satire about a weird but oddly familiar world almost 500 years in the future. Every page of this high-concept novel (the first of a projected trilogy) glistens with ingenious details.”
—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
Shades of Grey would be a thin tale if it didn’t reflect and obliquely comment on the real world around us, but Mr. Fforde has his priorities right: First, be funny and entertaining. Second, make ’em think. But only a little. Shades of Grey II and III are promised at the end of this book, and I’ll admit it, until they’re out, I’ll feel a bit blue.”
—Karen Sandstrom, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Fforde is an author of immense imagination. Not satisfied with just a few layers of Dickensian jokes and revisions of the physical universe, he creates an archeological treasure trove for readers . . . The coming-of-age story and manic-pixie-dream-girl romance don’t need to be much more than icing on the cake to make Shades of Grey a fancifully satisfying concoction.”
—The A.V. Club
Shades of Grey is absolutely [Fforde’s] by-now-expected, over-the-top brand of storytelling . . . The world is wildly but closely imagined, so the result is as internally coherent as it is unlikely. Distinctive wordplay abounds. All the fooling around is built on a good mystery, and Fforde telegraphs no punches.”
Denver Post
“Fforde crafts a world with rules goofy enough to enjoy, characters with depth enough to love and hate, and a mystery that unravels so slowly and deceptively that you might not realize you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop until it actually does.”
Shades of Grey is brilliant. The world he creates is unique and fully-realized . . . Those who enjoy reading the works of Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman . . . will find Fforde’s comedy right up their alley. It’s British humor at its finest.”
“This series starter combines the dire warnings of Brave New World and 1984 with the deevolutionary visions of A Canticle for Leibowitz and Riddley Walker, but, Fforde being Fforde, his dystopia includes an abundance of tea shops and a severe shortage of jam varieties. It’s all brilliantly original.”
Booklist, Starred Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9781641296281
ISBN-10: 1641296283
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 480
Language: English
Series: Shades of Grey

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