#AtoZChallenge 2024 letter F

Jasper Fforde

The fastest way to make me love a series is to throw in loads of absurdity. Jasper Fforde is the master of this. His Tuesday Next series is set in an alternate version of England where the Crimean War never ended. Dodo birds have been brought back from extinction. There are whole police divisions devoted to crimes involving cheese and literature is taken very, very seriously.

the Eyre affair jasper fforde

Tuesday Next works for the Literary Crimes section. This is a world where arguments about who really wrote each of Shakespeare’s plays can become very violent. When a way is invented to actually enter a book and interact with characters, Tuesday needs to help prevent the kidnapping of Jane Eyre.

This is a series where I actually think the second book, Lost in a Good Book, is better than the first. It introduces the law enforcement world inside fictional books. I thought this series got weak towards the end but that’s ok because Jasper Fforde has written other wonderful books.

He has a nursery crimes series featuring Jack Spratt as a detective solving crimes like the murder of Humpty Dumpty. He has a YA series about dragons. He also has some wonderfully bizarre standalone novels about people who hibernate and about people who may be rabbits.

shades of grey jasper fforde

But the book that I’ve been obsessing over since 2009 is Shades of Grey. I love this book. It is so creative. It is a post-apocalyptic world where people see only a limited color spectrum and can’t see in the dark. All of society is based on how much color a person can see. It is hard to even describe. There are conspiracies and plots and it ends with a bit of a cliff hanger. Obviously there was going to be a sequel. And did I mention this was 2009? The sequel was rumored for years. Finally, it was available for preorder. It was supposed to come out in February. I was ready. I reread Shades of Grey. It was just as delightful as every other time I’ve read it. I went to my Kindle on the day the sequel should have appeared and now it said May 7, 2024. Red Side Story better be amazing after a 15 year wait! If it is a cliffhanger I will die a bit inside.