Red Side Story

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Product Details
$29.95  $27.85
Soho Press
Publish Date
6.29 X 9.26 X 1.48 inches | 1.74 pounds

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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 Red Side Story

BookBub's Best Literary Fiction of May
OverDrive's Biggest Books of May

"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

"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

"If you need to shake up your club a little, this is a terrific choice. It's funny, satirical, clever, and a silly quirky read. It's a mash-up of the Divergent books and West Side Story."
--Carole Barrowman, The Morning Blend (Milwaukee)

"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

"Hilarious satire."

"There is no denying the inventiveness of Jasper Fforde's worldbuilding, nor his ability to under­stand human nature."
--Locus Magazine

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

"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 peculiarities of this society -- and the hints of what lies behind it -- make for an engaging read, with a good deal of entertaining adventure. The many literary allusions and references also add another nice layer to the novel -- and it is also a quite touching love-story."
--The Complete Review

"Fforde's worldbuilding in Red Side Story continues to be equal parts 1984 and something from the mind of the late, great Terry Pratchett . . . Reading it, you know you are embroiled in a fantastical Jasper Fforde tale. By the time you turn the final page, you will be sorrowful at its end."

"Witty and intriguing . . . 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."
--Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

"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