Friday, January 25, 2013

First Line Friday No. 23

A Morning in Vermillion Males are to wear dress-code #6 during intercollective travel.  Hats are encouraged, but not mandatory.

It began with my father not wanting to see the Last Rabbit, and ended up with me 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 Jane, retrieved the Carvaggio or 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 frightfully inconvenient.

But it wasn't all bad, and for the following reasons: First, I was lucky to have landed upside down.  I would drown in under a minute, which is far, far preferable to being dissolved alive over the space of a few weeks.  Second and more important, I wasn't going to die ignorant.  I had discovered something that no amount of merits can buy you: the truth.  Not the whole truth, but a pretty big part of it.  And that's why this was all frightfully inconvenient.  I wouldn't get to do anything with it.  And this truth was too big and too terrible to ignore.  Still, at least I'd held it in my hands for a full hour, and understood what it meant.

-- from Shades of Grey: A Novel by Jasper Fforde

I've never read Jasper Fforde's books, but I'm quickly becoming convinced I'd love them.  If you remember, we did a First Lines a few weeks ago about Fforde's newest book, The Last Dragonslayer.  From reading the first lines of these two books, I feel as if Fforde is what would happen if Douglas Adams (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) wrote fantasy.  With a little more order thrown in, perhaps.  It also recalls to mind P.G. Wodehouse (Jeeves & Wooster) and just a tad of Oscar Wilde.  A winning mix if I ever saw one.

Here's why I'd keep reading this book:

1. What/who is the Last Rabbit?
2.  Are we reading this story after the main character's death, or does he escape?
3.  Who is Jane?
4.  How did he 'retrieve' a Carvaggio, and from whom?  Why?
5.  What is the truth that he discovered?

I found out this book was available as a Kindle book through my library, so when I go away next weekend (visiting some friends for Superbowl weekend!), I'm hoping to take a copy with me.  (Although I'll have to read it away from everyone else because if I laugh too loudly during the game I might get booted out!)

What do you think of Jasper Fforde's writing?  Have you read anything by him?  Would you?

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