Book Review – Ninety-Nine Shades of Grey by

When I saw this project on Kickstarter, I thought it was hilarious.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get my money pledged in time to do what I really wanted to do, which was name a color.  (Shade 46 would have been floofy kitten grey. Alas.)  And there were several delays to getting my book, mainly having to print a whole lot more than planned all at once and then their publisher being under water for a bit after Hurricane Sandy.    But the book got here just before Christmas, and when I saw the logo on the envelope, I squeed a little, ignored the Christmas cards, and turned all my attention to this book.

From the back cover:  Since its publication, 50 Shades of Grey has rocketed to the top of the bestseller lists around the world, quickly becoming the fastest selling paperback of all time. [Insert shudder here.] But there’s more to this story than meets the blindfolded eye.  You see, 50 Shades of Grey left something out…namely 49 additional shades of grey.  Why would the publisher do this?  What are they trying to hide?  

And yes, I giggled.  A couple times.  Then I opened the book.

If you haven’t caught on yet, ninety-nine shades of grey: a book for people who like the color grey is pretty much what it sounds like.  After the title page and introductions, we have 99 two-page spreads, one for each shade of grey.  There’s a note for each section (light, medium and dark), and then each color spread has a few key features – artwork on the left, then the shade number and color as well as HEX, RGB, and CMYK codes so you can digitally replicate the shade(s) that you’ve fallen in love with.  You can start with #001 this shade of grey and end with #99 we should hang out sometime.

As for my floofy kitten, it didn’t quite make it in, but there are several that I’ll give honorable mention to: #024 is the all-to0-creative litterbox sandcastle and #066 is dexter the cat grey (and since I have no better option, I’ll assume that the floofy kitten grew into Dexter).  There are names that are contemporarily creative (#076 is rock, paper, MONSTERS!), giggle-worthy (#029 is grandpa’s toupee), or just a bit odd (#037 – symphony of zebra butt, in D minor).

Readers also get a bonus of a few key explanations.  For instance, remember shade #001, this shade of grey?  Well, #001, #042 and #090 string together to form a note – this shade of grey/is in love with/this other shade of grey – sent from a guy to his girlfriend.  And #052 is a series of 0s and 1s – spelling out the word ‘grey’ in binary, which is totally something I’d think about doing if I hadn’t been so hung up on floofy kitties.

The good folks at also threw in a few demographics, and I’ve been able to discern that exactly one other person in my current state of Tennessee helped out.  I wonder if we like the same shades of grey?!

Bottom Line – the book isn’t meant to be taken seriously, but it’s sort of funny to have around.  Give it to your colorblind friends, anyone who’s into a bit of humor, or people who just couldn’t stand that that other book series left out half the spectrum (or that it sold as well as it did).   I wish it would have been bigger (coffee table sized would have been awesome!) and that there weren’t quite so much white space on the pages, but I still think it’s awesome.  I doubt this is anything you’ll ever find at your local library, but I think you’ll want to have a look-see.  Four out of Five.


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