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Wool - Hugh Howey
Member Name: darren55
Wool - Hugh Howey
Advantages: A good start
Disadvantages: Dull and repetitive
Wool is a dystopian sci-fi novel depicting a world where the outside has become toxic and the human population is forced to live in silos, the book is by Hugh Howey. The books central character is Juliette also called Jules who is asked to become the silo's sheriff after the previous sheriff had volunteered to go outside and clean the monitors. The cleaning exposes the cleaner to the environment and is a death sentence; the previous sheriff had chosen to do this after his wife had performed the service 3 years earlier. His wife had left an enigmatic statement that she had found out the back history of the people and had a truth to tell everyone.
This book is clearly set in a dystopian broken world, we are incarcerated into an enclosed space and forced to use monitors and camera's to view the outside world. The precise nature of the catastrophe isn't explained but we are in a future Earth as there are cultural references to famous authors and such like. The book slowly centres on the actions of Jules, and her interactions with the mayor Bernard. She is arrested after discovery some unfortunate truths and is ordered to clean, however, she manages to work out that the suits are poor quality and makes it too an adjacent silo which is conveniently over the brow of a hill.
My view on this book is that it starts off well and looked like it would be entertaining at describing a static culture that fear the outside and live in a strict controlled environment; however, as the story progressed I became less and less interested in the characters or the events. There is a sense of repetition in the story, Jules escapes death a number of times and it feels like the same manner, there are endless loving descriptions of walking up and down stairs (can't say I found those sections particularly enthralling). There is also a lack of character development, we are told very little about the characters beliefs and desires but plenty about the walking up stairs and the desire for a static environment. The more I read the more my mind started to pick holes in the plot, so they are stuck in a silo for a few generations but there aren't any issues over waste, where does the oxygen come from or the fuel or why do they force people to clean the monitors at all?
It felt towards the end of the novel that even the author was getting a bit bored, there were plenty of actions scenes but none of it made any sense, there is supposed to be a war going on in the silo but the reader struggles to understand why. Finally, there is supposed to be a big revelation but it's been so obvious from the first few chapters that the reader just stops caring by that point. This book started well but became a real drag to read, and I have no desire to read the follow up novels, the narrative is turgid and the story when you get down to it a bit dull.
Summary: A struggle to finish, not usually a good sign