Wool

by Hugh Howey | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 1476733953 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/5/2017
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
9 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, February 05, 2017
I found this good-condition softcover at a local thrift shop, and nabbed it for another release copy. It's an omnibus edition collecting five of Howey's post-apocalyptic novellas, which take place over the course of several months but which change viewpoint-characters from tale to tale.

The first story introduces us to the setting: a huge silo, some hundred and fifty stories deep, buried in a land that has been laid waste by some past event that left the very air toxic and the ground barren. The population tends to remain in their own areas, with the mechanics living near the bottom, hydroponics positioned at intervals in the middle, and law enforcement and the mayor's office near the top, with IT and other services strewn throughout. We learn early on that "Cleaning" is a significant ritual in which someone suits up and goes outside to clear the gathered dust from the camera lenses that are the silo's only view outside. Since the cleaner will only survive for a short time even with protective gear, the task falls to convicts - though once upon a time it was done by lottery. The most common crime these days seems to be expressing a wish to go outside, so the sentence is a rather bleak wish-fulfillment... Anyway, the sheriff, a conscientious man, has been grieving the loss of his wife at the last cleaning - and eventually he opts to follow her, with his experiences outside the silo altering his - and our - idea of what's going on dramatically. But that's not the only major revelation we'll get, and by the end of the story I was staggered!

Story 2 picks up after those events, with the Mayor seeking a replacement for the late sheriff - only to fall foul of a bureaucrat in IT who has his own ideas of who should take the position. In the process she undertakes a long climb down to the level where the top candidate works, and we get a better idea of the scope of the silo and its various cliques.

From there, the stories escalate, with key characters dying, others taking risks to find out why, and increasing numbers of clues turning up to reveal what's really going on with the silo, the cleanings, and all. I can't go into detail without spoiling the best surprises, but I found it all very compelling - and all too believable... Good characters, an involving and disturbing setting, and escalating consequences, with a satisfying payoff at the end of this volume, but with hints of more to come!

[There's a TV Tropes page on the book.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, February 05, 2017
I'm offering this intriguing book for a bookray. [See the forum thread here.]

The book is a softcover that weighs about 1 lb. 1 oz., something to keep in mind when estimating postage costs. [US participants can get postage estimates at the USPS site here.]

Bookray instructions:

When you receive the book, please journal it, and PM the next person in line for their address so you'll have it ready when you've finished the book.

Note: even if you've sent books to that person before, please PM them before mailing this one, to confirm that the address is correct and that they're able to take on a bookray book at this time.


Try and read the book promptly - ideally, within one month of receiving it. (If you expect to take longer, you can request to be put at the end of the list. If you find you're swamped with other books when the person before you contacts you about the book, you can ask to be skipped, and then let me know whether you'd like to be moved down the list or dropped entirely. If you receive the book and find it's taking longer than you'd planned to get through it, I'd appreciate an update in its journal entries or in the forum thread, just to let me and the other participants know you haven't forgotten it.)

When you're ready to pass the book along, please add your comments about the book and indicate where you're sending it. If you find that you're having problems contacting the next person in line, or don't think you can manage to mail the book as originally agreed, please let me know; I'll be glad to try to work something out.

Participants, in mailing order:

JudySlump612 [US - MN]
penelopewanders [Switzerland]
VintageVanguard [Germany]
Sparkish [UK]
CanticleLost [US - FL]
TomHl2 [US - SC]
LolaRobin [Finland]

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Released 4 yrs ago (2/14/2017 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I'm sending this book to BCer JudySlump612 in Minnesota to kick off the bookray. Enjoy!

*** Released for the 2017 Science Fiction release challenge. ***

Journal Entry 4 by JudySlump612 at Minneapolis, Minnesota USA on Sunday, February 19, 2017
Arrived safely today - looks very good!

Journal Entry 5 by JudySlump612 at Minneapolis, Minnesota USA on Wednesday, March 22, 2017
I'm not sure, but I think the book title refers to having the wool pulled over one's eyes, since certainly there's a lot of planned deceit going on. Also, as a knitter, I liked the wool-themed headings for each section.

As Gory points out, it's hard to write about this too much without giving out spoilers, so I'll just add that this easily captured and held my attention. The big challenge of writing SF is placing the clues to an imaginary world - while still telling a suspenseful story. Believable characters, scenery description, etc. also come into the mix.

In this case, Howey did his job so smoothly that it wasn't until about a third of the way through the book, when a main character asks "Why...?" that I stopped and thought for myself, "Yeah, that's a good question!" I had watched a lot of very interesting action without ever questioning the setup. The answer to the question turns out to be an important revelation of the primary wool-puller. It's the first thread which, when tugged, starts to unravel the whole fabric.

I also want to praise the descriptive scenes of the Mayor's travel from the topmost to the lowest level of the silo. It makes sense for the plot, since it's the only way the Mayor can interview & recruit her candidate for the new Sheriff, but it also gives us a good sense of the living conditions of all the diverse populations. Very enjoyable!

Journal Entry 6 by JudySlump612 at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Released 3 yrs ago (3/22/2017 UTC) at By mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed to penelopewanders today

Journal Entry 7 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Saturday, April 01, 2017
This has arrived safely in Switzerland. I'll be taking it to Spain with me on holiday and will read it there. Thanks for sending.

Journal Entry 8 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Wednesday, April 12, 2017
This is here as a ring and I'm not sure I would have read it otherwise. I read it while travelling, and there were times it was a bit of journey. On the whole I found it an interesting variation on the dystopian theme, and I really appreciated the way the gender roles played out in this story. It felt very self-evident and natural (selbstverständlich, as they say in German) and not "oh, now we need to put in a strong woman or two, to keep the ladies happy". I also loved how Juliette was so mechanically clever. It was not, however, an easy or always particularly enjoyable read.
I've read this in Spain but as it's very expensive to ship books from here, I'll take it back home to Switzerland and either send it from there or have it taken to France and sent from there as my husband will be going there a few days after our return.
Thanks so much for making it available, and to JudySlump for sending it on to me.
I've written for the next address.

Journal Entry 9 by wingpenelopewanderswing at Beaune-la-Rolande, Centre France on Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Released 3 yrs ago (4/18/2017 UTC) at Beaune-la-Rolande, Centre France

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

My husband took this and sent it from France today, taking advantage of the bookrate. This now heads to Germany. Thanks for making it available!

Journal Entry 10 by VintageVanguard at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Saturday, April 22, 2017
Arrived! I'm so excited to read this, I need to rush through my current read and dive into this! Thanks for letting me taking part in this ring.

Journal Entry 11 by VintageVanguard at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Friday, June 02, 2017

Released 3 yrs ago (5/31/2017 UTC) at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent this off to the next reader two days ago ^^
Thank you for letting me take part in this bookring, I enjoyed the book very much.

Journal Entry 12 by wingSparkishwing at Fleckney, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Thank you so much for sending! Will get to this as soon as possible x

Journal Entry 13 by wingSparkishwing at Fleckney, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 26, 2017
I finished this very entertaining and interesting book earlier this month and am just waiting to find out where to send it next. This trilogy had been on my book radar for some time but without the ring being offered it would have taken me much longer to get to it. Will definitely be reading the rest of the series. Thank you for offering this GoryDetails.

Journal Entry 14 by wingSparkishwing at Fleckney, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Friday, July 28, 2017

Released 3 yrs ago (7/28/2017 UTC) at Fleckney, Leicestershire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Book on its travels again to the next participant in the bookring - I hope you enjoy it.

Journal Entry 15 by CanticleLost at West Palm Beach, Florida USA on Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Just got this --- I didn't have access to my mail box for some time due to an issue with the key-- apologies. Can't wait to dive in.

Journal Entry 16 by CanticleLost at West Palm Beach, Florida USA on Wednesday, September 06, 2017
I really enjoyed this one. I was often pleasantly surprised at the turn of events. I'll definitely read the next two.

I'll pm TomHl2 to send on.

Journal Entry 17 by CanticleLost at Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada on Saturday, September 09, 2017

Released 3 yrs ago (9/7/2017 UTC) at Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Dropped it off today, will go out tomorrow (as of now USPS is still running tomorrow here in South Fl) via media mail.

Tracking via USPS: 9449010200881509306559

Journal Entry 18 by TomHl2 at Beaufort, South Carolina USA on Monday, September 18, 2017
Hurray! The book made it through Hurricane Irma and arrived in good condition. As you can see from the attached image, the same storm encompassed both the sender and the receiver during this leg of its journey. If you look up the USPS tracking number, it seems that the book spent six days in the West Palm Beach post office before beginning to move up the coast to me. The storm is over now, and the book was delivered to my mailbox on Lady's Island in Beaufort SC USA today. Thanks to GoryDetails for launching the bookray, and thanks to CanticleLost for posting it to me shortly before the hurricane arrived there.

Journal Entry 19 by TomHl2 at Beaufort, South Carolina USA on Friday, September 29, 2017
Wool was my first read of Hugh Howey. I’ve been hearing of this for a few years now, and finally had the opportunity to read it. The book was originally electronically self-published in five sequential stories - novella length in some cases. Taken together, these five stories are also known as Wool Omnibus. In addition, there is a prequel trilogy of novellas published as Shift. And there is a sequel novel published as Dust.

The five stories in Wool Omnibus are:
1. Holston
2. Proper Gauge
3. Casting Off
4. The Unravelling
5. The Stranded

The first story is the shortest, and follows a fairly traditional science fiction short story formula. The generation ship story is one of the classics of the genre, and this follows the same plot pattern, in an underground post-apocalyptic setting. The Silo is an underground habitat of 150 levels, ostensibly protecting its inhabitants over the generations, from a toxically hostile outside Earth. The people know the Silo as their whole world. Sheriff Holston is responsible for policing the people of the Silo, but gradually becomes aware of a greater truth.

Later novellas continue to reveal further aspects of the Silo, with some robust main characters and tense plotting. I can see how this novel (and its constituent novellas) came to be so popular. However, I prefer the foreshadowing and dread of fighting and shooting more than the actual thing, as that can overwhelm the puzzle of the world building. At one point, I began to feel that was happening here, but the puzzles continued to develop and so in the end I was happy with it. Not all is explained by the end, but I expect more is there in the prequels and sequel. This was not science fiction award material, but pretty purely an enjoyable read.

Journal Entry 20 by TomHl2 at Beaufort, South Carolina USA on Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Released 3 yrs ago (10/3/2017 UTC) at Beaufort, South Carolina USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Today, the book was sent by US First Class International to LolaRobin in Finland. The first 10km of its journey was by bicycle, as shown in the photo. I crossed the Intracostal Waterway at the swing-bridge between my home on Lady's Island and the post office in Beaufort on Port Royal Island.

Journal Entry 21 by LolaRobin at Vammala, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Friday, October 13, 2017
The book arrived safely in Finland although for some reason it was left outside my apartment door instead of dropping in the mail box. Don't know why. It had a nice little card inside of it. :)

I will read it as soon as possible and will get back to it. Thank you TomHI2 for sending it and GoryDetails for the book ray.

Journal Entry 22 by LolaRobin at Vammala, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Saturday, June 23, 2018
It's a pity that my "as soon as possible" would be 8 months later, but I've finally read the book. I moved to a bigger apartment and lost the book for a while. It took me a few months to finish it, but now I'm finally done. And unfortunately, I don't have much to say.

My opinion shouldn't be taken too seriously since I'm never been one for scifi. I hoped this would fall a little to the "dystopian horror" side, but it never really did. The concept is great and I enjoy Howey's way of narrating. He has a skill of creating a vivid and believable world, honestly, the life in Silo made me feel nauseous time to time. The characters, most of them at least, are enjoyable and relatable: they feel like real human beings. Not everyone, but many enough.

However, I had some trouble following the plot. Things were happening weirdly without any reason sometimes and I felt like nobody had any motives to do anything they did. Of course, this might be cause of the long pauses between the chapters I read. Perhaps why I couldn't understand some things happening was entirely the fault of not concentrating hard enough. For me, the end was not satisfying, kinda a bummer really. I felt like nothing was accomplished. There's the sequel, of course, but I doubt I'll ever read it.

Anyway, a read pleasant enough, but nothing extraordinary or new. And way too long. Still, I want to thank everyone involved in this bookray. I've got to read a book I thought was interesting to me. Sometimes this happens.

The book is travelling to a new reader in few weeks.

Journal Entry 23 by LolaRobin at Vammala, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Released 2 yrs ago (7/4/2018 UTC) at Vammala, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

The book is travelling to a new reader via post. Thank you everyone for sharing it with me!

Journal Entry 24 by Ronya at Riihimäki, Kanta-Häme / Egentliga Tavastland Finland on Friday, July 06, 2018
Book has arrived, thanks Lola Robin!

Journal Entry 25 by Ronya at Riihimäki, Kanta-Häme / Egentliga Tavastland Finland on Tuesday, May 05, 2020
Very intresting and somehow very suitable reading right at this moment because of the korona-situation around the world.

Released 10 mos ago (5/5/2020 UTC) at -- jossain Riihimäellä in Riihimäki, Kanta-Häme / Egentliga Tavastland Finland

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Setting this book free. Hopefully Someone takes it home and enjoys of the reading.

Released 10 mos ago (5/5/2020 UTC) at -- jossain Riihimäellä in Riihimäki, Kanta-Häme / Egentliga Tavastland Finland

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Setting this book free. Hopefully Someone takes it home and enjoys of the reading.

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