©Lifetime +70 years Hugh Howey (P)2012 Hugh Howey
Excellent Story. Dystopian futures and post apocalyptic sci fi have been done many times before, but rarely this well. The author does an excellent job of slowly revealing how the world of the Silo works, and this keeps the reader engaged. The author makes a special point to emphasize his characters humanity and weakness as well as their strengths, and this helps make the dystopian world of the Silo much more vivid and realistic than other dystopian fiction.
The two books you must compare with any dystopian novel are 1984 and Brave New World. Wool is more like Brave New World in that it deals with the moral ambiguity of running a tightly controlled society for the ostensible purpose for preserving humanity at the expense of individual freedom of choice and expression. However, where the ending of Brave New World comes across as abstract and detached, Wool confronts the problem of repression and force head on. This is where the novel begins to evoke images of 1984. Unlike the two classic dystopian novels, Wool forgoes some of the abstract philosophy as stated by the Inner Party leader in 1984 and the world controller in Brave New World, and instead handles the issue of control vs. freedom through the dialogue and relationships between the inhabitants of the Silo. Howy may not provide as much philosophical punch and Orwell and Huxley, but he makes up for it with strong characters and a frighteningly realistic future world.
Based on the other reviews, Minnie Goode's performance seems to be the most divisive subject on this audio book. Some people love her, some people can't stand her. I personally like her performance. Narrators always walk a fine line by letting their own voice come through while talking in character. Don't change your tone and inflection enough, and you sound monotone and boring. Go too far, and you appear to be doing impressions for your SNL audition. Goode does have a background in comedic performance, but I think she lets enough of that go for a solid job as a narrator. For me, it took awhile to get used to a female narrator since most sci-fi books are narrated by men. As listeners, we are probably used to men changing their tone and cadence for female characters, but we aren't accustomed to women doing the same with male characters. It took me half a chapter before I got on bored with Goode's style, but once I did, I was hooked.
No, but it did make me think a lot, which is what a book like this should do.
It's a good book but I already bought the other version of this book. I thought it was a continuation of "Wool"
Yes. This has got to be one of the best dystopian science fiction stories I've ever read. The characters were so well developed and complex, and one is quickly drawn into the atmosphere of life in their world.
There were a few, actually. What Juliette came across as she traveled "over the hill",and later in the books, her ordeal returning from Mechanical, and what she found on the Farm level.
She's an entertaining reader who brings the characters to life, although some of her male character voices were a bit distracting. Overall, she did a good job.
As the mystery unfolded, I could not stop reading and just had to know what the big mystery was. How did they get there, what was REALLY going on. I simply didn't want to put this book down. I felt their confusion, sadness, anger, and in the end, their hope.
I had the WhisperSync version, so I listened to the audio in the car when I wasn't reading the Kindle book. I could see this book easily jumping to the big screen as a movie -- it's such a compelling story! Definitely going to read the sequel, Shift Omnibus, to see how the story continues.
I spend a large amount of my income on books. I mean, a lot. Seriously. It's a problem.
I wouldn't say better, but it was definitely on par. I really like the narrator's voice, and I feel like it complemented the story very well.
Like everyone (probably), I loved Juliette. She was a really strong female character with intelligence, bravery, and a lot of character.
I enjoyed the physical description of the silo itself. I could envision the floors and the staff.
The scene with Lucas trying to map the stars "up top." For some reason, that really made me feel the sadness of their inability to be outside.
This was a surprisingly good book. I read a lot of negative reviews, but decided it sounded interesting enough to give it a try. I'm glad I did.
Even with the distractingly bad narration, Wool is worth a listen. The concept is really intriguing and well thought-out. The writing is isn't quite up to the story, but it's not bad either. The narrator uses cartoonish voices for the various characters which is both distracting and doesn't allow the listener to make their own decisions about characters. She also mispronounces about a half-dozen fairly common words throughout the book.
That said, if you like distopian fiction, you'll really enjoy the world Howey has created; overlook the narrator and give it a listen.
This is a good post-apocalyptic sci-fi listen. The story breaks down under close scrutiny, but it is entertaining and has a couple good twists. Some of the voices used by the narrator were over the top, but not as bad as some of the reviews indicate. Overall: good, not great.
Great story, sucked me in from the beginning and never let up ... and great ending. My only star off was that the reader did not do male voices very well and I found that every time one "spoke" I was distracted by that. Her performance of the story other than that detail was excellent.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested. – Sir Francis Bacon
I'm writing this in response to all the reviews where people were hating on Minnie Goode. I really didn't have a problem with the performance. I enjoyed how she acted out some of the described mannerisms (such as chattering teeth). I often find that when those are just described in a spoken work- it's a little strange. Some of the voices were a little funny, but it's important to remember that she has to differentiate a large number of characters in this work- accents and really exaggerated pitches to voices is a good way to do that without you being able to go back and look at the text when you're confused about who was speaking.
The story was excellent. Really good scifi, with a woman that does things! Yessss!
All the way through the first section I wondered why this narrator was chosen. By the time I met Jules, it TOTALLY made sense. ...truly an excellent performance. Thumbs up!
I'd heard bits and pieces about Wool and how the author released sections (1-5 for the Wool omnibus) individually, building a following. Wow. I see why it worked. Howey is a master at engaging the reader from one section to the next.
Have you ever found a book that just hits the spot? You know, it just pleases you in a way that leaves you feeling satisfied and maybe even a little thoughtful afterward. Wool was one of those books for me. With more than competent prose, the writer seems to have captured something true about what it means to be human, about the human condition, where characters aren't just plot devices, they're living, breathing people that stay alive when you stop reading. That's not always enough for me, though, being the science fiction nerd that I am. Wool managed to create a fully-realized, fresh version of the dystopian novels that I have loved in the past. I was reminded of Brave New World or 1984, but with more heart.
I wasn't too keen on the narrator. Not that she was bad, but I would have preferred the British version of this book which is not available here in America. I harangued my wife into listening to this book, which she was glad of, and she found the narrator to be quite acceptable. My wife's not a big sci-fi fan like I am, and she liked Wool as much as I did...
Which kind of alludes to my idea this this is one of those books that works on several fronts, with some pretty well thought out social sci-fi for those that go in for that sort of thing, a slew of well drawn characters – including the bad guys - that have a bit of depth to them, and a plot with enough substance and twists to give those characters and the reader something to hold their attentions.
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