©Lifetime +70 years Hugh Howey (P)2012 Hugh Howey
I just finished this listen about 5 minutes ago. There will not be spoilers in this review- I like to give that heads up from the start.
Howey manages to write an extremely unique version of the dystopian future genre. The 'Omnibus' edition is made up of 5 parts, each one cumulative but distinct. A believable story with complex characters tackling massive concepts.
I think Minnie did a very decent job with the narration. There are parts when I felt she went a bit overboard with her characterizations of certain voices (Juliet sometimes [not always] making me cringe just a bit). However, her general narration tone was extremely balanced and pleasant to listen to.
Unexpected plot points and twists. I was surprised at the depth of character development achieved- genuinely cared about the outcome and fates of those in the story. Even the not so great morally.
I enjoyed this book a great deal overall, but it took me a long time to finish it; this is relatively unusual for me. I'm one of those listeners who can blow through a book in a couple of days if it really grabs me. Definitely worth your time if you are a fan of this genre- far more so than *many* of the offerings out there. I will be listening to the rest of the series.
Story and premise is imaginative and definitely held my interest. Consider purchasing a paper or ebook. However, I found myself wincing at the over acted narration. The narrator feels the need to use a different voice for every character however the narrator can't do other voices, so they come off like bad impressions. A lone southern accent in an massive underground bunker hundreds of years in the future? A weasel like voice for the villain? It's too much. The pacing and enunciation are off. Bizarre giggles sporadically and then she breaks into baby talk into Part 4. It's not just distracting, it’s awful. I will be avoiding Minnie Goode in the future.
Never, ever, EVER from Minnie Goodie. I've listened to hundreds of books and never written a review- but I had to about this narrator in hopes that she doesn't read another book out loud. She was so distracting when she talked in her "voices" that is was hard to focus on the very good story. Did no one listen to her before or after she narrated this book? She sounds like someone trying to read a book to a 5yr old-and failing at that. I really enjoyed the story.. and would defiantly listen to another book from Hugh Howey as long as Minnie is not involved.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
If you’re nostalgic for Cold War-era science fiction, Wool feels like a throwback to some of the themes common to that time, but with 2011 sensibilities. The story takes places generations after some forgotten apocalypse has made the Earth’s surface uninhabitable. The only population of human beings left dwells in an immense underground bunker/biosphere complex known as "The Silo". The first episode in the omnibus sets up the world with the story of a man sentenced to death for making a certain forbidden statement and banished to the surface. As his last act of public penance, he is expected to clean the lenses of the cameras that look out over the wasted landscape. Why, he wonders, have all the previously condemned voluntarily complied with this request? Of course, there are things he hasn’t been told...
The remaining “episodes” work more as a single novel, developing other character POVs and revealing the workings, history, and politics of the Silo in more depth. The writing is a little amateurish, but I enjoyed the story, which could easily work as a short TV series. Howey sets up some interesting mysteries and relatable (if not very sophisticated) characters. The setting reminded me a little of the TV show Battlestar Galactica, with much of the action taking place in tight, spaceship-like confines, and with an adversarial character that's arrogant and devious, but not without his own concern for the greater good. If certain aspects of the Silo require a little suspension of disbelief, most of it is well thought-out.
Unfortunately, the last chapters of the story feel rushed and lapse into predictability, but, other than that misstep, it’s a successful example of self-publishing’s potential to give voice to fresh ideas (or, in this case, an old idea done freshly).
On the audiobook production, I wonder if Minnie Goode was auditioned in a hurry, because her narration is simply a bad fit. She overdoes makes some of the character voices and inserts sighs and chuckles in an irritating way. And, dear audiobook narrators, for the love of God, stop trying to do “adorable” children’s voices -- it’s like an icepick in my ears. Still, the worst offenses are infrequent enough that they didn’t ruin my overall experience. I wouldn’t necessarily let negative reviews of the narration discourage you from a listen, though some readers will undoubtedly prefer a written copy.
(Another thanks to Luke at the Sci-Fi Book Review Podcast for the recommendation)
Please re-record this book, the narration is bad. Why would the older people in the book talk like crazy gold prospectors?
I'm giving the story 5 stars even though I couldn't get past the first 20 minutes of the book.
I've listened to hundreds of audiobooks. Occasionally I'll come across a narrator that I don't think I'll like, but he/she grows on me after awhile and I realize why they were chosen to read that particular book. This is NOT the case with this book. The narration is completely over-done and erratic. Reminds me of a soap opera. I imagine it's a lot like I would sound if I tried to narrate a book. Why a female? Please contact Edoardo Ballerini or Holter Graham as soon as possible. They're worth whatever they charge.
This book is the worst narrated audiobook I have ever listened to. The narrator used very bizarre voices for many of the characters , I almost could not listen to her.
The premise of the story is good and its nice that sixteen year olds are not the main characters in this dystopian story...for once. I am curious to see what happens next but I fear that the story is heading in a hopeless direction. I hope I am proven wrong in that assumption. I am very glad the next installment is read by someone else!
Wool has become a huge phenomenon, a self-published series that got a print publishing deal and a movie supposedly on the way. So I checked out the Omnibus edition that collects the first five books.
I was pleasantly surprised. Hugh Howey's writing is not bad, and the story was, while not at all original, a good one. The last survivors on Earth of some unspecified apocalypse live in a deep underground "Silo." Their entire world is defined by the levels of the silo; grease-monkey mechanics down deep, IT overlords up top. (The IT guys are the villains: Hugh Howey must have had some really bad experiences with tech support...) The society is not exactly hellish, but it is very circumscribed, as one might expect of such an information-deprived, resource-limited world. All people know of the outside is that you can't survive there — and anyone who talks about the outside, or even hints at wanting to leave the Silo, is given their wish, by being put into an environment suit and cast out. This is the great taboo, and no one sent to Cleaning ever comes back
It's called being sent to "Cleaning" because one of the last duties of every person cast out is to take some wool with them and clean the great glass window pane that is the Silo's only view of the outside — from the outside.
You might wonder, why would someone who's been cast out and basically given a death sentence do this? There is nothing the inhabitants of the Silo can do to them once they're outside. The Silo's residents wonder this too (though it's taboo to talk about it). Everyone sent to Cleaning says they're going to refuse, they will not clean when they get outside. And yet, everyone does. Why? That's the first of several mysteries to uncover in this series.
The Omnibus edition describes an uprising in the Silo, leading to the main characters' discovery of the true history of the Silo and many other secrets about their world.
I found Wool entertaining and worth reading. There were a few poignant moments. But it was very similar to a lot of post-apocalyptic dystopias I read when I was younger. It's not terribly original, and none of the characters were particularly memorable.
I am not interested enough to read the second and third Wool series, but I might try another book by Howey if he writes something that interests me.
I unfortunately cannot recommend this version of the audiobook, however: Minnie Good is one of the most annoying narrators I have ever suffered through. When the characters whisper, she whispers. Sometimes so low you can barely hear her. When characters are shrieking hysterically, she shrieks hysterically. She reads childrens' voices as high-pitched squeaks, and men's voices in comical deep-throated drawls. I am sorry to say, this narration was not professional caliber. It appears that Audible has the exactly same omnibus in a different edition, narrated by another narrator, and I highly recommend you choose that one instead.
I almost didn't download this book because of the extensive negative reviews on the narrator, but luckily I didn’t let those reviews deter me and I am so thankful for that. This book is hard to walk away from, if I could I would have listened to it straight through to the end. The narrator, for me at least, was very good. Some of her male voices were a little strained, but I find that common with female narrators. With any amount of imagination you should be able to listen to this book and get submerged into its horrible and remarkable storyline. I would 100% recommend this to someone.
I can not imagine anyone not loving this book. It's a great science fiction novel, that even this fantasy romance reader thoroughly enjoyed. It's not a romance novel, although there are deep romantic emotions involved. It's a story of peoples survival in a mundane world. Most take their life as it has been dealt, while the few of this story, start to question their world as they know it. Living within the silo is a dangerous place to have questions, as the curious do not survive.
It's a very unpredictable read, that keeps you totally engrossed until you are finished. The characters are compelling, and you feel you're with them, living in their shoes. I will definitely go with more from this author. Thanks Hugh, for having a great imagination, and being able to put it on paper so well.
"Exelent story, poor narration"
I really enjoyed this book. However, i wish they had chosen another narrator for this. The narration for the 'main' character is good, as she is female, but the narrator simply cannot do male voices. every male character she portrays, sounds either goofy, stupid, or even retarded. The result is a listening experience i'm having trouble taking seriously, as every male character sounds like a parody. It's really a shame since this is such a great story.
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