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Wool - a fabulous dystopian tale you NEED to read

17/03/2014

I think I stumbled upon this book while searching for something else, and even when I received the book as a hold, I didn't recall why I thought it would be interesting. Then I read "Wool", which was a crazy post-apocalyptic tale of people living in a giant (think skyscraper-sized) silo partially buried underground. The silo is stratified, with mechanics and maintenance in the bottom section, hydroponics and nurseries in the middle, the mysterious IT department in the top third with the mayor, and sheriff at the top. The reader, along with the citizens, only knows that you cannot go outside since to go outside is a punishment and certain death due to the toxic air. We don't know why life is like this, in a giant silo, nor do we know why IT is full of computers with secrets. I really liked the characters in this book. They're flawed, and despite all the weird hardship from the clausterphobic existence, some are still looking to the stars. It felt a bit Stephen King-ish as those who discovered inklings of what has been going on have been sent to clean the screens, and there are all these various tensions well explained that happen within a "town"; think "Under the Dome" but set in the future. The constant threat of "being sent to cleaning" overhangs those who find out too much, so ignorance is encouraged by those in power, especially so as the story unfolds. What I didn't know about this book is that it was a compilation of 5 independently published novellas by Hugh Howey, which now has a prequel (Shift) and sequel (Dust) coming soon to OPL. I'm anxiously awaiting either one, as this was a brilliant novel.