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BOOK REVIEW: FTN reviews Wool by Hugh Howey

February 3rd, 2013 by Michael McCaffrey Comments

AUTHOR: Hugh Howey
Published by: Century (17 Jan 2013)
Pages: 576
Price: £6.89
ISBN: 978-1780891231

Every now and then you read something that burrows into your brain and sets up residence. This is one such book. It’s brilliant, amazing, and fifty other words meaning exactly the same thing.

Wool is a collection of Novellas self-published by Hugh Howey, set in the Silo. I can’t really give you much in the way of story, but it revolves around the lives and deaths of the citizens of the silo and the complex social contracts arising from a life lived under permanent confinement. As the book itself says, it’s a place, “Where every birth requires a death”. The whole idea of the Silo itself is brilliant. We have the comparison world outside; apparently poisoned beyond measure, and the Silo; a safe haven, with air-filters, food and shelter. It’s a stark inversion of our traditional values, the choice of a safe prison over freedom, with a side order of guaranteed death.

I absolutely loved it. Within five minutes of reading the first page I was hooked, reading through the first 200 or so pages in one sitting. The world is vivid and real, you can hear every clanking boot on steel, every tool strike, and slowly but surely, you’ll start to understand the way things work in the Silo.

As a protagonist, Jules is perfect. Maybe I identify a little bit with the men and women of Mechanical a little more than I should, but coming from a family of tradesmen, it’s easy for my sympathies to lean that way.

Also, every Vault dweller among you will instantly have a feel for how things work here.


5 out of 5 Nerds


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Jeff, whose real name is Michael. It’s a funny story, unfortunately it’s a funny story that isn’t actually that funny, and so we won’t bore you. Read a children’s encyclopaedia cover to cover as a child because nobody told him that wasn’t what you were supposed to do with those. Jeff is a Terminal Discworld addict, home brewer and semi successful scientist, and enjoys long moonlight walks through Skyrim. His main problem is though, that he will read anything, literally, anything literary. This has lead to the complete lack of shelf space remaining in his house.