Steve Lindahl's Reviews > Bellwether

Bellwether by Connie Willis
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Jul 30, 10

Read in July, 2010

Bellwether by Connie Willis is a book that is hard to categorize. (I'm always looking for something unusual to read, so for me its uniqueness is a great quality.) The plot Willis has given us primarily concerns the efforts of two scientists struggling to fill out funding forms. Of course the subtleties give us more and make for a book that is hysterical at times, but people who are looking for big, adventure stories are not going to like this one. However, fans of "The Office" or "Dilbert" would certainly enjoy it. Bellwether takes the same irreverent approach to big business that they do. She calls the head of "High Tech," the company where the scientists work, "Management." That fits in logically until she gets to lines like: "Management was standing on his desk." By this point it is clear she is making a point about all large corporations and, like "Dilbert" and "The Office," her point is hilarious because it is true.

The book was published in 1996, so it is a little dated at times. (She sometimes talks about a cellular phone rather than a cell phone. I talk about this more in my blog - www.SteveLindahl.blogspot.com) Yet that is something else about it that I found to be fun. Since the main character, Sandra Foster, is a scientist researching fads there is a constant flow of trivia about trends of the time. Hearing about things I hadn't thought about for years made the experience of reading it like stepping back in time and if you've read any of my other reviews you know I like that in a book. Of course, Willis also talks about fads from all over the world and from different times in history and does so in a fascinating way.

Bellwether is filled with interesting relationships, quirky people, and some profound ideas. If you're looking for a fun read, this is would be a wise choice.
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