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Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1)
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"Wool Omnibus" Discussion > Just finished the book. *Spoilers*

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George (galgozzini) | 17 comments Sorry I started early and just finished shortly after midnight on New Years Eve. I believe I started it the day I got the email about the book coming up as I was just finishing another book. This will be my first book in this group or any group for that matter and I look forward to more in depth discussion. I am not sure how this all works so I will wait and piggy back on other post as they happen.

If you are unsure about choosing this book I hope I can give you the nudge you need to decide to read it. The book is fantastic, it was after all, how I rang in the new year.


message 2: by Daniel (last edited Jan 01, 2013 05:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Daniel Fajardo Valenti (dfv78) | 3 comments Hi, I also read the book last month before it was chosen as this month's book.

I recommend you read First Shift - Legacy, which is essentially book 6 of the story. It deals with the story before the Wool books, about how everything came to be. I'm currently reading it and I'm liking it so far, specially since it answers some of my questions I had.

There's also book 7 which is called Second Shift - Order which I'm also planning to read.

:)


message 3: by Kim, The Zinoviev (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim (shirezu) | 734 comments Mod
I'm glad you enjoyed the book but we don't normally start threads on finishing a book until a couple weeks into the new month. Just an FYI, I won't be closing or deleting this thread.


George (galgozzini) | 17 comments Added them after I finished the book but I started book one of the Discworld series so that I can get to book four to participate in the second half of this months book selection.


Darci (luminique) | 32 comments I just finished this. I'd never heard of it before it popped up here, so thank you to everyone who suggested/voted for it because it was amazing!

Actually, it was not my plan to finish in one day, but once I hit the end of Book 3, there was no possibility of stopping.


DavidO (DrgnAngl) | 220 comments Ah, that's what I was curious about, Darci. The first 2 and a half sections seemed rather slow and plodding with tons of internal dialog and not much actually happening (except a few rare twists at the end of every section). You are saying it got better?


Darci (luminique) | 32 comments I liked it from the start, so our tastes may differ, but the third section drops some pretty major revelations (some that you might have guessed). That's really where what I see as the "big idea" of the book seems to kick into gear as well - what is justifiable in the name of keeping order?

There is still a lot of internal dialogue, but lots of action too.


Daniel Fajardo Valenti (dfv78) | 3 comments I also liked it from the start. The twists at the end of the first books is what kept me interested.


DavidO (DrgnAngl) | 220 comments Ah, there's a lot of people sitting around thinking depressing thoughts while nothing happens for me so far. The twists at the end only do so much for the plot, imho.


George (galgozzini) | 17 comments Kim wrote: "I'm glad you enjoyed the book but we don't normally start threads on finishing a book until a couple weeks into the new month. Just an FYI, I won't be closing or deleting this thread."

Hey Kim, thanks for not deleting my thread. Sorry to start a finished thread so soon. I had a feeling that it might be a taboo which is why all I basically said was I was done and it was good. Looking forward to actual discussion of content.


Mike | 3 comments I'm in the same camp as Darci. I spent much of New Year's Day blasting through this book. There was no stopping after book 2. I was not happy with Howey for killing the lead characters in 1 and 2 and I feared that would be a theme for each section. Thank goodness he got over that!


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm a huge Hugh Howey fan. Kind of stumbled over Wool by accident a while ago. Love the entire series, including First and Second Shift. Also read all of his other books. Can't wait for the next Wool :D


Sam | 16 comments I’m in the middle of book 3. Do these characters ever get any depth before they die? Are the most basic, obvious motivations all the bad guys can muster? Or has the silo somehow bred out any intelligence and suspicion?


Brandon (Jabbabetes) | 1 comments I think some of the characters get some depth, but for the most part they are a little thin. That didn't stop me from enjoying the book, though. I thought the plot moved along pretty well and I had a hard time putting it down.


message 15: by George (last edited Jan 03, 2013 07:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

George (galgozzini) | 17 comments Sam wrote: "I’m in the middle of book 3. Do these characters ever get any depth before they die? Are the most basic, obvious motivations all the bad guys can muster? Or has the silo somehow bred out any intell..."

In all serious Sam I would love a book suggestion that you feel is a 5 star story with 5 star characters. For that matter anyone that is unhappy with the characters I would love recommendations. I found the characters very believable and thought the author did an above average job of writing for both sexes. I am thinking I may not have actually read a good book yet and only think the ones I have read are good because I just haven't really seen the real deal yet.

This is not sarcasm, I am being totally serious.


Darci (luminique) | 32 comments By the middle of book 3, it's true that some of the characters were still flat. I think the motivations of the bad guys actually do get pretty interesting. Bernard isn't just being evil for the fun of it, his actions actually make sense in the end as more than just "I want to be in charge" (although he does have that aspect to his character as well).

Even the dead characters didn't feel that thin to me. I mean, I really felt the Mayor was well fleshed out considering the short amount of screen time she had.

My favorite character was Juliette, though. I like how she's this genius with machines who suddenly has to deal with people at a level she's always been able to avoid before. And she is curious and suspicious, it's just that she is never able to put the pieces together in time, not because of stupidity but because of lack of experience with people who are capable of such things.

None of them are actually stupid. The Sheriff followed his wife's conclusions in the wrong direction because he wanted so badly for her to be right. The Mayor may have trusted too much in previous experience and not seen the signs that power was shifting away from her.

I think the nature of the silo does tend to make people less likely to be suspicious. It's not "breeding" it out, it's conditioning them to not question and to not pay much attention to things outside their immediate spheres.

It makes me wonder, actually, whether an usually high proportion of cleaners wouldn't be porters.


Carol. [All cynic, all the time] | 148 comments George wrote: "In all serious Sam I would love a book suggestion that you feel is a 5 star story with 5 star characters. For that matter anyone that is unhappy with the characters I would love recommendations. I found the characters very believable and thought the author did an above average job of writing for both sexes. I am thinking I may not have actually read a good book yet and only think the ones I have read are good because I just haven't really seen the real deal yet.

This is not sarcasm, I am being totally serious. "


George, in all seriousness, there's so much variation in taste that I wouldn't blame it on not meeting the real deal. For me, 5 star is the ones that appeal to me and have a "I must own this" factor. Some people are more generous with their rating. I took a peak at some of your books with 5 stars are exactly the ones that other people would recommend! (Mistborn, Hitchhikers, etc)


Sam | 16 comments Carol states it best, tastes vary. For me it even varies with age. And besides I didn't hate Wool it just isn't one of my favorites. You can read my review of Wool 3 If you'd like to know all my reasons. But really a book review is largely subjective not objective. However, I think the best reviews state where the reviewer is coming from and the reasons why she or he liked or did not like a book.

As for what I have recently read and rated 5 stars. HA HA, never give a book hound an opening like that! Before you know it they’ll hijack the thread! But in answer to your question: Non-fiction, A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present. SciFi, A Fire Upon the Deep (Zones of Thought, #1). Crime/Noir, Black Wings Has My Angel. Classic/Romance, Pride and Prejudice. Fantasy, George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.


George (galgozzini) | 17 comments Ok, we will put an end to this part of the thread right here then. I will welcome messages from anyone that wants to share with me however.

I will be putting a few of those in my to read list and I would have to agree with you on Pride and Prejudice. That book is a true classic.


Darci (luminique) | 32 comments So what does everyone think about the revelation that a government would deliberately destroy the entire world and only save about a million of their own people? Do the other books explain why this happens and how they chose who would get to live? It just seems unimaginable to me that anyone would make a decision to wipe out the whole planet, well, maybe that a single person would, but there had to be a lot of them involved over the decades this project took.


Daniel Fajardo Valenti (dfv78) | 3 comments I'm reading book 6, haven't finished it yet, but it deals with the construction of the silos and what happened to Earth.


George (galgozzini) | 17 comments I thought the revelation was that they decided to save a single race of people as well. An autonomous group with one race and one religion as they felt this was the only way peace would happen on Earth. I haven't read book 6 yet but that is how I understood the reasoning they gave.


Paul Nelson (PaulN) | 9 comments just finished, excellent story really enjoyed it. Will definitely get the prequels soon.


Evilynn | 332 comments I assumed the saving one race and religion was US isolationism taken to an extreme (or possibly fundamentalist religion taken to an extreme), but I'm definitely curious enough to read the prequels!

In all I really enjoyed Wool. I liked Wool 1-2 more than 3-5, precisely because it felt more philosophical in nature, but the last three were also very good for a more plot based story.


message 25: by Flash Beagle (last edited Jan 14, 2013 06:27PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Flash Beagle | 161 comments Overall I liked the story -
Book 1 - my favorite & Holston my favorite character - the most angst, tension, suspense
Book 2 - liked it as well, more good characters, Jahns, Marnes, the descent to Mechanical
- good detail, descriptions overall; interesting premise
Books 3 & 4 - more action but at the same time, the descriptions became repetitive and slowed things down. Lots of scene changes - seemed more like a movie with constant flipping back and forth
- the resistance (uprising) and gun battles, almost came too quickly - just started blasting away at each other
- some of the characters in Mechanical & Supply seemed cliché and almost interchangeable (Walker, Knox, Marck)
Book 5 - some things seemed to come awfully easy - Lukas convincing Peter to change sides in their walk up to the cleaning - and kind of rushed - Juliette arrived at the ramp awfully fast, especially considering how long the middle of the book was
- the end - I liked the end but at the same time it seemed kind of a 'warm fuzzy' at least for post-apocalyptic.
All said though, it was an enjoyable fun read. I plan to read the prequels.


Jenelle | 28 comments I finished Wool a few days ago. Thank you for suggesting this book, I really enjoyed it!
Quick question for everyone tho. I have a thing about titles. What do you all think about the title?? Why Wool??


Eusebio (junjan) | 6 comments Very good books! I liked them all but for me Wool 1 is the best by far, tension, suspense and some nice twists at the end that really surprised me! (Difficult task I can tell you...). It is true that Wool 3-5 get a bit foreseeable.
About what's the origin of the Silos, I agree that it should be some kind of non-religious US movement... I am also planning to read the prequels to find it out!


message 28: by Nuno (last edited Jan 24, 2013 07:00AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nuno Vargas | 6 comments Flash Beagle wrote: "Book 5 - some things seemed to come awfully easy - Lukas convincing Peter to change sides in their walk up to the cleaning - (...)
- the end - I liked the end but at the same time it seemed kind of a 'warm fuzzy' (...)


I finished reading a couple of days ago. I liked it very much and I'd never heard of the book before. The only "flaws" I found are also about the ending, which came a bit too fast.

Jenelle wrote: "What do you all think about the title?? Why Wool??"

Same question here! I think it should be more than just the wool pads used for the cleanings...


Flash Beagle | 161 comments To me the title 'Wool' can represent the whole farce that the people in charge were pulling off on everyone. They didn't need the pads but were given them to do work that did not really exist, in a society that was totally manipulated and deceived.

By the way, there is conversation with Hugh Howey going on sometime soon, maybe now, and maybe he'll mention it.


Lara Amber (LaraAmber) | 562 comments Considering the location of the silos and the priests mentioned several times I'm assuming the people who started the silos were fundamentalist (of some denomination) whites.

I would not be that surprised to find a non-government entity with deep pockets and some political clout was responsible for building and stocking the silos. For example the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church. It could also be a conservative/homogeneous political party, but I think they would have less of the necessary long term command structure and money (being pulled away by election cycles, turnover in leadership, demands for political donation transparency).


Eusebio (junjan) | 6 comments Silos do not seem very religious communities. Priests are mentioned a couple of times but with no special consideration, plus the dominant caste is the IT.
I have the First Shift - Legacy in my queue to find it out (I hope so!).


Jacqueline | 2 comments I wondered the same thing about the title, why wool? My take is it's from the old saying to pull the wool over someone's eyes...
Loved this series, couldn't put it down. I hope the series is expanded.


Leesa (leesalogic) | 18 comments A super great book. I'm glad I read it. So many times I was tense, wondering what was going to happen, shifting alliances like crazy.

Fantastic.


Hal Doherty | 2 comments Jenelle wrote: "What do you all think about the title?? Why Wool??"

At first I thought that to, but I think it is a reference to the wool being pulled over their eyes..

Loved this book I just finished and found this group when I cam on here to rate the book, glad to be joining this group.

I am on the 2nd book of the passage series "the Twelve"


message 35: by Flash Beagle (last edited Jan 28, 2013 03:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Flash Beagle | 161 comments For wool, while I thought of it as representational of something used for a trumped up purpose, the actual substance I thought of was steel wool, which is commonly used for cleaning. There was also no mention of sheep that I remember, only 'herds' and Jahns was knitting with cotton. The analogy of casting off and unraveling, gauge, those reflect what's happening during the chapters. SF though and anything is possible!


Mekerei | 32 comments I reserved this at my library, it was due back on the 24th January, but still hasn't been returned.

Hope it arrives before the end of the month. I'm looking forward to reading it (especially after reading some of the reviews).


Kathy (Kathy_H) | 76 comments I did like the book and it does leave one with a teaser of "what happens next." Good read.


Chris Nielsen | 181 comments I was reading something for another book club this month, just managed to sneak this one in before the end of the month. I loved it, couldn't put it down. One of those books that really sucks you into it's world, highly awesome


Bev (Greenginger) I loved this book and will read the others when I get chance. I thought the title was very clever. The Mayor was a knitter and the layout of the silos was like a pattern. Even the colour of the areas ie blue for mechanics, was like a knitted blanket.


Mekerei | 32 comments Jacqueline wrote: "I wondered the same thing about the title, why wool? My take is it's from the old saying to pull the wool over someone's eyes...
Loved this series, couldn't put it down. I hope the series is expan..."


That was my thoughts too Jacqueline. Really enjoyed the omnibus - can't wait to start First Shift: Legacy.


message 41: by Edwin (last edited Feb 21, 2014 06:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edwin Priest | 121 comments OK, for those of us who are here now having completed the book for the Feb 2014 "side read", I would like to raise, or re-raise, of couple of questions for discussion that I have been pondering.

This is discussed a bit in the earlier comments, but why do you think the author chose Wool for the title? Does it relate to the wool pad used for the actual lens cleaning? Or to the concept of pulling the wool over one’s eyes? And what about all of the frequent references to knitting that pervade the book?

Is there deeper symbolism in the notion of cleaning? Obviously, the term “cleaning” is used in this book to refer to the removal of trouble makers and those “infected” with the wrong ideas or words. But what about the actual act of cleaning of the lenses? Is it really just designed to allow a better view of the outside world, or is there perhaps some deeper meaning or symbolism here?

And finally, what about the title Silo and the uses of this concept in the book? Some is this is fleshed out in the discussion between Juliette and Solo when she first hears about the whole silo complex. The idea of silos as seed storage is an interesting one that I suspect will play out in the subsequent books.


MK (wisny) | 493 comments ahhh, such great comments, and questions, Edwin. Yes, I absolutely think the word, and term, Wool, was deliberate.

I mean, everyone knows microfiber cleans glass way better than steel wool (heh), so why are they cleaning the glass with wool?

Yea, silos as seed storage. Interesting. I didn't really think of the names of things, as I was reading. But, the author chose them (wheras, I just took them as given, in the world created). So, asking "why did he choose those names?" is an interesting idea. I like it.


message 43: by Valerie (last edited Feb 25, 2014 01:34PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Valerie (DarthVal) | 80 comments I REALLY enjoyed this book. I tend to like dystopian fiction…not sure what that says about me.

I actually made a note while reading that I thought the title was a play on both the wool for cleaning and pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. In fact, the cleaning was the ultimate use of wool in both instances.

I think the cleaning was also both symbolic and literal. For the folks who had been sent to clean, it could even be seen as a cleansing of their soul as they realize they’ve been sent out to a better place (or think they have). But, I also think that cleaning held both meanings for those in the know – it was something that needed to be done, but then they were playing cleanup to get rid of potential contamination of ideas.

I thought the conversation about silos was somewhat poetic. I liked the explanation of the silos containing the seeds of humanity.


Michael | 473 comments I liked the play on words: the wool is being swept over the camera sensors, so... is the wool cleaning the view? Or is the wool obscuring the view?

Even after Part 1, the view is such a focus of the book's questions. What are we really seeing through that view? What are we not seeing? The whole silo revolves around it, but they aren't supposed to talk about it. Is the view important, or is it a red herring to other things you should be paying attention to?

I don't know about Silos, except to say that in my day job, "working between silos" is supposed to be a good thing. Heh.


message 45: by Edwin (last edited Feb 25, 2014 07:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Edwin Priest | 121 comments Michael wrote: "Even after Part 1, the view is such a focus of the book's questions. What are we really seeing through that view? What are we not seeing? The whole silo revolves around it, but they aren't supposed to talk about it. Is the view important, or is it a red herring to other things you should be paying attention to?"

Yeah, I had this same reaction and I am still not sure I have my head wrapped around this.

So why is this view so important? Maintaining hope? Sustaining some kind of a connection with the outside world

And why is the act of cleaning these lenses such a ritualized part of being expelled? A ceremonial or spiritual cleansing or penance for these folks who have supposedly sinned? An act of honor to the "vision" of the silo? Or something more pragmatic, perhaps to allow the Bernards to better tract those who are sent out?


Michael | 473 comments Yeah, there is a paradox here. The people must have hope of a good view, or they wouldn't be so invested in the cleanings. But they are not allowed to "hope" per se, so it's almost as if the view is something special that they don't get from their day-to-day lives. But if not hope, what? Change? Weather patterns and day-night cycles? The reminder of things they've lost softened by the knowledge that they have lives inside away from the death?

And I'm picturing what the cleaning ritual must mean to the people inside - "my life is forfeit, but you are the important ones, with the last of my breath I honor your world, reaffirm the importance of the silo and its view."


YouKneeK | 56 comments I just finished this book. What a great book! I’ve already downloaded the Shift Omnibus Edition (Silo, #2) onto my Kindle and I can’t wait to start reading it.

I don’t feel like I have a solid explanation for why the view is so important, but I’m leaning toward the idea that it inspires people’s innermost thoughts and dreams and hopes. Maybe it isn’t safe for them to share those thoughts, but perhaps it gives them something to enjoy thinking about in the privacy of their own mind as a distraction from their daily routine.

It might be sort of like how looking up at the stars have often inspired people here in the real world. There could perhaps be an analogy drawn between earth as the silo and space as the inhospitable environment that keeps us confined (for the most part) on our planet. Are there other planets (silos) out there with intelligent life? Or are the people in our silo the only ones left? What kind of wonders would we see if we could freely explore?

Part of the fascination with the outside view may simply be a fascination passed down from generation to generation. Enthusiasm can be contagious, and sometimes people find themselves interested in something just because somebody else was interested in it.


YouKneeK | 56 comments Another thought regarding the fascination with the view, and perhaps a more obvious one, is simply the fact that it is taboo to talk about it and it’s also unattainable. People can be fascinated by the things they can’t have and/or by the things they believe they aren’t supposed to want.

Most likely, it’s a combination of different reasons, with each person having their own reason for being fascinated by the view. And for many people, like Juliette at the beginning of the book, it’s probably of no importance to them whatsoever because they’re so far removed from it.


Michael | 473 comments YouKneeK wrote: "Another thought regarding the fascination with the view, and perhaps a more obvious one, is simply the fact that it is taboo to talk about it and it’s also unattainable. People can be fascinated b..."

That fits with the idea of enthusiasm as contagious, too. Shared enthusiasm and the illicit taboo would be stronger for those nearer the view, while the folks in maintenance would have better things to do.


Maarit | 19 comments I have a very mixed feelings towards this book. I finished it today and I must say I feel a little bit disapointed. I'm not sure why, but I felt like the last two parts (4&5) laked something and they weren't so interesting anymore. I felt like the book stopped moving ahead and instead just told us about the history of the whole Wool-system, feelings between Juliette and Lucas and Bernard's desires to make Lucas his shadow. I don't know why it wasn't that interesting, it just felt like nothing happend for a while (even if there was a revolution going on) and then suddenly Juliette just comes back from the Wool 17 and is made a mayor. I liked the parts of Wool 17, it was a fresh look and I wanted to hear more of it.

So overall, maybe this wasn't completely my cup of tea, but the beginning was interesting and the book has a lot of potential. Just for me the fact that the last parts lacked that little something, that would had made the book excellent in my eyes.


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