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The Unraveling (Wool, #4)
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Group Reads Discussions 2013 > "Wool Omnibus" The Unraveling *Book 4 Spoilers Only*

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message 1: by Kim, The Wanderer (new)

Kim | 1312 comments Mod
I haven't had a chance to read it yet so I have no idea what happens. But for those who have, discuss!


message 2: by Kim, The Wanderer (new)

Kim | 1312 comments Mod
A lot more action and a lot less mystery. So we know something about the silos. Not an experiment but an attempt to save humanity from something. How does this book change what you think of Bernard and IT? Do you think he was just doing what he could to save the silo? Obviously other uprisings had caused total silo destruction.I wonder what life is like in other silos especially silo 1.


Evilynn | 332 comments I'm happy Bernard seems to at least have some kind of logical motivation for doing the things he does, and I think he feels like he's protecting the silo. I'm not sure I agree with him and his methods though.


message 4: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (Sleo) I think he believed he was saving humanity but was sincerely deluded. Lukas saw right through him, although I admit having my doubts that he's too fragile to battle it.


message 5: by M.L. Roberts (last edited Jan 11, 2013 03:35PM) (new)

M.L. Roberts | 468 comments Bernard ... The part that did not seem plausible was Bernard choosing Lukas as his protege/successor.
Bernard's spies (these guys always have spies) would tell him about Lukas's fascination with stars, observing them by himself at night, charting their locations. This behavior would automatically be suspect - it's different, shows curiosity, an interest in the outside; somewhat of a romantic. Lukas would more likely be a suspect and possible candidate for cleaner instead of a successor.
That said, it's a good adventure story.


message 6: by Barb (new)

Barb S. (barbtrek) | 22 comments Flash Beagle wrote: "Bernard ... The part that did not seem plausible was Bernard choosing Lukas as his protege/successor.
Bernard's spies (these guys always have spies) would tell him about Lukas's fascination with st..."


I got the impression that Lukas was kind of a spur of the moment choice, just because Bernard knew he had to share the secret with someone and Lukas happened to be there. But maybe my memory is fuzzy on that part.


message 7: by Adam (last edited Jan 13, 2013 07:34PM) (new)

Adam Bender (adambender) | 11 comments Thought the action slowed down a bit in Wool 4 due to all the switching among characters each chapter. Just given how relatively little time was actually elapsing.

That said, I'm still enjoying Wool quite a bit. I loved the way seeing the other silo gave a sense of foreboding to the revolution -- Here I was planning to root for the revolutionaries and suddenly I was worried it was a terrifically bad idea!


David Sven (Gorro) | 65 comments Agree with Kim here. More action than mystery which is a little disappointing. I love action, but its the mystery in this book that's got me on the hook. I hope we haven't got the punchline already. I'm hoping there's something left in the tank to surptise us.
Loved the Romeo and Juliet references. Two starcrossed lovers from different factions ie Lukas from IT and Juliette from Mechanical. And the knitting analogy continues - In knitting, you "unravel" to "fix" an earlier stitch(apparently). So maybe the Silo needs to unravel to fix IT.


message 9: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jkeene) | 96 comments I find interesting the comments about the balance between action and mystery. This is the section I slowed down on, and probably that change from mystery to action is why. Still reading, though, as I'm looking for more mysteries to be setup and partially revealed.


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael | 1229 comments Flash Beagle wrote: "Bernard ... The part that did not seem plausible was Bernard choosing Lukas as his protege/successor.
Bernard's spies (these guys always have spies) would tell him about Lukas's fascination with st..."


I agree with that assessment, although it was somewhat mitigated by how fast everything happened, and the fact that Lukas was convenient and represented the battle against Juliette since he was carrying her stash.

In reality, someone else in IT must have known about the suits, I think they even said that was Bernard's mandate - no one can make it over the hill. So there is a conspiracy and Bernard would have already taken certain people into at least some confidence, to see who was most reliable/committed to the program. Even if he felt something went wrong and maybe one of his lieutenants had betrayed him, I'm not sure it would make sense to pick someone at random to handle the entire program. But he's taking risks either way.


message 11: by Michael (new)

Michael | 1229 comments Okay, just finished this Part. Reading old comments, it's funny so many people saw this section as slower because of action/different viewpoints. This was actually the fastest section for me, it actually felt faster than the first section, which was, what, 40 pages?? There were so many hopes and fears pressed up against each other here I was on adrenaline the whole time chewing my fingernails anticipating and dreading events at the same time. And I suppose it was frustrating to keep switching viewpoints, but that pushed me to read faster to catch back up to threads I was interested in.

I'm still unclear about how I feel about Bernard, because I don't have the whole picture of what they are trying to accomplish. Okay, keep the silos from finding out about each other, salvage what you can of humanity during each uprising, but is it possible there is a better way? And yet the manual is so thick and comprehensive, how could you expect to second-guess centuries of research? The manual probably says "If someone finds out about the tape, send them to clean". "If someone leaks IT information, send them to clean." Etc. It's hard to know if Bernard is power-mad as a person or if it is just years of following these heartless procedures that have turned off his humanity circuits.

There weren't as many poignant relationship moments (romantic/friendship/family) during this section, which I missed, but I liked the stream of consciousness in Jules head and thought her reflections on death and survival were moving. I happened to read the blurb on the back of my hardcover today - I never read them before I start the book, and here's why: it says "THIS IS JULE'S STORY" in bold letters. WTF? Really, you're going to give that away on the back cover, before we even meet her? Before we know if she's going to DIE?? I'm glad I didn't read that before she reached the other Silo!

Also liked the connections between Knox and McLain, which Howey seems to use as a pattern - connect two people and then kill them off in heartbreaking ways. I thought McLain standing up to Knox was a great scene, but why does he have sexism that needs challenging in the first place? It seems misplaced. Like he is a fossil from an earlier time - okay that would make sense in 2014, but there is no "earlier time" in the Silo. Either they are in barbaric survival mode with might makes right and women as prizes, or they are in an egalitarian society where work is shared as necessity. Which is it? It didn't make sense that he saw Marck worried about Shirly, about the "wives", when it's obvious Shirly is no idiot, she would be just as worried about Marck and they would be sharing final moments together before the raid. And then splitting up Shirly and Marck at the end, to protect the women? That was completely misguided and cruel.

A final note about the horrible confrontation at the end. This definitely had the feel of some of Stephen King's books for me. I can think of a couple (but won't name them for spoilers) that have factions coming up against each other, where you come to care for the people and then there is horrific bloodshed. The mob phenomenon is a fascinating study of humanity vs horror. Howey manages to do it in a lot fewer words than King would, but then the number of people he spends time focusing on is smaller.


message 12: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 483 comments Michael wrote: "Okay, just finished this Part. Reading old comments, it's funny so many people saw this section as slower because of action/different viewpoints. This was actually the fastest section for me, it actually felt faster than the first section, which was, what, 40 pages?? There were so many hopes and fears pressed up against each other here I was on adrenaline the whole time chewing my fingernails anticipating and dreading events at the same time. And I suppose it was frustrating to keep switching viewpoints, but that pushed me to read faster to catch back up to threads I was interested in. ..."

The same, for me!! I was tearing up the pages at this point, yes, on adrenaline! I remember 'cheating' a few times, to follow a certain perspective a little bit further, than backing up to get the one I temporarily missed. The pages couldn't be grabbed from the page into my eyes fast enough. :-p


message 13: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 483 comments (ps - I realize I can't comment any more on specifics, b/c it's hard for me to remember what happened where, and I don't want to spoiler, even by saying more of, ohhhh, yes, you noticed that bit! I wish I was reading this for the first time again :D )


message 14: by YouKneeK (new)

YouKneeK | 340 comments I just finished the 4th book. Some people have mentioned this book going slower or faster for them due to the different format. I found this book went equally fast for me in comparison with the previous books. I’m looking forward to the 5th book and, at this point, I plan to get the sequels after I finish this one!

Regarding Bernard and some of the comments in this thread… I do see him in a slightly different light after this book, although not necessarily any more positively. I think he believes he’s doing the right thing, preserving the peace in the way he was taught. I see him as one of those people who do whatever they’re told by people in authority over them, even if it’s abhorrent, and take pride in how efficiently and effectively they carry out their duties while never questioning whether there’s a better way or whether their goals are even worth striving for.

I too was a little startled when Bernard picked Lukas to shadow him. In retrospect, however, perhaps it isn’t that surprising. Like others mentioned, I think it was partly a matter of necessity and a snap decision made in the heat of the moment. At the time, he was in a state of near-panic because he was certain war was coming (and he was right!) and he was frustrated by the incompetence of the other people in the room with him at the time. Also, we’re told that Bernard and Lukas were friends to at least some extent, so perhaps Bernard trusted Lukas.

I think what seemed jarring at first was that Lukas seems like a good guy. But, on the other hand, Peter (the guy Bernard had been trying to get into the Sheriff’s position) didn’t seem like a bad guy either. Just young and impressionable, which is probably also how Bernard sees Lukas. Maybe that’s what Bernard looks for – young and impressionable people that he can mold into his image to carry on his legacy after he’s dead. In earlier books, I thought Bernard was a corrupt person trying to push other corrupt people into positions of power. But I don’t believe that anymore. I don’t think Bernard is a good person, but I’m starting to believe that his actions are based on motives other than pure self-interest.

I was rather disappointed toward the end when it turned to violence. It isn’t that I have a particular dislike for violence in books, it’s just that I was hoping for a solution with a little more intrigue versus guns and bombs. It seemed like it would have been better to talk to people a few at a time, everybody telling a few people they could trust, and those people telling people they trusted, and so forth, to spread the word about what was going on. Somebody could have infiltrated IT to learn more about what was going on, and perhaps watched for an opportunity to incapacitate just Bernard. Data could have been collected and sent out over the network to people with computers. It just seems like there were a lot of other more interesting and less destructive ways to go about things that wouldn’t have resulted in the deaths of friends and family. But I guess they were angry and not thinking clearly, and they probably wanted things to change right then rather than patiently wait for change to come more slowly.


message 15: by YouKneeK (new)

YouKneeK | 340 comments Michael wrote: "I happened to read the blurb on the back of my hardcover today - I never read them before I start the book, and here's why: it says "THIS IS JULE'S STORY" in bold letters. WTF? Really, you're going to give that away on the back cover, before we even meet her? Before we know if she's going to DIE?? I'm glad I didn't read that before she reached the other Silo!"

I’m the same way, Michael. I try very hard to avoid reading book blurbs also. (I also refuse to watch previews for a TV show that I already follow.) If I do read one, when trying to decide whether to buy a book, I stop reading as soon as I decide I'm interested. Then I usually let time pass between reading the blurb and reading the book so that I can’t remember much about it.

They so often spoil major aspects of the story, or at least make it too easy to predict what’s going to happen. And, if they don’t do that, then they often turn out be misleading, making you think the story is about something entirely different.

I came into this book completely blind too. I’m sure I read at least part of the blurb at some point to decide I wanted to get the book in the first place, but I’ve had it on my Kindle for I don’t even know how long, so I didn’t remember anything about it when I decide to join in on this group read. The Kindle makes that easier for me, I think. When I read physical books, I found it nearly impossible to avoid reading the words on the outside of them. If there are words in front of me, I'm probably going to read them.


message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael | 1229 comments YouKneeK wrote: If there are words in front of me, I'm probably going to read them."

LOL. Good point about ebooks protecting you from blurbs, to some extent.

I keep wondering about these Bernard questions. The Reader's Guide at the back of my book even asks if we think Bernard is evil or just brainwashed, as if those are the only two choices.

Do people have opinions on what the most effective method of governance would be? I know Jules and others would argue for knowing the "truth", but we've seen Silo 17, and the mass insane exodus that killed the population there. Isn't that what the manual is supposed to prevent? Mob mentality is such a powerful force; that's why I didn't mind the violence in this section. I mean, I minded, but I really didn't see how it could be avoided once the mob discovered certain facts. Is it the knowledge or the deception that causes Silo's to fail? I'd like to play devil's advocate and ask if the Silo wouldn't just implode in some other way if the truth were common knowledge...?


message 17: by YouKneeK (new)

YouKneeK | 340 comments Michael wrote: "Is it the knowledge or the deception that causes Silo's to fail? I'd like to play devil's advocate and ask if the Silo wouldn't just implode in some other way if the truth were common knowledge...?"

I think it’s the deception that causes the uprising, along with anger at realizing they’ve been manipulated for generations. People get really mad when they’ve been lied to, especially if the lie has been perpetuated for a long period of time. And, like you mentioned, I think the mob mentality is what makes that anger grow out of proportion and override rational thought.

The people who started the uprising did so by attacking the people who had been lying to them. If nobody had been lying, who would there have been to start a war with? Everybody would be in the same boat and an uprising wouldn’t make the world outside any more habitable. There wouldn’t be anything to do about it except move forward with the new information and make new decisions based on that information.

Michael wrote: "I know Jules and others would argue for knowing the "truth", but we've seen Silo 17, and the mass insane exodus that killed the population there."

I’m not convinced that the people in silo 17 left of their own accord after learning the truth. Why would they intentionally go outside to die? If they had known the truth, they would have known that going outside would mean death. Maybe the two sides caused their own mutual destruction, with some people being forced outside as part of the fighting.

Or perhaps they didn’t learn the real truth. Maybe, like Allison in the very first book, somebody found out about the program to alter the display screens and misinterpreted its purpose. If they had convinced a large number of people that it was the display screens inside the silo being altered to make a habitable world look inhabitable, then this could have caused a mass exodus. After leaving the silo, the people had to run up a ways before they actually made it above ground. By the time the first few people got all the way outside and realized their mistake, it would have been too late. The masses of people running outside behind them would have made it impossible for them to get back inside in time and they would have ended up with all the bodies piled outside as a result. In that case, it wasn’t the truth that caused the uprising -- it was finding out that there was a lie of some sort and then misinterpreting what the lie was due to lack of information.


message 18: by Michael (new)

Michael | 1229 comments YouKneeK wrote: "Michael wrote: "Is it the knowledge or the deception that causes Silo's to fail? I'd like to play devil's advocate and ask if the Silo wouldn't just implode in some other way if the truth were comm..."

It seems strange. I think I believe you, but if the lies cause the uprisings, why was the whole system set up with lies on purpose??


message 19: by YouKneeK (last edited Feb 25, 2014 06:09PM) (new)

YouKneeK | 340 comments Michael wrote: "It seems strange. I think I believe you, but if the lies cause the uprisings, why was the whole system set up with lies on purpose?? "

I’ve been wondering the same thing! I’m really anxious to find more about the history of how everything got started with the silos and the world becoming uninhabitable. I guess a lot of the mystery will be gone though, once that information is revealed. It’s often so much easier to understand things when you know how it all started.


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