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Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey
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's review
Sep 19, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-other

Call me strange, but I enjoy nothing better than I enjoy a well imagined, well told post-apocalypse story, and Wool fits all of those criteria. It's a fantastic read - the kind of book you pick up and then can't put back down until you're done because OMG WHAT HAPPENS NEXT??

The basic premise of the story is that a indeterminate number of years ago an unspecified event (or series of events) rendered Earth's atmosphere uninhabitable. A small group of survivors (I'd guess around 1000, but I suppose it could be more) live in an underground silo, where their only view of an outside world they've never experienced directly is provided to them via a series of cameras; images from the cameras are projected on certain of the silo's inner walls.

The outside is not discussed, and in fact the silo's residents are not allowed to express a desire to leave the silo. If they do, they are dressed up in Hazmat suits and sent outside to clean the lenses on the cameras in a sort of ritual simply referred to as "a cleaning".

You can quibble with minor details about both the physical space (e.g. the lack of elevators in the silo, the fact that Supply is at all capable of making certain items that are forbidden - where would the specs have come from?) and character behaviour (would the cleanings really keep the population under control?), but over all I think Howey did an excellent job of making both the silo and the people who reside in it believable. For the most part the people in Wool behave exactly as you'd expect people in their situation to behave.

I can think of a handful of minor inconsistencies in the plot, but none of them are troublesome enough to get in the way of thoroughly enjoying a compelling story. Go! Read it!
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