Friday, 14 June 2013

Wool by Hugh Howey


"Lives distilled onto twenty or so sheets of recycled pulp paper, bits of string and darts of random colour woven beneath the black ink that jotted their sad tale."

The first of a dystopian trilogy launches in a spectacular fashion. Don't let the title fool you, this novel has nothing to do with knitting or thermal underwear. Living in a silo, in a highly controlled environment, those who question the status quo are destined for a murky end, but one woman has other ideas. I often wonder if the current fixation on dystopian fiction is a reflection that the world is a shitty place or that the 24 hour news cycle has made us feel that way about it - but that 's just a side note - back to the book...

Apparently this was originally self published in 5 instalments, however I read the novel version. Apparently I'm not that quick on this bandwagon. In fact, I was tempted to investigate this novel after it appeared on abc's  First Tuesday Book Club  which, coincidentally, I watched the taping of today. So, I have to say a big thank you to Jennifer Byrne and co for introducing me to this book.

It is compelling reading with an all pervasive sense of impending doom and claustrophobia with the action taking place underground in a strange future, whose secrets are slowly and partially revealed. What has driven man underground? Is there only one silo? Is there anyone else out there? These questions drive the narrative and keep the pages flying by.

I suppose a great testament to how much I enjoyed the novel was that I ordered the sequel before I had even finished the first instalment. So its  5 out of 5  scary cleaning jobs never sound fun.

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