Wool by Hugh Howey

17164655The joy of a book club (let’s call this one my mainly men book club) is that you read books and genres that you would never normally choose to explore. Sometimes this can lead to wonderful new discoveries and sometimes it can be downright challenging. Wool falls somewhere in between.

It explores a post-apocalyptic dystopian world where the inhabitants live underground in a silo and view the outside, in all its greyness and misery, through a video screen. Yes, a tad depressing, but readable at the same time, although the 550+ pages were a slog at some stages.


The publishing buzz surrounding this book has been really interesting. It began as a self-published novella and grew in popularity. This edition is an omnibus divided up into five books, which were all released separately and completed with the encouragement of “fans” via the Internet, who had a hand in the way the story moved. The problem then comes when you read it as one book and there is repetition because of the five-book factor. And like any short story, sometimes you want to know more about a character and you don’t actually want them to die by page 30!


There were other issues with the facts in the book. How can a body be dead but intact if it has been floating around in water for 20-30 years? Okay, this is fiction and it is Howey’s prerogative to write what he wants.


What is good about the book is the strength of Howey’s heroines; his characters are interesting; the concept is frightening; his imagery has you smelling stuff that isn’t nice; and there is the chance you will get swept up by the readability of this tome.


My rating: ★★★

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