Recent Reads: Wool by Hugh Howley.

Wool is a work of dystopian Science Fiction set in a post-Apocalyptic nuclear radiation ravaged world… of our own making…. The premise is similar to the milieu of FallOut… only that was the result of an accident… so the destruction outside was… far less…. The purposed destruction of the entire environment of Earth was planned… to drive man underground… into Silos… essentially as a social experiment… by a bunch of crazed, fanatical lunatics running the American government….

Disturbing the established social order…. Creating pliable, complicit citizens…. Deceit…. Control…. Experiments in Communal Living…. Hmmmmmm…..

Howey does an EXCELLENT job with the Psychological aspects of the story. In my opinion, this work is essentially a Psychological Novel that follows the development of different characters as they progress through different imposed scenarios. The pace is similar to a Thriller. He moves right along… while giving a lot of detail…. He gets the vast majority of the details right…. Well researched. Well thought out. Tightly constructed. Easy to put yourself into the world and suspend disbelief.

Criticisms…. Well… one of the literary techniques Howey uses is repetition. Like I mentioned, he moves at a pace similar to a Thriller. Then he uses Repetition to focus the Reader on one particular aspect of the story… to build drama…. That’s fine. But he does it often enough that it becomes a tell. At least to people like me who like trying to anticipate… or figure out where the plot is going…. (I write the story in my head while I read. Always have. And compare the author’s story to MY story….) My REAL issue with the technique… other than I find it a little tedious… is that he NEVER varied the result…. Never threw in a Red Herring…. Never threw in a Normal… or Control scene….

And… on a few occasions… he went to a lot of trouble to develop the Physics of a particular problem… through a long and arduous process… and then at a critical time… rushed through and failed to apply the Physics he had developed appropriately because he jumped back into Thriller mode…. Sort of like the microgravity scenes in Gravity… where the Producers and Directors seem much more enamored with demonstrating the WOW! of their Special Effects budget rather than following the laws of Physics…. Like when an entire movie is shot at 1G… until the script demands that the chase through the hanger bay be weightless in order to maximize the drama… and then they return to 1G for the remainder of the movie…. That just wrecks my ability to suspend disbelief…. Few slips like that…. But not many…. Howey did an amazing job with the details…. Except with some of the Physiology…. Too Hollywood…. Not really human…. But… most people will view that as dramatic….


One thought on “Recent Reads: Wool by Hugh Howley.

  1. Pingback: Recent Reads: Wool by Hugh Howley. | Wright-Wang Extreme Mystery, Inc.

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