Wool: An intense post-apocalyptic story [Book Review]

Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 – 5) (Silo series)

Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 – 5) (Silo Saga #1)

by Hugh Howey

Publication Date: (January 25, 2012)

Print Length: 550 pages

Publisher: Broad Reach Publishing- Kindle Edition

Read from July 09 to 19, 2014

My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Description:

“This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.”

That was an enveloping post-apocalyptic story! Well, actually a very good start of stories about a post-apocalyptic world in which people live inside a buried vertical cylindrical structure, called the silo. People inside the silo do not know exactly what happened to the world outside; they do not actually know a reality other than the structured life inside the silo. The biggest penalty for them is to leave the silo because the world outside has become quite deadly.

As the story develops itself through the eyes of the characters, we are confronted with many mysteries and questions unanswered, the same questions the characters make themselves. I loved the pace and the suspenseful aspect of the book, in which the author presents a situation, that you have no idea how it could have happened, and then goes on unraveling the story. It is that kind of story that keeps us up at night, somewhat addictive. I was really afraid that towards the end (about 97%) I would face a huge cliffhanger.

But no, it was okay, I had tears in my eyes by the end the book, feeling like a stage has been successfully completed, and every character is ready for the next step. The characters are captivating, the heroine Jules is awesome and I cared a lot about her and her friends and family. It was very easy to create a connection with them. The fact that not all the questions are answered or facts explained right away is, for me, the greatest force of the story. I think maybe the way the author structured the chapters encouraged me to always seek for more, and at the same time, it was okay to give the book a pause because the chapters were not too long. I really enjoyed that pace.

I definitely want to know more about this world and the future of the characters of the series! Highly recommended!

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Robots and compulsory labor

In the introduction of his novel “The Naked Sun” Isaac Asimov wrote about the origins of the word “Robot”, which is very  interesting:

“Mechanical human beings are to be found in ancient and medieval myths and legends, and the word “robot” originally appeared in Karl Capek’s play R.U.R., which was first staged in 1921 in Czechoslovakia, but was soon translated into many languages. R.U.R. stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” Rossum, an English industrialist, produced artificial human beings designed to do the labor of the world and to free humanity for a life of creative leisure. (The word “robot” is from a Czech word meaning “compulsory labor.”) Though Rossum meant well, it didn’t work out as he planned: the robots rebelled, and the human species was destroyed.”

Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun, pg. 4, loc. 60-64. Kindle Edition

Robot Rebellion scene from R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) 1928-1929

Source: Computer History Museum

As a Decade Fades [Book Review]

Kindle Edition, 3rd, 284 pages
Published December 25th 2012 by Asymmetrical Press (first published November 7th 2012)
Read from August 07, 2013 to January 08, 2014

My rating: 4 stars

This was a difficult book for me at the beginning. At first I didn’t understand the pace of the book with its chapters with songs lyrics or news articles from magazines. It was not something I was used to, maybe.

The tone of the book is very melancholic and when I started reading it I thought it was too sad for me. So I abandoned the book for a few months, stopping at around 15%.

I eventually read some more later and thought that maybe I was too judgmental of the book. The story is about Jody Grafton, a singer and songwriter that seemed very real to me, because he has his flaws, uncertainties and is just trying to get along with life.

He was tired. Tired of running from whatever he was running from. Tired of not having anything to run to. Tired of the sleepless nights. Tired of the nightmares that haunted him. Tired of the elephants in the room. Just tired.

Millburn, Joshua Fields, As a Decade Fades, pg. 151, loc. 1918-1920

I was completely hooked by the story at around 40% of the book, and couldn’t put it down until I finished it. It was emotional with hints of sadness but also it had that realization that life is simple and we are the ones who actually complicate it.

And one of my favorites quotes of this book is:

Sometimes we have to get everything we ever wanted before we realize that everything we wanted is not what we wanted at all.

Millburn, Joshua Fields, As a Decade Fades, pg. 155, loc. 1964-1965

Memory of the day: Musée Stewart, with a nice collection of scientific instruments

Memory of the day: Musée Stewart at Montréal, Canada. I loved the collection of scientific instruments (500!) I would love to visit it again 🙂
#travelmemories #Montréal #Québec #canada #carnetdevoyage #museum #history #culturalheritage #2014
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