Archive for November, 2023

Review: Wool

Monday, November 27th, 2023

A friend suggested taking a bite of the Silo series, so I read Hugh Howey’s first book, Wool. I confess I was somewhat underwhelmed. It seemed a lot like reading Michael Crichton circa Jurassic Park. The work seemed like the outline for a movie or TV series.

On those terms, it’s pretty good. Howey has a mastery of plot and the clockwork ticks well here. You can see the cliffhangers that would mark advertising breaks, episode transitions, and maybe season caps. I respect the ability to control pace that way. The work of constructing the set-up and pay-offs of those plot beats is considerable and he did it well.

I didn’t get drawn into the characters or setting much, though. He does drop you into a mostly unfamiliar world that seems connected to ours, but exactly how gets slowly and incompletely revealed. Unfortunately, I didn’t fully buy the world as it’s revealed. I feel like I might have been more forgiving if the characters were more fleshed out. They seemed more like sketches.

Again, as a candidate for adaptation, those are opportunities for actors and directors to breathe life into it. Depending on how that happens, the series (Apple TV+ seems to be doing one) could be quite fun.