Finally a book I couldn’t put down. It has been a long barren spell for me, but Wool is a cracking read.
The world has gone to crap. The air is toxic. Wool opens in an underground silo, all 140 odd floors, self-sufficient, with the sheriff, asking the mayor to let him clean. Cleaning isn’t such a good thing for a man to ask to do. It involves going outside the silo in a crap suit to clean the many lens that offer the occupants of the silo a clear view of the crap going on in the outside world. The suit is fitted with woolen pads for the cleaning, but is deliberately faulty, like something you’d buy at Target or Primark, so it falls apart and the cleaner dies.
Now I found the beginning confusing, not quite understanding what Holsten’s - the sheriff looking to clean - problem was. It had been three years since he’s lost his wife to this cleaning bug, her dead decomposing body, visible in the screen on the wall by the cafeteria. And when he went out into the toxic world outside the silo, I expected the story to continue outside the silo. And when it didn’t I had to mourn Holsten, and learn to like another character, the mayor, but she also died. Murdered she was.
Can you see my confusion? Don’t worry, as I’m sort of thick, and slow at picking up on stuff like plot. This story sorts itself out and the pace and the intrigue kick on.
Because in Juliet, the author offers a grand character we can cheer for. She is a mechanical genius living in the bowels of the silo, but due to her assistance with an earlier murder her talents are recognized and rewarded. Juliet is offered the Sheriff’s position, and unearths’ the clues Holsten’s wife had discovered, and slowly we all begin to learn through Juliet, the secret behind the silo and the world outside.