Posted in Book Club

Reading Group: Wool- Hugh Howey (SPOILERS)

Well hello there, and welcome to our reading group. Have you read the book? If you haven’t you may want to read our review of it here first:

If you’ve read the books feel free to answer them below and I’ll give your ideas a read. (I’ve tried to eliminate spoilers from the questions, so they are a little different to those printed in the book)

I think that we should just get started yes? See you at the other end!

 The population must now live in the silo because of the toxic air, and therefore a degree of order must be maintained to ensure survival. How would you change the way that the silo is run?

I would do exactly what is done at the end of the book. Unless the question means that I was in Jules’ shoes. In which case I would instate referendums and a bit more of a democracy. There needed to be more education and truth between the people in power and the general populace. I’m quite interested to see what Jules actually does in the next book.

Holston suggests that Allison was happier before she found the information which drove her outside. Do you believe that ignorance is bliss? Or would you want to know the truth?

I would want to know the truth. But I’m not sure what I would do with that knowledge. I probably would want to tell other people about it though, I wouldn’t want to test my theory before I sounded it out on others. Look where it got Allison and Holston. I know that she was trying to protect him, but by doing what she did without a proper explanation, she just caused more problems for him.

Both Holston and Marnes lose people very dear to them, which leads them both to drastic actions. Are there any other similarities between the two of them?

Yes. They are both honourable people that are ruled by their hearts, but also there are differences in how they deal with things. For example, Holston always knew that he was going to do what he was going to do, he just didn’t know when. Marnes didn’t do what everybody thinks that he did. Bernard did it. So in reality, if Bernard hadn’t ‘happened’ to Marnes, the uprising may have happened earlier.

Juliette gets to experience both life in Mechanical and life as the sheriff. If you had to choose a sector of the silo to work in, which one would it be?

Well, neither of those two for certain! I’d probably work in the sector that recycled all of the paper, or be one of the travelling actors that Jules mentions in a flashback.

Would you have wanted to clean the cameras if you had gone outside and seen the landscape through the visor?

If it was me then probably not. I’m a very petty little person and even if I was seeing the view through the visor, I would still be angry and I can definitely hold a grudge against the rulers of the Silo for long enough to not clean the cameras and to die.

Is it Juliette’s network of relationships that ensures her survival?

Yes. To put it bluntly, Jules would not have survived without the help of others. She was resigned to the fact of her death until she realised that Knox had helped her out in secret, and again when she met Solo and the children. If she had not met them she would not have been so determined to survive because she wouldn’t have had anyone to help and to care about. Lukas also influenced her because he spoke to her so often during her time of isolation.

Bernard clearly believes in the Order and the Legacy. Do you think he is evil or just brainwashed by the system?

I think he was brainwashed. He mentions his time shadowing to Lukas when in the IT department, and I get the impression that he was groomed for the role from a young and impressionable age. We see that Lukas could quite easily have ended up the same way had he not met and spoken to Jules.

In Part 5, Juliette and Lukas are in very different situations. Who do you think would feel more isolated?

Lukas. Without a doubt. He is in fact alone with no one to confide in except for Jules, and only in secret over a radio. Jules has Solo, and later the children, and she also has the link with her home through Lukas. Lukas can tell Jules news about the people that she cares about in Mechanical, but has no information about his family and the people that he cares about. So Lukas would be more isolated.

Solo believes he is alone. What would you do if you thought that you were the only survivor of your world?

I’d probably go mad. But I’d spend a bit more time making sure that I was alone first, unlike Solo.

Juliette is viewed as a symbol of the uprising. Do you think an uprising would have occurred without her? Who else could have been a figurehead for it?

Yes, I think that there would have been an uprising anyway, but I’m not sure who would’ve led it. Knox did a good job, but I’m not sure that he would have done it for anyone else if not Jules. I’d like to say Shirly, because I think that she was a fantastic woman, but again, she had no reason to lead a rebellion if not for Jules. The only other person that I can think of is Walker and Marnes, together. Because Marnes had the reason to question, and Walker had the intellect to answer the questions. So if things had gone differently then Marnes would have led the rebellion. And it would have stayed as Knox and Shirly being influential because of Walker.

Peter realises that he has a choice between doing what is expected of him and doing what is right. Can you relate this decision to any other situation in the book?

I think that this situation could be compared to the choice that Lukas makes when the uprising comes knocking on the door of the IT sector of the Silo. However, in this situation Lukas has a harder choice. He chooses to do what is expected of him, which isn’t popular with me, but it also means that he survived to fight back against IT another day.

Juliette is an inspirational female character in the novel. What other strong women appear in the story and how do they gain or use their power?

I’ve sort of already answered this one but here goes: Jahns; she has power because she is the mayor and she throws this weight around in order to get Jules instated as the sheriff.

Shirly; she has power because she cares about people and others care about her. She uses this power to make sure that Walker gets the help that he needs when building the radio to contact Jules.

Jules; everyone loves her and wants to fight for her so she has the power to carry on living in order to protect them. Her influence starts the uprising. She’s also knowledgeable and hard working so has the power to sustain herself when away from home.

Allison; Allison has power because she knows the secrets of the silo and has the choice of what to do with them. Unfortunately she didn’t quite have all of the information and her theory ended in tragedy.

You made it!

Thanks for coming, feel free to answer the questions in the comments and

Have a lovely day,



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