I’m finally reading “Wool”

Well, I finally did it. I started reading “Wool” after downloading it to my Kindle months ago. I won it through a giveaway over at 101 Words and then kind of forgot about it. I don’t normally read sci-fi or futuristic genres; it’s just not my thing.

But a few nights ago I found myself stranded at the Tucson airport after abandoning a motel room so awful that I practically fled in terror (there was what looked to be dried vomit on the wall and over the floor, and if that didn’t cinch it, waking up to little black bugs crawling over my legs did. I took a shower, demanded my money back and got the hell out of there).

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Which left me at the Tucson airport at midnight, my flight not until 11 a.m., no flights coming in or going out, and since it was parents’ night weekend at the university, no other hotel openings in sight. I was ready to break down and cry when a nice maintenance man approached.

“Will you be spending the night?” he asked, in the voice of a hotel concierge.

“I-I think so,” I answered. And then I clutched his arm. “You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been through,” I whispered. “A hotel from hell.”

He nodded as if he heard such things every day (and probably he does) and led me to a room called the Galley, which was dark and empty and had long couches perfect for stretching out one’s tired body.

“Sleep here,” he said. “It’s quiet, and there are places to hook up your electronics.”

I thanked him (I swear, I almost kissed him in gratitude), and then stretched out on that couch in that dim room, the comforting hum of the escalators behind me, and after I plumped up my jacket for a pillow, removed my shoes and got cozy, I opened my Kindle and began reading “Wool.” It seemed like the perfect time, the perfect atmosphere.

And I couldn’t stop. I stayed up until 2 a.m. and began reading again as soon as I woke up a few hours later. I read on the plane and I read when I reached my sister’s house in Philly.

And I’m still reading. I’m reading slowly, since I’m almost at the end and I don’t want it to stop. I’m reading slowly because it’s action-packed and I don’t want my beloved characters to die (spoiler alert: alas, some of them do). And I’m reading slowly because I can’t help marveling at this world that Hugh Howey has created. How in the hell did he imagine such a world?

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Hugh, Hugh, I think I love you.

What I love the most about this book is what I also love about many of Stephen King’s work: how in the midst of crisis and bad situations, humanity and good intentions shine through. There are some passages so beautiful that I almost weep. And others so terrible and suspenseful and heartbreaking that I can barely read without flinching.

Still, what an unexpected pleasure, this book. What a strange and odd feast.

P.S. I was in Arizona as part of a quickie visit with my oldest sister and mother, who flew down to pick out cabinets and flooring for the  house my sister is having built in Tucson. We also celebrated my mom’s 82nd birthday–Happy birthday, Mom! And to everyone else, here’s a little bit of desert love.

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9 thoughts on “I’m finally reading “Wool”

    1. Ohhh, I’m so jealous! Would love to hear him speak. He has built an awesome readership, and from the ground up (or should I say, from the silo up?). Gives us all hope, eh? Cheers and have a great week.

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  1. As usual some gorgeous pictures and a few words about a book that makes me want to go out and read it. In a completely different way, I had the same experience with Gone Girl. I was visiting my cousin in Chicago. She had a stack of books and told me to take whatever I wanted. I went through them and decided I wanted to try Gone Girl. I read a little bit of it the night before I left. Didn’t sleep well at all (not because of vomit on the wall or because of bugs crawling on my legs, but instead just because I generally don’t sleep well). When I woke up in the morning all I could think about was how I would be able to sleep on the airplane. While I waited for my plane, I started reading Gone Girl again and kept reading after I boarded the plane. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t sleep on the plane. I just kept reading.

    I think I’m going to have to check out Wool.

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  2. Isn’t it cool when you discover a great book while traveling? Because from then on, you’ll always remember that book when you think of that place, or vice versa. (I read one of Anne Tyler’s novel in a motel room while driving out West when I was in my early twenties and even now when I think of that book I remember my first glimpse of the mountains.)
    I also fight insomnia. My mind will just NOT shut off. It goes and goes and goes, no matter how tired my body becomes. It can suck but thank god for books, eh?
    Have a great week.
    P.S. I’m in Philly now, visiting my other sister. No moose here but a heck of a lot of squirrels, lol.

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  3. That hotel sounds horrifying! And I hate having to sleep in airports, but so nice of that man to save you!
    I seem to recall downloading WOOL ages ago – it’s buried way down on my iPad under the more recent stuff. I’m also not much for sci fi, but I guess I’ll have to check it out!

    So many books. So little time!

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  4. Yay, another book to read 😉 I’ve heard so much about Wool that I think I’ve been afraid to read it. Now, after your endorsement, I will have to put it on my list. Ah, if only you had known about the dim, quiet room at the airport, you might have avoided the motel from hell altogether. That almost happened to me and my husband once a long time ago. We were making our annual trip to St. Pete, FL, to visit my mom and step-dad for Christmas. Since they lived in a one-bedroom mobile home, we decided to try and get a motel room nearby their trailer park. How bad could it be? Well, all I remember is when we walked into the room, I immediately felt unsafe. There was nothing overt like dried vomit on the wall, but just this sense that the room hadn’t been cleaned in a long time. The sheets looked dingy. Our instincts told us not to touch anything. When my husband went to check out the bathroom, I yelled, “Don’t go in there!” I don’t know why and he did anyway. He didn’t find blood or a corpse but by then he was suspecting that the motel was one of those that rented rooms by the hour. We promptly turned around, requested our money back, and left. The manager seemed bemused but he didn’t try to argue with us. We slept on the floor at my parents 😉

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