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  • Writer's pictureDan

Pages2Screen: Wool to Silo

looking up a silo


Today, I bring you another post in my occasional series Pages2Screen, where I compare movies/series to the book or books they are based on.

Wool to Silo

When I saw Apple TV adapting Hugh Howey's Wool for the small screen, I was intrigued, to say the least. The trailers made the show look full of suspense and mystery. It had been several years since I read Wool, so even though I was familiar with the source material, it wasn't so fresh in my mind as to ruin the viewing experience.

Wool Cover

Wool was a book I had a hard time getting into and finishing. When I read it, I wasn't familiar with the term DNF (did not finish). Wool was a novel I nearly DNF'd. I kept reading because the world was interesting and the story suspenseful.

My problem was with the characters. I don't recall identifying with or liking any of them. At least not enough to want to follow them through a fairly hefty novel. As I remember, I was immediately taken with the original sheriff, who is killed in the first couple of chapters. I failed to identify with the new sheriff or the supporting cast, so even though the plot was intriguing and suspenseful, the story became a real slog.

This brings me to a general observation about Howey's writing. Currently, I am reading Sand and enjoying the hell out of it. Once again, Howey creates a fascinating dystopian world full of suspense. However, I can't say I find the characters all that great. They're good. Good enough given the story's other finer qualities, but none light a fire in my heart or mind.


My wife decided we'd watch Silo together. After the first episode, I was almost ready to give up. It was slow, and I already understood the world, so any world-building revelations didn't capture my imagination. She, however, thoroughly enjoyed it, so we kept watching. Boy, am I glad we did. Silo is excellent.

First, I'm surprised how much I remember the story from reading Wool. Overall, though, that didn't bother me too much. Why? I enjoyed the characters more in the TV series than in the book. I think they humanized the main character, Juliette Nichols, quite a bit by including a romantic angle in her backstory. Maybe I'm misremembering but I don't recall her having a romance as part of her backstory in the source material. In the book, she is driven almost to the point of fanaticism with the need to discover the truth. Romance/love/etc. had nothing to do with her motivation.


If you read this far, then you can guess I am recommending Silo over Wool. The Apple TV series has all the attributes that made the source material a hit and a vastly superior take on the characters. If you've already read Wool, I suspect you can watch and enjoy Silo. The series does an excellent job of bringing Howey's dystopian vision to the screen. 

Having watched Silo, would reading Wool be worthwhile? Hard to say. I didn't enjoy Wool, but aspects of the story have stayed with me for years. I will say this. Having watched Silo, I plan to give the rest of Howey's Silo Series a go. Shift and Dust are on my TBR.


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