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4.1 out of 5 stars
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2012
I'm a sucker for man vs mountain stories, and Hugh's story rang true in that regard. There was a bit of Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" to the tale. The elements of technology needed to make the universal ascent of a lifetime were related quickly and concisely, not overdone (thank goodness!)

The story is a quickly and tightly told tale that checks all the boxes...however, at the end, I felt as though I missed something vital. That there was something I was meant to understand. I reread the last few pages, hoping I'd catch that nebulous tidbit that would give me the a-ha! moment, but I didn't.

I hope that, somewhere in my dreams tonight, the missing piece of the story will fall into place for me and I'll wake up satisfied that I completely understand what Hugh wanted me to take away from this story. (Keep reading!....)

*~*~*~*~*

Edited to add: Hugh shared with me/us what I clearly missed in my first reading of his story and, given that, I amended my review to five stars, as the fault really lies with me, the reader, rather than the author. Now that I understand the story I'm gobsmacked at how good it really is.

If you want to read Hugh's thoughtful explanation, it's in the comments section. Be warned, though, it might be considered a spoiler! I definitely would recommend reading it after you've experienced the story yourself, though.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2012
The tallest mountain in the universe. Who could resist?

Hugh Howey squeezed a lot of story into very few pages. All told, this release took me about 20 minutes to read. The upside, it was fun to read it again the next day.

You might ask, "Is a book this spare worth $.99?". I can only say I would damn near pay a dollar to read Hugh Howey's grocery list. He is that good.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2012
I absolutely loved this story. How I was drawn into this tale in so few pages I have no idea. But, this is an excellent short story. I should be so bold to say that this is short story perfection.

A well developed story that truly wraps the reader into this new world while telling a story that tugs at your emotions. All of this done while vividly describing an environment that is foreign and how someone who undertakes such an endevour is processing what he is doing and going through.

This is the Hugh Howey that I love from Wool. Excellent job!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2012
Like many of Hugh Howey's works, the apparent story you read is not the real story. Sure, it's a nice sci-fi piece about people climbing mountains on distant worlds, evoking suspense and wonder. But the real story is about the motivation and the secret conflicts happening within the characters. Hugh never forgets that a good story is about people and how they deal with their world and their own strengths and weaknesses. What drives someone to do the impossible at great cost to themselves and everything they (should) hold dear? What motivates them to push themselves beyond their limits to achieve a fleeting and maybe Pyrrhic victory? What price glory?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2012
I am quickly becoming a Hugh Howey fan. His Wool Series is amazing. But this just didn't quite get there for me. I actually enjoyed the writing quite a bit. And the characters were strong, but the payoff at the end was just weak, and frankly I didn't get it. Maybe I just missed something. But was it worth $.99? Sure. If you are a big Howey fan, download it. If not, then definitely check out his Wool Series first.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2012
This is a classic revisiting of the theme of man against nature. The quote from Herman Melville is telling - the protagonist, as exemplary of many climbers, is chasing his "white whale" and is willing to sacrifice his life for the accomplishment. This man failed the test of saying, "No." Against all odds he perseveres and is rewarded by a desecration of all he holds holy. Read this short subject and witness a consummate story-teller at his best. Once again, Hugh Howey shows his ability to transcend genres.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2012
As I struggled yet again with sleeplessness I found this quick read interesting.  A unique look into the mind of a climber.  Thank you sir!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
Once in a great while, I will read or hear about a great story like "Wool" by Hugh C. Howey and immediately start reading as many other stories as I can by the same author, especially if I like the style. Mr. Howey is one of these and the more of his work that I read, the better I like it, so when I saw that Amazon offered a "Kindle Single", I purchased it immediately. The subject matter of "The Walk..." didn't intrest me in the least and were it not for the author I would never have read it...but Hugh spins a good story and I liked it but it's my fault for letting my expectations be a little too high, since not everything a good author writes can be award winning.So far,every story I've read penned by HOWEY is worh the time!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2014
Hugh Howey can do no wrong in my opinion. This is the first story that I shelved under 2014-faves this year because it was really that good. At only 18 pages it’s amazing that Hugh can pull you into a story so quickly and fully. I actually found there were times that I was holding my breath through reading it just because of what the MC was going through. It made me want to turn the heat up in my apartment and wrap myself in as many blankets as possible. He just made it that real. The whole story is about a climb up a nameless mountain where no one has ever reached the peak, on another planet, that is essentially 40k feet higher that the tallest above ground mountain on Earth. That being the case, the physical and mental hardships that are presented are completely legitimate and really pull you right along with the climbers. The ending was perfect for this story and was epically tragic just how I like it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Hugh again displays his gift of understanding people, the extremes we'll endure to find happiness, and the ever ominous fact that not everyone does. With a clever science fiction "what if" to set up the story, we fall into step right away with a character attempting to climb a mountain on a distant planet which is at least twice as tall as Mt. Everest. This unnamed narrator admits up front that he's willing to kill to get to the top first, and as we get to know the competition racing him, we grow to wish it won't have to come to that. We like this guy, and we hope for a glorious finish.

This is a tremendous story that continues to impact me and my view on life. I have great aspirations as well, and sometimes they feel a lot like this story of climbing a 60,000 foot high mountain.

Great philosophical questions posed in this story, such as why we strive to be #1 at such awful costs to us and those around us. This is a kind of addiction, and sometimes great costs have to be paid in order to break free--if you're lucky enough that you can break free after paying the cost. Sometimes this addiction takes lives, leaving us as stumps in the snow, possibly never even to be recognized for the battle we fought.

I could go on, but I'll stop. Everything I've read by this author has been 5 stars, and for very good reason. I, Zombie and Wool Omnibus are two of my favorite books, and also deal with survival and addictions in philosophical and exciting stories. The Plagiarist is another great short work I recommend.
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