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The Bees: A Novel by [Paull, Laline]
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4.2 out of 5 stars 680 customer reviews

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Length: 357 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Imagine a story similar to Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale but told from the perspective of an insect. That’s exactly the premise of Paull’s debut novel. Flora 717, a lowly sanitation bee, is born with unusual features and abilities that allow her to move fluidly between the strict hierarchies of her hive. Through this ability, she witnesses the brutality and beauty that the various castes of bees exhibit to keep the hive productive, all in service and loyalty to the queen. But when Flora discovers she is fertile and can produce an offspring, she must betray her instincts to worship the queen bee and follow an untrodden path that leads her away from her kin. Paull’s plot brings to mind films like the 1998 hit Antz, but her deft storytelling and her nod to scientific literature allow the story to avoid the cutesy trappings that sometimes characterize novels featuring nonhuman characters. A surprisingly compelling tale. --Heather Paulson

Review

“Fascinating… engrossing… Paull’s clear fascination with her source material brings humanity and warmth to a depiction of the remarkable social world of bees, which is no small achievement.” (—Huffington Post)

“The Bees is an extraordinary feat of imagination, conjuring the life of a beehive in gripping, passionate and brilliant detail. With every page I turned, I found myself drawn deeper into Flora’s plight and her immersive, mesmerizing world.” (—Madeline Miller, bestselling author of The Song of Achilles—Madeline Miller, bestselling author of The Song of Achilles)

“This is a rich, strange book...convincing in its portrayal of the mind-set of a bee and a hive. I finished it feeling I knew...how bees think and live. This is what sets us humans apart—our imagination can...create a complete, believable world so different from our own.” (—Tracy Chevalier, New York Times bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring)

“Told with rapturously attentive imagination...Few novels create such a singular reading experience.” (—The New York Times Book Review)

“Riveting… evocative and beautiful.” (—NPR)

“Richly imagined” (—Los Angeles Times)

“[A] gripping Cinderella/Arthurian tale with lush Keatsian adjectives.” (—Margaret Atwood, via Twitter)

“THE BEES is one wild ride. A sensual, visceral mini-epic about timeless rituals and modern environmental disaster. Paull’s heart pounding novel wrenches us into a new world.” (—Emma Donoghue, The New York Times bestselling author of Room)

“It quickly became clear that in its basic facts, the novel sticks closely to real-world apian biology and behavior. That is fascinating enough, but Paull deftly wields this information to create an even more elaborately layered culture of beeness…Beautiful.” (Washington Post)

“Brilliantly imagined…Paull’s use of human language to describe this tiny, intricate world is classic storytelling at its finest…The Bees boasts a refreshingly feminist spin on fairy tale-style plots….A wildly creative book that resonates deeply for quite a long time. (Austin Chronicle)

Product details

  • File Size: 1057 KB
  • Print Length: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (May 6, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 6, 2014
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FJ3CM7M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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