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Book Review: The Shell Collector by Hugh Howey

Hugh Howey can be a controversial person. But the bottom line is the man is fantastic at weaving together a narrative.

I saw a lot of buzz around his Wool series and became immersed in that fantastic world, and had many great discussions with my wife as she read it shortly after.

I purchased the Shell Collector off the strength of the Wool series. I quickly learned that while there were some dystopian elements to this work, it was a far different type of story.

If you read this book expecting something like Howey’s other works, I think you’ll leave disappointed. But if you come in ready to experience the story by its own merits, you’re in for a treat.

Hugh Howey - Shell Collector

Howey is masterful at creating characters that jump off the page and resonate with you. I read this book, which is more romance inspired than dystopian bent, and found instead of being put off by it my mind was stirred. I’d read a few chapters and just sit quietly reflecting on the story and on life in generally. It caused me to think of my relationship to others and my relationship to the world. It spawned ideas that I shared with my family and friends which in turn provoked some memorable conversations.

By that measure I would say this was a beautiful book, a nuanced story that evokes many emotions and many thoughts. Howey has proven he is a great storyteller. I remember thinking many times while reading, Howey just knows how to weave a tale.

He has the talent to write a story about changing a tire and making it riveting.

This story is quieter than Howey’s other works…but it’s no less masterful.

I finished reading this book over a month ago, but it still lingers in my mind. Great story.

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