30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
A strange and wondrous imagining of a bee's world,
This review is from: The Bees (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is gorgeous and strange, and Paull pulls off a hugely impressive feat of imagination in giving us a view of an alien world: that of a bee hive. This isn't an allegory or parable and instead inserts us into the hive via Flora 717, a worker bee, who manages to transcend the role into which she is born.
This subtly evokes the processes of bee life: the scent world in which they operate, the `codes' of the hive which they absorb through the vibrations of the floor tiles, the transmission of `data' through their antennae. I especially loved the mythology, almost religion, of the bees who have their own stories to explain the world: the ancient enmity with wasps, the Visitation. And the drones reflect the swaggering males of Elizabeth I's court with their ruffs, and their livery - and their competitive devotion to the queen.
The publisher's blurb compares this, inaccurately I think, to The Handmaid's Tale and The Hunger Games and thus gives the impression that this is a dystopian fantasy - it isn't. The comparison to Watership Down is more telling, though here we get a bees-eye view of the world.
This is a genuinely original book and an extraordinarily imaginative rendering of an alien world: if you like exciting, innovative, modern fiction, this is a must-read.