Bellwether

Bellwether

Book - 1996
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Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, c1996
ISBN: 9780553375626
0553375628
9780553562965
0553562967
Branch Call Number: FIC
Characteristics: 247 pages ; 20 cm

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k
kawidman
Dec 17, 2019

The good folks of Bellwether Friends, a podcast I enjoy whose name comes from this book, describe as being more in the vein of a workplace romantic comedy. The main character, Sandra, is a “trends researcher” who works for a giant tech company that has corporate-speak team meetings, 40 page long incomprehensible funding requests, and an insolent interdepartmental assistant. Her attempt to discover what causes trends or fads takes on a new direction when a bizarre series of events brings her into contact with a chaos scientist named Bennett O’Reilly.

It’s very, very charming and a quick read, managing to pull off a slightly judgmental narrator gloriously, and packing in lots of factoids about trends. While there’s a touch of the mysterious, it’s less “sci-fi” and more “what if the real world but MORE” and it’s very fun.

ylpladults Aug 23, 2018

This is a light novel about scientists working for a crazy, chaotic, fad-loving, bureaucratic research company. Sandra is interested in the origins of fads. In fact, each chapter starts with a paragraph about a fad from the past and these are often quite amusing. She meets Bennett, a man who lives beyond fads and who therefore fascinates her. Bennett studies Chaos Theory. There’s romance, there’s chaos, and there are sheep!

a
augsburgerin
May 01, 2017

A funny and enjoyable book that should resonate with anybody who has ever been subjected to management speak or wondered why people seem to blindly follow idiotic trends.

r
rbeckbro
Feb 19, 2014

With _Bellwether_, Willis scores yet more points with her vivid, finely tuned prose and memorable characters. Though the story's premise (lost project funding and research obstacles) might not seem very inviting, Willis makes it both engaging and hilarious with her spot-on characterizations of office life. By the end of the book, I was rooting for the main characters as enthusiastically as though they'd been searching for the cure for cancer.

k
Knitwit50
Oct 23, 2013

A witty clever foray into a research facility with an incompetant assistant, a chaos theory scientist, a flock of sheep and a lot of things that aren't what they seem. The fad trivia heading each chapter is worth the reading alone.

crankylibrarian Sep 27, 2013

Anyone who's ever fallen prey to management gobbledygook, or despaired of ordering a simple small coffee at a Starbucks will chuckle appreciatively at Connie Willis' lampoon of fads in literature, cooking, child-rearing, and alas library management. Although many of her references now sound dated, (an inevitable hazard when writing about fads), and her curmudgeonly tone wears thin after several chapters, overall this is a terrific reductio ad absurdum of the dangers of uncritically following trends.

t
tocch101
Apr 13, 2012

A good read that isn't exactly like all of her other books. It is very interesting and introduces a new perspective on everyday occurrences.

s
StarkReader
Aug 19, 2011

Great book. Humorous look at fads, chaos theory, corporate policy, livestock, and duct tape.

u
unreg_75567122
Nov 26, 2010

One of my favourites. A light hearteded look at Academia, university politics and fads.

c
c_anderson
May 13, 2010

Very funny, and packed with information about fads - Connie Willis is always a delight.

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unreg_75567122
Nov 26, 2010

unreg_75567122 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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