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Publisher's Summary

Pop culture, chaos theory, and matters of the heart collide in this unique novella from the Hugo and Nebula Award - winning author of Doomsday Book.Sandra Foster studies fads and their meanings for the HiTek corporation. Bennett O'Reilly works with monkey group behavior and chaos theory for the same company. When the two are thrust together due to a misdelivered package and a run of seemingly bad luck, they find a joint project in a flock of sheep. But a series of setbacks and disappointments arise before they are able to find answers to their questions - with the unintended help of the errant, forgetful, and careless office assistant Flip.
©1996 Connie Willis; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Connie Willis deploys the apparatus of science fiction to illuminate character and relationships, and her writing is fresh, subtle and deeply moving." (New York Times Book Review)
"Willis's story builds slowly but is realistic and engrossing." (Midwest Book Review)
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Customer Reviews

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By Pam on 07-04-12

Pattern Recognition" Meets "Office Space

Fans of William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" will see a lot of similarity here, in that our heroine is working to understand the evolution of trends in human society. And fans of "Office Space" will see a lot of similarity between that movie's Initech company and our heroine's Hi-Tek laboratory. The blend is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny.

Some Hi-Tek employees' names are allegories -- one incompetent assistant is named "Desiderata" and another "Flip" (for the frequent flip of her hair, or, as we learn later, maybe something else). The clueless laboratory director -- who falls for every new management fad that comes along -- is simply named "Management."

Chapters begin with just a little background on the research topic at hand, and these entries make the book's science content accessible to a general audience. I gave it four stars because I thought that these introductory segments were at times a little too long or detailed. But all in all a good book, and I couldn't put it down -- had to listen to it in one sitting.

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27 of 32 people found this review helpful


By C. Oneal on 04-04-14

Initially funny but then got stuck

Its like the knock knock joke about the banana, until they finally say orange. The story is great at first and the characters seem like they will be interesting but it becomes a broken record, the characters are very one dimensional and what was funny in the beginning is becoming tedious as I continue to listen. Two thirds of the way in I realized there seem to be no story, or climax are anything interesting beyond the beginning fascination with learning about new characters. I had high hopes after having numerous disappointments. But alas it was another let down.

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12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Catherine on 12-28-12

Unexpected find

I downloaded this book on a whim,looking for something different,and absolutely loved it.It is extremely funny( laugh out loud funny at many points).The whole concept of Sandra,the heroine,studying fads,and the regular snippets of information about this throughout the story,sounds strange but works brilliantly.So there is science,chaos theory,the quirks of the corporation where she works,mad office assistants,romance,sheep....all combined in an enjoyable and well-narrated package. Highly recommended.

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By Hazel on 05-29-12

Best Listen This Year

This has been the most enjoyable book I've listened to. It is not science fiction but is set in a present day research company. The author's voice and the narrator mesh perfectly, and for anyone who has worked in the world of management the humour is sharply to the point. It's a book I shall return to more than once. I wouldn't have chosen this title but for a friend's recommendation.

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Customer Reviews

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By Wendy on 08-16-16

Annoying antagonist

Would you try another book written by Connie Willis or narrated by Kate Reading?

Hmmm. It was very predictable. The male in the story was underdeveloped. There was no opportunity to like him. And one of the other main characters (can't say as it would be a spoiler) was irritating. My sister loves this book, I didn't. So maybe I missed the charm.

Do you think Bellwether needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Please no.

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