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The Bees: A Novel
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Published:
HarperCollins 2014
Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
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Description

The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.

Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window.

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Street Date:
05/06/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062331168
ASIN:
B00FJ3CM7M
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Laline Paull. (2014). The Bees: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Laline Paull. 2014. The Bees: A Novel. HarperCollins.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Laline Paull, The Bees: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Laline Paull. The Bees: A Novel. HarperCollins, 2014.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Laline Paull studied English at Oxford, screenwriting in Los Angeles, and theater in London. She lives in England with her husband, photographer Adrian Peacock, and their three children.

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title
The Bees
fullDescription

The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society—and lead her to unthinkable deeds.

Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: ���Huffington Post
      • content:

        "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

        "It's rare to come across a book as mind-blowingly imaginative as Laline Paull's The Bees. It's even more rare for such works to be successful, well-written, gripping stories...The Bees is an utterly memorable wonder of a novel." — Kirkus Reviews

        "A marvelous work of fiction... The parallels to "1984" and Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" are numerous but this story is also its own." — Florida Times-Union

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 24, 2014
        Dystopia meets the Discovery Channel in this audacious debut novel. Flora 717, a bee born to the lowest social strata at the orchard hive, is different than her kin. Her uncommon earnestness and skill lead her to various jobs���from child rearing to food gathering���and earn her the respect and admiration of her peers. But Flora���s advances also expose her to the hive���s questionable social order and attract negative attention from the elite group of bees closest to the queen. Like Animal Farm for the Hunger Games generation, Paull���s book features characters who are both anthropomorphized and not���insects scientifically programmed to ���Accept, Obey and Serve,��� but who also find themselves capable of questioning that programming. The result is at times comic���picture bees having an argument���but made less so by the all-too-real violent stakes involved in maintaining beehive status quo (sacrifices, massacres, the tearing of bee heads from bee bodies). Dystopian fiction so often highlights the human capacity for authoritarianism, but Paull investigates bees��� reliance on it: what is a hivemind, after all, if not evolutionarily beneficial thought control? And while Flora 717 may not be the next Katniss Everdeen, she symbolizes the power that knowledge has to engender change, even in nature.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        April 15, 2014
        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.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

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The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all—daring to challenge the Queen's fertility—enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy...

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