Book - 1996
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"Sandra Foster studies fads--from Barbie dolls to the grunge look--how they start and what they mean. Bennett O'Reilly is a chaos theorist studying monkey group behavior. They both work for the HiTek corporation, strangers until a misdelivered package brings them together. It's a moment of synchronicity--if not serendipity--which leads them into a chaotic system of their own, complete with a million-dollar research grant, caffè latte, tattoos, and a series of unlucky coincidences that leaves Bennett monkeyless, fundless, and nearly jobless. Sandra intercedes with a flock of sheep and an idea for a joint project. (After all, what better animal to study both chaos theory and the herd mentality that so often characterizes human behavior?) But scientific discovery is rarely straightforward and never simple, and Sandra and Bennett have to endure a series of setbacks, heartbreaks, dead ends, and disasters before they find their ultimate answer"--Back cover.
Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 1996.
ISBN: 9780553375626
Characteristics: 247 pages ; 20 cm


From Library Staff

No vampires here, but amazingly funny.

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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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Aug 19, 2011

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

Nov 26, 2010

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

May 13, 2010

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


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Nov 26, 2010

unreg_75567122 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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