The Wall

The Wall

A Novel

Book - 2019 | First American edition
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"The best-selling author of The Debt to Pleasure and Capital returns with a chilling fable for our time. Ravaged by the Change, an island nation in a time very like our own has built the Wall--an enormous concrete barrier around its entire border. Joseph Kavanagh, a new Defender, has one task: to protect his section of the Wall from the Others, the desperate souls who are trapped amid the rising seas outside and attack constantly. Failure will result in death or a fate perhaps worse: being put to sea and made an Other himself. Beset by cold, loneliness, and fear, Kavanagh tries to fulfill his duties to his demanding Captain and Sergeant, even as he grows closer to his fellow Defenders. And then the Others attack."--
Publisher: New York :, W. W. Norton & Company,, 2019
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9781324001638
Branch Call Number: FIC LANCH J


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Sep 19, 2020

Fast-paced and exhilarating, Lanchester's bleak vision of a future where literal walls exist between privileged society and climate change-ravaged 'the Others' keeps the reader holding their breath until the final sentence. 'The Wall' is part dystopian warning, part coming-of-age novel, as the protagonist is conscripted into mandatory service with other youth to guard the enormous border walls that circle their island nation. Initially patriotic, John Kavanaugh quickly discovers the flaws in the system that he's been taught exists to protect his county's way of life, and ultimately finds himself questioning if he and those he's sworn to kill are so different after all. A timely glimpse into an austere future that may soon not be all too fictional.

Aug 12, 2020

Great piece of dystopian fiction; author does a great job of setting the scene for his version of the future. I hope there is a sequel so we find out what happens to the main characters!

Feb 27, 2020

A chilling and provocative imagining of a society in the aftermath of environmental disaster. For the most part, the novel is well crafted, but Lanchester seems to paint himself into a corner. The story ends abruptly, in a desultory and pathetic denouement. The author might do well to write a sequel, rescuing his protagonists and the reader from the malaise.

Feb 03, 2020

Almost a fable, this novel touches on important issues and addresses trust and survival. There could be no other ending. Enjoyed.

Nov 09, 2019

Was interesting concept but also execution.... 1st person voice was pretty good. Some explanations, certainly could have shared more about what happened and how, where they were, etc...
kind of petered out at the end, less detail of everyday life on the water, with the island people, etc...

Nov 01, 2019

Was hard to read in the beginning but once I got the audiobook, narrated by Will Poulter, I was able to really enjoy it and see the events happen in my mind.

Oct 15, 2019

Excellent book. It could be classified as a dystopian novel somewhat along the lines of Atwood. It is really well written, very compact, and easy to read. It is however somewhat difficult for me to analyze it. Because of its date of publication-2019, one could see it as a metaphor for Trump's wall taken to an extreme as a result of some earth shattering event which brought about the "Change" and the wall is the protective barrier against the incursions of the "Others". I found the ending to be unsatisfactory. The problem might have been that the narration is in the first person. So the author could not kill off the narrator. I gave it a rating of 4 out of 5.

NFreaderNWPL Aug 09, 2019

Cli-Fi that is reminiscent of Magnus Mills, delivering a surprising amount of forward momentum from an austere scenario.

Jul 27, 2019

Strong start, bogged down for me about a third of the way in, but shortly after got its second wind and kept me captivated until the end. I would welcome a sequel - we don't learn anything (although we can guess) about how the book's environmental and political settings came about, and the main characters' situation at the end is stable but not for very long. All in all, a new take on a dystopian future from a skilled writer.

Jul 23, 2019

Booker Long List 2019

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Sep 19, 2020

gpiccard thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Sep 19, 2020

'The Wall' follows protagonist John Kavanagh, a young man conscripted into service guarding his island nation's extensive border wall alongside other youth. The Change, a drastic shift in weather patterns and sea levels, has rendered the outside world nearly uninhabitable and driven groups of refugees to seek shelter beyond the wall. Kavanagh and his compatriots are tasked with keeping out the so-called 'Others'; if they fail to defend the border they risk being killed or put out to sea to become Others themselves. Woven between his unit's struggle to survive freezing temperatures, assaults by groups of Others, and the precarious politics of their nation are undercurrents of love, comradery, and ultimately questions of what it means to belong.


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