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The Wall: LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE…
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The Wall: LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019 (original 2019; edition 2019)

by John Lanchester (Author)

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7015132,458 (3.6)47
"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. . . . Acclaimed British novelist John Lanchester, "a writer of rare intelligence" (Los Angeles Times), delivers a taut dystopian novel that blends the most compelling issues of our time--rising waters, rising fear, rising political division--into a suspenseful story of love, trust, and survival"--… (more)
Member:lucymdickinson
Title:The Wall: LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019
Authors:John Lanchester (Author)
Info:Faber & Faber (2019), Edition: Main, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Wall by John Lanchester (2019)

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» See also 47 mentions

English (49)  German (2)  All languages (51)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
a dystopian story that's hypnotic and so, so claustrophobic...this is a future that we humans might just be foolish and careless enough to bring down on us, and maybe soon, too...

i've just finished this and i feel spent.

concrete, water, wind, sky...concrete, water, wind, sky... ( )
  riida | Oct 20, 2023 |
A bit heavy-handed, but maybe that’s why this book is so good - because it’s premise is so terrifyingly real.

After a slow start I could not put it down until the end. ( )
  KristinDiBum | Jul 21, 2023 |
If I don't over intellectualize to much, I have to say I quite enjoyed reading this dystopian survival story. But, other than the fact it was topical (climate change, walls/border control, younger generation blaming the elder for the world's woes), I am not really sure how this gets nominated for such a prominent literary prize.

But, I enjoyed the narrative voice of a young man serving his mandatory military service and I thought a lot of his emotions were artfully, if not beautifully, described. The second half morphs a bit from a description of a dystopian world to more of a gripping survival adventure tale . . .and that generated more suspense for me. Unfortunately, the ending felt a bit like the author got sick of his own tale and wasn't quite sure how to deal with it. Soooo many unanswered questions throughout meant I had to ding the plot more than I really wanted to. Basically, I liked the storytelling, but not sure even the best edit would really make this a Booker prize winner . . .despite the fact I really enjoyed reading it. ( )
  Anita_Pomerantz | Mar 23, 2023 |
The novel hitting stores in 2019 has a promising start, and is appropriately appropriate given our socio-eco-political environment dominated by Boris Trump - Brexit and the US Mexican wall.

I listened rather than read. The fact that I found the narrator to have a rather annoying voice - slightly whiny with not much variation in pitch influenced my view of the novel.

Monotonously monotone.

Parts 1 and 2 were good and held my attention. Part 1 is about life on a wall that surrounds Britain to keep the rising water and the wannabe refugees (“The Others”) out.

At times I was reminded of Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians” though this level rises nowhere near the heights and subtleties of Coetzee’s novel.

The main character is a “Defender” working on The Wall to watch for breaches by The Others.

It’s a horrible life but he gets through it till Part 2 when trouble breaks out.

Forced to leave Britain (I can’t tell more without giving the plot away) Part 3 is about life at sea in the post-apocalyptic world.

The novel ends unconvincingly with the main character and his lover managing to survive.

The main problems I found was the narrator’s boring voice and the lack of a supporting cast of characters. There are some, but their depictions are shallow and we don’t get to know them at all.

Good to read if you aren’t yet sick of dystopian novels and want to be lulled to sleep by the narrator - and prose. ( )
  kjuliff | Feb 10, 2023 |
Speculative fiction set in the near future, where Great Britain (we presume) has been isolated from the rest of the world by the titular Wall, a seawall that surrounds the entire country. As the story opens, protagonist Joseph Kavanagh has just arrived for duty at the Wall. He has just started his two-year assignment to defend the country from invasion by Others. Defenders that fail in their assignments find themselves set adrift at sea, which is tantamount to a death sentence.

There is little known about how the world has arrived in this dystopian state. It is an unusual mix of high- tech weaponry and throwbacks to the past such as reliance on bicycles. It does not overtly discuss politics, but whatever decisions have been made have resulted in an environmental catastrophe.

It examines the effect of decisions made by an older generation on the younger. The storytelling is quite successful – Kavanagh goes through a number of changes in circumstances, with further shed light on the situation in the world, with its rising sea levels and forced migrations (both of which the Wall is intended to inhibit).

The narrative covers first the Wall, then the Sea, and finally the Others. We view these through Kavanagh’s experiences. I found it extremely relevant to today’s world. The social commentary is quite pointed, though never heavy-handed. It is all told through the storyline, and Kavanagh’s journey. He starts out quite naïve, but by the end, he has gained knowledge and wisdom, though his circumstances become more dire. I do not want to say too much, but I found the ending satisfying. Recommended to fans of dystopian or speculative fiction. ( )
  Castlelass | Nov 9, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Lanchesterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Poulter, WillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memory of Peggie Geraghty
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It's cold on the Wall.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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. . . . Acclaimed British novelist John Lanchester, "a writer of rare intelligence" (Los Angeles Times), delivers a taut dystopian novel that blends the most compelling issues of our time--rising waters, rising fear, rising political division--into a suspenseful story of love, trust, and survival"--

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