The Wall: A Novel (Paperback)
Kavanagh is stuck on the wall defending the border. It's deadly cold and miserable and there's no way out of it. Everyone must serve two years on the wall where sea levels are rising and the danger of invasion by the Others is ever present. Even though the penalty for any breach of the wall is to become an outcast–an Other–Kavanagh wonders if some excitement wouldn't be better than the solitary, mind-numbing, twelve hour shifts he has to endure. In a world where the only goal seems to be continued existence, he begins to contemplate the risk of change and, even more precarious, of relationship. John Lanchester strikes a chord in this dystopian novel by underlining issues of our time–climate change, political polarization, xenophobia–in a survival story that becomes much more.— Karen
Shortlisted for the 2020 Orwell Prize
"Thrilling…A topical and deftly satirical novel." —Anna Mundow, Wall Street Journal
In this taut, dystopian tale, an island nation ravaged by the Change has built an enormous concrete barrier around its coastline—the Wall. Joseph Kavanagh, a new Defender, has one task: to protect his section of the Wall from the Others, the desperate souls trapped amid the rising seas outside. A blend of the most compelling issues of our time—climate change, increasing fear, widening divisions—The Wall is a suspenseful story of love, trust, and survival.
About the Author
John Lanchester is the best-selling author of The Debt to Pleasure, Capital, and other works of fiction and nonfiction. A regular contributor to the London Review of Books and The New Yorker, he lives in London.
Unputdownable. It’s 1984 for our times.
— Michael Lewis
A harrowing, brilliant, and troublingly plausible vision of the future.
— Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven
Gripping.… Few readers will stop until they reach its final page.
— Alec Nevala-Lee
It’s not clear what it will take to finally convince us that it’s time to panic about climate change, but works of fiction such as The Wall have an important role to play.
— Stephen Dyson
A novel that ranks alongside Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and the oeuvre of Kim Stanley Robinson as a fictional meditation on what climate change may mean for the planet.
— Tom Holland
A powerful thought experiment.
— Giles Harvey
An unsettling, compulsive and brilliant portrait of powerlessness.
— John Day
Bold and confident fiction that highlights the current American and British issues of Trumpism and Brexit. It also examines the increasingly wide social and political divide of the young and the old.
— Ant Jones
As in all good dystopian fiction, Lanchester shows us a world that could become a reality… [He] maintains measured, elegant prose–creating an assuredly human dystopian novel.
— Lucas Wittmann
— Ron Charles