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The Wall: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Different from so many post-apocalyptic stories in that it feels like it could really happen. It's a time not too far in the future and basically, we have ruined everything for this new generation. Military service on the Wall is demanded of these young people. It's cold, unforgiving, and dangerous. I was immersed in this story and then, glad to be out of it, and in a warm house. Lanchester is a master of setting the stage and then inviting you into the scene.

— From Anne Holman


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 novels The Debt to Pleasure, Capital, and The Wall, among others other works of fiction and nonfiction. His work has been translated into twenty-five languages and his books have won the Hawthornden Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Prize, the E. M. Forster Award, and been longlisted for the Booker Prize. A regular contributor to the London Review of Books and The New Yorker, he lives in London.

Praise For…

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

Highly relevant.
— Ron Charles
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393357776
ISBN-10: 0393357775
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: March 17th, 2020
Pages: 272
Language: English