Synopses & Reviews
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.
“In The Wall, John Lanchester takes our current political climate to its terrible and logical extreme. A harrowing, brilliant, and troublingly plausible vision of the future.” Emily St. John Mandel, best-selling author of Station Eleven
“Book by book, John Lanchester has proven himself one of our necessary writers, equal in wit, good nature, and fundamental sanity to whatever insane thing the new century throws at us. Like some lost work by George Orwell, The Wall reveals what’s in front of all our noses.” Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire
“A dystopian distillation of our troubled times, and an allegorical glimpse at a still-grimmer future, The Wall reminds us that even as politics corrupts and destroys and presses on undiminished, the soul erupts in surprising places to act as counterpoint and resistance. This patient, direct, suspenseful novel is one such eruption, and a civilizing comfort amid the simmering bloodlust.” Joshua Ferris, author of The Dinner Party
“A writer as funny as he is humane, John Lanchester has made a specialty of chronicling our contemporary descent into hell in the most charming possible way. This novel of life in the aftermath of climate change apocalypse is no exception. It is the scariest and most entertaining book I have read in a long time.” Keith Gessen, author of A Terrible Country
“With The Wall, John Lanchester follows his mind-boggling financial essays and his great realist novel Capital with a bold science fiction fable, a vivid, swift, chilling, and ultimately beautiful human story. All his work is of a piece—he wants his readers to see our moment better, and then do something about it.” Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars Trilogy
About the Author
John Lanchester is the author of Capital, a novel, and I.O.U., a New York Times best-seller on the financial crisis. A regular contributor to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, he lives in London.