Author(s): John Lanchester
Kavanagh begins his life patrolling the Wall. If he's lucky, if nothing goes wrong, he only has two years of this, 729 more nights. The best thing that can happen is that he survives and gets off the Wall and never has to spend another day of his life anywhere near it. He longs for this to be over; longs to be somewhere else. He will soon find out what Defenders do and who the Others are. Along with the rest of his squad, he will endure cold and fear day after day, night after night. But somewhere, in the dark cave of his mind, he thinks: wouldn't it be interesting if something did happen, if they came, if you had to fight for your life? John Lanchester's thrilling, hypnotic new novel is about why the young are right to hate the old. It's about a broken world you will recognise as your own-and about what might be found when all is lost.
Set in a world where climate change and rising oceans means there is little land left for people to survive on, The Wall is a scarily compelling peek into a possible future if we continue wreaking havoc on our environment. Despite this underlying message, the book is not preachy and is a gripping dystopian read that introduces Kavanagh, a young man sent for his obligatory year of duty on the Wall - a concrete structure which lines the entire coast to keep 'the Others' out. The opening pages plunge the reader into a bleak world of bitter cold and darkness, where time passes achingly slowly and there is terror at the prospect of the wall being invaded by the Others - desperate individuals trying to escape life at sea. Kavanagh soon becomes accustomed to the life and culture of the wall, nurturing a secret hope to become a member of the country's elite who live in the skies, forming a romantic attachment to one of his fellow soldiers and serving under the enigmatic Captain, a man who serves years voluntarily on the Wall but who used to be an Other. An intense read, but I enjoyed it. Jemma