Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum the Wall by John Lanchester

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  • #256617
    tombow
    Member

    I grabbed this novel on impulse a few days ago and am really enjoying it. I was expecting a kind of dark serious, 1984/handmaid’s tale thing, but it’s more fast and funny than I was expecting (although still dark and “of this time”). It has a little of that Dwarf/Alien feel of “regular working class people in a grimy sci fi job”. Not saying it’s a life changing masterpiece or anything but definitly liking it more than I expected

    #256618
    tombow
    Member

    (plus it definitely has a UK sense of humor. almost a Dwarf/2000ad ish humour in places)

    #256626
    Taiwan Tony
    Participant

    *insert that gif of the bloke blinking here*

    I like John Lanchester’s novels. Might give it a go. Cheers.

    #256701
    quinn_drummer
    Participant

    I’m about half way through reading the book based off of this recommendation and I’m loving it.

    Wouldn’t say I’ve found any of it particularly funny as tombow has, but it’s also not quite as dark as 1984/handmaids tales. “regular working class people in a grimy job” definitely sums it up quite well, whilst gently exploring a troubles near future.

    It’s a really easy, short read too. Which is nice as I’ve just come off reading the entire The Passage trilogoy which is about 2.5k pages with lots of lengthy description.

    What I can’t work out, and maybe tombow you can answer this, is just how big the wall is. Like, it’s described as being quite tall, but then the way the people work on it / Others come over it etc it sounds like it’s just a few feet off the ground. Certainly the inside of the wall seems like the ground is quite close if you can quickly run off and escape once you’re on top.

    #256725
    quinn_drummer
    Participant

    So you know when a book is good and you’re annoyed it ends. I was really enjoying that and was taken by surprise there wasn’t more.

    I’d kind of like more in a series of this. All from different perspectives within this vague near future he has created.

    Cheers for the post/suggest tombow

    #256762
    tombow
    Member

    I thouught the opening pages described it as being 30/50 feet high or so? They go up a few stairs to get to the top, I guess I imagined the refugees using grapple ropes etc to get over so quickly. I’m not sure why I found it “funny” so much now, I guess just the regular banter between the characters in some places and things like the politician guy being so chirpy.

    #256763
    tombow
    Member

    …and also I guess just the absurdity of it all (without giving too many spoilers) of them being giving medals one day and hated the next, and how it didn’t really matter to the people in charge who was heroic to them, who was treacherous etc. And the queasy feel of following characters on the wrong side (the people helping the others are probably more classicly heroic)

    #256784
    quinn_drummer
    Participant

    I’m sure it is described as being that high, and they do use grapple hooks. But then it’s described as them sliding down the other side and running off as if it’s a couple of feet off the ground

    the people helping the others are probably more classicly heroic

    It’s this sort of thing I’d like from a sequel. Just a different perspective of people living in this country. How they view the wall, what they do, what their lives are like etc.

    #256826
    tombow
    Member

    yeah, I guess one thing I found interesting is that Kavanagh and the gang aren’t really like, super racist patriots or full of compassion for the “others” and self-doubt about their job. They’re just…going along with it.

    #256845
    quinn_drummer
    Participant

    Yeah, its the complete indifference to everything other than having to sit on the wall for 12 hours. It’s sort of nice that it doesn’t get into a big deal about it, just “this is the situation”, without too much other thought about it.

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