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
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.
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.
…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)
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.
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.