The Wall

John Lanchester (Author)


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 coastline. 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 are a constant threat. 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. A dark part of him wonders whether it would be interesting if something did happen, if they came, if he had to fight for his life...

John Lanchester--acclaimed as "an elegant and wonderfully witty writer" (New York Times) and "a writer of rare intelligence" (Los Angeles Times)--has written a taut, hypnotic novel of a broken world and what might be found when all is lost. The Wall blends the most compelling issues of our time--rising waters, rising fear, rising political division--into a suspenseful story of love, trust, and survival.

Product Details

$25.95  $23.87
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
March 05, 2019
6.4 X 1.0 X 9.3 inches | 1.2 pounds
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About the Author

John Lanchester is the best-selling author of The Debt to Pleasure, Capital, and other works of fiction and nonfiction. A regular contributor to the London Review of Books and The New Yorker, he lives in London.


Gripping...Full of tense action and sudden reversals...Few readers will stop until they reach its final page.--Alec Nevala-Lee
Thrilling...A topical and deftly satirical novel.--Anna Mundow
A chilling reminder of the ease with which myopia can turn to dystopia.--Michael Magras
Chillingly real.--Boris Kachka
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
Bold and confident fiction that highlights the current American and British issues of Trumpism and Brexit.
The Wall is something new: almost an allegory, almost a dystopian-future warning, partly an elegant study of the nature of storytelling itself. I was hugely impressed by it.--Philip Pullman