The Wall

Max Annas (Author) Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds (Translator)


Winner of the 2017 German Crime Fiction Prize

Moses wants one thing: to get home, where his girlfriend and a cold beer are waiting for him. But his car breaks down on an empty street, not a single human being in sight. Moses slips into The Pines, a gated community, in hopes to find help from a university classmate who lives there. Over there, in the "white" world, everything seems calm, orderly, safe. But once inside, he feels like more of an outsider than ever. And he makes a terrible mistake.

Mistaken identities, racial profiling, and class politics form the backdrop of this intense thriller. The Wall tackles the issues of gun violence, racism, and exclusion in contemporary South Africa--problems that are equally relevant in the United States.

"Annas works like a film director, bombarding us with shot and counter-shot. The reader races to the explosion... an actual shootout. THE WALL is a fantastic, yet very funny, novel... Fast, hard and dangerous. A cheetah in book form." Die Welt (Germany)

"Fear and distrust of anyone who counts as 'the other.' [...]...jam-packed with action, thrills and suspense. A brilliant success!" Deutschlandradio Kultur (Germany)

"Ducking, hiding, running - these are what drive the novel's dynamics, its minute-by-minute choreography. Instincts dictate behaviors. In this case: prejudice, aversions, and racism." Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)

Before writing novels, Max Annas worked as a journalist. A renowned film critic, his first novel, The Farm, is currently under film production in South Africa.

Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
Catalyst Press
Publish Date
May 21, 2019
6.0 X 0.6 X 8.9 inches | 0.5 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Max Annas was born in 1963 in Cologne. He is a journalist, film critic, nonfiction author, and novelist. With his three award-winning novels--Die Farm, Die Mauer, and Illegal--he has developed a distinctive voice and is widely regarded as one of the finest German-language crime fiction writers. His latest thriller is called Finsterwalde (2018). After many years in South Africa, he now lives and works in Berlin.
Rachel Hildebrandt Reynolds, founder of the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI), is the translator of multiple novels from German to English, including Annas' The Wall, which World Literature Today listed as one of the 75 notable translations in 2019.


"[P]olished prose lifts the tale up, raises the tension step by step" --NY Journal of Books
"The Wall was a thrilling chase through an unusual and surprisingly frightening setting: a well-to-do gated community in South Africa [...] Moses is a compelling every-man protagonist, caught up in a case of mistaken identity, and the cinematic quality to the story telling takes you running right alongside him as he eludes capture." --Natalie Draper, librarian Richmond Public Library (Virginia)
"[Annas] turns this cat and mouse game into a life and death struggle that catches you up in its drama and suspense." --Lively Arts magazine
"[A] refreshing snappy crime caper" --The Herald (South Africa)
"The Wall is a breathless, irrepressible thriller that packs a punch." --NB Magazine
"75 Notable Translations of 2019," World Literature Today
"The story takes place over just two short hours -- filled with twists and turns and non-stop chases along the way. The Wall is an intense thriller, with second-by-second near misses [...] An exploration of racial profiling, class, exclusion, and chance." Shelf Unbound Magazine