Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Wall by Marlene Haushofer

by:  Marlene Haushofer (english translation Shaun Whiteside)
published by:  Cleis Press
publish date:  1999 (originally 1962)

First published to acclaim in Germany, The Wall chronicles the life of the last surviving human on earth, an ordinary middle-aged woman who awakens one morning to find that everyone else has vanished. Assuming her isolation to be the result of a military experiment gone awry, she begins the terrifying work of survival and self-renewal.

The main character of the book is a middle aged woman alone in a hunting lodge.  The reader never learns her name.  She awakes to find that she is alone, a dog named Lynx is her only companion when she finds that she is cut off from the rest of the world by an invisible barrier she calls The Wall.  On the other side of The Wall she discovers that humans have turned to stone.  From the safety of her side of The Wall, she starts to build a life for herself.  

This book is remarkably similar to Stephen King's Under the Dome, however, there's no trying to get out or in and there's not much drama.  It made me wonder if that's where he got the idea for Under the Dome.  Unlike UTD, The Wall is simply an accounting of one woman's struggle to survive.  I was really amazed at how 50 years later this book could stand up next to any other dystopian being published today and it would be just as good.

Fans of dystopian or post-apocalyptic, adult or YA would probably enjoy this book.   The audiobook was excellent, I would definitely recommend it if you're into that.  I've seen a lot of criticism about this book being boring and I could understand that, but for me, I guess I got really into.  I adored it.  Whenever she was happy, I was happy, whenever she was sad, I was really sad.  I guess it depends how much you can identify with the main character.  

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