The Wall

In Book Reviews on August 13, 2014 at 6:00 am
Quartet Books Limited 2013

Quartet Books Limited 2013 (Originally published in Germany in 1968)

I know too that I, like every living thing, will have to die some day, but my hands, my feet and my guts still don’t know it, which is why death seems so unreal.

Nutshell blurb: A woman is vacationing in the countryside when an invisible wall appears and traps her within it.

I’ve read Under the Dome by Stephen King and I can’t help but wonder if he ever read this book before writing his. There are some minor similarities as both are tales of survival however, Mr. King’s book features a town of people who are cut off from the rest of society and Ms. Haushofer’s story is about a woman who tries to survive and has only animals to keep her company. They are quite different even though they have the same theme.

This book is relatively short but it took me a long time to read it. I really had trouble with the pacing at first. It crawls. The more I thought about it, though, the more I wondered why I need stuff to happen so quickly. I had to make myself slow down and appreciate the drama of this book. It’s in journal format (which I really like) however, there are no headings, chapters or breaks between paragraphs to give one room to breathe. I had a really difficult time with this format at first and I wondered if I was going to be able to make it through the entire book.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that this was my problem and not the book’s. I read so quickly and I like things to happen, but I think that sometimes I need to slooooooow down and enjoy the ride. Once I did that, I was able to fully appreciate this book.

Basically, the entire book is about what’s going on in this woman’s head as she tries to make sense of her situation and survive in it. Her lack of interaction with any other human leads her to think about heavy subjects like death and the meaning of life. She also looks back on her previous life before the wall and wondered why she was so preoccupied with things that didn’t matter.

Sometimes I’m struck by how important it once was  not to be five minutes late. An awful lot of people I knew seemed to see their watches as little idols, and that always struck me as sensible. If you’re already living in slavery, it’s a good idea to keep to the rules and not put your master in a bad humour.

Interesting stuff.

In the end, I really enjoyed this book. I’m not sure about it’s re-readability factor, but I’m glad I read it. I’m ready to watch the film now.

  1. It’s a really good, interesting movie. I haven’t read the book though, and not sure I would. Maybe if I was in the mood for something really introspective, but that doesn’t come around very often.

  2. You read it! I’m glad you liked it. I’ll have to gear up to read it in German, since I happen to be anal about reading books in the original language whenever possible. I’m really glad you liked it. 🙂

    • You’ll have to let me know what you think of it once you’ve read it. I wish that I could read in different languages as well. I’m wondering how much is lost in translation.

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