Nothing But Culture Book of the Week: John Lanchester 'The Wall'.

Our book of the week is new thriller The Wall, from acclaimed author, John Lanchester.

Kavanagh begins his life patrolling the Wall. If he’s lucky, if nothing goes wrong, he only has two years of this, 729 more nights.

The best thing that can happen is that he survives and gets off the Wall and never has to spend another day of his life anywhere near it. He longs for this to be over; longs to be somewhere else.

He will soon find out what Defenders do and who the Others are. Along with the rest of his squad, he will endure cold and fear day after day, night after night. But somewhere, in the dark cave of his mind, he thinks: wouldn’t it be interesting if something did happen, if they came, if you had to fight for your life?

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John Lanchester’s thrilling, hypnotic new novel is about why the young are right to hate the old. It’s about a broken world you will recognise as your own—and about what might be found when all is lost.

The Wall is out now.


About John Lanchester

John Lanchester was born in Hamburg in 1962. He has worked as a football reporter, obituary writer, book editor, restaurant critic, and deputy editor of the London Review of Books, where he is a contributing editor. He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker. He has written four novels, The Debt to PleasureMr Phillips and Fragrant Harbour, and Capital, and two works of non-fiction: Family Romance, a memoir; and Whoops!: Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay, about the global financial crisis. His books have won the Hawthornden Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Prize, E.M Forster Award, and the Premi Llibreter, been longlisted for the Booker Prize, and been translated into twenty-five languages. He is married, has two children and lives in London.