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The Wall

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,735 ratings  ·  216 reviews
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. This novel is at once a simple and mo ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 16th 1999 by Cleis Press (first published 1962)
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Best German/Austrian Literature
57th out of 520 books — 500 voters
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Jezebel's Books All Women Should Read
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I read The Wall because it was assigned to me as part of a German Women Writers in Translation course. Wait... don't stop reading, quite yet... I had reservations about the novel when I first started it, because I thought it would either be dull and boring, or it would be too much like science fiction/fantasy or a nature novel, two genres I don't enjoy most of the time. It is neither.
This novel is actually a portrait of courage. As others have said, the unnamed author finds that she is the last
I discovered Marlen Haushofer’s ‘The Wall’ through a friend's review of the film version of the book. It looked like a dystopian novel and I also suspected that Stephen King’s ‘Under the Dome’ was inspired by Haushofer’s book in some ways. Something about the book tugged at my heart, and I couldn’t articulate it then. So, I went and got the book and started reading it last week. I finished reading it yesterday. Here is what I think.

The story told in ‘The Wall’ is simple. The nameless heroine, a
I have to admit that though I work in publishing and though, up until 2010, I lived more years in Switzerland than I’d lived in the United States, I’d never heard of Marlen Haushofer until this year. True, Frau Haushofer was Austrian, and was born in Frauenstein, Austria in 1920. But Austria borders Switzerland (to the east) and both countries speak dialects derived from High German. No matter what we speak in everyday life, both Swiss and Austrians write in High German. And I attended school in ...more
Book2moviechallenge 2012
12/12 Ein Film der 2012 aus einer Literaturvorlage veröffentlicht wird

Buch 5 Sterne
Eines jener Bücher, das mich beim erstmaligen Lesen vor mehr als 10 Jahren am meisten beeindruckt und gleichzeitig extrem verstört hat. Die Hauptdarstellerin ist zu Gast auf Sommerfrische bei Freunden in einer einsamen Jagdhütte, wacht am Morgen auf und muss feststellen, dass sie in einer relativ weitläufigen gläsernen Kuppel gefangen ist. Ihre Gastgeber wollten am Vortag kurz ins Dorf ge
Christine Hurd
I saw the film first. Beautiful cinematography, a one-woman exhibition of acting talent. I knew that the voice-over narration was lifted nearly verbatim from the text, and so I knew I had to read it properly. At the end of the edition I purchased, the director of the film says that The Wall is supposedly a perfect representation of depression. I agree. I think that those who loved The Bell Jar in youth would find this to be the continuation of inescapable honesty that the life-long depresseive r ...more
I am going to be in the minority when it comes to reviewing this book. After reading the reviews and the synopsis on the back of the book, I thought I was in a for an “I can’t put this down” kind of book. Instead I got a “Wow, is this book ever going to end” book.

I love post-apocalyptic stories, which is why I was drawn to this one. Unfortunately what I got was a woman rambling one and one about the sameness of her life. In the story, the nameless character is somehow trapped in a rural area whe
Mar 07, 2009 Maggie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maggie by: Betsy
Stunning. About isolation and relationships with animals... it's just incredible! One of my favorite books.
How would you react if you woke up one day and found that you were all alone? Somehow an invisible wall appears overnight blocking the heroine's valley from the outside world. She can see the other side but the picture is grim: people and animals frozen in place. We don't ever find out exactly what happened. And the reason she is writing is not to tell others her story but rather to stave off insanity during the long nights of her second winter.

She is writing on scraps of paper. That may be why
Kevin Neilson
The plot is essentially that of Robinson Crusoe, albeit more boring and with a more back-to-nature theme. The protagonist becomes isolated in an island of sorts--a section of the Alps surrounded by an invisible wall. I read this in the original German, but I have to admit I skimmed much of the last third, as it became very drawn-out, and the details of the daily activities of the protagonist--collecting berries, chopping firewood, hunting with the dog--soon became tiresome. There are some genuni ...more
Marlen Haushofer's "The Wall" begins like the progeny of Hamsun's "Growth of the Soil" and Palsen's "Hatchet" with a bit of Bronte and Beckett thrown in, but by the end, it is very much its own book; completely unique in its heartbreaking eloquence. The unnamed protagonist, a middle-aged woman, must fend for herself in the forest in order to survive the unexplained occurrence that severs her ties with the rest of the world. She must re-invent herself and piece together a new existence or perish. ...more
Mooi, zeer mooi zelfs. Een fascinerend boek wat ik even moest laten bezinken, en het blijft nog steeds door mijn hoofd spoken.

Het is geschreven in 1963 maar is absoluut tijdloos. Zo is er sprake van een onbestemde dreiging maar wanneer is dat nu niet het geval..
De strijd van de naamloze vrouw tegen de elementen, de strijd om het bestaan, om te overleven wordt afgewisseld met filosofische bespiegelingen zoals hier over de tijd:
‘Ich sitze am Tisch, und die Zeit steht still. Ich kann sie nicht seh
2 Totoros

Rezension auch hier ==> Marlen Haushofer – Die Wand | AnjaIsReading

Als ich das erste Mal von diesem Buch gehört habe, hatte es schon fast 50 Jahre auf dem Buckel. Vermutlich durch die Verfilmung mit Martina Gedeck in der Hauptrolle (die ich übrigens nicht gesehen habe) wieder ins Gedächtnis der Leserschaft gebracht, wurde es im Radio als Lesetipp vorgestellt und ist sofort auf meiner Wunschliste gelandet. Die Geschichte klang einfach zu gut: Wie die Buchbeschreibung schon verrät, macht eine F
Livia Drusilla
Very intruiging book! I was reading this for a book group I belong to, and at first I wasn’t really looking forward to it, as I thought it was going to be very sci-fi, which isn’t my preferred style of books at all. Although the starting point is of course very sci-fi (an invisible wall cuts a woman off from the rest of the world) the rest of the book isn’t at all. We get a very detailed description of the daily activities of this woman in order to stay alive: how she provides food, cuts wood, t ...more
A surprising and quietly delightful read. I thought about it for days afterwards - why was it so compelling? Was it science fiction? Was it something else?

You could say that it simply details the daily labours of a lone woman, which makes it sound unutterably boring. It could have been boring, but it wasn't. The woman - whose name we never learn - wakes up to find herself entirely alone after an unexplained catastrophe. This is the science fiction part, and the only nod to that particular genre
about the last human alive (as far as she knows) due to some crazy circumstance. living in the mountains with a few animals, trying to survive. part of the reason i liked this so much was that it really read like a diary, a sparse journal of work & small joys. slow & rich. full of the simple tasks that make up her day. & i liked that although the event that made her life what it was could definitely be classified as sci-fi, the rest of the book wasn't. i find post-apocalyptic novels ...more
Lady Fancifull
Someone (I can’t remember who you were, but possibly a reviewer who may have mentioned this in passing) sent me to search out and get The Wall, a 1968 book by the Austrian writer Marlen Haushofer, which has been reprinted, thanks no doubt to the 2013 German film Die Wand, which, by all accounts is as sensitive, thought provoking and disturbing as Haushofer’s original book. Unknown reviewer, whoever you were, thank you.

It is difficult to know where to start with this unsettling, reflective, heart
I'm not the kind of person to roam forests alone or even go to botanical gardens for fun, but that's because I'm allergic to most things that sprout freely from the ground.This book made me wish I could, made me imagine I was, and left lingering feelings that there's something I am missing from living in an urban city and such a technological age. It has been the only motivation I've had to actually take my allergy medication and go to the nearby national parks and just imagine.
Though, at the s
This is a book of heart-stopping beauty and simplicity! I have not been this moved in a long time.

First, a potential reader should be warned that this is not really science fiction. The premise is sci-fi--namely that the narrator suddenly and mysteriously finds herself as the only person living, surrounded by a inexplicable invisible wall. The people she can glimpse through the wall seem frozen stiff. Second, be warned that this is not a fast-moving, plot-driven book. Instead, it is a subtle, ly
„Eine Frau wacht eines Morgens in einer Jagdhütte in den Bergen auf und findet sich eingeschlossen von einer unsichtbaren Wand, hinter der kein Leben mehr existiert…“

Eine einmalige Geschichte auf unglaublich inspirierendem Hintergrund, die sehr tiefgründige und existenzielle Fragen aufwirft, dabei einfach und gut zu lesen ist. Eine namenlose Hauptperson, die im Lauf der Geschichte so viele Facetten zeigt, dass ich mich sehr oft in ihr wiederfinden konnte.

Ich habe dieses Buch schon zu Schulzeite
Eine Frau, deren Namen man weder im Hörbuch noch in der Printausgabe erfährt, will einige Tage mit ihrer Cousine und deren Mann in einer Jagdhütte verbringen. Das Ehepaar geht abends noch in das Dorf, während die Protagonistin in der Hütte bleibt. Am nächsten Morgen wacht sie auf und ist alleine. Sie macht sich auf, die beiden zu suchen, stößt jedoch auf eine gläserne Wand, die sie von der Umgebung abzuschirmen scheint. Doch bei genauerem Betrachten ist alles jenseits der Wand zu Stein erstarrt. ...more
Christoph Brecht
Es gibt Bücher, die kann man immer wieder lesen. Davon gibt es nicht viele, denn kennt man erstmal wie es ausgeht, verlieren viele Bücher seinen Reiz.
Die Wand ist ein Buch, was ich bestimmt schon 5 mal gelesen habe. Es ist einfach fazinierend. Viele sagen es ist einfach eine andere Form von Robinson Cruseo, für mich ist es viel mehr als das.
Worum es geht kann man an vielen Stellen nachlesen. Ich sag nur: Last euch drauf ein.
Ich werde oft seltsam angeguckt wenn ich dieses Buch als eines meiner L
Chrystal Grcevich
This book, unfortunately, took me forever to read; despite it not being particularly long. While the writer took great care in describing all the events of this book in great detail, I found that the plot drove me absolutely insane. It seemed that there was no actual climax of the story unless you count the part in the very beginning of the book when the wall appears. After that, it is pretty much downhill and very droll.

I wanted to like this book, I really did. The idea of being isolated and ha
Dieses Buch hat mich sehr beeindruckt. Es hat meine Erwartungen, die ich vor dem Lesen hatte, bei weitem übertroffen.

Eine Frau macht einen Ausflug zu einer Jagdhütte in den Bergen und wacht eines Morgens auf, um festzustellen, dass sie nun scheinbar der letzte überlebende Mensch ist. Sie stößt auf eine unsichtbare und unüberwindlich scheinende Wand, hinter der alles Leben, außer dem pflanzlichen, geendet hat. Ihr einziger Gefährte ist zunächst ein Hund. Später kommen noch eine Kuh und Katzen hin
I was really looking forward to reading this book and while the first few pages were intriguing, the book quickly became a grind to get through. The pace and mood seemed similar to the Catcher in the Rye (which I am not too fond of)- a depressing book. And maybe that's the point of the story given the circumstances that the main character has to deal with. I will admit that I probably do not have the literary knowledge to fully appreciate what the author is trying to convey, but I was hoping for ...more
A post-apocalyptic Doctor Doolittle, or ALL CREATURES GREAT & DEAD, this book pre-dates UNDER THE DOME by about 40 years and does that story way better. Haushofer is not interested in genre trappings, but rather in the internal life of a single woman thrust into a surreal situation. Because of this emphasis and my own thwarted genre expectations, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the decidedly feminist overtones of the story: this woman needs no man to keep her alive, and a life of lite ...more
Ich hab den Stil von Anfang an gemocht. Ich liebe solche Geschichten; über den Untergang der "Menschheit", über Einsamkeit und den Kampf, den der letzte Überlebende in erster Linie mit sich selber auszutragen hat. Ich hab die Reise geliebt, auf die mich dieses Buch mitgenommen hat und es ist eine "dieser Geschichten", die man nicht wieder so schnell los wird. Absolut genial und trotz einiger Wiederholungen, was die Tätigkeiten der namenlosen Protagonistin angeht, absolut lesenswert.
Freue mich sc
Wat een schitterend boek! Een aanrader.
��Se io non sono per me, chi �� per me? E, se io sono solo per me stesso, cosa sono? E se non ora, quando?��
- [Hillel il Vecchio - Talmud] -

Pu�� essere un libro crudele e avere un forte poter pacificatore nello stesso tempo? Essere claustrofobico e risuonare come un inno alla natura e agli immensi spazi verdi lasciati al suo dominio? Essere un romanzo sulla dolorosa separazione da tutto ci�� che la vita cittadina contempla e anche esaltazione del rapporto istintivo e pieno di calore fra l'essere
I read this book shortly after watching the first season of the television adaptation of Stephen King’s Under the Dome and it’s impossible not to compare the two although really the only thing they have in common is that an invisible and seemingly impenetrable barrier mysteriously appears one day imprisoning (or protecting, depending on your point of view) those within. In King’s case it’s the town of Chester’s Mill in Maine; in Haushofer’s it’s a number of chalets and hunting lodges in a corner ...more
Vreemd dat een boek zo spannend kan zijn, zonder dat het een thriller is. Het verhaal is simpel, een onzichtbare wand scheidt een vrouw af van de rest van de wereld. In het gezelschap van haar hond, kat en koe, probeert ze te overleven in een bos en vertelt ze over haar dagdagelijkse bezigheden en bekommernissen. Over hoe ze steeds verder verwijderd wordt van de vrouw die ze was vòòr de wand en zich aanpast aan het zware leven, waarbij ze helemaal afhankelijk wordt van haar eigen handigheid.
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Marlen Haushofer was born in Frauenstein, Molln, Austria on April the 11th, 1920. She went to a Catholic gymnasium that was turned in a public school under the Nazi regime. She started her studies on German Language and Literature, in 1940 in Vienna and later on in Graz. She married the dentist Manfred Haushofer in 1941, they divorced in 1950 but reunited in 1957. They had a son together, in addit ...more
More about Marlen Haushofer...
Die Mansarde Wir Töten Stella / Das Fünfte Jahr Die Tapetentür Himmel, der nirgendwo endet. Bartls Abenteuer

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“External freedom has probably never existed, but neither have I ever known anyone who knew inner freedom.” 9 likes
“Im Grunde sind diese Gedanken ganz ohne Bedeutung. Die Dingen geschehen eben und ich suche, wie Millionen Menschen vor mir, in ihnen einen Sinn, weil meine Eitelkeit nicht gestatten will, zuzugeben, daß der ganze Sinn eines Geschehnisses in ihm selbst liegt. Kein Käfer, den ich achtlos zertrete, wird in diesem, für ihn traurigen Ereignis einen geheimnisvollen Zusammenhang von universeller Bedeutung sehen, Er war in dem Augenblick unter meinem Fuß, als ich niedertrat; Wohlbehagen im Licht, ein kurzer schriller Schmerz und Nichts. Nur wir sind dazu verurteilt, einer Bedeutung nachzujagen, die es nicht geben kann.” 4 likes
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