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The Wall
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Group Reads > October 2019: The Wall by Marlen Haushofer

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Agnese | 55 comments This is the discussion thread for The Wall by Marlen Haushofer (translated by Shaun Whiteside), our group selection for October. Happy reading!

Michael (knowledgelost) | 31 comments I tried to listen to the audiobook for WITMonth and found it was too slow moving. Will try again with print/ebook

message 3: by Story (last edited Sep 09, 2019 05:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Story (storyheart) I'm enjoying how slow moving the audiobook myself. Different tastes :)

Michael (knowledgelost) | 31 comments Storyheart wrote: "I'm enjoying how slow moving the audiobook is myself. Different tastes :)"

I think my problem was that it caused me to be distracted too easily

Story (storyheart) I can see that, Michael. I was listening in bed with my eyes closed (insomnia) so didn't have a lot of distractions.

Aubrey (korrick) I loved this when I read it and can see myself rereading it, but definitely not at the moment. I'd be interested in reading more Haushofer, though, if there is anything I can reasonably get my hands on.

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Paul Dixon (pvdixon) | 7 comments Now that we are into October, anyone have any opening thoughts on this? Forte those that voted for this, I’m curious if it’s a re-read or something you’ve always wanted to get to?

Agnese | 55 comments Paul wrote: "Now that we are into October, anyone have any opening thoughts on this? Forte those that voted for this, I’m curious if it’s a re-read or something you’ve always wanted to get to?"

It was only fairly recently that I became aware of this book and I've been wanting to get to it since I'm interested in exploring more translated science fiction, especially by women writers.

Ella (ellamc) | 37 comments I learned about this book from the list, so that's the list doing exactly what it was supposed to do. Even though I've read quite a few of the books on this list, I have a long ways to go before I've read them all.

This book made me think - quite deeply and existentially. I live in a very populated area with all sorts of industry and big roads, highways, shopping, etc around. Since reading this book (and while reading it,) I've been obsessed with trying to imagine myself as the only person left in my little neck of the not-woods. Honestly, it's fairly hard to do during the daylight hours when all I can see is people, and I have come to the rather worrisome conclusion that I'd rather be the last person left than be in some sort of apocalypse with other human beings around. At first my thought was "Oh, I could live off the grocery stores and the library's right down the street & luckily I live around all of this 'civilization stuff' and not very far away are horses & farms & cows...."

My first bad thought was "some imbecile would burn the books for fuel/heat/whatever." After thinking that, I couldn't really imagine the world without really horrible people killing me over the last piece of key lime pie at the supermarket or something equally idiotic.

Then the other night, I heard this terrifying sound at 4 AM -- a sound I've never heard before (I'm a city girl.) It turned out to be a fox, apparently a hurt fox, and that's when I was suddenly able to picture myself alone in the world -- with the scary-sounding fox. I decided I'd much rather deal with an angry fox than people. This makes me sound horrible, but I agree with the narrator that most of the harm I've experienced has come from other people.

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Jen | 7 comments My library copy has arrived so I'm just wrapping up my current book before joining in. I only had this on my radar for a short while before the list came out.

message 11: by Paul (new) - added it

Paul Dixon (pvdixon) | 7 comments I’m about 35% done with this and I’m struggling to keep with it. As-is, I think it’s a great short story or novella, with some beautiful writing and a well-realized atmosphere. The connection between being a widow with adult children and literally the only human in the planet is interesting and our unnamed protagonist is introspective.

Just staring at the rest of the book, though, makes me think there’s going to be a big thing that happens and makes this novella just a setup to the thing. I like that there are no zombies, no quest to find the thing, no real desire to break through the wall. Either that or we get a whole lot more of the same.

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 7 comments I finished yesterday morning and I enjoyed reading this one so much! I'm trying to read the list and that's where I found this book. I live on an island and have a love of watching our animals. We have birds, squirrels and deer around all of the time. We even had a fawn born out back last spring. I loved the connections to animals and subsistence and also imagined myself in that situation. We have neighbors and a bridge to the island, so being totally alone here would be quite different, but it wasn't as much of a stretch to imagine it as it would be for those of you living in cities. I think the reading audience's ability and/or desire to personalize the story will come into play here and influence the response to the book. I'll check back in when I see others have finished.

Agnese | 55 comments I think there's a lot to like in this book. It's quite an unusual take on the post-apocalyptic (?) genre and I liked how, through the imposed isolation and deep connection to animals, the protagonist slowly discovered her inner strength and true identity as a woman outside of the restrictive familial and societal roles.
At the same time, I'm not gonna lie - while there's some beautiful writing, the slow pace of the story made it a rather tedious reading experience.

message 14: by Michael (last edited Oct 28, 2019 10:37PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michael (knowledgelost) | 31 comments This book really wasn't for me, just too slow and I kept running out of patients. It probably didn't help that I was reading Ducks, Newburyport at the same time

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