The Wall

I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer's The Wall , a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being. Surmising her solitude is the result of a too successful military experiment, she begins the terrifying work of not only survival, but self-renewal. The Wall is at once a simple and moving talk of potatoes and beans, of hoping for a calf, of counting matches, of forgetting the taste of sugar and the use of one's name and a disturbing meditation on 20th century history.

Reviews from

Write a review (you'll need to sign in to your Goodreads account or sign up) (showing 1-10 of 245)
By Vishy (Madras, India) · ★★★★★ · July 28, 2013
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... ...more
By Tania (Nanaimo, BC, Canada) · ★★★★★ · August 20, 2011
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 fi... ...more
By Christine · ★★★★★ · August 16, 2014
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 su... ...more
By Linda (Sweden) · ★★★★☆ · December 29, 2014
In "The Wall", Die Wand, a woman in Austria is isolated from the rest of the world. An invisible wall has materialized during the night and everyone on the other side is dead.

The novel, first published 1963 in Austria and now translated again into Swedish, is a picture of the psyche of mankind. B... ...more
By Maggie (The United States) · ★★★★★ · March 07, 2009
Stunning. About isolation and relationships with animals... it's just incredible! One of my favorite books. ...more
By Anja (Aschaffenburg, Germany) · ★★☆☆☆ · September 08, 2013
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 de... ...more
By Mckinley (Colorado Springs, CO) · ★★★★☆ · January 23, 2014
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 wh... ...more
By Kevin (Boulder, CO) · ★★☆☆☆ · July 28, 2014
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 la... ...more
By Libby (San Diego, CA) · ★★★★☆ · January 19, 2011
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, m... ...more
By Craig (Seattle, WA) · ★★★★★ · August 24, 2013
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 o... ...more