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Sunday, February 14, 2021

The WallThe Wall by John Lanchester
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I chose this book to read mainly because it was a Booker nominee but also because I've had some pretty good luck with Cli-FI (climate fiction) in the recent past and wanted to roll the dice.

Unfortunately, this wasn't Kim Stanley Robinson. It was really just a claustrophobic dystopian that was part GRRM on the Wall without all the extra goodies mixed with some of the extra desolations that followed shortly after.

Good bits: steady and carefully managed characterization. Nothing odd. Quite everyman. It even managed to draw me in despite the lack of anything else original in the book.

Mediocre bits: it's a thinly veiled post-Brexit commentary full of xenophobia and isolationism masquerading as a post-waters-rising world.

Hmm ok. I mean, it's not horrible, but it's still kinda weaksauce.

Perhaps it's because the book FEELS like it was written for people who refuse to read SF but think it's time to live dangerously at least once.

So here you have a very mild story that feels like a war-grunt novel while doubling as a 'where did we go wrong' novel that has neither the meat of a real Cli-FI, SF, or a good dystopian. In other words, this is a burrito that uses tofu and a packet of mild hot sauce with no cheese.

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