The Wall – William Sutcliffe

Hi there,

I was looking into a new book on www:amazon.co.uk that has come out called The Wall by William Sutcliffe, has anyone read it yet?  It’s a fascinating tale of a young boy who’s football goes over this wall.  The problem is that on the other side of that wall is a place that no one goes or never comes back from.  He climbs over the boundary wall to search for it and finds a flattened house that was once “the home of people from the other side” and, beside it, the entrance to a dark tunnel. Crawling through the tunnel, he emerges into a wholly unfamiliar world.

All well and good you might say, just another fantasy story, but no this is not the case. Although Sutcliffe doesn’t tell us that the boy, Joshua, is an Israeli or that the people on the other side of the wall are Palestinian. There are no shortage of markers to locate the knowing reader topographically or historically: the barren land and olive trees, the wall itself, with new pristine settlements on one side and crowded alleyways on the other.  Sutcliffe has set himself a challenge in writing this novel, which is “crossover” in two senses of the word – both YA and adult, aimed both at those who know and those who don’t. There are moments in the first half when he falls a little short of pulling off the feat of balancing a boy’s adventure tale – filled with chases and hiding places and journeys in the rat-filled dark – with the more introspective story of a young man coming to understand the world in which he lives. When Joshua returns home to Amarias for the first time, it’s hard – even for the adult reader – not to want the book to hurry up and send him back through the tunnel into the world of adventure again.

I find it fascinating that an author would take up such a tricky task of bringing a child through to a young man in a violent and unpredictable world. I admire him for his effort and applaud his achievement, is this something you would like to see soon?  Leave me a post and let me know what you think..?

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