The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey

The Wilderness

Samantha Harvey

The reader must look for the meaning in Jake's life as Jake remembers it: through the women he loved, especially his Jewish mother, and the men who influenced him such as the enigmatic Rook. But, in his early 60s, Jake has Alzheimer's and his memories are not chronological and may be invented: so the reader must also decide how much of Jake's life has been spent in a wilderness. A difficult but intensely moving book.


Henry appears to know nothing about his disease - surely he would recoil if he did. The timid little child was always afraid of infection by others. He would whip his hands away now if he knew his father's mind was rotting, but because he does not there is a sense of victory, over the disease itself and its captious, jeering nature: something is only a fact, he tells himself, when a lot of people know it.

  • Rough Music by Patrick Gale
  • Iris - the film
  • The Language of Others by Clare Morrall

Books with similar mood

State of Siege

Juan Goytisolo

The Vorrh

Brian Catling

The Wake

Paul Kingsnorth

You Should Have Left

Daniel Kehlmann

White is for Witching

Helen Oyeyemi

The Quarry

Damon Galgut

House of Leaves

Mark Z Danielewski

Dolly City

Orly Castel-Bloom

The Garden of Secrets

Juan Goytisolo


Hitomi Kanehara

Everything Under

Daisy Johnson


Zoran Drvenkar

The Clay Dreaming

Ed Hillyer


Nicholas Royle

Tokyo Year Zero

David Peace

The Beautifully Worthless

Ali Liebegott


Will Self

Bloodchild and Other Stories

Octavia Butler

Children of the Cave

Virve Sammalkorpi

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing

Eimear McBride

The Fall of the Stone City

Ismail Kadare

The Way of the Women

Marlene van Niekerk

The Shell Collector

Anthony Doerr


Niall Griffiths

Hotel World

Ali Smith


Chuck Palahniuk

The Good Son

You-jeong Jeong

Merciless Gods

Christos Tsiolkas

I'm OK, I'm Pig

Kim Hyesoon

The Guard

Peter Terrin

Legend of a Suicide

David Vann

Cairo Swan Song

Mekkaoui Said


Jean Echenoz

Assorted Fire Events

David Means


Kathleen Bryson

The Man Who Saw Everything

Deborah Levy


Sofi Oksanen

The Last Children of Tokyo

Yoko Tawada

I Refuse

Per Petterson

Jia: a Novel of North Korea

Hyejin Kim

At Swim, Two Boys

Jamie O'Neill

The Deadly Space Between

Patricia Duncker

Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow

Peter Hoeg

Santa Evita

Tomas Elroy Martinez

Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr

John Crowley

Follow Me to Ground

Sue Rainsford


Jaume Cabré

The Art of Being Dead

Stephen Clayton