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The Thin Wall Paperback – March 19, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Interview with Tyler Tichelarr, Readerviews.com, January 14, 2008

Tyler: Cheryl, why did you write this book?

Cheryl: This book is a case study in human self-awareness. I believe everyone has the capacity for that. It's also a book about acceptance, love, and true unconditional friendship. Humans will always seek the comfort of others--others likeminded. We don't want to feel alone; we simply can't survive alone. And in many cases, when our families have betrayed us, our friendships are the ones we cling to for dear life.

Tyler: Without giving away the ending, what is the message you want to present in "The Thin Wall"? What benefit or knowledge will the reader have gained after reading the book?

Cheryl: Everyone should be true to themselves. And true friendship lies with those who accept you, no matter what your career, your marital status, your finances, your religious beliefs, or your sexual preferences (providing it's between consenting adults). Society's view of normal is nothing more than opinion and conjecture...your own opinion is the only one that matters, how you feel about yourself. Like Tom says: "If it feels true then do it. Take the risk." He was speaking of his career in that statement, but it means so much more in the context of the story. But in the end, Thin Wall is a tried and true hopelessly romantic love story...Laleana does find the love she has always believed in, the love that is right for her. I have been accused of being a hopeless romantic.

Tyler: Do you feel concern about the reception of the book because of the subject matter, and why did you decide to publish the book despite what reaction you might receive because of the subject matter?

Cheryl: I don't worry about such things. Authors should endeavor to write truth, and they should write it the way they feel it. Some readers will see the greater depth of the work, and some will find it a fascinating dark love story with lots of sex. Either way, each reader will get what they want out of the story. As long as they get something, an author can't complain. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Cheryl Anne Gardner is a writer of dark, often disturbing, literary Novellas with romantic/Erotic undertones. She is an avid reader and Indie reviewer with: Podpeople.Blogspot And a guest reviewer with BreeniBooks.Blogspot. She is an advocate for independent film, music, and books, and when at all possible, prefers to read and review out of the mainstream Indie published works, foreign translations, and a bit of philosophy. She lives with her husband and ferrets on the East Coast, USA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Twisted Knickers Publications (March 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982214510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982214510
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,119,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cheryl Anne Gardner is a hopeless dark romantic, lives in a haunted house, and often channels the spirits of Poe, Kafka, and de Sade. She prefers novellas and flash fiction to writing bios because she always seems to forget what point of view she is in. When she isn't writing, she likes to chase marbles on a glass floor, eat lint, play with sharp objects, and make taxidermy dioramas with dead flies. Her writing has been described as "beautifully grotesque," her characters "deliciously disturbed." Her short fiction has been published in dozens of journals including Dustbin, Hobo Pancakes, Carnage Conservatory, Pure Slush, Negative Suck, Danse Macabre, and at The Molotov Cocktail among others. She lives with her husband on the East Coast USA, and she is currently the head fiction editor at Apocrypha and Abstractions Literary Journal.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ever lived in an apartment where the walls were a bit too thin and you often overheard music from the next apartment? Did you ever wonder who was listening to that music and why? What did the music do for them? How did it make them feel? What were they doing while listening to it? Did you ever overhear too much of a conversation? Or maybe you just heard bits and pieces and you were left to fill in the missing pieces?

Did you ever overhear an argument that sounded detrimental to someone, and yet your curious mind just listened instead of turning up the television? You didn't do anything to stop it. Did you ever wonder if someone was on the other side listening to you? While the majority of my questions suggest you could somehow judge Cheryl Anne Gardner's book, The Thin Wall, by its title, if you did you'd be wrong.

At 124 pages, Gardner embraces the novella format, a particular type of book I have to admit I haven't read in a while. And in her book, the reader is treated to those brief scenarios, those un-muffled pieces of conversation you could hear through the wall once you turned off your television. I was constantly eager to turn the page to find out what would happen next, only to find the characters in a new setting and having new conversations on a different day without any of the "in between" movements that often push a longer novel along. Gardner has whittled the story down to its bare essence and given you, quite purely, only what you need to know.

The story revolves around five friends and the relationships that mingle between them, and Gardner does not just scratch the surface of their friendships. She tunnels through the very veins of each of these characters, carefully dissecting the differences that lie between their hearts and their souls.
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Format: Paperback
Cheryl Anne Gardner's fourth novella is a concise study of the psychodrama that is inevitably present in a sadomasochistic relationship. The author presents her characters through their own thoughts and conversations, explaining the complex psychology of the group as the story unfolds.

The key issue surrounds a lady who has been involved in a long term relationship with a very controlling man who is also seemingly quite unpredictable and abusive. The S/M cuts much deeper than the little whips designed not to leave marks, as employed in Story of O. Laleana shows the scars from repeatedly cutting herself with a knife, as well as those from the cleverly sadistic Julian. The sexual encounters and their violent contexts are carefully, thoughtfully presented in a brief, delicate manner, though, so The Thin Wall avoids entering any prurient or pornographic area.

The Thin Wall is the story of five old college friends, two women and three men, who are still socializing together at the ripe ages of their late thirties. None of the five are gay, but they are certainly independent singles who have little interest in marriage or children. They meet in the local pub on weekends and visit each other's apartments and other locations for long-term, yet fleeting, sexual relationships. The plot is set in London and the author is quite obsessed with all things English, including odd spellings and phrases here and there that might easily distract the average American reader. No more plotline or character development will be revealed in this review, but the storyline is as much like the movie The Big Chill or an episode of Friends or Seinfeld as it is the book or movie version of Story of O. The five characters interact with each other in personal, revealing ways in a show-don't-tell, pleasing manner, and there are enough surprises to keep the reader interested until the end.
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Format: Paperback
This work is probably the hardest review I had to do yet. While I had read two previous books by Cheryl Anne Gardner, The Splendor of Antiquity, and Logos, The Thin Wall is a radical departure from Gardner's romantic roots into the realms of darker, subconscious psychology and individual philosophies she masterfully delves into in this work.

One word to describe this book for me? Drastic.

I would lie if I were to say that The Thin Wall is an easy read. It isn't. Where the storyline is subtle and woven deep between the actions and events, dialog and behavior are crucial to understanding the story. While utilizing sex as a tool to slice into the depths of human consciousness, this book is not sexual in nature, and neither is it erotica. To be honest, I am not sure if there is another way for me to classify this work other than Literature. Gardner has masterfully adjoined elements of romance, erotica, literary fiction and psychological realism to create a story that is both entertaining and frightening at the same time. At least for me it is. There are scenes in this book that I had a hard time reading, nonetheless, these scenes are indispensable if one is to come to a conclusion at the end. At times lighthearted, at times gruesome and violating, the story follows four characters on their quest for happiness.

United by a common rejection of society and its superficial norms, Laleana, Tom, Julian and Ioan live their lives the way they want to. Admirable as this may seem, it comes at a cost -- Emotional cost. While all four have in common their well-to-do background, they do not capitalize on the power of their families to achieve any of the goals society deems important.
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