The Russell Hoban website

Welcome to russellhoban.org, providing definitive information and news about the late novelist Russell Hoban and his work.

Eight classic Russell Hoban novels from the 1970s, 80s and 90s were reissued in the Penguin Modern Classics imprint in March and April 2021. Each takes its cover design from the art of Eduardo Paolozzi. Find out more.


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All quotations come from Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker: Expanded Edition, Indiana University Press, 1998 Although he sets his novel Riddley Walker (published in 1980) in a post-apocalyptic future, Russell Hoban makes use of the medieval world to mark this future as a site of the "primitive." For...
Bloomsbury summary: Roswell Clark's life had arrived at the point when he felt he needed to get an optimistic-looking bat tattoo on his shoulder. His ideal bat image was featured on an 18th century bowl in the Victoria and Albert Museum, but strangely, on a visit to the museum, he encountered a...
Along with four Hoban novels, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz, Turtle Diary, Pilgermann and Mr Rinyo-Clacton's Offer, the Omnibus contains Return of Manny Rat, the incomplete, fragmentary sequel to The Mouse and His Child, which Hoban began but abandoned and which had never before been...
The Mouse and His Child is the story of two clockwork mice, a father and son. When the key in the father's back is wound, he dances in a circle, swinging his son up and down. They begin their existence in the warmth of a toy shop at Christmastime, surrounded by fellow windup toys; all the mouse...
Tom is so good at fooling around that he does little else. His Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong, who thinks this is too much like having fun, calls upon the fearsome Captain Najork and his hired sportsmen to teach him a lesson. So the Captain challenges Tom to three rounds womble, muck, and sneedball,...
Adapted from Wikipedia: The story tells of Emmet Otter and his Ma, a widow. They scrape by on the small amount of money she gets from doing laundry and Emmet earns from doing odd jobs around their home town of Frogtown Hollow. Both are often cheated, notably by Old Lady Possum and Gretchen Fox (the...
Summary: In the aquarium at the London Zoo, three sea turtles swim endlessly in 'their little bedsitter of ocean'. Two lonely people, William G and Neaera H, become obsessed with the turtles' captivity, and resolve to rescue them and release them in to the sea. William's and Neaera's diaries tell...
The only thing Frances will eat is bread and jam. "How do you know what you'll like if you won't even try anything?" asks Father. But Frances is not tempted by eggs or string beans until clever Mother finds the answer... The third and probably the best known title in Russell Hoban's Frances the...
In a terrifying dream-journey John struggles through jungle undergrowth, travelling through fierce rapids and exploring a mystery passage before he discovers a courtyard guarded by a stone winged serpent. There John meets another John, his real self, and realises that he is only part of the dream.
The Second Mrs Kong is an opera by Sir Harrison Birtwistle with libretto by Russell Hoban. From Wikipedia: "Glyndebourne Touring Opera first staged the opera on 24 October 1994.The cast included Philip Langridge, Helen Field and Michael Chance. Tom Cairns designed and directed the production, in...

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

     THE DUSK VS ME

How do you find? said the dusk.

Guilty, I said.

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