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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It is perfectly possible to read and  enjoy Russell Hoban’s masterpiece Riddley Walker without solving or even being aware of the riddles woven into the story. You struggle with the language for a time until its phonetic nature becomes clear, and you congratulate yourself for having...
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...
In Riddley Walker, thousands of years in our future, the people of Inland are trying to drag themselves out of the mud. Theirs is a post-nuclear society hungry for a story to make sense of what’s happened. They have no creation myth, only hellish narratives of destruction played out in the Eusa...
I have little religious knowledge but then, as the disembodied protagonist of this book says, “Theologians and fathers of the Church cannot confound me, they have no firmer ground on which to stand than I.” I know more about “quantum-jumping to the strange brilliance of total Now” because this book...
On a black and stormy night the sea-thing child is flung up on the beach, a little draggled heap of scales and feathers. Although made for deep diving and high flying, he is afraid of the ocean. When he meets a fiddler crab with no bow, these two help each other avoid their fears for a while. But...
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...
Captain Najork has never quite got over the time that Tom beat him and his Hired Sportsmen at womble, muck and sneedball, so when he sees Tom hurtle past his window in a two-seater jam-powered frog, he sets off in hot pursuit. The adventures that follow at a nearby girls' boarding school, involving...
From the jacket: There is a strangeness about Christabel Alderton. Elias Newman can see it right away, as well he might. When Christabel was thirteen she was walking by the River Lea and some people in a cabin cruiser waved to her. The scene before her seemed to freeze like a photograph and she...
the kraken.jpg Between September 2002 and March 2005, Russell Hoban contributed to his own discussion forum, The Kraken. In the first of a 2-part feature, Richard Cooper looks back over a selection of his posts. "The Kraken" Yahoo Group was established as a Russell...
Summary: He climbs a ladder to reach another man's wife and gives himself up to her beauty, but then Pilgermann descends into a mob of peasants inspired by the Pope to shed the blood of Jews. Alone on the cobblestones, mutilated and unmanned, he cries out to Israel, to the Lord his God, to Abraham...

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