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 are being 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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Description (adapted from Amazon): Russell Hoban's last published children's book begins with an ice-lolly stick. Its sweetness gone, it lies discarded and lonely ... until a little girl called Rosie comes along. She places it carefully in her cigar box, full of other sticks. "Without our ice-...
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.
Harry hears the rag-and-bone man calling "Rainy numbers up! Any thunder up?" and goes through the rain door to a fantastical world where the weather is made to find an old iron tank used by the rag-and-bone man as a cloud catcher. To scare off the lion that is frightening the man's horse, Lightning...
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...
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...
Summary: Hoban's second novel for adults, Kleinzeit is a story detailing the eponymous title character's brush with illness and creativity. When Kleinzeit is fired from his job as an advertising copywriter, he ends up in hospital with a "skewed hypotenuse", being tended by the healthy and...
In Ariosto's epic 16th-century poem Orlando Furioso, the beautiful Angelica , chained, naked, to a rock and menaced by a sea monster is rescued by the valiant Ruggiero, riding a ‘hippogriff', the offspring of a griffin and a mare - an entirely imaginary winged creature (as readers of Harry Potter...
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...
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 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...

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

    Dr Mzumi made another note in Klein’s folder. ‘A CT brain scan and a carotid angiogram might be a good idea. They’ll send you an appointment.’

      ‘Thank you. One day you’ll be old and pissing in two streams too. Sorry. Bye-bye.’

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