The Russell Hoban website

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

Riddley Walker, Russell Hoban's masterpiece of dystopian fiction, was first published in October 1980. An online event hosted by Canterbury Christ Church University took place on 24th October with speakers on various elements of the novel. See also our Riddley Walker page for information and a comprehensive list of Riddley links. (Image shows Hoban's map of Inland superimposed on one of modern-day Kent, from the excellent Riddley Walker Annotations website.)


Russell Hoban links...

Items randomly chosen from our database

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...
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...
Summary: Jachin-Boaz the map-maker lives in a time when lions are extinct. He makes a map for his son to find everything he could ever want, but suddenly deserts his family to look for a lion. His son Boaz-Jachin, pursuing him, finds a great deal more than just his father. Detailed description:...
Between September 2002 and March 2005, Russell Hoban contributed to his own discussion forum, The Kraken. In the second of a 2-part feature (part 1 is here), Richard Cooper looks back over a selection of his posts. Exactly 12 years ago, on Christmas Eve 2003, Russell Hoban wished The Kraken group...
In Dock 14 (there's no 13); Clever Daughter, a deep-space Corporation tanker, a huge battered thing like a discarded oil refinery all pocked and pitted from the dust and flying debris of seven galaxies, dull metal shining in the rain. Nothing sleek, nothing aerodynamic - it doesn't need to be...
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...
Angelica's Grotto is a pornographic website into which seventy-two-year-old art historian Harold Klein wanders one evening. Klein, a walking catalogue of infirmities, known to medical consultants as ‘he who declines to hop the twig', may not be up to much physically but there's a lot of sex going...
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...
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...
Soonchild tells the story of a shaman known as Sixteen-Face John, who lives in a cold, snowy region referred to as "The North," and who fears he's losing his way in the modern world. He increasingly spends his time "drinking Coca-Cola and watching TV with his feet up and reading magazines with...

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

Shakespeare didn't invent Caliban; Caliban invented Shakespeare (and Sigmund Freud, and one or two others). Caliban is one of those hungry ideas, always looking for someone to word him into being so he can have another go and maybe win Miranda this time or next time. Caliban is a necessary idea. I can imagine The Tempest without Ferdinand but not without Caliban. 

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