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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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.
From the jacket:   Phil Ockerman falls hard for Bertha Strunk at a tango lesson in a church crypt in Clerkenwell. ‘Is Bertha's trunk anything like Pandora's box?' he wonders. Each recently separated, both their Suns are squared by Neptune. Bertha also bears a strong resemblance to the 17th...
Russell Hoban's final short story was written specially for the Exhibition Road Show, a festival held in London in July-August 2012. The story appears in Road Stories, a collection by various writers inspired by London's Exhibition Road, home to many of the city's great museums including the...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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:...

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

The people who run the world now were children once. What went wrong? Why do perfectly good children become rotten grown-ups?

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