Unreading Hoban

I am going to ask a question to which I cannot myself give a definitive answer, because I 'saved' some novels for a time when a flesh-and-blood Russ would not be amongst us :

If you could retrospectively - a bit like having the experience and sharing it with the youth of an earlier self - save a novel, to have the satisfaction of reading it with the surprise and freshness of your first love for it, would you do it, and what would the novel be?

Yeah absolutely, I would do this with The Medusa Frequency and Riddley Walker. Medusa was the first of Russ's books I read and it pretty much changed the way I look at fiction and many other things. So although I'm glad I had that experience when I was in my teens rather than later in life, it would be good to have that sort of revelation again now I'm old WinkAnd Riddley of course is an amazing experience when you first read it.

Having said all that, those books in particular still have a big impact on me when I revisit them, and I always find new things in them (or see things I'd forgotten), which I guess is the mark of great writing, so there's always an element of "reading them for the first time" each time. 

I think that I knew that about <i>Medusa</i> for you, Richard - it wasn't where I started reading Russ, but it was where (after <i>Pilgermann</i>) I felt that I was no longer reading him just because I felt that I should, if that makes any sense.

If I read <i>Riddley</i> again, it will be once I see the DVD - no, still haven't watched it... I was surprised, though, with how much conviction Will Self read passages - really didn't think that he had it in him ! (But, as a personality, his irritates me - and he was typically up himself with some of the questioners, though, thankfully, not with Russ.)


Hi, hope eight years isn't too long to wait for another reply...

I actually did save 'The Medusa Frequency' for exactly the purpose described - the only work of Russ's I hadn't read. I think it was August 2012, after the departure of the 'flesh and blood' Russ, that I took it to read on holiday in Spain. There were unprecedented swarms of poisonous jellyfish invading the coasts that year, and the Spanish coastguard had taken to using a system of coloured warning flags displaying one or two images of a jellyfish to indicate the severity. Imagine my astonishment when I discovered that the Spanish word for jellyfish is 'Medusa' and the realisation that each time I went to the beach I was looking for the flags and checking out the 'medusa frequency'. 

More importantly though, it was a poignant read that made my heart soar.