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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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...
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,...
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...
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-...
‘This is it ... this is my destiny woman,' Max blurted out when he first met Lola at the Coliseum shop. Not only was she aristocratic and wild at heart, but the two discovered an uncanny convergence of musical tastes. Soon they were converging at every level - Lola filling Max's emptiness and vice...
Summary:Fourth Galaxy, 4 November 2052: in the black sparkle of deep space a figure in a blue overall tumbles over and over as it drifts towards the planet Badr-al-Budur. No space suit, no helmet, no oxygen. He can't be alive, can he? But he is. First Navigator Fremder Gorn is the only survivor...
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...
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...
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...
"Deadsy" (1989) and "Door" (1990) are two surreal animated short films written and narrated by Russell Hoban and directed by David Anderson. On 18th December 2011 David Anderson wrote on the Russell Hoban Facebook page: "I did 2 short films with Russell in the early 90's 'Deadsy' and 'Door', I am...

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

The trains were not crowded and none of the passengers were talking into little telephones or smiling as they tapped out text messages. Some were reading books or newspapers. All of the faces, young, old, male, female, white and brown and black, were part of the many faces of the great sad thing that moves itself from here to there and back again in all forms of transport.

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