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 were 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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My relationship with Russell Hoban began a little like one of his novels might: in a disordered room in Fulham, piled high with boxes and files. Anyone who has ever seen the inside of Russell's inner sanctum knows that it's like stepping into his mind. Suddenly you're surrounded by all of the...
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...
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.
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...
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...
"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...
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...
No one realizes that the poor marzipan pig has fallen behind the sofa. No one hears his lonely cries for help. His sweetness grows bitter over the months that go by until a mouse discovers him and gobbles him up. But the mouse pays a price for her greed. A desperate feeling of loneliness and...
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...
Jonathan Fitch was shocked by Mr Rinyo-Clacton's offer of a million pounds and one year to live, but what happened next was even more shocking. In a state of desperation after being left by the beautiful Serafina, Jonathan does his best to pull up his socks (and his trousers) with varying success....

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

"The real thing is always more than you're ready for."

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