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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Items randomly chosen from our database

Summary: He climbs a ladder to reach another man's wife and gives himself up to her beauty, but then Pilgermann descends into a mob of peasants inspired by the Pope to shed the blood of Jews. Alone on the cobblestones, mutilated and unmanned, he cries out to Israel, to the Lord his God, to Abraham...
In Riddley Walker, thousands of years in our future, the people of Inland are trying to drag themselves out of the mud. Theirs is a post-nuclear society hungry for a story to make sense of what’s happened. They have no creation myth, only hellish narratives of destruction played out in the Eusa...
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...
From the Bloomsbury blurb: When Irving Goodman falls in love with Justine Trimble he is close to the end of his life and she's been dead for forty-seven years. Irving doesn't know how he's going to attain his heart's desire but he knows a man who does. Justine was a star of 1950s black-and-white...
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...
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:...
Summary: A frustrated author hides away in his outpost in Fulham, working nights and trying to forget his lost love, looking for inspiration. Instead his computer puts him in touch with the Kraken, a fantastic squidlike mind in mid-existentialist crisis. A few wires-in-the-brain later, he becomes...
The Moment under The Moment is a 1992 collection of short stories, essays and fragments, most of which had been previously published in periodicals and elsewhere. Contents, with comments on selected items: Short stories The Man with the Dagger My Night with Léonie Schwartz The Raven The Colour of...
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...

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

Under the bed Death sat humming to itself while it cleaned its fingernails.  I never do get them really clean, it said.  It's a filthy job I've got but what's the use of complaining.  All the same I think I'd rather have been Youth or Spring or any number of things rather than what I am.  Not Youth, maybe.  That's a little wet and you'd hardly get to know people before they've moved on.  Spring's pretty much the same and it's a lady's job besides.  Action would be nice to be, I should think.

Elsewhere Action lay in his cell smoking and looking up at the ceiling.  What a career, he said.  I've spent more time in the nick than anywhere else.  Why couldn't I have been Death or something like that.  Steady work, security.

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