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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Items randomly chosen from our database

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...
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...
From the jacket: The first time Peter Diggs saw Amaryllis she was at a bus stop where the street sign said BALSAMIC although there was nothing vinegary about the place. The bus was unthinkably tall, made of yellow, orange and pink rice paper and bamboo, lit from within like a Japanese lantern. That...
  Click on thumbnails in this article to pop-up larger images. According to excerpts from the artist’s 1962 diary, Russell Hoban’s portrait of the folk singer and 1960s icon Joan Baez took 16 days from commission date to completion and delivery, and he spent around 10 of those days working on...
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.
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...
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....
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...
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...
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...

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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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