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

the kraken.jpg Between September 2002 and March 2005, Russell Hoban contributed to his own discussion forum, The Kraken. In the first of a 2-part feature, Richard Cooper looks back over a selection of his posts. "The Kraken" Yahoo Group was established as a Russell...
Summary: 'Walker is my name and I am the same. Riddley Walker. Walking my riddels where ever theyve took me and walking them now on this paper the same. ' Composed in an English which has never been spoken and laced with a storytelling tradition that predates the written word, RIDDLEY WALKER is the...
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...
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.
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...
Adapted from Wikipedia: The story tells of Emmet Otter and his Ma, a widow. They scrape by on the small amount of money she gets from doing laundry and Emmet earns from doing odd jobs around their home town of Frogtown Hollow. Both are often cheated, notably by Old Lady Possum and Gretchen Fox (the...
Bloomsbury summary: Roswell Clark's life had arrived at the point when he felt he needed to get an optimistic-looking bat tattoo on his shoulder. His ideal bat image was featured on an 18th century bowl in the Victoria and Albert Museum, but strangely, on a visit to the museum, he encountered a...
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...
When Father comes home at the end of a sorely trying day, he finds all the family fighting and scolding after a sequence of events for which no one is willing to take the blame.   (The New York Review Children's Collection edition)  
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...

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Selected Russell Hoban quotation

An ordinary mirror is silvered at the back but the window of a night train has darkness behind the glass. My face and the faces of the other travellers were now mirrored on this darkness in a succession of stillnesses. Consider this, said the darkness: any motion at any speed is a succession of stillnesses; any section through an action will show just such a plane of stillness as this dark window in which your seeking face is mirrored. And in each plane of stillness is the moment of clarity that makes you responsible for what you do.
Consider this, said the train wheels, repeating the message tirelessly moment after moment on the miles of cold iron that lay shining in the dark that led to Harwich and repeating face on face the faces reflected in the windows.

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