The Russell Hoban website

Welcome to russellhoban.org, providing definitive information and news about the late novelist Russell Hoban and his work.

Russell Hoban would have been 99 this year. Since 2002, fans around the world have celebrated his birthday on 4th February by sharing their favourite quotations from his books in public places and online. Find out more. Photo: a famous line from Riddley Walker, posted in White Rock BC, 2019 by Ra McGuire.


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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...
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...
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...
Angelica's Grotto is a pornographic website into which seventy-two-year-old art historian Harold Klein wanders one evening. Klein, a walking catalogue of infirmities, known to medical consultants as ‘he who declines to hop the twig', may not be up to much physically but there's a lot of sex going...
The only thing Frances will eat is bread and jam. "How do you know what you'll like if you won't even try anything?" asks Father. But Frances is not tempted by eggs or string beans until clever Mother finds the answer... The third and probably the best known title in Russell Hoban's Frances the...
Summary: Hoban's second novel for adults, Kleinzeit is a story detailing the eponymous title character's brush with illness and creativity. When Kleinzeit is fired from his job as an advertising copywriter, he ends up in hospital with a "skewed hypotenuse", being tended by the healthy and...
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...
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...
riddley-indiana.jpg According to reviewers of literature, Hoban’s masterpiece is Riddley Walker.  I agree, but for reasons not noted in any review.  In both conception and presentation, Riddley Walker is a novel unlike any other.  It is a wonder and...
I have little religious knowledge but then, as the disembodied protagonist of this book says, “Theologians and fathers of the Church cannot confound me, they have no firmer ground on which to stand than I.” I know more about “quantum-jumping to the strange brilliance of total Now” because this book...

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