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Riddley Walker
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Russell Hoban's masterpiece, a post-apocalyptic vision of humanity stripped back to its essentials

About the Author

On his death in 2011, The Times described Russell Hoban as 'perhaps the most consistently strange writer of the late 20th century'. He thought and wrote in an extraordinary range of genres, becoming first a bestselling writer of children's books, particularly the immortal Frances stories and his first novel, The Mouse and His Child (1968). After its publication he continued to write for children (most notably perhaps the Captain Najork books with Quentin Blake and The Marzipan Pig), but focussed most of his energies on a sequence of wonderful novels, which began with The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (1973) and ended with Angelica Lost and Found (2010). He also wrote the libretto for Harrison Birtwistle's opera The Second Mrs Kong (1994). His novels were wildly various, but share his obsession with objects, animals, specific works of art and pieces of music, his love of words and sense of humour. Penguin Modern Classics publishes his first eight novels- The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz, Kleinzeit, Turtle Diary, Riddley Walker, Pilgermann, The Medusa Frequency, Fremder and Mr Rinyo-Clacton's Offer.

Reviews

Russell Hoban has brought off an extraordinary feat of imagination and of style ... funny, terrible, haunting and unsettling, this book is a masterpiece. * The Observer *
You are syntactically and emotionally and politically absolutely in the book's spell. The way it changes is unbelievable; it is a living thing. -- Max Porter
Extraordinary... a hero with Huck Finn's heart, lighting by El Greco and jokes by Punch and Judy... Fiercely imagined and intensely ponderable. * New York Times Book Review *
Suffused with melancholy and wonder, beautifully written, Riddley Walker is a novel people will be reading for a long, long time. * Washington Post *
This is what literature is meant to be. -- Anthony Burgess
The strongest, most desolate and bewildered voice in modern fiction. In the mental silence that followed the closing of the last page, I wanted to applaud, through tears. * Cosmopolitan *
The book has an evangelical effect on people ... Riddley is an absorbing character, Hoban's language has a fantastic, rough poetry and the post-apocalyptic world is chilling and convincing. -- Rachel Seiffert * The Observer *

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