“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. There aint that many sir prizes in life if you take noatis of every thing. Every time will have its happenings out and every place the same. Thats why I finely come to writing all this down. Thinking on what the idear of us myt be. Thinking on that thing whats in us lorn and loan and oansome.”
Composed in an English which has never been spoken and laced with a storytelling tradition that predates the written word, RIDDLEY WALKER is the world waiting for us at the bitter end of the nuclear road. It is desolate, dangerous and harrowing, and a modern masterpiece.
• 1981 Nebula Nominated
• 1982 Campbell Winner
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, he cries out to Israel, to the Lord his God, to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. He is answered instead by Jesus Christ.
Recently widowed and increasingly lonely, Roswell's life had arrived at the point when he felt he needed a tattoo. His ideal image was that of a bat featured on an 18th-century bowl in the Victoria and Albert Museum, but strangely, on a visit to the museum, he encountered a woman called Sarah, who was compelled by the same bat. What did it mean?
The turtles in London Zoo become the mutual obsession of two lonely strangers who dream of setting free the turtles and themselves. Detail by detail their diaries record a world in which thought leads to action and action brings William G. and Neaera H. to their own open sea.
Phil Ockerman falls for Bertha Strunk at a tango lesson in a church crypt in Clerkenwell. Each recently separated, both their Suns are squared by Neptune. Bertha also bears a strong resemblance to the 17th century Venetian singer and composer, Barbara Strozzi with whom Phil is obsessed.
In a not-so-distant future when lions are extinct Jachin-Boaz, a middle-aged mapmaker, leaves home with the wonderful map that was to tell his son where to find everything. In the ruins of a palace at Nineveh his son Boaz-Jachin finds the wall-carving of a great lion dying on the spear of an ancient king. In a series of rituals he evokes the long-dead lion and sends him out to stalk his father. Then he follows on the lion's track.
A novel about a bloodthirsty cowgirl with hallucinogenic toadsucking properties, this is the story of Justine Trimble — a 1950s movie star — who is brought back to life in modern-day Soho. Problem is, she has a lust for blood, and when people start to drop dead the curiosity of the police is soon aroused.
An inexplicable message flashed onto the screen of his Apple II computer at 3am heralds the beginning of a startling quest for frustrated author Herman Orff. Taking up the offer of a cure for writer's block plunges him into a semi-dreamland inhabited by a bizarre combination of characters from myth and reality; the talking head of Orpheus, the young girl of Vermeer's famous portrait, and a frequency of Medusas.
On 4 November 2052 Fremder Gorm is found drifting in space a few megaklicks off Badu, a planet in the Fourth Galaxy. He is the only survivor from Clever Daughter, a battered old tanker. Why did Fremder survive?
Angelica's Grotto is a pornographic website into which 72-year-old art historian Harold Klein wanders one evening. Klein, a walking catalogue of infirmities, may not be up to much physically but there's a lot of sex going on in his head. His odyssey takes him through erogenous zones and into various corners of the London art world.
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 know). Volatore, as this hippogriff calls himself, has escaped the poem in which he has been confined for centuries and is determined to find his Angelica, even if it takes him to the 21st century and involves some shape-shifting. He lands in contemporary San Francisco and the first person he sets eyes on is Angelica Greenberg, the Jewish owner of a San Franciscan art gallery, who has just dumped her fiance. Volatore rises to her window and they hit it off big-time. But no sooner have they met and fallen in love than events conspire to separate the two so that Volatore must not only seek Angelica but also find the perfect form in which to consummate his undying love. The first is too masculine, the second not enough so, but will the third be just right, and how will Angelica reconcile the imaginary and the real in the perfect lover?
Jonathan Fitch was shocked by Mr. Rinyo-Clacton's offer 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 beautiful Serafina, Jonathan does his best to pull up his socks with varying success. Beginning with the chance meeting of two strangers in Piccadilly Circus Underground Station, MR RINYO-CLACTON'S OFFER is full of the loving and carefully observed London detail that Russell Hoban and his readers so enjoy. Some love stories are about triangles, but what happens between Jonathan and Serafina and Katerina and Mr. Rinyo-Clacton is perhaps more of a trapezoid, in the pointy corners of which a long hard look is taken at what goes on between consenting, relenting, and dissenting adults. Sharp and witty but written with affection, MR RINYO-CLACTON'S OFFER reaches parts not reached by other Hoban novels.
"There is a strangeness about Christabel Alderton. Elias Newman can see it right away, as well he might.
"When Christabel was 13 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 felt weird. A little later the boat blew up and killed everyone on board. Since then she's been troubled by a sort of second sight that works sometimes, but not always. Now, years later, she sings with a band called Mobile Mortuary who make their onstage entrance climbing out of body drawers. Death is much on her mind because the men in her life tend to die before their time and she's come to think she's bad luck. Elias Newman is a diabetologist who meets Christabel at a Royal Academy of Arts exhibition. Fascinated, he's keen to know her better. She's attracted to him but afraid of what might happen if she lets herself fall in love. Christabel and Elias are complicated people. Via Symbolist paintings and German ballads the narrative flows from the River Lea via a haunted woodland bog out to the crash of the Pacific surf on Kahakuloa Head in the Hawaiian Islands. And only in a Hoban novel could such an intensely involving love story embrace the redemptive power of ketchup bottles.
This wonderfully funny, refreshing, and compelling love story will grab readers from the moment they meet clueless Max Lesser, a children's book author and somewhat successful adult fiction writer who is suffering from a major case of writer's block. When Max meets Lola Bessington, he declares her his "destiny woman." All other women pale in comparison to Lola-except for the lovely Lulu Mae Flowers, who signals the beginning of a major life catastrophe for Max. Hoban gives the reader a rare glimpse into a writer's creative process, using the story-within-a-story-within-a-story structure to good effect and making the most of Max's ongoing conversations with his phantoms and his own characters. Delivering a metaphorical kick in the pants to those who live too much in our minds, this delightful novel urges us to live our destiny and stop postponing our dreams.
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