Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban / ISBN 9780241485750 / 253-page paperback from Penguin Classics
'This is what literature is meant to be' Anthony Burgess
'O what we ben! And what we come to...' Wandering a desolate post-apocalyptic landscape, speaking a broken-down English lost after the end of civilization, Riddley Walker sets out to find out what brought humanity here. This is his story.
'Funny, terrible, haunting and unsettling, this book is a masterpiece' Observer
'A timeless portrayal of the human condition ... frightening and uncanny' Will Self
'A book that I could read every day forever and still be finding things' Max Porter
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.