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eBook Riddley Walker ePub

eBook Riddley Walker ePub

by Russell Hoban

  • ISBN: 0671421476
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Subcategory: Literature
  • Author: Russell Hoban
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Summit Books; 1st edition (June 1980)
  • Pages: 220
  • ePub book: 1509 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1873 kb
  • Other: rtf docx mbr doc
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 875

Description

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Home Russell Hoban Riddley Walker. The post-nuclear holocaust setting of the book is not essential to Riddley Walkers meaning or effects, because this is not a book about the past masquerading as one about the future

Home Russell Hoban Riddley Walker. The post-nuclear holocaust setting of the book is not essential to Riddley Walkers meaning or effects, because this is not a book about the past masquerading as one about the future. On the contrary, this is a book about the delusion of progress, a book about the confused collective dream that humanity terms ‘history’, a book about what consciousness might be. It is a grand book, a demanding book, a destabilising book.

Riddley Walker (1980) is a science fiction novel by Russell Hoban, first published in 1980. It won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel in 1982, as well as an Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award in 1983. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1981. It is Hoban's best-known adult novel and a drastic departure from his other work, although he continued to explore some of the same themes in other settings.

This book was begun on May 14th, 1974 and completed on November 5th, 1979

This book was begun on May 14th, 1974 and completed on November 5th, 1979.

Riddley Walker is twelve years old, and at the outset of the book three remarkable things happen to him that seem to set him on a path toward mystery. First, on his "naming day"-the day he turns twelve-he kills a wild boar, and he notices the eyes of the leader of a wild dog pack watching him closely. The next night the "Eusa show" arrives at Riddley's settlement; Goodparley & Orfing, the "Pry Mincer" and the "Wes Mincer" stage the traditional puppet allegory depicting how a figure named Eusa a time long ago became greedy for "clevverness", using technology to pull the "Littl Shining Man" of the atom into two pieces.

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Riddley Walker is a brilliant, unique, completely realized work of fiction. One reads it again and again, discovering new wonders every time through.

Author: Russell Hoban. Publisher: Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1998. Riddley Walker is a brilliant, unique, completely realized work of fiction.

"A hero with Huck Finn's heart and charm, lighting by El Greco and jokes by Punch and Judy.... Riddley Walker is haunting and fiercely imagined andâ?”this matters mostâ?”intensely ponderable." â?”Benjamin DeMott, The New York Times Book Review

"This is what literature is meant to be." â?”Anthony Burgess

"Russell Hoban has brought off an extraordinary feat of imagination and style.... The conviction and consistency are total. Funny, terrible, haunting and unsettling, this book is a masterpiece." â?”Anthony Thwaite, Observer

"Extraordinary... Suffused with melancholy and wonder, beautifully written, Riddley Walker is a novel that people will be reading for a long, long time." â?”Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World

"Stunning, delicious, designed to prevent the modern reader from becoming stupid." â?”John Leonard, The New York Times

"Highly enjoyable... An intriguing plot... Ferociously inventive." â?”Walter Clemons, Newsweek

"Astounding... Hoban's soaring flight of imagination is that golden rarity, a dazzlingly realized work of genius." â?”Jane Clapperton, Cosmopolitan

"An imaginative intensity that is rare in contemporary fiction.' â?”Paul Gray, Time

Riddley Walker is a brilliant, unique, completely realized work of fiction. One reads it again and again, discovering new wonders every time through. Set in a remote future in a post-nuclear holocaust England (Inland), Hoban has imagined a humanity regressed to an iron-age, semi-literate stateâ?”and invented a language to represent it. Riddley is at once the Huck Finn and the Stephen Dedalus of his cultureâ?”rebel, change agent, and artist. Read again or for the first time this masterpiece of 20th-century literature with new material by the author.

Comments

Meztihn Meztihn
Here is some input and advice if you are thinking about reading this sort of famous book. What will annoy you is not the "Riddleyspeak" language it is written in , but rather the continual cryptic quotations and references to things you don't understand. If you aren't British and have never visited Canterbury I recommend you buy the SF Masterworks edition and do something I would not normally recommend: read the introduction and the author's two "afterwords" and notes BEFORE you read the novel. I also purchased the so-called expanded version and do not recommend it. While it does include an interesting map, there is no introduction and only one "afterword". My personal bottom line: I was disappointed in the novel but some of it is haunting, I'm glad I read it, and am considering rereading it.
Pameala Pameala
You'll either love or hate this book. The plot is basically Huckleberry Finn after World War III. There's a lot of post-Apocalyptic stuff nowadays. This story was early to that (1980), so if you're into the genre it's probably one you should take a look at. The heart of the novel, though, what makes it different, is how the author used language. He invented a dialect of English, RIdleyspeak, for his characters (he gives an explanation of it in the author's notes in the Expanded Edition). The effect of it is kind of like what Anthony Burgess did in A Clockwork Orange. If you get into the language, it really makes the book pop, especially when you combine it with his descriptions of the culture of the time like the use of puppet shows and the like. If you don't get into the language, the book will give you a headache and you'll despise it.

If you've read the book and you liked it, by the way, the expanded edition is a nice reference. Hoban put in an essay explaining his thinking as he was writing the books, put in some of the notes that he wrote to build the novel around and gave a glossary of Ridleyspeak. Not sure if it's worth buying another copy of the book for but it is interesting to read if you liked the novel.
White_Nigga White_Nigga
Reading Riddley Walker has been one of the most profound and moving experiences I've ever had with literature. Every sentence and every word stuck to me, and I couldn't help but want to get lost in the corrupted language.

Some 2347 years, give or take, after a nuclear holocaust has wiped out our present civilization, the world's been stagnating in its earliest stages. Riddley Walker's is a text written by its eponymous connexion man after his naming day (i.e., 12th birthday), which means the text is written in a form of English quite transformed from our own. His short-lived role of connexion man ties him as a go-between to the ruling elite of the local Inland and Eusa folk. In a dead world with no electricity, communications, methods of transportation, science, literature, &c., he’s trained to translate the Mincery’s (‘Ministry’) puppet renditions of Punch & Pooty (‘Judy’) shows and the teachings of Eusa (‘St. Eustace,’ taken from the Cambry (‘Canterbury’) cathedral).

Eusa’s dynamic teachings are the foundation for moral authority across the Inland (present-day Kent). He was, once upon a time, a religious martyr responsible for the 1 Big 1--tricked by the devil (‘Mr Clevver’) into splitting the atom (‘Little Shynin Man the Addom’) and causing the final holocaust. His head is spoken of as still speaking law at the mysterious island of Ram, where the ruling elite presumably live and dole out the Mincery’s law through puppet theater. His guilt is a guilt of a society driven by knowledge and power to be self-destructive, and it’s a guilt carried by the Eusa folk of Riddley’s time. Like many religious followers, the Eusa folk carry the suffering of Eusa in both physical and psychological mutations--their emotions form a telepathic connection between one another, and often packs of wild dogs. Riddley, as part of his connexion duties, has one version of Eusa’s Story and its core teachings memorized. The memorized text he uses for his work reflects modern religions: Its teachings were written long after the existence of Eusa, but centuries before Riddley Walker recites them, and the language itself is slightly less corrupted compared to the language the current Inlanders speak.

Punch & Judy pop up with significant influence throughout the book. At times, the creepy rebelliousness of Mr Punch is literally channeled through Riddley, who carries a pre-war, rotten Punch doll as a charm. For the central conflict, we even get a full performance of Punch & Judy mythologized for the people of the Inland. (Despite its unoriginality, that ranks among my favorite passages from any novel. I highly recommend those unfamiliar to give Neil Gaiman’s Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr Punch a look-see first. I’d wager his creepy graphic novel knowingly takes a lot from Hoban’s use of the doll.)

Riddley Walker’s difficult at times, but is balanced enough between catchy lyricism and a Joycean nightmare that its messy style is more a boon than a distraction. Even though the language is of its own world, its vocabulary is as limited as the culture employing it. Keeping it simple, then, Hoban has riddled the language with as many layers and allusions as he could. You still have to slow down, but at least you'll want to--and ain't that a clear sign of great writing if ever there was one! (Indeed, the 1998 edition features an afterword by the author, with a sample from his first draft written in standard English. It carries little of the published novel's weight.)

While some guiding themes are built from typical Cold War fears, they're written in a way that effects a timelessness in this new mythology Hoban created. The corruption of language, and mythopoeic reconstruction of a moral belief system in this future Dark Age keeps Walker's text from feeling dated by Cold War ideology and its technological trappings. E.g., the Inland's folklore is often peppered with broken references to science and technology, but the backwards, '70s understanding of it benefits the backwards state of the Inland society. Puter Leat is Computer Elite; Belnot Phist is Nobel Physicist; 1stoan Phist is Einstein Physicist; and--a favorite--the sovereign galaxies and nebulae above are the sarvering gallack seas and flaming nebyul eye.

Knowledge is the currency of power in the Inland, particularly the lost knowledge of the industrial age. This is probably why no one ever seems to be headed anywhere in Riddley Walker: They’re fighting to take Eusa’s very steps and split the Little Shynin Man once again, taking equal movements forward and back with each Ful of the Moon. Kinda sucky world, but I really wanna go back.

Arga Warga.
Mavegar Mavegar
A truly extraordinary book. If you've conquered Joyce's Ulysses, but find Finnegans Wake too much at present, this is your jam. I needed some (thankfully readily available) Internet resources to parse it, but it's perfectly doable, once you're properly armed with references. When you make it to the end--which you will--you'll feel superhuman. You'll also be slightly depressed. But Hoban's art will make up for it. I originally read Riddley Walker to determine whether it would suffice for a college-level high school course on utopian and dystopian literature, but I decided in the end that it was too much to expect for one semester when combined with the other required readings (altogether a very heavy load). However, it is an absolutely phenomenal literary accomplishment. Hoban speaks metaphorically and clearly to us as we are now--not, hopefully, as he fears we will one day be.