Riddley Walker Paperback – Oct 7 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
I highly recommend reading the first three or four chapters, and then starting over, once you've mastered Riddley's dialect. Reading it aloud also helps. You will find yourself thinking and talking in Riddley-speak for months afterwards. And you will read it again and again, finding new marvels each time.
I can give no higher marks to any book since Zorba The Greek.
Do not be put off by the post-apocalyptic plot description. This is not your father's Neville Schute story. Nor is it Stephen King. This is a multi-layered, cosmic, end of days tale, that far transcends all other entries in "the genre." Hoban has been compared to Joyce, but don't be put off by that either, if you struggled through Finnegan's Wake, as most do. This is accessible. Highly so. Sure, you have to invest some effort and if you are the type of reader who has to have everything conveyed immediately to you, you will not enjoy this work. Hoban is essentially playing a game with his reader. If you enjoy riddles ("Walker is my name and I am the same. Riddley Walker. Walking my riddles where ever theyve took me and walking them now on this paper the same."), Hoban will definitely keep you guessing. This is probably modern fiction's most "interactive" novel. The progressive revelations clue you in as you "walk" with Riddley through Inland (England). The path is so devious, yet so honest, at the same time, that you never want Riddley to seperate from you (a motif in the work) and you never want to lose his companionship.
Suffice it to say that I've been so obsessed over this book that I have joined a Hoban fan club and I can't wait to read more from this astounding author. If you can read updated Chaucer, you should have no difficulty grasping Riddley's vernacular, though there are some similarities to earlier English speech. Allow at least three chapters to get into the cadence and the inner logic of the "Riddley Speak.Read more ›
Riddley ryts like thice and you mae fynd it hard to desifer, so youl hav to pae atenshun. He and hiz peapl r veree dffrunt frum us; thae r hard and brutl, but Riddley's werds r offen qwite funee.
If you think you can read a whole book written like the above, you will enjoy the challenge of this amazing, poignant, and often humorous novel. The plot is not as important as the unique language, which speaks volumes about Riddley's life. Reading this book is a wonderful and rewarding experience!
Twelve-year-old Riddley Walker, as one of the few literate people in his community, is the voice of the novel and writes in a manner that reflects the primitive speech of his society, constructing jagged sentences and spelling words phonetically. He alone senses the greatness of the civilization that was destroyed so long ago; he wonders why his own people are unable to put "boats in the air and picters on the wind." As a "connexion" man, he channels the spirit of an entity named Eusa, a mythical figure to whom the 1 Big 1 and perhaps even all of creation are attributed. The origin of Eusa's name is associated with the most famous landmark in "Cambry," the former Canterbury; an eyeless boy Riddley meets named Lissener, who proclaims himself the "Ardship of Cambry," shows the peculiar logic with which the theologies from the two epochs have merged.
One day while excavating in a place called Widders Dump, Riddley finds a Punch hand puppet -- with a severed hand still inside.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Don't miss this book - takes a little effort to get into it, but more than worth it - really thought provoking.Published on March 26 2014 by Sheana Parker
Nice book - cerebral and poetic.
If you read sci-fi for insights into human character, behaviour etc. you'll like this. Read more
Definitely not a classic. The modified language is somewhat interesting. It's difficult enough to change the feeling of time in the novel. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2008 by psysov8
To those who have difficulty reading this book, may I suggest reading it aloud? The language is English, written the way it sounds. The places named are mostly in Essex. Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by t janega
I am sure this book is a darling of academics, but it was a tedious read, to say the least. The artificial language was a huge impediment to understanding the story, and as a... Read morePublished on June 4 2004 by katla
Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker (Summit, 1980)
I have heard Riddley Walker praised as a classic in the making many times. Read more