Riddley Walker

Russell Hoban
Riddley Walker Cover

Riddley Walker


How did I not know about this book??? Thanks to my cousin, who read it in one of her book groups and then passed her copy on to me, I have found this seminal work and can't wait to share it with my own book clubs.

How to describe this book??? I do not know where to start. It's post-apocalyptic, definitely, but unlike any scifi novel I have ever read. A hero journey, yes, but does the novel cover the beginning or the end of a journey? A linguistic throw-back to Beowulf? Certainly, if Beowulf were the inheritor of nuclear physics. An ode to story-telling? Absolutely, and among the best-told stories I have ever read.

On top of all that, this book is full of ruminations about what makes us human, how to balance science with nature, life, death, and pretty much every other Big Idea of philosophy. All written in language both beautiful and strange, so strange the reader is forced to slow down and really think about each and every sentence, what it says and the meaning behind the words.

All of which made for an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind reading experience. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Read it and find out for yourself.