Riddley Walker, Hardback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Set in a post-apocalyptic England, RIDDLEY WALKER tells the tale of one twelve year old boy and his journey through the ruins of civilisation.

After the death of his father in an accident, Riddley must become a man.

But his inquiring mind and strange ways set him apart from his people, and when he discovers a relic of the old time, he sets in motion a chain of events that may well lead to the end of the world (again). Written in a remarkable and rewarding language, RIDDLEY WALKER is a tour-de-force of imagination, history and psychology.

Challenging and rewarding, this is a book that repays rereading again and again.

There's a reason why the reviews were so good, and why so many authors cite it as an inspiration.

It is, quite frankly, a masterpiece.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9780575119512



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

RW follows in the tradition of SF masterpieces to the extent that it starts off as a seemingly innocuous story that eventually becomes something very different and unsettling. Think Dick's The Man in the High Castle. Unfortunately the brilliance of its language and world do not conceal the shortcomings of the story. Though perhaps this is just the opinion of someone who has only read it once. This is a book that deserves multiple revisits and much thought. There are many passages that offer as much depth and complexity as anything you'll ever hope to read.

Review by

I started this book prepared for it to be difficult to get to grips with, because that's what most of the reviews say. The broken and twisted English, the mutated grammar and future-slang, all adding to the appeal of the story, but hard to wade through. That's not what I found, though.Maybe it's exposure to text-spelling, Twitter-speak and Facebook-English, but I found the language of the book fell into place fairly quickly and naturally. That's not to say that there weren't words and phrases that I had to pause on and mull over, but that's part of the book's charm. I hope that nobody would be put off reading Hoban's amazing story by concerns over the language in which it's written.The story comes from the science-fiction staple of the post-apocalyptic, nuclear-war-ravaged future, with people struggling to survive at an Iron Age level of technology, whilst surrounded by the ruins and shattered artifacts of the "advanced" civilization that destroyed itself. But it mixes into that Celtic mythology, English folklore, Christian iconography, and a jumbled, incomplete and incomprehensible science. The narrative is allusive and there are lots of double meanings that reward the readers time in mulling over.This is one of the best books I've read in a long time.

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