Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker, 1980.

Setting and Background: The Main Character

After the death of his father, twelve-year-old Riddley Walker is given his father’s role of “connexion man”. As “connexion man,” he is responsible for giving prophetic interpretations for traveling puppet shows. These shows not only serve as a religious ceremony, but also as a government propaganda tool. After some unexpected turn of events Riddley is soon “running with the wild dogs who have inexplicably befriended him, heading down darkened roads into an explosive mixture of danger, intrigue, and forbidden knowledge” [1].  During this time of mystery, Walker is attempting to rediscover the lost secrets of the past.

Awards Critical Reception For more information:
        [1] Dave Awl's Riddley Walker page contains a detailed plot summary, reviews, quotations, and links to other Riddley Walker sites. 
        [2] Eli Bishop's review of the 1998 edition.  (
        [3] Joel Isaacson, "Humanity Three Thousand Years After the Bomb," The Kathmandu Post Review of Books Vol. 3, No. 14 (November, 1998).

Prepared by:  MA, Fall 2002

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