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Russell Hoban (1925–2011)

Author of Bread and Jam for Frances

114+ Works 26,295 Members 448 Reviews 59 Favorited

About the Author

Russell Hoban was born in Lansdale, Pennsylvania on February 4, 1925. He attended art school in Philadelphia and during World War II, he served in the Army and earned a Bronze Star. He taught art in New York and Connecticut, and also worked as an advertising copywriter and a freelance illustrator show more before beginning his career as a writer. He began publishing children's books in the late 1950s, including What Does It Do and How Does It Work?, Bedtime for Frances and the six other books featuring Frances, The Story of Hester Mouse Who Became a Writer, What Happened When Jack and Daisy Tried to Fool the Tooth Fairies, and The Mouse and His Child, which was adapted as an animated film in 1977. In 1973, he published his first adult novel, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz. His other books for adults include Turtle Diary, Pilgermann, and Ridley Walker. He received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award for Ridley Walker. He died on December 13 at the age of 86. In 2015 he made the Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist for his title Jim's Lion wth illlustrator Alexis Deacon. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Photograph courtesy of Lisa Greenstein, 2005.

Series

Works by Russell Hoban

Bread and Jam for Frances (1964) 3,785 copies
A Bargain for Frances (1970) 3,595 copies
Bedtime for Frances (1960) — Author; Author — 3,251 copies
Best Friends for Frances (1969) 2,086 copies
A Baby Sister for Frances (1964) 1,794 copies
A Birthday for Frances (1968) 1,508 copies
Riddley Walker: Expanded Edition (1998) — Author — 1,356 copies
Riddley Walker (1980) — Author — 1,346 copies
The Mouse and His Child (1967) 1,059 copies
Turtle Diary (1975) 619 copies
Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas (1971) — Author — 398 copies
The Mole Family's Christmas (1969) 383 copies
Pilgermann (1983) 345 copies
The Medusa Frequency (1987) 332 copies
Kleinzeit (1974) 304 copies
The Little Brute Family (1656) 188 copies
Harvey's Hideout (1969) — Author — 176 copies
Amaryllis Night and Day (2001) 175 copies
The Bat Tattoo (2002) 144 copies
Linger Awhile (2006) 139 copies
Fremder (1996) 139 copies
Angelica's Grotto (1999) 135 copies
Charlie the Tramp (1966) 130 copies
Monsters (1989) 118 copies
Her Name Was Lola (2003) 116 copies
Dinner at Alberta's (1974) 90 copies
Mr. Rinyo-Clacton's Offer (1998) 84 copies
The Marzipan Pig (1986) 83 copies
Soonchild (2012) 83 copies
The Sea-Thing Child (1972) 78 copies
Jim's Lion (2001) — Author — 77 copies
Rosie's Magic Horse (2012) 73 copies
Come Dance With Me (2005) 72 copies
Nothing to Do (1964) 72 copies
Angelica Lost and Found (2010) 60 copies
Trouble on Thunder Mountain (1999) 58 copies
The Trokeville Way (1996) 56 copies
The Moment Under the Moment (1992) 55 copies
Tom and the Two Handles (1965) 53 copies
Ace Dragon Ltd (1980) 46 copies
La Corona and the Tin Frog (1979) 43 copies
A Russell Hoban Omnibus (1999) 42 copies
The Rain Door (1986) 38 copies
The Frances Collection (2008) 38 copies
Arthur's New Power (1978) 29 copies
The Pedalling Man (1968) 23 copies
The Great Gumdrop Robbery (1981) 18 copies
Jim Frog (1983) 17 copies
The Dancing Tigers (1979) 15 copies
Lavinia Bat (1984) 13 copies
Ten What? (1973) 13 copies
The Flight of Bembel Rudzuk (1982) 12 copies
Herman the Loser (1961) 12 copies
Ponders (1988) 10 copies
They Came from Aargh! (1981) 8 copies
Flat Cat (1980) 8 copies
The Serpent Tower (1981) 7 copies
Save my place, (1967) 6 copies
Ugly Bird (1969) 5 copies
The Song in My Drum (1962) 5 copies
Goodnight (1969) 4 copies
Court of Winged Serpent (1994) 4 copies
Some snow said hello (1963) 3 copies
Monster Film (1995) 2 copies
Jim Glotón (1992) 2 copies
Frances (2021) 2 copies
FANCY THAT! (2013) 1 copy
Dark Oliver 1 copy
Leon boaz-jachin (1989) 1 copy
New sibling 1 copy

Associated Works

Household Tales {Crane} (1963) — Introduction, some editions — 773 copies
The Family Read-Aloud Christmas Treasury (1989) — Contributor — 282 copies
Granta 28: Birthday: The Anniversary Issue (1989) — Contributor — 150 copies
Granta 42: Krauts! (1992) — Contributor — 130 copies
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas [1977 TV movie] (1996) — Original story — 107 copies
Granta 10: Travel Writing (1984) — Contributor — 89 copies
Granta 8: Dirty Realism (1983) — Contributor — 72 copies
Granta 13: After the Revolution (1984) — Contributor — 54 copies
Granta 5: The Modern Common Wind (1982) — Contributor, some editions — 44 copies
Granta 9: John Berger, Boris (1983) — Contributor — 43 copies
Granta 3: The End of the English Novel (1980) — Contributor — 41 copies
Scary! 2: More Stories That Will Make You Scream (2001) — Contributor — 31 copies
Puffin Annual: No. 1 (Puffin Books) (1974) — Contributor — 20 copies
The Thorny Paradise: Writers on Writing for Children (1975) — Contributor — 15 copies
Murmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories About Birds (2011) — Contributor — 10 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, April 1975 (1975) — Contributor — 4 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 11, July 1976 (1976) — Contributor — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 8, April 1976 (1976) — Contributor — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 5, January 1979 (1979) — Contributor — 2 copies
Turtle Diary [1985 film] — Original story — 1 copy
The Marizipan Pig [1990 TV episode] — Original book — 1 copy

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Common Knowledge

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Children's book about clockwork mice in Name that Book (April 2009)

Reviews

An amazing book. It’s written entirely in a fairly dense, invented dialect, and thick with symbolism, so it took some effort. But it was very rewarding and I’ve been thinking on it a lot since I finished it a few days ago. I gather that some editions have glossaries and explanatory notes, but mine does not. I did find this comprehensive set of annotations online, with contributions by the author, after I finished it. I’m glad I only saw it after I was done.

Here’s the first paragraph:

"On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen. He dint make the groun shake nor nothing like that when he come on to my spear he wernt all that big plus he lookit poorly. He done the reqwyrt he ternt and stood and clattert his teef and made his rush and there we wer then. Him on 1 end of the spear kicking his life out and me on the other end watching him dy. I said, 'Your tern now my tern later.' The other spears gone in then and he wer dead and the steam coming up off him in the rain and we all yelt, 'Offert!'”

Harold Bloom put it on his canon long-list.
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Flagged
k6gst | 25 other reviews | Jun 11, 2024 |
Frances and Thelma are friends -- most of the time.

Thelma always seems to get Frances into trouble. When she tricks Frances into buying her tea set, it's the last straw. Can Frances show her that it's better to lose a bargain than lose a friend?
 
Flagged
PlumfieldCH | 25 other reviews | Mar 21, 2024 |
‘Two minds full of turtle thoughts’

Quirky middle-aged single introverts ✅ mild existential introspection ✅ environmentally conscious anti-establishment animal rescue ✅ Turtle Diary by Russell Hoban couldn’t fail in seducing me with it’s heartwarming tale. The two said introverts coincidentally (due to the fact they don’t know each other) decide at the same time to do something about the two giant sea turtles at their local zoo which are kept cramped in a tiny tank. The turtles serve as the fulcrum to the lives of Neaera H. a scatty children’s author and new owner of a stolid water beetle and William G. a hard-up divorcee who has lost everything to his ex-wife, but this isn’t a particularly sentimental or predictable tale. It is rather an examination on middle age, loneliness, authenticity and self awareness.

The second role of the turtles is a metaphorical one: they are a symbol of being true to oneself, of concentrating on what is important in your life and accepting who you are. I have collected a lot of Hoban’s works after I read a review drawing comparisons between him and #kurtvonnegut. After my first venture I wouldn’t particularly agree with this, however there is no doubt he was a talented writer and I’m looking forward to the ten or so others of his books I’ve bought, happy in the knowledge he’s good and my unrestrained purchasing seems like it won’t end up being foolish!
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Dzaowan | 18 other reviews | Feb 15, 2024 |

Lists

1970s (2)
1960s (1)

Awards

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Statistics

Works
114
Also by
27
Members
26,295
Popularity
#798
Rating
4.0
Reviews
448
ISBNs
703
Languages
15
Favorited
59

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