I’ve been meaning to read this forever but it’s escaped me for some reason. So now a group (Modern Fiction) has decided to put it on their schedule for the end of December and I get to read it! …. 🙂
The darned book escapes me for more than reasons of time! It’s not exactly what I’d consider accessible reading! The language is at the extreme edge of either literacy or dialect – maybe both. The opening sentence reads:
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. (Hoban, Russell (1998-09-22). Riddley Walker, Expanded Edition (p. 1). Indiana University Press. Kindle Edition.)
Of course by now, here in 2015, it’s not too different from other sci-fi futurist dystopias I’ve read – there’s a lot of similarity to Davy by Edgar Pangborn (1965) which won the Hugo Award when it was published. And it’s like the South Pacific sections of the more recent Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2004 – Oh! Has it really been that long?) And this is to say nothing of A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller Jr (1960).
Setting – Somewhere in southeastern England, County Kent about 2000 years after the annihilation of earth by nuclear war. The actual location of the action is an area about forty by forty miles. – (I printed off the map!)