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Riddley Walker (1980)

de Russell Hoban

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,3442514,164 (4.23)172
'Walker is my name and I am the same. Riddley Walker. Walking my riddels where ever theyve took me and walking them now on this paper the same. There aint that many sir prizes in life if you take noatis of every thing. Every time will have its happenings out and every place the same. Thats why I finely come to writing all this down. Thinking on what the idear of us myt be. Thinking on that thing whats in us lorn and loan and oansome.' Composed in an English which has never been spoken and laced with a storytelling tradition that predates the written word, Riddley Walker is the world waiting for us at the bitter end of the nuclear road. It is desolate, dangerous and harrowing, and a modern masterpiece.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 25 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Wow, this is quite a book. Ridley Walker, the narrator of the story, is a 12 year old living in a post-apocalyptic East England. His language is a heavily distorted, and simplified, English (making some parts tricky to decipher), reflecting the essentially medieval society he lives in, 2000 years after The Bad Time.

Just about all knowledge from our time has been lost, but there are fragments of it echoed in nursery rhymes and folk tales that recur throughout the novel. Just as Riddley's language is a distorted echo of our English, with faux-amis-like homonyms revealing unintended meanings, the nursery rhymes and folk tales contain kernels of forgotten knowledge from the time before the apocalypse. This is done exceptionally well - while part of the fun of the book is trying to spot the origins of these folk stories, they are not the clumsy, direct allegories one might expect, but have the real ring of organic myth.

It is interesting that the society seems restrained by their knowledge of the pre-apocalyptic world. If they were starting from scratch you feel they'd make greater progress. As it is, they are trying to recreate what they knew we have without the necessary foundations, and so seem doomed to stagger around in fruitless circles (like an emergent religion based on fossilised world models, à la J. G. Frazer's The Golden Bough).

This, along with the depravation and sheer grimness of Riddley's world, and the inevitable power struggles and cruelty make the book a somewhat depressing, harrowing read with an underlying despair at the human condition. But then there are also definitely kernels of optimism, partly from the eponymous character's resilience, but also from the creativity evinced by their new myths and the emergent culture that comes from it.

Riddley Walker is a great book - linguistically rich and challenging, with a well-constructed future-primitive world with a convincing culture. Not always easy, but it grabbed me and kept me reading - even if, sometimes, only a couple of pages at a time. And as soon as I finished I wanted to go back and re-read sections of it - as well as look up other people's thoughts about the book (I haven't done that yet). There are so many characters, phrases and incidents which have firmly lodged themselves in my subconscious that Riddley Walker will stay with me for quite a while.
( )
  thisisstephenbetts | Nov 25, 2023 |
Bought on a whim while browsing a beer and book venue, I didn't know what to expect with Riddley Walker. I'm always intrigued by things that are trying something different though, and the opening page sends that message pretty loud and clear. Written entirely in broken English, from the perspective of a post-nuclear citizen, where history and fact evolve through stories, performances and "connexions", the book is a unique puzzle as much as it is a novel. Gene Wolfe springs to mind as a comparison, but somehow Gene's legible brand of the enigmatic felt more tedious and obnoxious to me than Hoban's less accessible approach here; a more apt comparison might be Joyce or Burgess, though this likely sits somewhere in-between the two. One would be forgiven for abandoning Riddley in spite of its short length, although I do think perseverance will have most finding it more readable than they expect, since much of the language involves familiar words spelt oddly, and only a handful of potentially impenetrable terms.

It's not a book I can recommend to just anyone. The story is inspired by and steeped in specific aspects of British culture, with a particularly heavy thematic drawn from Punch and Judy. If you don't know who Punch and Judy are, then I would recommend reading up on it and browsing a show or two on youtube for context before setting foot in this book. I grew up with showings of those mischievous puppets but I still felt out of my depth enough to do some refreshing. I think it also helps to know that understanding everything in Riddley Walker is probably neither possible nor required, and in some ways that's part of the appeal for me. It gives a greater sense of tangibility to the world and gives me the motivation to return for a reread. Atmosphere and ideas are something I'm a real sucker for and I think that's why this worked so well for me in spite of some occasionally frustrating passages. It's an entirely unique experience but also probably a jar of Marmite. Consider yourself warned. ( )
  TheScribblingMan | Jul 29, 2023 |
I'd give Riddley Walker six stars if I could. This is one of the books that really had an impact on me growing up, and started to get me interested in the power of language. ( )
  bowendwelle | Apr 19, 2021 |
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. ( )
  k6gst | Feb 12, 2020 |
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» Adicionar outros autores (12 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Hoban, RussellAutorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Blake, QuentinIlustradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gary, Kelli M.autor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Harman, DominicArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Marcellino, FredArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mitchell, DavidPosfácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Richard, NicolasTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Roberts, AdamIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Self, WillIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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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.
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O what we ben! And what we come to!
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Im so old you know my memberment is mosly gone I jus have bits of this and that in my head like meat and vedgerbels in a stew Im jus a old stew head is all I am.
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I dont have nothing only words to put down on paper. Its so hard. Some times theres mor in the emty paper nor there is when you get the writing down on it.
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'Walker is my name and I am the same. Riddley Walker. Walking my riddels where ever theyve took me and walking them now on this paper the same. There aint that many sir prizes in life if you take noatis of every thing. Every time will have its happenings out and every place the same. Thats why I finely come to writing all this down. Thinking on what the idear of us myt be. Thinking on that thing whats in us lorn and loan and oansome.' Composed in an English which has never been spoken and laced with a storytelling tradition that predates the written word, Riddley Walker is the world waiting for us at the bitter end of the nuclear road. It is desolate, dangerous and harrowing, and a modern masterpiece.

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