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Amaryllis Night and Day cover
The original UK trade paperback
from Bloomsbury Publishing.

Amaryllis Night and Day (2001)

A Novel by Russell Hoban


  • (UK) Trade Paperback (First Edition) - Bloomsbury Publishing, Jan. 2001. 178 pp. £9.99. ISBN # 0-7475-5285-1
  • (UK) Mass Market Paperback - Bloomsbury, 2002)
Note that Bloomsbury have continued the successful straight-to-trade-paperback strategy they began with Mr. Hoban's previous novel, Angelica's Grotto, so as yet there is no hardcover edition of Amaryllis.


Amaryllis Night and Day can be ordered from Bloomsbury's own Web site (just search the title or "Russell Hoban"), or via Amazon UK. Unfortunately, it hasn't been released in the US yet, but US readers can order copies via Web from the aforementioned sites.


More than one member of The Kraken has expressed the view that Amaryllis is Russ's best book since Fremder, and I'd have to throw my cap in that corner, too. Amaryllis is a graceful return to the magical realism that characterized books like The Medusa Frequency and The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz, full of inventive imagery and slippery wordplay. But don't take my word for it—check out the raft of rave review quotes a bit further down on this page.

Here's the copy from the jacket:

The first time Peter Diggs saw Amaryllis she was at a bus stop where the street sign said BALSAMIC although there was nothing vinegary about the place. The bus was unthinkably tall, made of yellow, orange and pink rice paper and bamboo, lit from within like a Japanese lantern. That was a dream, but where this romance goes as the dream begins to intersect reality (not unlike a Mobius strip) is nothing that a reader can quite prepare for.

"Trust me, I'm a weirdo," says Amaryllis as she and Peter embark on their nocturnal experimentation which will leave none of us—Amaryllis, Peter, or reader—on quite the same footing with reality.

Russell Hoban's compellingly lucid yet disorienting narrative is set in a solidly detailed London. Entering one of his fictional worlds is always an eye-opening, mind-expanding proposition and here the enchantment brings love itself into the spotlight.


  • As of Summer, 2001, Amaryllis is already setting her sights on the silver screen! Russ tells me that Amaryllis Night And Day has been optioned by Doppelganger Films. (Not to be confused with the New York company of the same name). We'd love to see this project make it to the big screen—just about everything Russ writes has cinematic qualities, but this book in particular seems to have the right combination of inventive imagery, suspense and erotic intrigue to make a really exciting and striking film. Here's hoping the right funders see it that way too.


"Beautifully poised between Grimm and Greene. Describing the book is as pointless as describing a good meal to a hungry diner. It's delicious. Read it. Enjoy."
The Sunday Times

" The narrative...has all the hallmarks of Hoban's ungovernable invention. Freighted with allusions to high art and low culture, alternately jokey and portentous, it proceeds in associative fashion, each passage spewing another half-finished staircase that might lead into thin air. At times one has the impression Hoban writes merely for himself, but watching his ludic mind is pleasure enough for the most exacting reader. "
The Guardian

"[Hoban] expects more of our imaginations than many novelists... But relax, he's good at it. He's like the yoga teacher who says 'just concentrate on breathing.' Before you know it, you've got your leg behind your head."
Daily Telegraph

"Hoban gives his talent for subtle symbolism and bizarre detail free rein. It is a love story like no other, with the dream world identifying the subconscious workings of passion in a striking and original way."
The Times

"Light in its shape-shifting and mischievous in its fascination with odd phrases or exchanges...his fiction offers us a more rewarding way of patterning the space between reality and dream."
New Statesman

"A thoroughly entertaining novel from the author of Turtle Diary, whose greatest achievement is to capture and bottle the poignant sense of loss that so often follows the train of a particularly fulfilling dream."
Daily Mail

"A dream-fest, a dark, subtle slippery piece of work... there is always delight to be found in imagery, mood, and ideas that challenge and stimulate."
The Scotsman

"A magical mystery tour that shatters the normal rules of fiction. Proof that there are imaginative thinkers out there who deserve to be saluted on their way."
The Independent

"Love and unusual meetings, improbable surfaces and shimmering paradoxes, fears and apparitions, curious irritations and a very real sensitivity combine to make Amaryllis Night and Day a minor masterpiece."
—Michael Kedda, Amazon UK


An excellent, very on-target review in The Guardian online.

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