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The new Expanded Edition (softcover)
Note: Several readers who've ordered the Expanded Edition have written in to note that the hardcover version doesn't include a dust jacket. That means it also doesn't have the colorful photos of Punch that you see on this page, which are from the trade paperback version. So you either have to choose the permanence of hardcover, or the colorful photos of Punch. Everything's a tradeoff in life, isn't it? Of course, you could always order both, which is apparently what some folks are doing...(Thanks to Nancy Ross and Ted Curtin for clarifying this!)
The Riddley Expanded Edition can also be ordered worldwide from Amazon.com. (For those in the Chicago area, the excellent independent bookstore Unabridged Books has it in stock, too. Unabridged can be reached at 773/883-9119.)
But by all means, even if you order it online or by mail, please go to your local bookshop and ask them if they'll be carrying the new Expanded Edition of Riddley Walker. Keep in mind that IU Press is an academic press and doesn't get the same distribution as the huge corporate publishers. Many bookstores won't get the new expanded Riddley Walker in, and might not even know it exists, unless customers ask for it.
Mr. Hoban and friend, from the back cover
(trade paper edition only)
The book features a new Afterword, in which Mr. Hoban elaborates on his first sighting of the 15th-century wall painting The Legend of St. Eustace, which inspired the book; how Punch came into the story; how the book's language evolved, and where the place-names come from. My favorite quote: "I was a good speller before I wrote that book; I no longer am but can live with that." There is also a selection from Mr. Hoban's early working notes: we get to hear a bit of what Riddley sounded like when he still spoke conventional English. Finally, there's a brief glossary of some Riddleyspeak terms, like Plomercy, Sarvering Gallack Seas, and sharna pax. It's far from comprehensive, but what's there is fascinatingenough to confirm, as if we doubted it, that Mr. Hoban had more levels of meaning in mind for these terms than just the obvious ones. Also included are Mr. Hoban's early drawings of Punch and a black-and-white reproduction of The Legend of St. Eustace.
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