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Russell Hoban's
Riddley Walker:

The New Expanded Edition
from Indiana University Press

Note: This page contains only information specific to the new edition of Riddley Walker from IU Press. For complete information on Riddley, including full description, notes, review quotes, and other links, see the main Riddley Walker page. For info on other forthcoming Hoban releases, see the News page.

Riddley Expanded
The new Expanded Edition (softcover)


  • Release date: September 14, 1998.
  • Length: 256 pp. (The previous edition of Riddley was 220 pp.)
  • What's New in This Edition: Black & white reproduction of the wall painting, "The Legend of St. Eustace," which inspired Mr. Hoban to write the book. New five-page Afterword by Mr. Hoban. Three-page selection from Mr. Hoban's working notes, plus two sketches of Punch. A three-page glossary: "A Short Guide to Riddleyspeak."
  • Availability: Both hardcover and trade paperback.
  • Price: Hardcover US$25; trade paperback US$12.95.
  • ISBN: Hardcover: ISBN 0-253-33448-9. Trade paperback: 0-253-21234-0.

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 Expanded Edition of Riddley Walker should be in book stores now. It can be ordered direct from the Indiana University Press website (where you'll find their full catalog online), or by calling IU press toll free (within the US) at 1-800-842-6796. They've got a special page for Riddley at, with a description, review quotes and ordering info.

The Riddley Expanded Edition can also be ordered worldwide from (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
Mr. Hoban and friend, from the back cover
(trade paper edition only)


IU Press has really done a lovely job with this new expanded version of Mr. Hoban's landmark speculative-fiction novel, and I think all of you Riddleyites out there are going to be very pleased to see the book available again in such a handsome edition. The trade paperback edition features a photo of Punch on the cover, as you can see above left; on the back there's a photo of Mr. Hoban and Punch (at right). (The hardcover version has no dust jacket, so you don't get the cover photos. It's a bit plainer looking, but you do get the permanence of hardcover.)

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 fascinating—enough 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.


  • Jim Poyser's review of the Expanded Edition of Riddley, which also includes a short interview with Mr. Hoban.

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