London Review Book Box - May 2021

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Get a copy of the London Review Book Box from May 2021. 

This box contains:

  • Pilgermann by Russell Hoban 
  • Love Coco crushed coffee chocolate 
  • Unique Pilgermann inspired bookmark
  • A postcard from our booksellers with information about this book.

Pilgermann by Russell Hoban

Russell Hoban followed his hugely influential science fiction novel Riddley Walker, a compelling account of a post-apocalypse England inspired by a medieval wall painting in Canterbury Cathedral and told in a degraded, quasi-Chaucerian English, with Pilgermann, a more explicitly medieval novel with the action taking place in Antioch at the time of the crusades. Like Riddley Walker it tackles head-on the horrors and brutality of human life – the Holocaust, and the long history of the persecution of the Jews, casts a dark shadow over it. As ever with Hoban, there is a strong visual component; in particular, we are made to look more closely at and think more deeply about the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and their visions of infernal torment. For all its hellishness though, Pilgermann contains at its heart the insight that redemption, even if it can’t be achieved, is something that can and must be devoutly wished for. One of Hoban’s less well-known novels for adults, this is nonetheless we think a fitting introduction to what a reviewer for Cosmopolitan described as ‘The strongest, most desolate and bewildered voice in modern fiction.’