Riddley Walker is the narrative protagonist of the book of the same name written by Russell Hoban. Riddley Walker is a boy growing up in a future world that has been smashed by atomic war. The prose is highly stylized, with spelling and grammar contorted to suggest the fall of civilization and the literary arts. Much of the book concerns the quest for the '1big1,' a power lost with science and technology. The 1big1 is soon revealed to be the secret of atomic weapons. Much of the book's power comes from the dichotomy between the complete fall of civilization and the belief of many of the characters that the 1big1 is simply an attainable spell or potion, coupled with the despair and tragedy of a world so visibly destroyed by the 1big1 full of men desperately seeking its secret.

Useless trivia: I have always believed that the Iain Banks book Feersum Endjinn is at least in part a homage to this story and author.

Woohoo! My 100th node!

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