In Hoban’s book, a boy has adulthood thrust upon him after being abandoned by his father.  I loved this astonishing description of unavoidable knowledge prematurely imposed on his young mind: lumpy potatoes.  See also the description of how he was brutally ejected from childhood.

‘It was as if his shirt and all his pockets were filled with great lumpy potatoes of unwanted knowledge.’

Source: Russell Hoban, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (London: Picador, 1979), p. 128

Photo credit: Couleur at


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