Hoban is often described as a fantasy writer; only two of his novels, Turtle Diary and The Bat Tattoo, are entirely devoid of supernatural elements. However, the fantasy elements are usually presented as only moderately surprising developments in an otherwise realistic contemporary story, which is magic realism. Exceptions include Kleinzeit (a comic fantasy whose characters include Death, Hospital, and Underground), Riddley Walker (a science-fiction novel whose futuristic setting is primitive and post-apocalyptic), Pilgermann (a historical novel about the Crusades), and Fremder (a more conventional science-fiction novel).
There is frequent repetition of the same images and themes in different contexts: for instance, many of Hoban's works refer to lions, Orpheus, Eurydice, Persephone, Vermeer, severed heads, heart disease, flickering, Odilon Redon, and King Kong.
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Famous quotes containing the word themes:
“I suppose you think that persons who are as old as your father and myself are always thinking about very grave things, but I know that we are meditating the same old themes that we did when we were ten years old, only we go more gravely about it.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
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