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Blue Place [Paperback]

Nicola Griffith
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.99
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Book Description

June 1 1999
A police lieutenant with the elite "Red Dogs" until she retired at twenty-nine , Aud Torvigen is a rangy six-footer with eyes the color of cement and a tendency to hurt people who get in her way. Born in Norway into the failed marriage between a Scandinavian diplomat and an American businessman, she now makes Atlanta her home, luxuriating in the lush heat and brashness of the New South. She glides easily between the world of silken elegance and that of sleaze and sudden savagery, equally at home in both; functional, deadly, and temporarily quiescent, like a folded razor.

On a humid April evening between storms, out walking just to stay sharp, she turns a corner and collides with a running woman, Catching the scent of clean, rain-soaked hair, Aud nods and silently tells the stranger Today, you are lucky, and moves on--when behind her house explodes, incinerating its sole occupant, a renowned art historian. When Aud turns back, the woman is gone.

But Julia Lyons-Bennet will return seeking Aud's help and pr

A police lieutenant with the elite "Red Dogs" until she retired at twenty-nine , Aud Torvigen is a rangy six-footer with eyes the color of cement and a tendency to hurt people who get in her way. Born in Norway into the failed marriage between a Scandinavian diplomat and an American businessman, she now makes Atlanta her home, luxuriating in the lush heat and brashness of the New South. She glides easily between the world of silken elegance and that of sleaze and sudden savagery, equally at home in both; functional, deadly, and temporarily quiescent, like a folded razor.

On a humid April evening between storms, out walking just to stay sharp, she turns a corner and collides with a running woman, Catching the scent of clean, rain-soaked hair, Aud nods and silently tells the stranger Today, you are lucky, and moves on--when behind her house explodes, incinerating its sole occupant, a renowned art historian. When Aud turns back, the woman is gone.

But Julia Lyons-Bennet will return seeking Aud's help and pr


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Product Description

From Amazon

Science fiction writer Nicola Griffith, winner of the Nebula and Tiptree Awards, proves that good writing transcends genre. The Blue Place is a spare, cold suspense thriller--Norwegian noir--with the kind of strong, enigmatic characters that made Griffith's Slow River such a great read. Aud Torvingen is a former cop, martial artist, and Scandinavian to the core. She stalks powerfully through the streets of Atlanta and the fjords of Norway in search of an art thief and killer. At first, she frightens us a bit, because she insistently imagines how easy it would be to kill almost everyone she meets. Having descended more than once into that dark, cold psychic realm wherein violence provides primal pleasure, Aud is constantly wary of her fellow human beings. But our fear turns to fascination as she finds herself falling in love with Julia, a smart, beautiful art dealer mixed up in the crime, and getting closer to finding the center of the danger in the icy north.

As in Slow River and Ammonite, Griffith's attention is often on the bodies of her characters--their awareness of skin and muscle, sinew and bone suffuses the action. Griffith closely scrutinizes their deeper inner workings, their emotions and logic, as well. The story is tense and gripping, as a good thriller should be, but the best part of The Blue Place is Aud's fascinatingly familiar search for self. --Therese Littleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A suspense novel. . .a character study. . .a love story. . .told in lush and potent prose." -- The Seattle Times

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tary tract, the soft suck of breath move the liquid gently, but definitely. Not this water. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure emotion. June 4 2004
Format:Paperback
Wow.
I don't know where to start.. this book was emotion embodied. Utterly enchanting.. frustrating, beautiful, heartbreaking, glorious.. just EMOTION. It struck my heart deeply and left a mark. I actually cried once.
If you're looking for a book that highlights the struggles of lesbians in a homophobic world, or a strictly butch/femme romance, or even a lush romance novel... Look elsewhere.
The Blue Place is gritty, cold, harsh and even painful at times. The realism is startling and it can be quite heartbreaking. But whoever said happiness could not be truly felt without sadness read this book. There's no attempt to sugarcoat the harsh reality of life in this book. Pain and agony are in full force and on display for all to read.
But that's what makes the love story beautiful. There's no perfection here.. no sweet romance whose only problem is the irritating habits of one partner. No torrid love triangle and explicit sex scenes.. It's just LOVE. Real love. Beautiful love, painful love.. love. And in writing this, Ms. Griffith has enchanted me utterly.
The Blue Place is a beautiful novel, not because of its lush scenery (though it is), its exquisite descriptions (though they are), but because it portrays humanity in a real, yet beautiful way. Julia and Aud are not perfect, nor is their relationship. But you can honestly come away from the book feeling that they really loved each other. Truly. And I don't encounter many books I can honestly say that about.
If you're interested in beauty that is not all wine and roses, but comes with pain and hardship, between two women who are not goddesses or perfect in any way, if you are interested in love, real love, human love..
I highly recommend you acquire this book.
Reality was never so real.. and beauty so beautiful.
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Format:Paperback
____________________________________________
By page four of Nicola Griffith's The Blue Place (Avon, $23), we've
met the tall, beautiful, smart and deadly Aud Torvingen, heard about
the recurring nightmares that have her walking Atlanta streets at
midnight, ...and witnessed a house explode. Things slow down a
little after that, but ...it's hard to overpraise the taut plotting and
broad intelligence of this thriller. ...what makes The Blue Place
stand out is its precision. You constantly feel like you're getting
the inside dope on new worlds, including those of martial arts,
woodworking, Norwegian foods and dress styles, ice hiking
and burglar alarms...
-- Paul Skenazy, Wasington Post
I'm too lazy to write a real review --but here are some
snippets, and a (virtually) spoiler-free commentary
-- and look for the author's comments on the review
continuation page at Amazon: Aud as James Bond(!))
Snapshot quotes:
Aud Torvingen, dressing to meet a new client:
I felt sharp, rich, very good looking. It pleases me to wear silk
couture and gold and pearls. I like the way it feels on my skin,
the way it fits.
And looking out into her Atlanta garden:
Two cardinals trilled liquidly at each other, bright red against
emerald green. One of the neighbour's cats slunk belly down
through the grass towards them. Snakes in fur coats, Dorothy
Parker had called them.

The book ends in graphic blood & terror. Aud gets revenge, but
puts herself in terrible jeopardy. I'll be most interested in how she
resolves her predicament in the sequel.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Where's the character development? June 18 2003
Format:Paperback
I'm going to break the trend of reviews here - I did not find this book as ground-breaking as it is being made out. I personally found it lacking in a major area: the relationship and character development of and between Lore and the art dealer.
As I am an avid fan of police thrillers, The Blue Place picqued my interest at the start, but it didn't maintain the promise or momentum at all. I found it getting progressively flatter the further it went on.
There was insight into Lore's inner makeup but I found her POV superficial and peppered with braggish female machoism, which for me is a turn off. The focus on what suit she wore, or the beer she drank, is like describing the colour of kitchen tiles - this doesn't make for a good story; or how cool Lore is in times of crisis and the continual obsession with how easy it would be to kill everyone - maybe it's just me but this gets tedious after a while?
At times I wasn't sure if I were the recipient of a self-defence lecture or reading a travel guide. The narrative style kept changing. It was as if the author was trying to prove how worldly, historically savvy, and philosophically in touch her haunted character was. In some cases adding these ingredients can work but this author didn't handle it that well and the character ended up coming across as fashionable rather than realistic.
Towards the end of the book, when the two characters arrived in Norway, Lore stumbled on the notion that she was in love with the art dealer (can't remember her name). It was a bit of a 'what? huh' moment for me, because there is little evidence of feelings or emotional development between the two leading up to this realisation.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great writing, characters, story
somehow I was lucky enough to spot this book while browsing in a book store....it is an exceptional piece of writing. Read more
Published on May 11 2005 by William J. Gibson
3.0 out of 5 stars basically good plot but lacks spark
I normally like stories like this one but unfortunately I found this book lacking spark. Parts of the book are really good but unfortunately those moments never last very long. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Xena Uber?
Superbly written, this uberish detective thriller ruined my sleep after I'd finished it, in sorrow at its outcome, but it's a powerful piece of writing even though I would've... Read more
Published on Dec 16 2002 by bacchae
5.0 out of 5 stars Xena Uber?
Superbly written, this uberish detective thriller ruined my sleep after I'd finished it, in sorrow at its outcome, but it's a powerful piece of writing even though I would've... Read more
Published on Dec 16 2002 by bacchae
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but extremely predictable
I found Nicola Griffith's book(first one I've read by her) interesting factually, but many times bogged down in flowery prose and unrealistic dialogue. Read more
Published on Aug. 17 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Griffith has it and gives you all the details too
If you're a fan of Griffith's sci-fi, chances are you'll think this is a dud. If you're a fan of great lesbian fiction with tight plot lines and just plain good story telling,... Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2002 by katefo
5.0 out of 5 stars AUD RULES!
It's the first book i've ever read that features lesbians as main character and i must admit it was my curiosity that made me picked up this book. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2002 by "woofwoofs"
1.0 out of 5 stars BORING...........
I'm sorry but this book went nowhere. It was dull, the characters were hard to decipher and the story line was confusing. Read more
Published on July 17 2002 by Uggieandme
2.0 out of 5 stars kind of a dud
I love Amazon for offering the ability to see other readers' opinions of a book, but now I'm going to think twice before believing everything I read here. Read more
Published on May 2 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Piece of Subtlelty
Why is Nicola Griffith a writer, instead of a Zen master?
The only book that is more subtle, perhaps, is her own "Slow River. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2002 by Some Guy
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