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Slow River Paperback – Aug 20 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (Aug. 20 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345395379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345395375
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 14.3 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #404,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Joe Boudreault on Sept. 16 2011
Format: Paperback
Griffith is a poet with the heart of a victim who survives. This is a novel about intimate abuse, and it is gritty and close-up and provocative in its intense and lyrical flow. We are set inside the mind of the victim as she slowly realizes the horrific attack which has been taken against her whole person. It is the parable of her efforts to re-discover her personal history and to try and come to terms with it and to shape a new future for herself.

This is the poignant and moving drama of one woman's youth which was stolen in a brutal and yet very common manner. Lore Van de Oest is one of the daughters of a wealthy family of international entrepreneurs. She is a favorite of her father and she is climbing the corporate ladder of her grandmother's empire. One day, she is kidnapped and held for ransom. She is humiliated and believes she is abandoned. She has suspected a rift between her father and her mother. Thinking she will be murdered, she desperately escapes and is found by another woman in an alley, bleeding and traumatized. Taken in by Spanner, a con artist, Lore reluctantly learns to survive against a hostile world of other con artists, gangsters, and the wiles of the idle rich from whence she sprang. She also learns piece by piece of her abuse at the hands of, she believes, her beloved father. Determined to shun all of that, she adopts a false identity and takes a job in a pollution control plant, owned by her family's empire. She falls in love with a female worker there. She makes a break from her benefactor, Spanner. She finally comes to term with her strange, broken family.
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Format: Paperback
In SF, unlike its sister genre fantasy, there has been a history of dealing with issues of homosexuality in an unflinching, honest fashion (instead of fantasy's fey princes and twisted perverts) and while those issues have not really grasped mainstream SF, it's always been there, blatantly stated in Samuel Delany writings and others, lurking in Disch, in Ballard, from the sixties and seventies onward, incorporating sexuality matter of factly, almost explicitly so. There have been subgenres, of course, as there are in any major genre, but for the most part it's not really shocking or scandalous to see homosexuality represented in SF. And so awarding the Nebula to this novel both gladdens and confuses me. Gladdens, because it is a fine, tightly constructed novel, exploring its characters with a depth normally reserved for such masters as Margaret Atwood (when it comes to charactization and studies, at least). Confuses, because there is nothing really explicitly "groundbreaking" about it. The plot, while entertaining and thought provoking, breaks no real new ground, either by busting down nonexistent barriers regarding homosexuality in SF or providing a mindwarping new way of looking at the artiface of Story. The story itself, on the surface, is simple. Lore, a children born into a ridiculously wealthy family is kidnapped and tormented. Eventually she escapes and instead of going back to her family tries to live out among society, where she meets master scammer Scanner, among other people. Eventually she tries to form her own identity, working as the lowest employee on the type of thing her own family patented.Read more ›
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By "blissengine" on March 9 2003
Format: Paperback
Left for dead by her kidnappers, Lore is found by the mysterious woman Spanner, who teaches her to survive by her wits and to live in the dark world of crime. The two become lovers, but Lore wants legitimacy and to heal from her various wounds (her past with her family, her weeks with the kidnappers), so she leaves, taking a new identity, and tries to fit in. Ultimately, Lore cannot run from her demons forever, and she must either choose to stay in the shadows or to face the truths of her past. Set in the not-so-distant future, "Slow River" weaves Lore's pasts and present together into an astonishingly compelling tale. At the heart of the book is the story of a young woman healing from abuse, and the science fiction aspects are simply the setting and enhancing details. "Slow River" is the type of book that transcends whatever genre in which it's placed: it's more than a science fiction story, more than a coming-of-age story, more than a lesbian love story, more than a story of healing from abuse. This is a book that makes one believe in the power of fiction.
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By J. Vacek on Feb. 4 2003
Format: Paperback
i was very disappointed in the book, and amazed that it won a nebula. the science fiction aspects are minimal and mainly related to near-future waste management methods. the narrative borrows split-time techniques developed and far better utilized by many others. the story line is obsessed with graphic lesbian encounters. perhaps i was spoiled by having read 3 phillip k dick classics and gene wolfe's masterpiece "the fifth head of cereberus" before this, but this seems like a minor work of limited interest and a short shelf-life. spend your money and time elsewhere. be alerted: several aspects of the book are frankly explicit.
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