Slow River

Nicola Griffith
Slow River Cover

An Apt Title...


This is the 2nd Griffith book I have read and she continues to impress. Love, kidnapping, murder, stolen identities, drug use, nano-tech, sewage treatment, and kinky sex all play parts in this exquisitely detailed story. Griffith imbues her protagonist with a strong voice and crafts a near-future world that is not all that far removed from ours. The reader gains perspective of current and past events via shifts between first-person and third-person narrative; a tough thing to pull off but Griffith handles it with such adroitness that, instead of confusing, it enhances the reading experience. Even though these shifts often come between one paragraph and the next, within a few words it is crystal clear exactly where & when we are in the narrative. This is quite a feat that really added to my enjoyment of the book.

Slow River is aptly named as the pace is definitely not fast. On the other hand, the characters and settings spring to life and the pages turn quickly - all due to the wonderful writing style. The fact that Griffith won the Nebula in 1996 for this work, beating out two of my favorite authors, (Neal Stephenson and Tim Powers), comes as no surprise -- Slow River is a very good book.