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Slow River

( 7 )

Overview

She awoke in an alley to the splash of rain. She was naked, a foot-long gash in her back was still bleeding, and her identity implant was gone. Lore Van Oesterling had been the daughter of one of the world's most powerful families...and now she was nobody, and she had to hide.

Then out of the rain walked Spanner, predator and thief, who took her in, cared for her wound, and taught her how to reinvent herself again and again. No one could find Lore now: not the police, not her ...

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Slow River

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Overview

She awoke in an alley to the splash of rain. She was naked, a foot-long gash in her back was still bleeding, and her identity implant was gone. Lore Van Oesterling had been the daughter of one of the world's most powerful families...and now she was nobody, and she had to hide.

Then out of the rain walked Spanner, predator and thief, who took her in, cared for her wound, and taught her how to reinvent herself again and again. No one could find Lore now: not the police, not her family, and not the kidnappers who had left her in that alley to die. She had escaped...but the cost of her newfound freedom was crime and deception, and she paid it over and over again, until she had become someone she loathed.

Lore had a choice: She could stay in the shadows, stay with Spanner...and risk losing herself forever. Or she could leave Spanner and find herself again by becoming someone else: stealing the identity implant of a dead woman, taking over her life, and creating a new future.

But to start again, Lore required Spanner's talents—Spanner, who needed her and hated her, and who always had a price. And even as Lore agreed to play Spanner's game one final time, she found that there was still the price of being a Van Oesterling to be paid. Only by confronting her family, her past, and her own demons could Lore meld together who she had once been, who she had become, and the person she intended to be...

From the author of the award-winning Ammonite comes the dark and intensely involving story of a young woman's struggle for survival and independence on the gritty underside of a near-future Europe.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in a dystopian future, Griffith's second novel involves a woman's search for identity. Aug.
VOYA - Marcia Mann
Set in the near future, Slow River is the story of Lore van de Oest. The youngest member of a very wealthy European family, Lore is kidnapped and held hostage for several weeks before being turned loose by the kidnappers when her family fails to pay the demanded ransom. The narrative actually begins when Lore is dumped, naked and injured, by the river in an unfamiliar city. She is rescued by Spanner, an amoral petty criminal who takes advantage of Lore's dependence on her to drag Lore into a life of crime and prositution. Most of the story is told by Lore, but flashbacks which depict Lore's privileged upbringing and the kidnapping are told in the third person. Distracting at first, Griffith manages to blend the two views together in the end. Lore's work in a water remediation plant is described in great detail, which may bore some readers. Themes such as prostitution, drug use, corporate responsibility, and the variety of moral dilemmas which face Lore throughout the course of the novel make this a book for older readers. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345395375
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 997,057
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.23 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicola Griffith, winner of the Tiptree Award and the Lambda Award for her widely acclaimed first novel Ammonite, turns her attentions nearer to the present in Slow River, the dark and intensely involving story of a young woman's struggle for survival and independence on the gritty underside of a near-future Europe.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2000

    I absolutely loved this book

    I'm not an avid Sci-Fi reader, but I absolutely loved this book. Griffith's story is character driven and is not overwhelmed by the sci-fi. The story's focus is on Lore's internal struggle to sort out her identity, and it is artfully wrapped in Sci-fi, but if you want to read about androids, computers that become self-aware, and hard core sci-fi, this is not a book for you. If you want compelling characters, click the Add to Cart button and buy this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Impressive

    This is a deeply impressive novel. It is exquisitely crafted: the pace is measured, but sure; the metaphors are used delicately; and the control over perspective (shifting between first person, tight third person, and loose present-tense third person for the three different timelines) is both absolute and absolutely necessary to the emotional arc being told. It is a novel to mull over, savor.

    It is also an incredibly intense experience, or at least it was for me. I read it slowly partly so that I could admire Griffith's work, but mostly because reading it for more than half an hour at a time left me introspective and melancholy. There is a great deal of pain in the novel, and the carefully distanced prose makes it all the easier for the reader to fill in the blanks. For all the science fiction trappings (and they are many, from the cyberpunk-ish (but mostly irrelevant) identity hacking to the bioremediation science that furnishes much of the plot and much of the imagery) this story is about trauma, and surviving trauma, and then surviving your survival tactics. It's about ethics, and class, and identity, and monsters that come in human shape. It's vaguely dystopian without being political, and it's about corporate espionage while refusing to forget that corporations are anything but faceless.

    I can't say I loved the book; it was far too emotionally hard for that. It left me unsettled and totally drained, and I don't know that I would ever read it again. But I will certainly be picking up everything else Griffith ever writes.

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    Posted July 23, 2011

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    Posted October 17, 2008

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted August 24, 2010

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    Posted August 9, 2010

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