Set in the world of extreme sports, a brilliant new novel from Tim Parks that will widen his readership.
In the dramatic landscape of the Italian Alps a group of English canoeists arrive for an 'introduction to white water.' Camping, eating and paddling together, six adults and nine adolescents seem set to enjoy what their leader insists on calling a 'community experience.' Their hosts are Clive, a taciturn figure, and Michela, his fragile girlfriend. Joining the group late are Vince, a banker trying to make sense of the flotsam of his existence, and his teenage daughter whom he feels moving inexorably away from him.
The dangerous river manages to bring out the group's qualities and failings in the most urgent fashion, provoking sudden conflicts and unexpected shifts of alliance. An ideal love affair breaks down and an apparently impossible one timidly buds. A banal disagreement turns violent. Meanwhile, the hottest summer on record is filling the glacier-fed rivers with a melt water so wild that it is surely unwise of the distracted instructors to launch their party into the last day's descent of the upper Aurina…
“'A near-perfect marriage of style and content...A terrific, bravura tale...has a magnificent, thrilling urgency'”
“'A deftly plotted tale...With Rapids, Tim Parks demonstrate, once again, that he is a supremely confident storyteller...As refreshing as it is memorable'”
“''Triumphant...In Rapids he has excelled himself'”
“'A writer of considerable intelligence and great technical skill...His work is always tremendously readable'”
“'It takes a truly outstanding writer to take such a well-worn device and make it fresh and urgent. Tim Parks is such a writer, and Rapids is a thrilling white-water ride...Immensely readable and deeply intelligent, it confirms Tim Parks as one of our foremost authors, one whose depth of talent continues to refresh and shock and, finally, like the water itself, scour and purify'”
Tim Lott, Independent
“'Parks is a writer of technical brilliance and ambition, whose fiction has been getting better and better...Written with a compelling urgency and energy...It is thrillingly paced'”
London Review of Books
“'A thoughtful and moving novel'”
Mail on Sunday