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This River Awakens
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This River Awakens

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  98 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Owen's family moves from the city to the countryside, and the adolescent Owen quickly develops friendships and rivalries. When he discovers a corpse in the river, it proves the catalyst for a spiralling descent into the darker reaches of the community, and a stark rites of passage for Owen.
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published July 9th 2013 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mike
Jul 20, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Having already read so much from Erikson, I felt like I knew what to expect, or at least had some idea... This River Awakens was something else entirely, and frankly amazing for an authors first work. The writing can be stunning at times, and the story is visceral and real.
Douglas Lord
This river don’t awaken too quick, lemme tell ya. Erikson, author of the Malazan Book of the Fallen fantasy series, presents a sputtering, sprawling bildungsroman centered on new-kid-in-rural-Canadian-town Owen Brand, aged 12. Many deftly-drawn characters shoulder portions of this circa 1971 narrative; all are damaged. From an unstable mink farmer to a drunken wife-beater, a dearth of role models faces Owen and the three mismatched boys he hangs around with. This lack spills over into Owen’s occ ...more
Stephen Hayes
Until about halfway through this book, I wasn't sure whether I was going to like it or not. It's about a bunch of kids aged about 12 or 13 living in an in-between place somewhere between the city and farmlands. I lived in such a place when I was that age, so to that extent it felt familiar, but I wasn't aware of the existence of such a bunch of messed-up people. That doesn't mean that they weren't there in the place where I grew up, just that I wasn't aware of them. And I wouldn't have dared to ...more
Elisa Baker
If you, like me, are picking up this book because you are in withdrawal of Erikson's Malazan writing ... probably don't? You'll only be confused and resentful by how much it's not that. But that doesn't mean it isn't worth reading! It starts off slow, and gets sort of horrible around the middle (animal abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, substance abuse ...) but then I realized that I actually couldn't stop reading. The characters are all pretty flawed, and as a few people have mentioned I .. don' ...more
Colin Cherry
Mar 06, 2016 Colin Cherry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Apparently, this was Steven Erikson's first book. Of all his non-Malazan books, this is by far my favourite. It has the same lyricism, and the same tendency for characters to make lengthy philosophical asides, but instead of an epic fantasy, it follows two troubled grade 6 students in Canada's recent past (the lates 60's?). The lead characters are engaging, and the plot is satisfying. It starts a little slow, but by the end is very hard to put down, which is pretty much par for the course.

It's a
...more
Bob Alberti
Jul 20, 2014 Bob Alberti rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Bob by: no one
Shelves: avoid
This was sold to me in a science fiction bookstore, so my review reflects my disappointment that this story had no science fiction or fantasy elements whatsoever. There were lengthy, indulgent italicized forays into the mental fantasies of the characters, but there was no actual fantasy component to the story. It's basically 'Stand By Me" set in Canada, and laced in the final chapters with the introduction of Professor Umbridge from 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,' sans magic.

The bo
...more
Adventures in SciFi Publishing Podcast
A novel that was initially hard to get into, and merits as slow reading, proved to be highly rewarding ultimately. On so many levels. First one can enjoy the language for its own sake, the many lyrical passages positively pulsing with energy and vividness. Second, the empathy we can feel for the characters, even the worst of them. The most appalling of the protagonists are fleshed out in enough detail so that their behavior, while not excusable, is at least understandable. It is a gift of the au ...more
Sarah
This River Awakens is incredible. It’s incredibly disturbing, incredibly dark, incredibly atmospheric, and incredibly beautiful. It’s a raw, visceral coming-of-age story and absolutely unlike anything I’ve ever imagined the author could, or would, write. It’s a haunting tale that will stick to you like glue once you finish it, though you might have to work a bit for that finish. It’s worth it (squeamish readers beware). This River Awakens has its share of problems, and it’s definitely not for ev ...more
Derrel Schnurr
Nov 15, 2013 Derrel Schnurr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ability of this author to comprehend and recreate the human condition has always astounded me. I'm not referring to "the human condition" in an inspirational, we're-all-in-this-together kind of way. Rather, he uncomfortably captures what fucks us up, what makes us feel, what makes us choose, what we hide from, etc..

This book is human dysfunction. Not sensationalized; not glossed over. It's a book that spans a year of melancholy. Relationships forged, broken, and inexplicably maintained. In
...more
Peter
Aug 16, 2013 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Typical of most Erikson novels, This River Awakens starts slow but finishes strong. Although labelled a coming of age story, the 12 and 13 year olds act and behave more like older teens. Drugs, sex, language, and bullying are presented as typical behaviour of these small town Canadian kids in 1971. The strength of this novel lies in the all too few conversations between the lead character Owen and his friend Roland. They speak of what it is to be growing up poor, and again typical of his novels, ...more
Paul Sysiak
Feb 24, 2012 Paul Sysiak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually really enjoyed this having struggled at the start.

About mid-way I started to actually care what happened - each character is so flawed from the start they dont' ingratiate themselves at all.

First book I've read in a while that has real themes and accurate portrayals of human frailties and demons.

However much I enjoyed this I hope that Erikson stays with his fantasy writing as I personally enjoy that more.
Todd Campbell
Aug 10, 2014 Todd Campbell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stunning. It's hard to believe this was a debut novel by an author. Beautifully written novel which is completely different to his fantasy novels, Erikson captures the human condition wonderfully here. Highly recommended.
Tracie Sampson
Nov 02, 2016 Tracie Sampson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dark , depressing, disturbing....but a book you can't put down. All the characters felt so real, like people I might find in my own town - also a place in "nowhere" between the city and the farms. Maybe that is why I liked it..
Margaret
Jul 27, 2013 Margaret rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A disturbing story, hard to read to begin with as the language is harsh but the characters take hold and I had to continue to the end to see how it turned out.
Hlt
Mar 15, 2013 Hlt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was unsure of this book to start as it is written in an unusual way. But, by the end I had really enjoyed. The characters won me over and the story was very engaging.
Nadine
Nadine rated it did not like it
Jul 04, 2012
Michael Love
Michael Love rated it it was amazing
Nov 07, 2014
Jean Henderson
Jean Henderson rated it it was ok
May 17, 2014
Lucy
Lucy rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2014
David Jelinek
David Jelinek rated it really liked it
Jan 05, 2016
Geoff Womeldorff
Geoff Womeldorff rated it did not like it
Dec 10, 2013
Sissel
Sissel rated it it was amazing
May 23, 2014
Elihu
Elihu rated it liked it
Jun 06, 2012
Paul
Jun 22, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful coming of age story.
Sarah
Sarah rated it really liked it
Aug 28, 2014
Joel Roddin
Joel Roddin rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2014
Candi
Candi rated it it was ok
Aug 17, 2014
Madeline
Madeline rated it it was amazing
Feb 19, 2015
Ellen
Ellen rated it really liked it
May 20, 2014
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Steven Erikson is the pseudonym of Steve Rune Lundin, a Canadian novelist, who was educated and trained as both an archaeologist and anthropologist. His best-known work is the on-going series, the Malazan Book of the Fallen.

http://us.macmillan.com/author/steven...
More about Steven Erikson...

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