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Salt Slow

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,018 ratings  ·  400 reviews
This collection of stories is about women and their experiences in society, about bodies and the bodily, mapping the skin and bones of its characters through their experiences of isolation, obsession and love. Throughout the collection, women become insects, men turn to stone, a city becomes insomniac and bodies are picked apart to make up better ones. The mundane worlds o ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2020 by Picador USA (first published May 30th 2019)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,018 ratings  ·  400 reviews


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Amalia Gkavea
‘’At night, I fall asleep in shreddings and tatterings, my dreams shot through with shouts of violence, bitter notches like bad beads on a rosary. In the still-dark of early morning, I wake to wonder at my face in the wardrobe mirror. Beneath the white flesh of my forehead, my eyes seem further apart from before.’’

I cannot do justice to this collection. Not in the slightest. I cannot put my admiration, my love for it into words. Nine stories that haunted me, nine characters that became stran
...more
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Longer review to come with a more detailed review of each story.

This is equal parts horrific and beautiful, tragic and grotesque, dark and divine. It’s my favorite short story collection that I’ve ever read and I’m already eager to get my hands on whatever Armfield writes next. Not to mention, multiple stories in this unsettling collection are about queer women and queer relationships. I heartily recommend it.


Update 11/5/19:

Eyyy, updating with longer story reviews a hot month after reading thi
...more
Renee Godding
“Before him, she had often wondered whether solitude was a skill one could lose, like schoolgirl latin. Or whether it was simply a talent one acquired, bikelike, never afterwards forgotten.”

4.5/5 stars

A mesmerizing collection magical realism of short stories from a debut author that I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for in the future.
This collection gave me major Kirsty Logan-, Jen Campbell- and Samantha Hunt- vibes, which automatically lets you know it was very much up my alley. It consists of
...more
Johann (jobis89)
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“The sky is gory with stars, like the insides of a gutted night.”

Wow. Wow wow wow. This book blew me away! If you’re a fan of dark, weird, macabre, beautifully written stories, then you need to read Salt Slow, a collection of nine distinct tales about womanhood. But these stories focus on unruly women, the best kind.

What I love most about these stories is that they are rooted in the mundane, but then Armfield introduces these details that elevate the stories from everyday humdrum scenarios to th
...more
Cinzia DuBois
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I am incredibly torn about how to review this book. Armfield’s writing is brilliant - her prose is visceral and haunting. However, it’s almost too visceral. Whilst I have absolutely no qualms with the writing or it’s effectiveness, these stories were stomach-churningly disturbing to say the least, so much so that each time I put down the book, I was reluctant to pick it up again.

I haven’t felt so sickened by literary imagery since reading Ballard’s ‘Crash’. Along with that, the stories are deep
...more
Alice Lippart
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dark, twisted and very well written.
Lotte
4.5/5. This is one of the best short story collections I've ever read!
Julia Armfield writes brilliantly eerie, evocative and inventive stories about women's bodies and experiences. In these stories, an entire city becomes insomniac as sleep grows into a physical entity that escapes its owners, an all-female rock band's army of loyal teenage fans develop an uncontrollable power and in a post-apocalyptic world of water, dark things lurk in the deep. In Armfield's imagination, mundane, everyday thi
...more
Fatma
4.5 stars
"We are frenetic with hunger, with wanting, with the repentance of the season. We laugh like hyenas, our heads thrusting forward from our bodies."

Jane Austen once wrote in one of her letters, “Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked”; she might as well have written Salt Slow's thesis.

Salt Slow is a short-story collection about problem women. The first line of the book is, after all, "I have my Grandmother's skin. Problem skin." Problem skin, problem women. The
...more
Acqua
This managed to gross me out in so many different yet very quiet ways, so of course I really appreciated it.

Salt Slow is a collection about unruly women. Women who defy the rules of reality, who are messy and ugly and feral, or turn so; women who are violent, long for the worst, howl at the moon.
In a society in which even a hint of these things in a woman is met with retaliation, it's really refreshing to read stories that bend reality to allow us to be. This book isn't afraid of gore, of going
...more
JEN A
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a weird book. Interesting on some levels but overall pretty weird. Each story had its own take on weirdness. There’s not much more I can say.
Arielle
Before I even think about the words here, can we please just applaud the incredible book cover designs that we keep being gifted with?! This book is one of the loveliest looking objects I've picked up in a while, and it's far from being alone in a veritable sea of truly excellent eye-candy.

Even better: it's a solidly good read. I adored books like Kirsty Logan's The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales, and Carmen Maria Machado's Her Body and Other Parties, and Salt Slow would make an excellent she
...more
Abbie | ab_reads
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Thank you SO MUCH @picadorbooks for gifting me what had become one of my top books of the year and an all time favourite short story collection! If the perfect short story collection exists, then it is Salt Slow by Julia Armfield, and I’m planning on writing her a letter to ask her to write me a short story every day so I never run out of ones to read - is that selfish?
.
I was in love from the first story, a raw and painful portrayal of the relationship between young girls and their bodies, the c
...more
Jerrie (redwritinghood)
This was an excellent short story collection focused on women, their relationships, and bodily transformations. Wonderful writing and weird but intelligent stories about how women face society and are impacted by it. Highly recommend.
Dawnny
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I won this and wasn't sure what to make of it reading the cover. This isn't like anything I've ever read. The prose is haunting. This is dark, wildly creative and way outside the box. I loved it.
Not for the squeamish.

Dawnny-BookGypsy
Novels N Latte
Hudson Valley NY
Kat
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
unbelievably good — i winced and grinned and cried and felt truly and unhealthily Seen. wriggled its way under my skin.
Possibly in Michigan, London
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. Granite was the strongest story for me. It captured a terrible truth about relationships without hammering it over the reader's head. It's probably the least obviously fantastical, which might have influenced my preference. But even if (like me) you're not massively into fantasy or folklore, the collection still works tremendously well. It feels so unique - the melding of the everyday of a particular kind of metropolitan life, of the concerns of contemporary feminism, with m ...more
Kaloyana
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Beautiful, strange and sad short stories about love, loss and life.
Rebecca
These nine short stories are steeped in myth and magic, but often have a realistic shell. Only gradually do the fantastical or dystopian elements emerge, with the final paragraph delivering a delicious surprise. For instance, the narrator of “Mantis” attends a Catholic girls’ school and is caught up in a typical cycle of self-loathing and obsessing over boys. It’s only at the very end that we realize her extreme skin condition is actually a metamorphosis that enables her to protect herself. The ...more
Rissa
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Salt slow ⭐️
It felt like a short story collection im not sure that it meant to be. But acting as a short story collection it was good. As everything being one, no. When i started i thought it was regular fiction and was very confused it was only when i started taking each chapter as a new story did i start to enjoy it.
I really enjoyed Granite. We follow Maggie who is almost thirty and is still looking for that one true love. It was a cute story of two awkward people finding each other.
I also
...more
Ashish Kumar
Jun 25, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars.

Salt Slow is a collection of 9 stories, all bordering on magical realism and total "weirdism" but unfortunately I only enjoyed the first three stories ( Mantis, The Great Awake and The Collectibles) whereas the remaining were the epitome of mediocrity. Two of the stories I didn't even borthered myself to read because one was about some music fangirls ( not at all interested in that) and another was Salt Slow (which was the last story in this collection) but by the time I reached that,
...more
Kaleah
4.25⭐️s!
This was a really strong short story collection that I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys altered realities, strange surrealism, and absurdity with a side of the grotesque.

I can see why comparisons have been made to Carmen Maria Machado, although I felt these stories were more refined - the writing more delicate and less in-your-face. I sensed a little bit of Machado, Ling Ma, Helen Phillips, Lila Savage (Say Say Say), and even some Blake Crouch elements in this collection! Truly eclectic
...more
Blair
Jun 03, 2019 marked it as attempted  ·  review of another edition
I skimmed this, reading the first few pages of each story and continuing if my interest was suitably piqued. One of the stories, ‘Stop your women’s ears with wax’, is among the best I’ve read this year. It follows an all-female band on the road as, through the eyes of their videographer, they inspire obsession and violence in their young fans. It’s one of the longer stories in the book, and the extra space allows for effective background detail and texture. That, in turn, makes the weird touches ...more
Jackie
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"My mouth is wide with anticipation. Not for kissing but for something more in keeping with my genes."


One of my favourite short story collections. I read this earlier this month and can't stop thinking about it. It definitely deserves the 5 stars. I can't wait to see what Julia Armfield does next.
Jaclyn Crupi
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
First book on the board for 2020. I wish I had known how good and weird these stories would be. What a collection! They were the perfect companion as I cried and despaired about what we colonists have done to our planet and how dystopian my country looks and feels. I’ll despair for another day but then get back to action.
Hayley
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Creepy, mythology-tinted feminist body horror. Full of quiet prose and sharp edges. Subtle and succinct.
Ana
New favourite short story collection!
Liina Bachmann
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2019
I can’t remember when was the last time I was in such awe of someone’s imagination. I don’t read sci-fi or anything that is not “real”. Not even magical realism these days. So salt slow was like a breath of fresh air. It is a collection of stories that border on the perverse, otherworldly, corporal, eerie, melancholy, depressing and I don’t know what else.

Julia Armfield’s work reminds me a bit of Shirley Jackson although it is a lot more graphic. Similarly to her, she combines the unnatural with
...more
David J
3.5

Review to come.
Jenny
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an AMAZING short story collection!

While I do have some qualms and will fully admit that I really loved only 5 of the 9 stories and simply liked the rest, this collection housed some truly spectacular and equally disturbing stories. Before I get started on my reviews/reactions, I do want to bring up the biggest pro and con of this collection: the writing. Armfield's writing is incredible, and her descriptions/descriptive language was done well, but sometimes the language was so dense tha
...more
Never Without a Book
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Happy Pub day to one of the most bizarre/fascinating/I can’t put this down, short story collections I’ve read this year. ⁣

Salt Slow by Julia Armfield is a collection of stories about women and their experiences. Throughout this collection women/adolescent become insects, men turn to stone, a city becomes insomniac and bodies are picked apart to make up better ones. Y’all these stories are WILD and shocking😳, I couldn’t put this down.  If you enjoyed Carmen Maria Machado’s, Her Body and Other Pa
...more
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belletrist: Salt Slow | Book Discussion 3 129 Jan 21, 2020 08:39PM  

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