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Salt Slow

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  2,641 ratings  ·  488 reviews
Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award

From White Review Short Story Prize winner Julia Armfield, a brilliant, provocative debut story collection for fans of Carmen Maria Machado and Kelly Link.


In her electrifying debut, Julia Armfield explores women’s experiences in contemporary society, mapped through their bodies. As urban dwellers’ sleeps become
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Flatiron Books (first published May 30th 2019)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,641 ratings  ·  488 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
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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
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Johann (jobis89)
“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
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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
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Cinzia DuBois
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
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Alice Lippart
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
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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
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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
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JEN A
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Arie
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
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Abbie | ab_reads
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Pip
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
well THIS is a stunner
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.
Possibly in Michigan, London
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
Dawnny
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kat
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
unbelievably good — i winced and grinned and cried and felt truly and unhealthily Seen. wriggled its way under my skin.
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
Kaloyana
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Beautiful, strange and sad short stories about love, loss and life.
Ashish Kumar
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,
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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
Hayley
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Creepy, mythology-tinted feminist body horror. Full of quiet prose and sharp edges. Subtle and succinct.
Rissa
Dec 14, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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Lex
This was very good & excellent
Jenny
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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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
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Liina Bachmann
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
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Jackie
"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.
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Jaclyn
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Anna
New favourite short story collection!
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belletrist: Salt Slow | Book Discussion 3 137 Jan 21, 2020 12:39PM  

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