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Rapids. Tim Parks

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  92 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A riveting white-water ride down a raging river in the Italian Alps, pitting people against Nature, in "the novel Tim Parks was born to write" (Sunday Telegraph, London).When 15 vacationers-six adults and nine adolescents-arrive in the Italian Alps to try their kayaking skills against the wild waters of the upper Aurino River, they have no idea what harrowing events await ...more
Published February 1st 2006 by Vintage Books USA (first published January 1st 2005)
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James Hartley
Sep 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A group of unknowns take a white water rafting trip down a river in Italy. Drama ensues. Whether or not you enjoy said drama will depend on whether or not you "buy" the characters, sympathise with them, care about them or care about the story. For me, none of this matters. Tim Parks is one of those writers I like for their writing. Its something hard to describe but I like reading his books just for the things he does within them.

Hes a European writer, not an English writer, for me - not in the
I'm sure this novel was aiming for something deep. Psychological conflict, small groups of strangers in dangerous situation yada yada. Whatever it was, it never got there.

The writing is okay, if a bit shallow, and the bokk starts out okay. We get to know the group of canoeists meeting for the summer holidays, learn a little about every character, the usual. Good set-up, if it were leading somewhere.

Then a father and a daughter arrive, and it becomes clear immediately that the father and the fema
Terry Mark
This is not the kind of book I would normally choose to read but I had finished the 2 books I took with me on holiday and finding a book in Greece written in English is rather hard to find.I very nearly gave up on it, but after 150 pages the storyline started to improve and I quite enjoyed the rest of it.Hence giving it 3 stars rather than 2.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5 star. I admit it kept me reading for longer each night, and I read it quickly, but something is keeping me from fully backing the 4 star. Believable characters (mostly), believable situation, and good descriptions. Plenty of tension and a few plot twists. I felt some of the characters in the group were not fully developed / fleshed out, maybe because there were so many of them (Caroline? Brian? some of the others) and perhaps they could have been dispensed with, unless the group ne ...more
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Mar 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Review: Rapids by Tim Parks.

The story was an adventure for six adults and nine adolescents coming together on a white water kayaking experience in Italy from a swelling river below the melting glaciers from above. With a twisting surface and threatening undertows, the rapid river was a hazard thrill to those who live to feel the rush of risk. Tim Parks also was creative enough to describe the harrowing white water ride not only through the landscape of the Italian Alps, but also through the expr
Dan Thompson
I didn't think I would finish this book. To begin with, it bored me livid. Too many characters, interacting with no apparent reasoning, no plot to speak of ... too many of the younger characters also annoyed me; childish, too similar. Even some of the adults were hard to distinguish against. You often thought to yourself: which is that one again?

It isn't until quite far into the book that you realise there isn't a plot as such, more of an interaction between characters, and what occurs during th
Dec 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
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Sep 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A lot of characters to follow, and all of them talked about at the same time and in the same context. Ultimately the book seems really to be about three people, perhaps even only two, but this realization only comes at the very end, making one wonder why one had to follow the travails of a whole group for 80% of it. Parks tries to put flesh on the central characters although at times it feels as though the same characteristics are being drawn out repeatedly to no obvious end. The subtext of glob ...more
Jane Walker
Dec 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The basic plot is as old as the hills; put a disparate group of people together and see how they interact. This book sets the action in a group of kayakers in the Tirol. But the ending is a let-down, without credibility.

Parks writes in an abbreviated and staccato style, without punctuating conversation, which could be irritating but works.
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No speech marks and not defined by paragraphs so not the easiest to define narrative and speech. Too many characters introduced with very little definition of them so the minor characters were very forgettable and that detracted from the main players until late on in the book.

Readable but not compelling.
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Learned a lot about white water kayaking. Musings about what to do with a life.
Judith Yeabsley
If you were into white water kayaking this would be the novel for you. Aside from that the plot was a little thin and the main characters not believable. It was OK.
Jerome Parisse
Disappointing. The premise is good, but there are too many characters and you easily get confused.
Lesley Moseley
Fast pace informative exciting style. VERY satisfying read.
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Dec 18, 2011
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Carly West
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Apr 15, 2016
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Nov 13, 2011
Susan Metallo
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May 05, 2011
Stefania Vitale
rated it it was ok
Jul 28, 2016
Lucia Fitzpatrick
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Oct 13, 2014
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Jun 10, 2017
Piero Ricci
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Aug 22, 2017
Dan Edwards
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Apr 03, 2010
Chris Green
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Jul 30, 2013
Stephen Curran
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Oct 21, 2012
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Jun 10, 2014
Bruce Cline
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Born in Manchester in 1954, Tim Parks grew up in London and studied at Cambridge and Harvard. In 1981 he moved to Italy where he has lived ever since. He has written eleven novels including Europa, Destiny, Cleaver and, most recently, Dreams of Rivers and Seas, as well as three non-fiction accounts of life in northern Italy (most recently A Season with Verona), a collection of 'narrative' essays, ...more
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