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 them. Among the group are the London banker Vince- recently widowed and trying to make sense of his life-and his teenage daughter Louise. Their hosts are Clive, an enigmatic but commanding leader, and his alluring but fragile girlfriend, Michela. Their lives intertwine over the next week in ways none could have foreseen, as they test their courage and varying abilities against the roaring waters, the rocks both seen and sunken, the endless treacherous logs, the flotsam and driftwood that become a liquid trap, as the threat of death accompanies them downstream. Rapids grippingly evokes the vertiginous thrill of entering a hostile environment, of being at the limit of control. Tim Parks's latest novel is alive with the drama of the water and the fragility of the people it bears along.
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