Salt Slow

By Megan Thomas

This is the best short story collection I’ve ever read. I’m still thinking about each and every story, the magical realism still playing over in my mind and offering alternative interpretations as the time after reading passes.

Julia Armfield lyrically captures the confounding nuances of human experience and interaction, the intricacies and peculiarities of the natural world, and their coexistence. It’s done by subverting any notion you may have of your relationship with yourself, your body, and your environment, and through unique gothic imagery unlike anything I’ve read before. Salt Slow simultaneously offers hyper-realism and ghostly fantasy, active commentary and passive observation.

My favourite reading approach, of having a short story collection on the go at the same time as a novel, was totally squandered when I had no interest in reading anything else until I’d finished Salt Slow. I sometimes think that reading short stories one after the other can dilute them, so I have a couple of favourites I plan to reread. What are your thoughts on consuming collections in one gulp? There are two approaches, I suppose: one of a collection being its own entity, with each story feeding off of the other, another that each story serves itself.

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