A sideways view of the “coming of age” experience, Rapids is the story of a young man who moves to a strange city and finds himself lost in its warren of streets and squares. He is looking for his own identity–personal, political, and sexual. A series of encounters culminates with his meeting Anja: a strong, older woman, stuck in a relationship with another man she cannot bring herself to leave. Anja becomes an anchor for the young man, yet their relationship must remain a secret–and when that secret finally comes to light, their troubles begin.
“Boltshauser’s 235-page debut novel is in essence a campus novel, set in ‘a strange city,’ that old fictional reliable since the days of Kafka. The protagonist is an unnamed student who is effectively being swept along through the ‘rapids’ of his late adolescence, hence the title (…)The story blossoms when the action departs from the claustrophobic campus as Anja takes the student back to her home village. She visits her mother’s grave, there is a certain poignancy, and the grandeur of the rustic Swiss scene is well evoked” – Paddy Kehoe, Raidió Teilifís Éireann