George R.R. Martin's Fevre Dream Hardcover – August 9, 2011
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.53 pounds
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 159291120X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1592911202
- Dimensions : 7.25 x 0.7 x 10.25 inches
- Publisher : Avatar Press; 0 edition (August 9, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #350,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It’s a very thrilling and very brutal story and I enjoyed every page of it. A curious mix between Interview with the Vampire and I Am Legend.
It’s funny, I’ve never really considered GRRM to be one of my favorite writers, but reading this one made me realize how much I do admire him as one. This book was released in the early eighties, and so it’s writing is not quite up to par with his Song of Ice and Fire opus, but you very much see him already getting there. It’s such a well-crafted, clever book. It made me appreciate Martin, the writer, a lot more.
A bit of warning, though: Like I mentioned before, this book is set during the Plantation Era, and obviously slavery and racism weave their way through the book in major ways. The dialogue is chock-full of the pejorative language and racial slurs of the times, as well as some brief but brutal depictions of abuse against black people. In fact, my main criticism of the book consists of this: GRRM could have certainly reeled these aspects back great deal more. (He does kind of attempt this, near the end, by having one of the main human characters, who is introduced as being ideologically opposed to slavery but doesn’t really do anything about it, help the Underground Railroad for a time. But this consists of literally one sentence and seems so tacked on that it is almost laughable if it wasn’t so sad.)
Still though. If you have the patience and willingness to stomach these rather tired tropes, you will fine a hell of a story. I don’t like to use the term “ripping yarn,” because I don’t live in a Sherlock Holmes mystery, but this is the kind of story that warrants it.
I liked the major characters, Joshua York and Abner Marsh, especially the noticeable contrasts between them. This is an unlikely pair, vastly different in everything from temperament to looks and manner of living. Yet they complement each other perfectly and the slow progression of their relationship from business partners who are wary of each other, to steadfast friends is believable and well presented.
If I have anything negative to say about the book it’s that I feel it could have been made shorter. There are a few parts that become bogged down and lose momentum. I found myself skimming a few sections that felt too similar in nature. A lot of these related to Damon Julian, his followers and the lengthy discourses we get from Joshua about his past.
My favorite part of the novel is the definitely the first half before Joshua encounters Julian. I liked the mystery of that part of the book, of Abner Marsh trying to decipher Joshua’s peculiar habits, of not knowing why he behaves as he does. Once the mystery is revealed and Joshua and Julian begin to clash, that’s when certain sections started to lose the impact the first half of the book carried. At least for me.
I can’t say enough, however, about the feel and presentation of this novel. It’s so richly textured it easily transports you to each and every scene. Spectacular climax and spectacular ending!
Top reviews from other countries
So glad to find it on Amazon. It was like reading from new all over again, one of those 'can't put down' books. Strong characters, intense, moving story. So well written. Lots of lovely detail about the world of river life and paddle steamers too, you sort of imagine you're there amongst them all (hoping you don't bump into the 'you know whats'). Don't normally read vampire lit. any more. Seen the films, been there, done that etc. This was altogether different and very clever. Felt real loss when I'd finished it.
Is now patiently waiting in my bedside table drawer - till next time!
George RR Martin had a winner with this one. Fully Recommend
Very happy with this seller too. Item as described and speedy delivery! Will definitely use again in the future.
Steamboat captain Abner Marsh has become business partners with the gentlemanly Joshua York, who pays for the construction of the ultimate steamboat. But strange deaths along the Mississippi lead Abner to suspect that something isn't quite kosher with Joshua, until Joshua reveals the truth about himself -- he and his friends are vampires, who are working to free his race from their bloodlust.
However, the evil bloodmaster Damon Julian wants to keep the vampires as-is, since it allows him greater power over his brethren. He's even got a Gollumesque human serving him before long. Abner's attempts to help his friend lead to disaster, and it will be many years before the two friends have a chance at killing Damon again...
Martin is one of the few authors who actually bothers to come up with an origin story for his vampires, rather than just having these pale bloodsucking people be... there. Without revealing too much, he weaves a haunting explanation for the biological, spiritual and cultural differences between humans and vampires, and sets them up as a brother race to homo sapiens (instead of undead corpses). It's awesome.
Martin's writing is gritty, dark and sometimes grotesque (a vampire using a BABY as food), and even at the best of times he fills it with the grimy atmosphere of a working-class man living on the Mississippi. The only real problem is the timeskip, which jolts us several years into the future and is kind of disorienting, but that's a relatively small problem.
And the entire plot revolves around two very powerful characters, who share a powerful friendship based on trust and a desire to help the vampire species. Joshua is the usual charming gentlemanly vampire, but he's elevated by his powerful desire to save his species from their enslavement to bloodlust and/or Damon Julian. And Abner is a totally unstereotypical vampire-novel character -- he is ugly, a grizzled military man, and even as a sick old man he kicks butt.
"Fevre Dream" is a visceral, gritty vampire novel that takes the time to explore the bloodsuckers' past, and comes up with a pretty brilliant plot in the present as well. A must-read for vampire fans who like it bloody and dark.
Three stars mainly because it’s not something I would generally go for - but for fans of GRRM I suspect it really hits the spot. Certainly worth it if you like vampire stories.