I recently finished reading Fevre Dream by George R.R Martin, and I thought I’d spend a little time on here recommending it as highly as possible to all of you. Yes indeed.
I don’t often do book reviews on my blog, partly because as an amateur writer myself I find it a bit rude to criticise the work of other writers (I know that might be a little silly) and partly because I tend to be reading back and forth through backlists- does anyone care, at this point, what I thought of The Stars My Destination? It came out quite a while ago, after all.
(This is especially daft because I love reading book blogs, no matter if they’re reviewing new or old stuff. Perhaps truthfully it is because I don’t think I’m very good at it)
And besides, I can’t say all that much about Fevre Dream without giving away all the juicy bits to people who have yet to read it. I think I’m safe in saying that it is about vampires, and it is set in the latter half of the nineteenth century, along the Mississippi river. If that feels a bit Interview with the Vampire-ish, then I suppose it is a little, but that’s really where the similarities end.
I wanted to say a couple of things about this book. Mainly, that I love the main character, Abner Marsh. A larger than life steamboat captain with a bristling black beard, warts, and a tendency to shout at people and poke them with his hickory stick, Abner is the sort of character that you might expect in a supporting role. When he turned up in the first chapter, I admit I thought, “Well okay, I suppose the dashingly handsome hero will turn up in the next scene”, but Abner is about as heroic a character as you can get, warts and all.
He reminds me of Martin’s other great hero-in-disguise, Tyrion Lannister from the Song of Ice and Fire books. Technically Tyrion is a dastardly Lannister, and you spend much of A Game of Thrones thinking you really ought to hate him along with Cersei and Jamie… but if you’re me, by the end of book two, he was fighting out the top spot for favourite character along with Jon Snow and Arya Stark.
Martin excels at the flawed, human characters, the ones who make mistakes and do bad things but then make it up in brave, human ways. They are the ones you root for in the end, and the ones that stay with you once you’ve finished the book, as Abner and his hickory stick will.