J213's Reviews > Fevre Dream

Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
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's review
Jul 20, 2012

liked it

I'd be willing to bet that most fans of A Song of Ice and Fire, while the five books at this time in that series total well over five thousand pages, don't know much of Martin's career prior to the epic fantasy series. Fevre Dream is one of them, written thirty years ago now, which shows that Martin has always been a very gifted writer but even for 1982 this story is mostly predictable and came well enough after Anne Rice's classic to elicit plenty of aping criticism. Set in the mid-1850s upon the Mississippi river and among the steamboating industry which gives it a healthy historical fiction tag, this is also a vampire story involving pretty Euros, plantations, slaves and New Orleans. Much like the wild west camps were before being annexed by the government, it was a largely lawless part of the country people flocked to nonetheless for the industry which is why the vampire tales fit so accordingly: lots of money, lots of fellow Euros and an absence of real authority. Some things don't seem to change, eh? ;)

Anyway, along with the vampire hooey, it's a fairly typical story of ascending to the top, having your moment in the sun/15 minutes of glory and then having it all crash down around you in terrible catastrophe... aided of course by those annoying long-toothed prima donnas. Much of it you can see coming a mile away and it ends rather benignly with no twists or anything other than an unremarkable showdown.

Even so, Martin's writing style made it very entertaining and a quick read that never bored me. His characters are great, once again. He has a great talent for dialog and body language/facial expressions that make conversations between characters very engaging. All the characters were colorful and alive, even the vampires despite their stereotypical elegance and overblown graceful nature.

Fevre Dream was a good book, especially if you want to learn a thing or two about riverboating while being mildly entertained by a reserved thriller at the same time. I wouldn't dissuade anyone from reading this, so long as they had already read ASoIaF.

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Reading Progress

July 20, 2012 – Started Reading
July 20, 2012 – Shelved
July 20, 2012 –
page 20
July 21, 2012 –
page 165
July 22, 2012 –
page 320
July 23, 2012 – Finished Reading

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