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I think I enjoyed the book for all the reasons that other reviewers didn’t. It resists resolution, it perturbs and frustrates, and allows the reader to bask in uncertainty even as it articulates a very clear message about environmental disasters and their very particular and personal impacts. The translation is very good, I’ve read the book in both Spanish and English and the narrator does a great job of conveying the narrative.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Oh my, did I love this. Fever Dream is a work in translation—by an astoundingly inventive Argentinian writer—and while I prefer its original title (Distancia de Rescate, or “rescue distance”), a fever dream is exactly what it is: delirious, disorienting, dire. The entire novel is a conversation between two people—a woman, Amanda, who is ill in a clinic bed, and an unsettling young boy, David, who urgently whispers in her ear, demanding she recount the events that led her here so they can find the precise moment when things went wrong. As Amanda talks, a series of vivid images—a beautiful woman in a gold bikini, a dead bird in a stream, a three-legged dog—unfold along with a growing sense of horror, while David ruthlessly judges which details are important and which are not. It’s a fascinating concept, expanding the very idea of what a novel can be, and while I also bought the paper version it worked exceptionally well for me in audio. Unlike other reviewers I had no trouble following the voices of the different characters (I loved the throaty elegance of Carla, David’s mother; the children’s voices are deliciously creepy), and hearing them all in my ear enhanced the feeling of being utterly surrounded by dread. Part ticking time bomb, part excavation of the horrors of parenthood (I’m no helicopter mom, but Amanda’s obsession with calculating “rescue distance”—the constantly shifting space separating her and her daughter, which narrows in unfamiliar or dangerous situations—resonated with me instantly), this is an audiobook to consume in one sitting. It sinks its hooks in early on; good luck shaking it loose.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful