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This is not a typical vampire story. It is not a typical George R. R. Martin fantasy. The vampires are more like Barnabas Collins of "Dark Shadows" and Louis and Lestat of the Ann Rice novels than the Transylvanian Count, but they soon stand beyond comparison. Imagine Jonathan Harker morphed into Mark Twain. Sour Billy Tipton fills the Renfrew role, but you won't even remember who Renfrew was within 30 seconds of meeting Sour Billy.
So I guess I'd better stop with the similes and just say that this book defies categorization. It's not set in any of Martin's famous fantasy worlds, but travels up and down the Mississippi River and its tributaries in the magnificent steam paddlewheelers of the mid nineteenth century, one of which is the eponymous "Fevre Dream." From New Orleans to the shipyards of New Albany, Indiana, with stops in plantations and cities, the saga flows on Ol' Man River. And yes, there will be a race and an on-board fire (reference the famous "Robert E. Lee").
George R. R. Martin can create a full-blown minor character with a few strokes of the keyboard, and his major characters are indelibly etched within one chapter of meeting them. This artistry reaches its peak, in my opinion, in "Game of Thrones" and "Clash of Kings," the first two volumes of "Song of Ice and Fire," but it's plenty evident in "Fevre Dream." Martin is simply a magnificent writer.
As good as Martin's written words are, I suggest listening to this version rather than reading the book. The Scottish actor Ron Donachie doesn't narrate the book, he performs it. Donachie played Ser Rodrik, Winterfell's master-at-arms, in HBO's "Game of Thrones," and I like to think (though of course I don't know) that he and Martin are friends. Friend or not, Donachie does Martin's novel full justice.
25 of 27 people found this review helpful
Excellent read, this is one of RR Martins best. You will learn about the steamboat era with a new spin on Vampires as a back drop. He did borrow a bit from "Interview with a Vampire" at least the exotic mulato women victims.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful