Top positive review
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An absolute tour de force
on 18 May 2008
I was surprised when I finished this book to realise it was a fantasy masterwork rather than a sci fi masterwork, if anything it bares striking similarities to "I Am Legend", at least in its portrayal of vampires as something other than reanimated corpses or cursed undead.
While the existence of vampires, their possible reconciliation with mankind or continued existence as predators with dillusions of grandeur or supremacy, is essential to the plot it is also a spellbinding tale about Abner Marsh, unlikely and accidential hero, man of his word, riverboat captain and in some ways "everyman".
Marsh doesnt have any strong opinions about slavery, politics, things of that nature but his direct encounters with the vampires, experiencing debates about superiority and inferiority between mankind and the vampiric other he thinks again about slavery in the run up to what becomes the American civil war.
The Fevre Dream is the name of Marsh's riverboat which he gets as part of a deal with a strange nocturnal mysteryman, it is a dream realised for Marsh and becomes something of an obsession and before the book is concluded the reader is reminded and given cause to reflect in the most brilliant way. Other reviews have rightly considered have a lot to do with friendship (anyone who enjoyed The Changing Seasons, The Shawshank Redemption and The Body/Stand by Me would appreciate this book) but its also about dreams, Marsh's riverboat dream across his lifetime, the dreams and leitmotifs of the other characters, dark and light.
This book proved to be compelling, the pace is perfect, the descriptions exacting and never over done, I'm confident that if you give over the time to reading it you'll find it rewarding. One of those rare books which when you're finished you can say you didnt just read it, you "lived it".