SC Book Club Sakuga City Book Club Review: Fevre Dream

Discussion in 'Books, Comics & Graphic Novels' started by Narilka, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Narilka

    Narilka Destroyer of Worlds
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    This is the first book club review for Sakuga City, we will be reviewing Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin. Please feel free to post your thoughts concerning this novel, here is a short synopsis:

    Written in 1982, Fevre Dream is a period vampire novel written in the peak of the riverboat era on the Mississippi river. Abner Marsh, a riverboat captain, is approached by an exceedingly wealthy aristocrat with what appears to be a far fetched offer. The icy winter of 1857 wiped out all but one of Marsh's already rickety boats leaving his company with one old riverboat that is well past her prime. Joshua York, an unforgettable man, who seems not to concern himself with Marsh's misfortune. York's reasons for traveling the Mississippi river are his own and he sets bizarre stipulations to Marsh in exchange for half of his business and a large new riverboat. Marsh appears unaware of what he has agreed to until after his journey begins with York and his unusual friends, and their eccentric behavior begins to magnify and disrupt business on the water for Marsh and he begins to wonder and question what he really signed up for.
     
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  2. Novaire

    Novaire Serial Editor
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    This is still my favorite book, looking back to high school, no other book had painted a picture in my head the way that Fevre Dream did, and reading it again brought back similar memories. I love the setting, there's something about the tone of the story that is really complimented by the dreary feeling you get when reading about the voyages steamboats take down the foggy Mississippi River during the early hours of the day that really gets me. I'm not really sure what the etiquette is for spoilers in this thread, so I'll just say that I think the chapters leading up to the ending and the ending itself were really well done, and I couldn't think of a better way to cap off the story.

    I'd recommended pinging the other members with mentions, as I had no clue this topic even existed. I'd do it, but I haven't a clue who was reading.
     
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  3. Narilka

    Narilka Destroyer of Worlds
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    Before reading it I was concerned I would not like it due to the time period it is set in, though I rather enjoy vampire stories. I have enjoyed the way Martin has presented the historical atmosphere, even though I did not think I would initially. I am half way through the book (I am a slow reader) and so far it does move a little slow for my taste, but it has been interesting to read nonetheless so it does not bother me very much. I jotted down some notes here and there about scenes I enjoyed on some level or another.

    Abner, who is a Mississippi steamboat owner, loses all but 1 ship and he gets a letter from Joshua York and they eventually meet and decide to go into business together. I have to admit I like Abner, he appears loyal and very driven and knows what he wants and goes after it. Abner seems to eat a lot it made me a little nauseous reading how much he was eating when he first met Joshua York, lol. I thought it was funny when Abner renames Smith and Brown because he forgot their names. It was pretty funny when Valerie showed up and Abner was obsessed over their relation and seemed to be for lack of a better word "cock blocking" York. Why didn’t Abner just put 2 and 2 together in the beginning?

    I like Martin descriptions of the characters eyes, especially Yorks in the beginning. The relationship and interactions that Abner and Joshua have been surprising, they seem to have gotten comfortable with each very quickly, with some minor disagreements that were resolved quickly and amicably.

    So Sour Billy is a vampire groupie? I think so. In chapter 2 by the river on the way to Jillian’s estate, Sour Billy telling that slave girl to “shut up” was too funny to me, rude but funny. He is a pretty evil man but I like his character. Would I run away from him on the street, as discreetly as possible but yes. But he is doing a job, for someone like him; this is probably all he is able to do and may not have been able to do anything else.
     
    #3 Narilka, Sep 8, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2016
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  4. Oh Snape

    Oh Snape House Bantsratheon
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    8 pages in. I like the narration and the story telling voice is bang on for time period. The thing oozes atmosphere and we haven't even gone outside yet.

    I've also figured out who the Vampire is. Go me.
     
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  5. Foxxin

    Foxxin Swipe Right Please....Please?

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    So I finished this about a week back, just haven't been on SC for a while. And I have to say this is a book that I really did not expect to like at all, but did. It isn't one of my best/favorites but it did definitely surprise me. A lot of this has to do with my total dislike for anything vampire. Not sure why, but I've gotten to the point where vampire related themes just completely turn me off. I suspect anime had a small hand in that. And not only that but the era the story was based in as well.(I tend to stick to "midieval-ish" fantasy.)

    Regardless I did like it, especially the idea of humans being nothing more than mere prey (cattle) in the eyes of an even more powerful species and how they react to being seen as nothing but a food source like they view much of the livestock they live off of. Also neat because due to my preferences of the settings of my stories, the mid-1800's POV on this story was a little refreshing for me. And I learned a good bit about steamboats too and their role in this era.
     
    #5 Foxxin, Sep 10, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
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  6. Oh Snape

    Oh Snape House Bantsratheon
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    Dracula remains the opus regarding anything Vampiric for me but I can see this pushing it close. I'm more than a few chapters deep and I like how its grounded in reality and has a natural flow to the story telling, despite its otherwordly characters. I'm hoping more of Yorks 'friends' are given some depth as this is looking like some of Ann Rices non crap stuff (the first book and that other one who's name I can't spell, Manboobs the Devil or something).

    Also, judging by pace and plot elements introduced thus far (2), this seems like a 'the journey' rather than the 'pay-off' type of book. Seeing as I'm loving the prose and the uncompromising language regarding norms of the time , ie the racial epithets* add another dimension and realism to the time frame the story takes place. And it fits in nicely with all the other descriptions of the south I've read via the Southern Gothic genre (mostly Cormac McCarthy).

    Anyway, good shit. And dat mattalic blue cover.

    *took me a few chapters to realize the narrator is racist as well.
     
    #6 Oh Snape, Sep 10, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
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  7. Oh Snape

    Oh Snape House Bantsratheon
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    Just past the halfway stage and it seems like Martin could've wrapped things up in a another couple of chapters but appears to be setting up the final act. Hopefully it won't drag its ass as the story really has upped the anti as of late.

    Shame some of this books originality is lost on me, due to having read other stories with similar themes and vampire POV such as non crap Ann Rice stuff, American Vampire comics and Let The Right One In. And possibly even some Buffy The Vampire slayer episodes.

    Also, if this is ever made into a movie there is at least one scene that'll never make the final cut. Bloody hell that was brutal.
     
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  8. Narilka

    Narilka Destroyer of Worlds
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    It has dragged a little bit, but it is still pretty good. I need to finish it up soon before I lose interest. Rice raised the bar with her stories, in the beginning of her career, that it was hard to follow up her books. But it also doesn't help that the time periods are only separated by approximately 50 years and are very similar.

    Don't jinx it I hope they do put all of it in the movie if they make one.
     
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  9. Oh Snape

    Oh Snape House Bantsratheon
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    Lesse......

    + Abner Marsh. Its Basically GRR Martin as a a steamboat captain. So he doesn't even need to change outfit. Also shotguns.
    + The Villain in this is badass. And so vindictively funny. This guy eats deadly sins like skittles.
    + Steamboats. I have to go on one now. And then buy one. And puts some fat rims on it.
    + Has 2 bits in it that were super scary. Super scary to the max you guys.

    - Would work just as fine with a hundred less pages.
    - Or a 100 more. Some tasty sounding scenes are told in retrospect or flashback.

    This would make a cracking series. Single season or 2 six part season ala BBC. I give this a solid 3/5. Maybe that'll improve as this defo looks like re-read material.
     
    #9 Oh Snape, Sep 20, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  10. Oh Snape

    Oh Snape House Bantsratheon
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    Anyone wanna start another book?
     
  11. Narilka

    Narilka Destroyer of Worlds
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    I finally finished the other night. I will be up for another one, I will be reading something anyway soon since I finished this one.
     
  12. Novaire

    Novaire Serial Editor
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    I'd be willing to give it a shot, yeah.
     

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