Fever Dream
March 26, 2018 11:12 AM - by Samanta Schweblin - Subscribe

A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He's not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family. 
posted by everybody had matching towels (8 comments total)
 
This books is running roughshod through Tournament of Books. I may have to move up my timetable on reading it.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:48 AM on March 28, 2018


If it helps, it's only 183 pages. Won't have to move around much to fit that in, probably. I plowed through it in one sitting.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:00 AM on March 28, 2018


Of any book mentioned in the ToB, this is the one I most want to read. I may just spring for Audible after hearing a judge describe the sensation of listening to it as an audio book.
posted by gladly at 9:19 AM on March 28, 2018


Have you heard about the audiobook version of Lincoln in the Bardo? It's bananas. It has 166 different actors, including Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Megan Mullaly, Susan Sarandon, Lena Dunham, Kat Dennings, Ben Stiller, Jeff Tweedy, Carrie Brownstein, Keegan Michael Key... I've been listening to it all week. It's amazing.



That said, the same talk of Fever Dream as an audio book has me considering that format for that one as well.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:28 AM on March 28, 2018


Yes! I've never even seen the print version of Lincoln in the Bardo, but the audio book was the greatest thing I've ever heard. I listened to it while I was traveling alone, so I spent long periods immersed in it, and it was an amazing experience.
posted by gladly at 5:50 AM on March 29, 2018


Fever Dream is terrific. It's almost hilariously slim. It's "183 pages" sure, but each page is maybe two thirds the size of a standard literary paperback, with wider margins, slightly larger print, and slightly greater line spacing than usual. Anyone here could read it in a day.

The story is great though, and it's got a propulsive, relentless pacing, with the kind of spooky, you-can-grasp-it-but-it's-never-spelled-out horror story underpinning. I loved it and I might even read it again.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:24 AM on April 4, 2018


I can see why it won ToB, as every single word and page is crystalline perfect. It wasn't the most ambitious book, once you shake off its spell and look at its underpinnings, but the spell itself is hypnotic and it's just so perfectly done.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:33 AM on April 4, 2018


I liked this, though I'd be inclined to call it one of the better short stories of 2017 rather than one of the better novels of 2017. The Audible audiobook is very well-produced and I'd recommend it to those who are inclined towards audiobooks - it's kind of perfect for the format, with a very limited set of characters and a plot which skips around just enough, but not too much.

To actually talk about the book, what are people's opinions about the plot? Is David really inhabited by a soul he wasn't born with, or is the entire thing born out of Carla's obsession? Did we ever find the moment where the worms come into being?

I mostly agreed with this positive review of Fever Dream in the New Yorker. It doesn't really try to explicate the plot, not that it should, but I'm curious what other people took away from the book.
posted by whir at 9:50 PM on April 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


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