Book Review: Fever Dream

Book Review: Fever DreamFever Dream
by Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell
Pages: 192
Published by Riverhead Books
Genres: Literary Fiction, Multicultural, Mystery/Crime
Goodreads

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.

Fever Dream is a nightmare come to life, a ghost story for the real world, a love story and a cautionary tale. One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language and translated into English for the first time, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel.

My Takeaway 

For a short story to be successful it must instantly grab the reader’s attention. At a mere 183 short pages, Fever Dream delivers! The novel was originally written in Spanish (Distancia del Rescate, 2014) by Samanta Schweblin and recently translated by Megan McDowell. The story begins with, They’re like worms. What kind of worms? Like worms, all over. It’s the boy who’s talking, murmuring into my ear.” Did it grab your attention? Aren’t you curious about the worms? Fever Dream is a super-fast read that will accelerate your heartbeat and demand your complete attention. Penguin Random House describes it perfectly, “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.” The short novel is eerie, gripping, multi-layered and shocking. Schweblin is a gifted writer full of originality and imagination. She definitely has my attention! I will keep her on my radar and check out her work in Spanish. From the talented Peruvian writer, Mario Vargas Llosa, “Samanta Schweblin is one of the most promising voices in modern literature.” I agree!

Update: In April (2017), Fever Dream was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. Congrats to Samanta and Megan for this incredible and prestigious honor!

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