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Fever Season (1998)

by Barbara Hambly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Benjamin January (2)

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5421238,466 (4.03)46
A black American surgeon fights racism as he works alongside whites during a cholera epidemic in 1830s New Orleans. What particularly disturbs the French-trained Benjamin January, a free man of color, is that many other free men are disappearing. Are they victims of cholera or a human hand?
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» See also 46 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Unrelenting. But, per my mother, if someone can live it, you can read about it. I'm alternating these books with other more cheerful books. I'm going to need about two or three after this book. ( )
  BrielM | Mar 1, 2022 |
Oh gosh is this 4.5 or 5.0? I'm just so reluctant to give 5.0 to books I haven't loved for years.

But I do love it. I love the series. I love it so much that I want to read all of them RIGHT NOW, but the thought of having read them all and not having more to look forward to is intolerable.

It's rare to find a series that does everything as well as this one does: character, plot, setting. All three are vivid and believable and create an immersive experience. I want to live in this world despite all its darkness. And I feel like I'm learning about a very distinctive culture I knew nothing about before. The themes are strong, the insights into human behavior and how we order our societies are sharp. What's not to like?

( )
  the_lirazel | Apr 6, 2020 |
I'm wondered, while reading this book, whether mysteries might change the world more than the other books I am reading, which are profound and scholarly reflections on justice and history.
Here's a quote: (p.185 in paperback)
"Men don't need to be evil, Mademoiselle. They just have to be bad enough to say, 'There's nothing I can do.'"
I was talking to someone about a man I knew who won awards for designing the delivery system for napalm. "Was he a good man?" she asked. You tell me. ( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
Second in the Benjamin January series. This sophomore outing has a better plot line than the first, but it's almost smothered to death by the author's repetitive style and unnecessary incidents illustrating points that no longer need to be made. If it had been sharply edited and cut by about 50 pages, it would have made a truly suspenseful read. As it was, I nearly gave up entirely around the 200th page and the 30th iteration of the main character's need to watch his tongue when speaking to whites. There's a good story in there, and it's based in part on an actual event. Perhaps if I hadn't had my reading time fractured of late, I would have sailed over the sloggy bits and not minded them so much. It picked up smartly at the end. This author has a lot of potential, and I will probably return to this series after giving it a good rest. I can't imagine she wrote 8 more books that all have that bloat in the middle. But if she does it to me one more time, that will be the end.
Review written in November 2011 ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Oct 8, 2017 |
This is the second Benjamin January historical mystery set in 1830's New Orleans. It's also good, if a bit grim. Barbara Hambly is amazing in her storytelling and her historical insight. The story picks up more or less where A Free Man of Color left off, increasing the realness of its feel as a window into the past. This story centers around a runaway slave and features a notorious historical figure. Hambly adds notes providing details of the historical sources and a very clear statement that this is a work of fiction. ( )
1 vote Carol_W | May 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barbara Hamblyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Butler, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seder,JasonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For Laurie
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In fever season, traffic in the streets was thin.
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Rose: "Dum spiro spero; where there's life there's hope."
"And as a doctor I can tell you," he replied, "that where there's hope there's often life."
"And where there's a will," added Hannibal…"there's a relative."
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A black American surgeon fights racism as he works alongside whites during a cholera epidemic in 1830s New Orleans. What particularly disturbs the French-trained Benjamin January, a free man of color, is that many other free men are disappearing. Are they victims of cholera or a human hand?

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