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Fevre Dream (1982)

by George R. R. Martin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,303834,704 (3.86)117
When struggling riverboat captain Abner Marsh receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat, he suspects something's amiss. But when he meets the hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York, he is certain. For York doesn't care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh's dilapidated fleet. Nor does he care that he won't earn back his investment in a decade. York has his own reasons for wanting to traverse the powerful Mississippi. And they are to be none of Marsh's concern--no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious his actions may prove. Marsh meant to turn down York's offer. It was too full of secrets that spelled danger. But the promise of both gold and a grand new boat that could make history crushed his resolve--coupled with the terrible force of York's mesmerizing gaze. Not until the maiden voyage of his new sidewheeler Fevre Dream would Marsh realize he had joined a mission both more sinister, and perhaps more noble, than his most fantastic nightmare ... and mankind's most impossible dream. Here is the spellbinding tale of a vampire's quest to unite his race with humanity, of a garrulous riverman's dream of immortality, and of the undying legends of the steamboat era and a majestic, ancient river.… (more)
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» See also 117 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
Dark and moody. An old-style vampire tale, more horror novel than fantasy.

Paddle-wheel riverboats, the Mississippi, New Orleans, vampires... but not Anne Rice. Say Anne Rice after she's been knocked down and dragged through the dirt, a bit.

And not for nothing, but the protagonist sounds amazingly like George R. R. Martin. So picture him, in fancy 1800s Riverboat splendour and fighting a vampire. Silly? Yes. But it gets dark, fast. ( )
  James_Patrick_Joyce | Oct 24, 2020 |
An interesting take on the vampire myth. ( )
  LynnK. | Aug 4, 2020 |
The year is 1982 and while there have been a ton of traditional vampire novels floating about, the big twist in the vampire industry hasn't quite come about yet with Interview... or has it? Enter Fevre Dream, taking this our darkest mirror to our humanity and turning him into something tragic and noble and throwing him into a Mark Twain novel.

What? Mark Twain? Oh yeah, steamboats, 1857, we've got 15 mile an hour races and chases and deeply disturbing looks at what makes men monsters and what makes monsters into men. Hate being a cow or a slave? Hate being a slave to your baser instincts, and have you decided never to simply give into them, unlike so many others? How heroic. :) Of course, this came out a good deal before our current glut and, at least to me, it marks a sudden and fantastic development in the whole field.

Sure, we might have had some sympathy for the original Dracula, just as we have sympathy for the Devil, but the heroes were much more often outside of the curse. And up till now, Vampires were still just the expression of truly base humanity, not worth much redeeming.

So this human aspect is truly excellent in the tale, but don't let me downplay the real gem here: steamboats. Total immersion in the world. Totally cool. I never guessed that chugging along at 8 miles per hour could be so exciting! But of course, that's all due to a master storyteller. :) GRRM has been around for a long, long time, practicing a very fine craft. We really shouldn't forget that. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Re-read finished on 1.24.13.
This books cements its spot as one of my all time favorite novels. Vampires on a steamship in the 1850's on the mighty Mississippi River. Not only is it a great premise, but Mr. Martin follows through and delivers one hell of a story to back it up.
Highly recommended! ( )
  Charrlygirl | Mar 22, 2020 |
Fevre Dream is a stand-alone novel. The title comes from the name of a Mississippi river steamboat, the Fevre Dream (named partly after the Fevre river, now the Galena River). A down on his luck steamboat company owner, Abner Marsh is approached by a rich patron. Marsh is chosen partly because he is available, partly because he's trustworthy, he'll stick to his word once given. Josua York will pay in gold for Marsh to build a big, fast, fancy steamboat, maybe the fastest on the Mississippi, if York can be the nominal captain and if Marsh will do what he asks.

Once built, the Fevre Dream takes on cargo and passengers and starts down the Mississippi from Illinois to New Orleans. Right off, the trip is strange. York only comes out of his cabin at night and insists the the Fevre Dream make strange, long unscheduled stops. The boat isn't setting any speed records. It is soon clear that York and his companions, who are added to nearly every stop, aren't 'normal' and that York has a mission. Marsh would like nothing better than to just run a successful steamboat and pursue his dream of a steamboat race with the other fast steamboats, but that's not York's dream.

At the other end of the river, near New Orleans, Damon Julian and his overseer, Sour Billy Tipton are busy carrying out their own plots, which are completely and fully evil. York and Damon Julian are destined to be opponents, opposites in a war of vampires.

This starts in 1858 and most of the action takes place in just a couple of years, then conveniently skips the Civil War, then finishes up after the year. I liked the characters, I liked the action, though the whole 'these aren't really vampires' bit felt off. If it acts like a vampire and looks like a vampire, isn't it a vampire? Martin wrote this before Twilight, so maybe he started that whole trend. ( )
2 vote Karlstar | Apr 21, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martin, George R. R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Donachie, RonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flynn, DannyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sweet, JustinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Dedication
For Howard Waldrop, a helluva writer, a helluva friend, and a fevered dreamer if ever there was one.
First words
Abner Marsh rapped the head of his hickory walking stick smartly on the hotel desk to get the clerk's attention.
Quotations
So we'll go no more a-roving, So late into the night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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When struggling riverboat captain Abner Marsh receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat, he suspects something's amiss. But when he meets the hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York, he is certain. For York doesn't care that the icy winter of 1857 has wiped out all but one of Marsh's dilapidated fleet. Nor does he care that he won't earn back his investment in a decade. York has his own reasons for wanting to traverse the powerful Mississippi. And they are to be none of Marsh's concern--no matter how bizarre, arbitrary, or capricious his actions may prove. Marsh meant to turn down York's offer. It was too full of secrets that spelled danger. But the promise of both gold and a grand new boat that could make history crushed his resolve--coupled with the terrible force of York's mesmerizing gaze. Not until the maiden voyage of his new sidewheeler Fevre Dream would Marsh realize he had joined a mission both more sinister, and perhaps more noble, than his most fantastic nightmare ... and mankind's most impossible dream. Here is the spellbinding tale of a vampire's quest to unite his race with humanity, of a garrulous riverman's dream of immortality, and of the undying legends of the steamboat era and a majestic, ancient river.

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