Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

A friend gave me a copy of Fever Dream as a going away present when I moved from Raleigh to Charleston two years ago. I’m ashamed to say it’s taken until now to get to it, not only because it was rude to my friend, but also because he was dead on about it being exactly in my wheelhouse. It’s very much in that literary horror/weird fiction vein that has become one of my, if not my favorite genre lately.

A woman, Amanda, lies on her sickbed, possibly her deathbed. A child named David is interrogating her. It’s not clear if he is a ghost, or if he’s in the room, but he’s walking her through her memories of how she, and her daughter became ill. The atmosphere is oppressive and even as a non-parent I could feel how this tapped into primal fears for the safety of one’s child. There is a mysterious disease and some strange healing magic that may be worse than the cure. The best part, though, is the almost suffocating atmosphere of the piece. This is what has lingered in my mind in the days since I finished it. A very effective short horror novel.

Highly Recommended

Owned But Previously Unread 2020 30/75

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