Fever dream A novel

Samanta Schweblin, 1978-

Book - 2017

"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 Schw...eblin creates an aura of strange psychological menace and otherworldly reality in this absorbing, unsettling, taut novel"--

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Subjects
Published
New York : Riverhead Books 2017.
Language
English
Spanish
Physical Description
183 pages ; 19 cm
ISBN
9780399184604
0399184600
9780399184598
0399184597
Main Author
Samanta Schweblin, 1978- (author)
Other Authors
Megan McDowell (translator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Schweblin's first novel tells a frenetic, unnerving tale. A young mother, Amanda, is afflicted by a sudden illness and accepts that death is imminent. As she waits in her hospital bed, she hears the hovering voice of a young boy, David, who guides her as she recounts the events leading to her current dire situation. After arriving at a rural vacation home with her daughter, Nina, Amanda strikes up a friendship with their alluring neighbor, Carla, a local who is revealed to be David's mother. Carla shares with Amanda an unusual story about her son and her efforts to save him after he was poisoned. Amanda, at first dubious, becomes increasingly troubled by both mother and son and makes plans to cut their vacation short and return home. But things go awry when Amanda decides to bid Carla farewell. Schweblin's sparse narrative, both familiar and mysterious, quickly grows in intensity as the hazy whispers of self-doubt and death itself descend. A thought-provoking story that provides ample opportunity for readers to grapple with its unanswered questions. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

For those who believe that, as Franz Kafka famously said, "a book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us," Schweblin's surreal debut novel will be a breath of fresh air. The Buenos Aires-born, Berlin-based Schweblin was named one of Granta's best writers in Spanish under the age of 35 and has already published three short story collections. This novel is told in conversational fragments between two unseen narrators. One is asking questions, trying to get the other to determine the exact moment she was contaminated. The events they recollect concern Amanda and her daughter, Nina, on holiday in the country, where Amanda first learns from her friend Carla of a mysterious poison that affected Carla's son, David, and the family's horses. The hallucinatory flow of the dialog moves the story along quickly, and readers may have to turn back to find a missing puzzle piece. Those who are willing to stay with this book will find the experience like no other and well worth the effort. VERDICT Readers of Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, García Márquez, and other magical realism practitioners will devour this brilliant, unsettling novel. [See Prepub Alert, 7/11/16.]—Kate Gray, Boston P.L., MA Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Buenos Aires-born and Berlin-based, Schweblin has won multiple awards for her story collections and been published in anthologies and magazines worldwide. Her debut novel—also her first work to be translated into English—relates the story of a community doubly poisoned by toxic waste and invidious relationships. [Page 62]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In her pulsating debut, Schweblin tells the story of Amanda, a young mother dying in a hospital, who talks to a neighborhood boy, David, as he sits by her bedside. David has Amanda recount the events leading up to her sudden illness—in search of, as he says, "the worms" that caused her ailment—and the result is a swirling narrative packed with dream logic and bizarre coincidences, where souls shift from sick bodies to healthy hosts and poisonous toxins seep under the skin upon contact with the grass. As Amanda and her daughter, Nina, try to settle in at their vacation home away from the city, they become entangled with Carla, David's mother, who appears at random intervals and spins wild tales of her son. After a frightening encounter with David, Amanda throws Carla and the boy out of her home, yet before long, the trio of women are reunited, and from her future hospital bed, a semilucid Amanda tries to remember how this meeting resulted in her death spiral. Powered by an unreliable narrator—is Amanda imagining David by her side?—Schweblin guides her reader through a nightmare scenario with amazing skill. (Jan.) Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

NOW A FEATURE FILM COMING SOON TO NETFLIX"Genius." —Jia Tolentino, The New YorkerFinalist for the Man Booker International Prize!Experience the blazing, surreal sensation of a fever dream... 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.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Genius." —Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker"Samanta Schweblin’s electric story reads like a Fever Dream." —Vanity FairShortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize!Experience the blazing, surreal sensation of a fever dream... 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.