I read Fever Dream because it’s a sure thing for the Tournament of Books short list. It won the ToB Summer Reading Challenge, guaranteeing its spot on the brackets. And it’s super short, so I thought it would be a breeze. And it was. I read it between two short readings.
What can I say about this book? It really lives up to its name. I felt like I was having some odd fever dream when I read this. I followed the story, and I was entertained, but it was all so weird and confusing at the same time. I was so confused, I honesty can’t even give you a decent plot synopsis. I really don’t even know what happened in it.
I flew through the first two-thirds of the book, but after that, I hit a wall. I kept reading because I was expecting things to be explained and for there to be some awesome ending, but it just didn’t happen. I felt absolutely no connection to any character, and I felt oddly separated from them. I didn’t really care what happened to any of them, except for maybe the narrator’s little girl.
What this book did succeed in doing for me, is thrill me, in a way. Because I didn’t know what was going on, the story seemed scarier to me somehow. Confusion and the unknown do create a good combo for instilling fear in a reader.
With this book being so short, I don’t feel like I wasted my time or anything, but I definitely would not have read this if the Tournament of Books hadn’t brought it to my attention. I will pay close attention to the commentary on this book during the Tournament, because I’m really curious on why everyone thinks this book is so great.
Author: Samantha Schweblin
Translator: Megan McDowell
Publisher: Riverhead Books