Game Of Thrones Meets American Gothic
June 23, 2012 by Lily Wight
It takes a writer as bold as Game of Throne’s George R.R. Martin to pen a Southern Gothic vampire novel just three years after the publication of Anne Rice’s genre-bending Interview With The Vampire.
Martin’s Fevre Dream includes plenty of Rice’s familiar tropes – such as setting, era and two bickering immortal dandies – but Fevre Dream has less romance and more grit, as though two writers used the same remit to inspire very different tales.
Martin pens marvellous prose in any genre, he is descriptive but never dull and poetic without being florid. He has a knack for authentic, character-crafting speech and an ability to make even the driest detail fascinating so readers will come away with a new love and comprehensive understanding of life as a Mississippi steamboat captain even if such a subject previously held no appeal. The subtle inclusion of issues of race and prejudice also provide authenticity and much food for thought.
Most admirable is Martin’s creation of a truly memorable and scene-stealing mortal character in a genre over-populated with charismatic bloodsuckers. Captain Abner Brown is unfailingly human – quite literally warts and all! – and his singular tale provides an entirely satisfying, sequel free conclusion.
Vampire fans may see a link between Fevre Dream and True Blood as Martin may be the first author to suggest a synthetic blood “cure”, an idea that is constantly evolving in the genre. So, regardless of whether you prefer your vampire novels from The Old World or The New, Fevre Dream deserves the status of a modern classic alongside the likes of Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend.