The Fever by Megan Abbott – review

May 14, 2014

downloadSomething mysterious is possessing the girls of a small town high school, in particular the peer group of young Deenie Nash.  After her best friend has an odd seizure in class and eventually slips into a coma, soon other friends of Deenie are having symptoms of their own.  Is it the HPV vaccine that the school strongly encouraged all the girls get?  Does it have something to do with the polluted lake in town that no one’s allowed to swim in?  The weird orange muck that gets on your shoes on the school football field?  Hopefully somebody figures out what is causing this epidemic before it overtakes Deenie herself…

Megan Abbott’s The Fever leaves all these possibilities and many more hanging thick in the air up until the bitter, shocking end of the novel.  The story is told through three points of view: Deenie’s, her hockey star older brother Eli, and her teacher dad Tom.  Through these characters we get all kinds of insight and information snarls into the mystery and the  hysteria gripping the tight-knit community.  Though such a premise could be taken to some outlandish places, Abbott firmly grounds this story and makes us believe it could happen to us while still leaving the door open that it could all be something supernatural.

Abbott, at one point a writer of historical, more “straight-up” noir novels, has lately been mining the inner lives of young girls for all their darkness and horror with this book, The End of Everything and Dare Me.  It’s a change of pace that sounds like it wouldn’t be a noir junkie like myself’s cup o’ tea, but somehow she brilliantly manages to absolutely just fucking grip me every time.  The Fever is her most ambitious of these novels to date (which is really saying something) and you should make it a priority read toot-sweet.

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Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

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