Fevers by Joel Homer
FEVERS is a novel unlike any you have ever read. Exotic adventure, white knuckled suspense, torrid romance, and a haunting portrait of three damaged individuals – one man who has turned beast, one who must confront the beast within himself, and the woman torn between them.
Rio de Janeiro. 1984.
There are rumors that somewhere deep in the steamy rainforest of the Amazon a man, once civilized, is hiding in green shadows. To the primitive Brazilian Indios, he is considered their long-awaited “pale-skinned messiah.” Others believe he is an evil god with powers to stir the native masses to a frenzied, killing pitch. And others suspect he might be Michael Fevers.
Into the lush tropics comes a troubled American, rebellious journalist, embittered Vietnam vet, desperate soldier of fortune. William Straw, who soon forms an uneasy alliance with a beautiful anthropologist, continues his tortured upriver journey-from jungle shantytown to opulent plantation, from explosive passion to brutal murder. Whether he is pursuing a story, an adventure, or a chance to finally exorcise his own inner demons, nothing will prepare William Straw for the sudden violence and bizarre cruelty of the one who is waiting ahead — Michael Fevers.
Have you seen the movie Apocalypse Now? That’s how this story felt. A madman enters the jungle with a twisted crusade to save the Indios of Brazil.They are being enslaved and their culture is being erased. Michael Fevers has a plan to unite the tribes and wage war.
Another man enters the jungle on a mission to find Michael Fevers. William Straw, a journalist haunted by his time in the Vietnam War. He’s damaged, bitter, angry, and determined to get his story. At all costs.
Though the title suggests this story is about Michael Fevers, I felt it was more about William. At least for the first half of the book. Michael may be crazy, but William Straw is no angel himself.
Then things start ramping up. Blood flows. A lot of it. I just want to warn you some scenes are visceral, raw, the author doesn’t spare you. I felt the descriptions were important to get me engaged, outraged, to get the full experience.
I’m not sure if the plight of the Brazilian Indios is real. Their situation made me think of the Aborigines. Very similar situations. Slavery, forced to leave their way of life, their culture, behind.
As the story escalates in the second half, I couldn’t stop reading until I reached the end. The slow start to this story was worth it for the finale.
There’s something about the jungle, the primal feel of it, that fascinates me. I’m always looking for books like this. Movies too. If they ever made this into a movie, I’d be in line for a ticket. I’d settle into my seat with a big bucket of popcorn with extra butter and enjoy the show.
Praise for Fevers by Joel Homer:
“Very engrossing novel. It felt a bit like reading a modern version of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. The plot moves quickly and smoothly. The excitement never ends.”- Gerald Loev, Amazon Reviewer
About Joel Homer
Joel Homer was raised in Greenwich Village, attended New York University and was a medal-winning veteran from the Vietnam war. Upon returning to the states, he began his writing career as a senior editor at Saturday Review.
His books include “Marathons” and “Jargon.” His produced plays include “Scenes Dedicated to My Brother,” “What People Do When They’re All Alone,” and “The Lieutenant Snuffs the Light.” In 1984 he was the first recipient of the prestigious Glickman Award for playwriting. His last play ‘Private Scenes” was a huge hit in San Francisco. While working in Los Angeles, he co-wrote the original script for “Beauty and the Beast” for EuroDisney….to date the most popular stage play in Disney’s history.
Joel Homer passed away in 2003 at the age of 58.
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