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Dead Until Dark, or, Let me tell you about my stories...

I've been reading the trashiest, most wonderful novel this summer. When I say "this summer," I mean the past week, because that's about how long it takes to read the books in this particular series. I feel a little bit like I've slipped into a new life phase, one that includes stretch pants, bon bons, and maybe a big button that says something like "ask me about my cat!" but frankly, I don't care because it is SO GOOD.

The book I'm referring to is Charlaine Harris's Dead Until Dark, the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. That's right--the book that HBO's True Blood was based on.

It's something like a cross between vampire fantasy and really trashy romance novels, and I can't put it down. I like it so much that I actually just sat and read the other afternoon...even though the TV was RIGHT THERE...just itching to be turned on...turned on...vampire Bill...

Sorry, I trailed off. This book is so good, and my good friend tells me they only get better as the series continues. I wasn't sure how much I'd get out of reading the series since I'm an avid True Blood fan and have watched all but the newest, just now airing season because I no longer subscribe to HBO (cry, cry, whimper). However, even though I kind of know what's coming, I am still really enjoying the book. For one thing, the writers of True Blood stray a bit from the books. Some of the most significant differences:

I am now on page 182 and the plot has progressed about the same as the show, but there has been no mention of Tara. At all. Not even a tiny little hint. So I keep waiting for her to show up, and I keep wondering why Alan Ball felt the need to include her, the most annoying character, in such a big way in the show. Or maybe she is completely made up for the show? Then why make her so annoying? Also, in the book Sookie is much more of a loner than in the show, so it doesn't really make sense for her to have a best friend like Tara...but we'll see if she pops up and how much of a role she plays in future books.

Because the story is told from Sookie's point of view, everything is a little bit different...and Sookie is a much more relatable and interesting character.

The fact that Sam is a dog is WAAAAY less obvious in the book than it is in the show. In fact, if I hadn't seen the show, I would not have guessed that Sam is a shapeshifter. So, in that sense the book is more subtle. Trashy, yes, but also subtle.

The whole "coming out of the coffin" thing is mentioned very briefly at the very beginning of the book, and that's that. It isn't annoying dragged out in a "get it everyone??? It's A METAPHOR" the way it is in the show. Also, there are mentions of vampires going on talk shows and reaching out to the public in order to be accepted, but that doesn't happen directly in the book. It's mentioned in Sookie's narration and then they move on to the dirty stuff.

Jason seems much less stupid in the book. He's still slutty, and kind of mean, but not so dumb.

Rene (remember him? I don't want to spoil things but....), as I recall in the show, was someone who kind of drifted into town, someone that people didn't really know...in the book he's from Bon Temps and went to high school with everyone. Arlene was described as having had four husbands, and Rene was her second husband, as well as the man she is currently dating. So it would seem that Arlene and everyone else knows Rene fairly well....making it more difficult to suspect him of certain gruesome crimes....but I don't want to spoil anything so I'll just stop right there.

Qualler asked me recently which I preferred: the book or the show. It's really difficult to make that call. I really enjoy watching the show, and of course you can't go wrong with something that HBO has created (did you hear that HBO? Can I have a free subscription now?). Seriously though, I think the show is fantastic. But the book is enjoyable in a different way; it's enjoyable in a new way...new and almost...dangerous...like a girl awakening to strange and wonderful feelings when she meets a handsome stranger...a tall, dark, dangerous but alluring stranger, whose charm and danger combine in equal measure to produce the most thrilling...

Sorry, drifted again. I'm officially recommending this book, and if you haven't seen it, the show as well. I think that they go well together, and you can certainly enjoy one even if you already know the plot from watching/reading the other. It's been fun to get my trashy thrills through a different medium this summer. It reminds me of summers past spent reading the Babysitter's Club series.

Books! Who knew?

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  1. Blogger DoktorPeace | 10:26 PM |  

    Wait wait wait wait wait wait...

    A household with Qualler, and you don't have an HBO subscription?


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