Sunday, 28 November 2010

Dead Until Dark

As I've previously mentioned on these pages, I am a fan of True Blood. I may not have thought to read the books, however, if it were not for the recommendation of a friend.

Dead Until Dark is the first of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and forms the basis for the first series. It introduces Sookie, a waitress in Bon Temps in Northern Louisiana with the power to hear other people's thoughts.  She lives a simple life although thanks to her disability/skill/gift it's not as quiet as she would like. And then Bill Compton walks into the bar.

Bill is a Vampire who is attempting to mainstream, following the outlawing of discrimination against them and the availability of synthetic blood.  Sookie's life is never going to be the same again...

The TV series can be seen as an analogy for black (or homosexual) rights but this subtext is less obvious in the novel. The issue of race does get a couple of mentions but the characters of Tara and her mother who are central to the one of the main sub-plots of True Blood series 1 are entirely absent. The absence of this plot - which would have left a whole in the programme - did not diminish the enjoyment of the book.

Dead Until Dallas is an easy and enjoyable read which is at least as good as the TV series. My initial reticence about what to expect in terms of the quality of writing proved  pretty unfounded. Sure, it wouldn't make the Booker Prize shortlist but it's better than, say, Dan Brown's prose. Having just finished watching the second series, I'm looking forward to reading Living Dead in Dallas and the rest of the series...


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