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Dead Until Dark book coverDead Until Dark  by Charlaine Harris

 Review by Suzanne

I have been watching "True Blood" on HBO since it's first season last year. I was happy to read the first book in the series. Now, the first season of the show is based on the book. When you have a book like, say, the Harry Potter books, and they make them into movies, they have to leave a lot out, and that can be frustrating. That's because a large book, turned into a 2-hour movie, does not work that well. However, the reverse is what's happening here. They took a small book and turned into a 22-hour TV show.

Because of this, the TV show is much better. The book is very good, and enjoyable, don't get me wrong. If you watch the series, you will feel like the book is sort of a rough draft or short summary of the TV series.

The book focuses on our heroine, Sookie, just as the tv show does. However, the book is entirely from her point of view, and most of the other characters are minor and not really fleshed out. Bill and Sam are slightly larger characters than the others (but not by much). In the TV show, Sookie is just one of many characters. Other major characters include not only Bill and Sam, but her brother Jason, and her best friend, Tara. Tara is not even in the book! I'm very glad they added her to the series because she is great.

Although the book is about vampires and murders, most of the focus is on Sookie and her love life, how she deals with living in her small town with her mind-reading powers, meeting vampires, etc. The murder mystery is almost treated like an after-thought. I'll be honest - the book could have been longer and more detailed.

However, if I had read the book and never seen the TV show, I think I would have enjoyed it anyway. It's a good story and has good characters. The one character they left out of the TV show is Bubba, who is a vampire that was made from Elvis Presley! Perhaps they couldn't get the rights to put him in the show. He's a minor character, but I liked that part.

The story is very much like the TV show, in most ways. The waitress Dawn is in the book, even though she did not show up in the TV series until this year. Lafayette is only briefly mentioned. Rene's back-story was drastically changed, which I found intesting.

The book is kind of like a romance novel that just happens to have vampires and other weird stuff. It has a little sex, but not nearly as much as the TV show (and not as much bad language, either).

Anyway, it was an easy and fun read, and I intend to read the other books in the series, as well as keep watching the TV show. I love vampires, and I love Sookie!


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Updated 9/15/09 

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