“Dead Until Dark” by Charlaine Harris
I pledge my undying allegiance to HBO’s super-hit show, “True Blood.” From episode one, I have been totally hooked on the adventures of telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, her brother Jason, vampires Bill, Eric, and Pam, bar owner Sam, fabulous fry cook Lafayette, and the rest of the residents of Bon Temps, Louisiana.
But I’d never thought about reading the books they were based on. Enough people had told me that the books and the show aren’t the same, and I thought I’d keep my loyalty to the show.
And then I found “Dead Until Dark” for a dollar at a used bookstore, and I bought it.
In need of a light and fast read, I picked it up the other day — and finished it in under 12 hours. Like the pilot season of the TV show, things happen frequently and fast once Sookie meets and falls for the enigmatic southern gentleman charms of one Vampire Bill Compton. Harris’ writing won’t be winning any major prose awards, but who cares? “Dead Until Dark” isn’t supposed to be poetry. It is a steamy, twisting, supernatural adventure – and it’s fabulous.
For the record, you don’t have to have seen the show or read the book to easily follow/understand the other. They’re the same, but they both stand alone. Series creator Alan Ball (writer of “American Beauty”) has done a masterful job at bringing the dark fun of the book to the small screen, with almost all the books characters in tow. My adoration of the show absolutely colored my reading of the book. It’s hard not to see the brilliant performances of actors like Nelsan Ellis, Ryan Kwanten, and Kristin Bauer once you’ve watched the show.
I love “True Blood.” I mentioned that, right?
(The book also reminded me of one of my favorite characters from the TV show, who doesn’t survive season one.)
Will I read the rest of the books? Who knows? I’m currently enjoying the new season of “True Blood,” and might read another of the Harris books during the (almost year long) season break. It doesn’t matter – I definitely enjoyed “Dead Until Dark.”