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Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 1) Paperback – March 2, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,542 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A fun, fast, funny, and wonderfully intriguing blend of vampire and mystery that's hard to put down, and should not be missed." —Susan Sizemore

About the Author

Charlaine Harris is the New York Times bestselling author of the Southern Vampire series, the Aurora Teagarden series, and the Lily Bard novels, along with several stand-alone titles.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 327 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441019331
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441019335
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,542 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
sorry, that was bad! I am a big Charlaine Harris fan and only mildly interested in vampires. But the combination of a an uncontrollably mind-reading heroine, newly legal vampires, a serial killer, a shape-shifter -- how could I resist? I find I don't want to say much at all about the plot, as it's too easy to give away some really exciting twists. It's fair to say that the story postulates vampires as a newly-emerged legal minority (word is they've been victimized by superstition, when really the poor people have been subjected to a terrible virus) with attendant vampire-philics and phobics roiling the waters of cultural change. Vampires can now subsist on artificial blood, so they don't have to be a danger to anyone. Harris has thought through vampire culture and the interaction of that culture with "normal" society to great effect -- the book would be fun to read just for that .
I have to admit, though, that nothing about the vampires interested me as much as the main character, Sookie. If you think you want to be able to know what other people are thinking, the limitations of Sookie's life will make you think again. She's brave, brilliant and decent and watching her (and her sex life) develop is a true joy.
Meanwhile, the book is tightly and extravagantly plotted and the psychological effects are fascinating and disturbing, absolutely gripping. Read it over a weekend or on vacation so you won't have to put it down -- you'll just have to know what happens next!
Harris has set this up to continue as a series, and if she can continue this level of quality, people will be lining up for each new book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sookie Stackhouse lives in a world like ours - except for one difference, 4 years ago Vampires "came out of the coffin" and are now a legal part of USA society. In this way it's somewhat like the situation in the Anita Blake (author Laurel Hamilton) novels, but in someways I think better written in this book.
Sookie herself is unusual with a disability that makes dating a virtual impossiblity until a vampire comes to town and she discovers he's her (almost) perfect man. Unfortunatley, at the same time people start getting killed, which most of the locals see as an unlikely co-incidence, and in a small town that can almost be deadly itself.
The author has written a very readable book here. I'm not sure if it's the start of a series or not - if it's not - then it's still an enjoyable stand alone novel. Her characters are believable and likeable, and I don't remember any slow patches that make your attention wander. In fact, I read this in a day - the sign of a very good book for me.
For those people who like fiction that covers, vampires, PSI, alternative realities or mystery fiction, this book pretty well covers all those areas. Enjoy:)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sookie Stackhouse has what she calls a "disability." She's a telepath. Now reading minds sounds like it might be a good thing, but as she points out it sort of gets in the way of relationships, sexual relationships in particularly. It's hard for her to have sex and enjoy it when she knows the man she's with thinks her breasts are too small or maybe he's thinking of someone else. Besides, other people's thoughts bombarding her all day drive her crazy. She works as a waitress in a bar and comes in contact with many people on a daily basis. So for her own sanity, and because she thinks it rude to listen in, she's learn to block out the noise from the minds of others. Then Bill comes into her life. He's the perfect boyfriend because she can't read his thoughts at all. That's because he has a disability of his own. He's dead. He's a vampire. Vampires have recently come out of the closet so to speak and exposed their existence to the world. All of this came about because of the creation of synthetic blood, making it possible for them to exist without preying on unwilling humans. They are the new minority and now wish to coexist with humans. Of course, the vampires-like any minority-have those who hate them. But they also have those who admire and adore them as well. These people are called fang-bangers. Three female fang-bangers suddenly turn up dead, murdered, and the vampires are quickly blamed. Fear fuels the fires of hatred and violence erupts between the humans and the undead. This puts Bill at risk. Also, Sookie fears that she's next on the murderer's list since she has a vampire boyfriend. So, with Bill's help, she uses her "disability" to solve the mystery, and in the process she puts her own life on the line.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Charlaine Harris offers up an original and fun vampire novel with 'Dead Until Dark'.
Sookie Stackhouse, a waitress in a small contemporary Louisiana town, has led her life trying to protect herself from "her disability"-- a telepathic skill so acute she finds it difficult to block out the thoughts of those around her.
One night when a vampire named Bill enters the bar Sookie is immediately drawn him. He's set apart from people just like she is and she's delighted to discover she can't overhear his thoughts at all. He likewise is surprised he cannot hypnotize her with his power. They find themselves in the awkward position of meeting on almost equal ground. When citizens of the town start showing up murdered, Sookie enlists Bill's help.
The style of 'Dead Until Dark' really reminds me of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. 'Dead Until Dark' is a first person narrative and takes place in an area where everybody knows each other. Sookie also has a grandma who's a character. Sookie is, well, kind of goofy. Her talent for hiding her telepathy is about as great as Evanovich's Stephanie Plum's skill as a bounty hunter.
Bill is rather a "thinking" comtemplative vampire, similar to Anne Rice's Louis, except he accepts himself for what he is. He doesn't reveal much of his past which, no doubt, will unwrap in later installments.
Charlaine Harris portrays the vampire world to be as violent as that portrayed by Laurell K. Hamilton. However, Sookie Stackhouse is no Anita Blake. The novel does slow somewhat in the middle and wraps up rather peremptorily. However, 'Dead Until Dark' is an engaging take on 'life with vampires' and has consistent style. And Sookie is a fun character.
I look forward to Sookie & Bill developing more as characters in future installments and seeing their relationship grow.
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