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Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 1) Paperback – March 2, 2010
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About the Author
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After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched a lighthearted series "starring" Georgia librarian Aurora Teagarden, with Real Murders, a Best Novel nominee for the 1990 Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight Aurora titles. In 1996, she released the first of the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare's Counselor, the fifth--and last-- was printed in fall 2001.
After Shakespeare, Harris created The Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series about a telepathic waitress who works in a bar in the fictional Northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The first of these, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each book follows Sookie as she tries to solve mysteries involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series, which now numbers nine titles, has been released worldwide.
Sookie Stackhouse proved to be so popular that Alan Ball, creator of Six Feet Under, announced he would undertake the production of a new show for HBO based upon the books. He wrote and directed the pilot episode for that series, True Blood, which premiered in September of 2008. It was an instant success and was quickly picked up for a second season.
In October 2005, Harris's new mystery series about a young woman named Harper Connelly debuted with the release of Grave Sight. Harper has the ability to determine the cause of death of any body. There are now three Harper titles (GRAVE SIGHT, GRAVE SURPRISE, AN ICE COLD GRAVE) with a 4th (GRAVE SECRET) to be released in 2009.
Harris has also co-edited three very popular anthologies with her friend Toni L.P. Kelner. The anthologies feature stories with an element of the supernatural, and the submissions come from a rare mixture of mystery and urban fantasy writers.
Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. Personally, Harris is married and the mother of three. She lives in a small town in Southern Arkansas and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously!
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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:)
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So bad. One dimensional characters and a story that is just bland. Only recommend for the lonely vampaholics.Published 2 days ago by Kyle Prather
Dead Until Dark was my introduction to Sookie Stackhouse's world since I have never seen any of the True Blood series. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Three Kings Vintage Store
This was a very quick and exciting read. I'm not a huge vampire fan but will read the rest of the series. Read morePublished 11 days ago by DoggieTuna
So this book has terrible reviews but I really liked it!! I already bought the whole series. I love the show and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth a read this was. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Amanda
The first, the original and the best! Meet Sookie and her associates as the author intended - not that the HBO series is bad. It just walked a different path.Published 16 days ago by NM Reader
I had this book for a while before I read it I must say I absolutely love the book it was hard to put down. I loved the character development and the setting as well. Great readPublished 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
Love the sookie books! Definitely a recommend, and dont forget, read the books before you watch the series!Published 21 days ago by Tatt2edtears06
I started out watching the True Blood series on HBO. My friend told me about the book series and about a year after the tv show ended I started the book series. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Savannah L.
This is my second time reading this series and enjoying it just as much this time as I did the first time . Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kim Bean