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After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) Hardcover – October 29, 2013
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Praise for Charlaine Harris and her Sookie Stackhouse novels
“It’s the kind of book you look forward to reading before you go to bed, thinking you’re only going to read one chapter, and then you end up reading seven.”—Alan Ball on Dead Until Dark
“Vivid, subtle, and funny in her portrayal of southern life.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Charlaine Harris has vividly imagined telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse and her small-town Louisiana milieu, where humans, vampires, shapeshifters, and other sentient critters live…Her mash-up of genres is delightful, taking elements from mysteries, horror stories, and romances.”—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“[An] entertaining series…It[’s] easy to understand why these oddly charming books have become so popular.”—The New Orleans Times-Picayune
“[A] light, fun series.”—Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author for both her Sookie Stackhouse fantasy/mystery series and her Harper Connelly Prime Crime mystery series. She has lived in the South her entire life.
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Top customer reviews
Many of the reviews of this book have understandably and justifiably dwelled on the lack of value for money its meager content offers. Allow me to take a different tack and dwell on the content itself, which in its way is just as much of a rip-off as the book's price.
If you're someone who, like me, grew increasingly disappointed in the last few books of the series, you won't find much here to comfort you. In fact, quite a few details seem designed mostly to pour salt in the wounds. As with Dead Ever After, there's a palpable sense of Ms. Harris unloading one last time on those whom she feels have dissed her, 'misinterpreted' her stories or just annoyed her on some level. I don't know about you, but I don't much enjoy the sensation of an author working out her grudges on me while I fork over money for the privilege.
I challenge any reader to identify a goodly number of the characters whose fates are presented here without help from The Sookie Stackhouse Companion. Did Charlaine really feel it was essential to let us know what the children of Sookie's insurance agent ended up doing for a living? There's far too much of that kind of filler in the book, which make the accusations of the whole thing being a money grab extremely hard to refute. Other characters that are more relevant get sad or even bizarre endings. Even some of the characters left happy in Dead Ever After have their happiness undone in this book. Why?
As for our 'mains', after all the sturm und drang of the series, Sookie settles down to a life that is disappointingly prosaic. She marries, has kids, runs her business and retires. The sense throughout the series that she had some special role to play in the world, some grand future to embrace (exemplified by the 'essential spark') came to nothing, really. We read 13 books (and a myriad of short stories and novellas) for this? I guess she would call herself happy, but it's always a disappointment to watch someone you care about fail to reach their potential. And as a reader, it's a disappointment to see a character who once held such promise end with a whimper.
Ms. Harris continues to insist that due to his pragmatism and well-honed survival instincts, Eric is able to find happiness in slavery with Freyda...except that dog won't hunt. The chilling parallels to Eric's early years with his domineering, abusive maker, Appius Livius Ocella, hang over his life with Freyda like a bad smell. Despite CH taking pains to characterize Freyda as 'strong but fair', the fact that Eric spends the first years of his marriage pining for Sookie and his old life (just as he once pined for his children and his human life when he was turned by Ocella) merely hammers home how much his own will has been denied in this situation. CH tells us that as with Ocella, Eric learned to care for the one who had taken everything from him, and to enjoy the life offered by her...eventually. So much so that when offered his freedom, he decided to stay with Mama. Seriously? He comes off as an abuse victim falling into familiar patterns, not a pragmatist going with the flow. Who knew that beneath the alpha-male persona, Eric was at heart a big ol' submissive who was just waiting for the right person to roll over his hard-won personal autonomy like a Mack truck? The utter decimation of this character has been painful to witness.
And of course, Ms. Harris just couldn't resist a tip of the hat to the man who helped destroy her mojo for this series while lining her bank account, Alan Ball, by making Bill King of Louisiana - despite the fact that it makes zero sense. Bill of the books has always been mostly a loner who prefers to stay out of vampire politics and maneuvering whenever possible. But, as both this book and Dead Ever After prove, Charlaine thinks that stuff like established characterization, continuity and world-building is way overrated. So why not make him king, and continue to glorify this character beyond belief? Maybe he'll run for President next.
The bottom line: if you want to draw out the pain of seeing a once-great series implode, this is the book for you.
AN ALL TIME LOW
CHARLAINE HARRIS TIES WITH HERSELF FOR WORST BOOK OF THE YEAR
AN EXPENSIVE DRINK COASTER
After Dead gives us one more example of Charlaine Harris' hatred toward her fans, i.e.....the ones who made her rich. She clearly believes us idiots. Glad I didn't pay for this mess and read my (stunned) friends copy. Took a full 27 minutes front cover to back and that includes stopping to make comments and roll eyes. Dreck, pure lazy dreck. For almost $10? It's bad enough getting the middle finger from Harris, but knowing the Editors/Publishers at Ace/Penguin allowed this? Criminal.
BTW Ms Harris - don't lump me in with your "disappointed Eric fans" tripe to excuse your lazy writing. I didn't give a flip who Sookie ended up with because I liked the world which was created and ALL the characters - good, bad, and evil - most were interesting. Too bad it floundered in the hands of an apathetic "writer" of questionable skill...and monumental greed. lol. I knew going in this wasn't Shakespeare when I first got into this series but I expected competence along with continuity. I excused many giant continuity screw-ups, but after the tenth book it was as if everyone suffered from bipolar disorder/mind-snatchers. Angst I can take. Twists I can take. But multiple characters doing complete 180's? IMO, seems something more akin to ghost writing.
Then there's Harris apparent befuddlement over fan reactions. If a hundred or so fans 'misread' something I might agree with her party line excuse "they read into it what they wanted"...however when *thousands* of readers all 'misread' the same thing supposedly incorrectly it is the author who misfired in their storytelling and NOT the duped fans. If anyone doubts my assessment of Harris' writing, take 15 minutes with this 'Coda' - it is a spectacular example of her greed and mediocrity.
She's 60+years old now so it's not like she cares. It might explain everything from book 10 (DITF) to this disgusting money grab 'Coda'. The Editors and Publishers are still accountable for this travesty even if Harris's old brain buggered out. Maybe her future books/sales will reflect her treatment of fans. I know I will never purchase, check out or open anything the old gal deigns to write in the future. (Or any of her past books/series) Petty? Possibly. But petty begets petty and disdain begets disdain. Still doubting? Harris is okay with disdain & pettiness - from her own web site:
"I was pretty specific about the content of the book. And the description on Barnes and Noble and on Amazon was also very clear. I can't feel sorry for people who don't read the book description. "
Lovely. Well I can't be bothered to "feel sorry" for an author who can't seem to remember details of HER very own characters!
Ms Harris certainly makes no bones of believing us all stupid. News Flash: the majority of us know what 'Coda' means. I own several from legitimately impressive authors.
If only the 'Coda / book / index / coaster' lived up to the aforementioned "description." ("Had many more adventures"...are you kidding me? When did 'art' equal a couple pencil-like sketches and a fancifying of the alphabet?)
However what Ms Harris published as a 'Coda' is something akin to bullet points. I say "akin to" because After Dead isn't even competent bullet points. While the Sookie series was entertaining, Harris' writing skills and style was mid-level pedestrian at best. But surely even she knows there is a difference between a 'Coda' index and ....a bullet point Word Doc.
DO NOT WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS
I think I'd rather take my chances with Jessica Fletcher & the high death count of Cabot Cove than the depressingly mundane life Bon Temps and Sookie offer. Beauty pagents, STD's, car accidents....Bon Temps is apparently hazardous to ones health & life span also ;)
<edit 11/2/13> I suggest anyone wanting a great laugh & a 'Coda' that's worth it try "Coda This!" By Suki59 on fanfic (since CH is apparently okay with FanFic now...or maybe that's only when she gets a check for her 'friends' playing with her characters!) follow this link: [...]
If you're looking for something to take the sting from Sookie Stackhouse's dreary finale and After Dead's insulting Coda, a great supernatural series is author Jeaniene Frost' Night Huntress series. She's a fantastic storyteller who appreciates and is never insulting to her fans. She's wrapping up the Cat & Bones story with a final book due early 2014 instead of dragging it out for greed purposes. Bravo Ms Frost. Her characters never suffer a thwacking of the bipolar hammer Harris took to Sookie & Co.(out of spite perhaps?)
Seriously? Harris and her publisher actually consider this a BOOK???
I read it in under 20 min....... and it cost more than any of the "real" books........ not to mention...... it was basically an INDEX of characters.
What a sham.
Don't waste your money.
I'll tell you what's in there.......
Sookie and Sam get married. Have 2 kids..... and are offered time in Summerland from Nial.
Eric is happy as a lark as Freyda's consort and even when she "absolves" him from the 2nd 100 years of his marriage contract, he refuses.
Bill becomes King of Louisiana and makes tons of money with a vampire computer game he created.
Hunter grows up and has nice relationships with his 2 cousins... from Sookie and Sam.
Pam remains sheriff and marries Heidi.
Nothing else worth mentioning....... but if you are direly interested in what happened to the insurance man's kids...... then by ALL MEANS...... spend the $10 for the book!
I am so disappointed and so mad.........