- Series: Dexter
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (July 20, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 038551123X
- ISBN-13: 978-0385511230
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 994 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Darkly Dreaming Dexter: A Novel Hardcover – July 20, 2004
|New from||Used from|
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Meet Dexter Morgan. He's a highly respected lab technician specializing in blood spatter for the Miami Dade Police Department. He's a handsome, though reluctant, ladies' man. He's polite, says all the right things, and rarely calls attention to himself. He's also a sociopathic serial killer whose "Dark Passenger" drives him to commit the occasional dismemberment.
Mind you, Dexter's the good guy in this story.
Adopted at the age of four after an unnamed tragedy left him orphaned, Dexter's learned, with help from his pragmatic policeman father, to channel his "gift," killing only those who deal in death themselves. But when a new serial killer starts working in Miami, staging elaborately grisly scenes that are, to Dexter, an obvious attempt at communication from one monster to another, the eponymous protagonist finds himself at a loss. Should he help his policewoman sister Deborah earn a promotion to the Homicide desk by finding the fiend? Or should he locate this new killer himself, so he can express his admiration for the other's "art?" Or is it possible that psycho Dexter himself, admittedly not the most balanced of fellows, is finally going completely insane and committing these messy crimes himself?
Despite his penchant for vivisection, it's hard not to like Dexter as his coldly logical personality struggles to emulate emotions he doesn't feel and to keep up his appearance as a caring, unremarkable human being. Breakout author Jeff Lindsay's plot is tense and absorbing, but it's the voice of Dexter and his reactions to the other characters that will keep readers glued to Darkly Dreaming Dexter, as well as making it one of the most original and highly recommended serial killer stories in a long time. --Benjamin Reese
From Publishers Weekly
It's been years since there's been a thriller debut as original as this one by Lindsay, who takes a tired subgenre-the serial-killer novel-and makes it as fresh as dawn. Lindsay's premise alone is worthy: narrator Dexter Morgan, a blood-spatter specialist for the Miami cops, is also a serial killer. But all his life, Dexter has followed the rules set down by his cop foster father (who knew of Dexter's proclivities), to indulge his passion only by slaying other serial killers. What makes this novel zing, though, is the narration-humorous, self-deprecating, smart and sometimes lyrical, it's a macabre fun ride ("I thought about the nice clothes that I always wore. Well of course I did. I took pride in being the best-dressed monster in Dade County"). The story opens with Dexter at play, kidnapping and killing a priest who has murdered a number of children, then moves on to the main plot, a series of gruesome killings of prostitutes by an unknown madman. Dexter's foster sister is a Miami Vice Squad cop working on the killings, so Dexter decides to help her solve the case. This puts him in conflict with a dumb but ambitious female homicide detective as well as, soon enough, the killer himself, whose approach to serial killing mirrors Dexter's own, uncomfortably so. Might Dexter himself be the culprit? The answer feels a bit contrived, but will surprise most readers, and it's a minor flaw in a gripping, deliciously offbeat novel that announces the arrival of a notable new talent.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Thank goodness this is fiction! Such sick minds don't really exist, do they? Since I had seen the television show, I was somewhat familiar with the idea of a good serial killer. I did not remember the reasoning, though, so I appreciated that information. The characters seemed realistic ... mostly. The evil mind is still difficult for me to understand. And the mystery was challenging for me. But that keeps me reading. Good read, I say!
The author did a brilliant job of thinking up the character of Dexter, but the plot is just sometimes just downright unbelievable. Unlike some other reviewers, I enjoyed most of the prose (usually Dexter's inner thoughts/monologues).
The book is essentially Season 1 of the series, although the ending is much different and not plausible.
If you're really into the show, you will probably find the book underwhelming. I would read this book if you are interested in what kinds of things will be plucked for TV/movie adaptation. The details of the plot aren't so important as creating an interesting character/premise.
I personally saw the series first before I ever started reading it and I have to say I'm loving the books more. The series went a different route and I am very happy for that.
Regardless of whether you have seen the series or not def pick this up you'll love it!!!
Dexter, of course, does not fit the typical perception of a "serial killer", as you might expect. Linsday allows his readers the freedom to let Dexter be our vicarious vigilante. Dexter's noble mission is to clean up society by being the instrument of justice to those who have escaped the justice of our legal system. He does it by killing and dismembering them, of course, but he only will kill murderers, and preferably those who have killed innocent children or women. Hence, since child killers who aren't brought to justice are perhaps the lowest dreggs of society, anyone who cleans that up has to be a good guy, right?
I've been thinking about this whole Dexter thing for some time, and something odd occurred to me. Dexter's basic MO (vigalante killer) isn't exactly new. Ever heard of the Punisher? If you discount their methods, the Punisher's glaring antisocial killing tendencies would seem to make their characters quite similar. A lot of comic books like the dark hero, the hero that wants to clean the "scum" from the streets, wants to act as a vigilante, uses any means necessary, and is, at times, not above killing. Dexter fits that mold perfectly. Let's look at his comic book traits.
1) He has an "alter ego." You know Bruce Banner and Hulk. Well, you've got Dexter Morgan, and well, just plain old Dexter. There is the Dexter who pretends to be human, with a job as a blood spatter specialist, and you have Dexter the serial killer. Even his alter ego has a justice seeking air about it, like many super heroes.
2) He has a "secret lair." This is a bit of stretch, but bear with me. Dexter has a collection of slides in his apartment. If you watch the first season of Dexter, he kept in the AC. In this book, he keeps it in the bookcase. Still, a place where he can peruse private things that other people don't know about, and it keeps his identity secret.
3) He has a "tragic history." We all know from Dexter season one that Dexter's mother was killed in a shipping container along with some other people. In this book, we learn that Dexter's father was killed in it too, along with Dectective LaGuerta. Well, the first book, coming back to visit that haunting site of that tragic event is a typical comic book idea of coming full circle.
4) He had a "wise mentor." Harry Morgan, cop, adoptive father, inventor of a code of conduct for Dexter Morgan. No one has shaped Dexter's life like Harry, and even if the book does less to emphasize that than the Showtime series, it is obviously a huge factor in what Dexter has become. Having the fact that Dexter's adoptive mother and adoptive father have both died is very very very typical comic book hero family history.
5) He has a "side kick." Another stretch, but many comic book heroes have that faithful friend, or informant, or contact, or even spouse on which they can rely on always. Dexter's adoptive sister Deb fits this bill nicely. She is trying to make it as a cop, and needs to rely on Dexter's keen "intuition" about serial killers. But they play the family angle for all it is worth, like many comic books.
6) He has a "super power." This dark passenger, or the thing that drives Dexter to kill is an extremely powerful motivator which allows Dexter to focus tremendous energy and effort into doing his vigilante thing extrordinarily well.
7) He has a weakness. No quotes on that one. Yeah, the dark passenger is it's own weakness, like Kryptonite, sometimes creating the need to kill so strongly that it jeopardizes Dexter's safety.
8) He serves some sort of justice. Sure, Dexter kills because he likes it, but he will only kill those who "deserve it" based on a very strict set of rules. These rules are based on the idea of justice.
9) He holds to a set of morals. Well, who doesn't, but most super heroes have a code of conduct that sets them apart from folks who don't. Dexter has a code of conduct that goes beyond who he kills.
What am I saying by all this? I realize that these points don't necessarily mean anything. You could make these statements about a lot of protagonists, and that doesn't degrade the characters. Even though I think Dexter would make a great comic book doesn't mean I don't think Dexter isn't good literature as is. All I am trying to say is that to me, this character seems to be somewhat inspired by comic books, and I think that is why he makes such a good hero. He has so many heroic traits.
Yet in the end, he is a messed up sicko; a sociopath with a cause, but a sociopath nonetheless. I still feel a certain "dirty" feeling reading these books, like I've been doing something that I shouldn't have been doing. Overall, it is a good experience, but it feels like continued exposure is just not healthy. I am going to skip the reading Lindsay for a while, and perhaps return to him later. I don't like being in Dexter's head for that long...
Still, this was an enjoyable read.