- File Size: 676 KB
- Print Length: 332 pages
- Publisher: Ace (May 1, 2001)
- Publication Date: May 1, 2001
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000OCXHRW
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
“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, executive producer of True Blood
“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
“The series continues to be inventive and funny with an engaging, smart, and sexy heroine.”—The Denver Post
“Blending action, romance, and comedy, Harris has created a fully functioning world so very close to our own, except, of course, for the vamps and other supernatural creatures.”—The Toronto Star
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As a person who usually feels *the book is better* then t.v. or movies I went into reading Dead Until Dark with high hope's. My overall impression is that it didn't fail in that regard, as I am eager to continue reading.
However, there was one thing that I was hoping that would have been *trimmed* for length purposes in show, and more developed within the book. It was not to be and that was a letdown for me. Not a fan of spoilers personally I will only say that a scene regarding Sookie's grandmother is on par with the show.
My favorite part of the world that is brought to us in this series is the uniqueness of Sookie and her " ability/disability" as a human depending upon her view at the time. The same uniqueness in the other people whether vampire shifter or flawed humans is much more interesting than the stereotypical vampires. Not that I haven't enjoyed the stereotypical vampire storylines. They burn-out for me after awhile.
As a fan of vampires like Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake series, Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon and The Carpathians series by Christine Feehan. I'm glad to have found another series to follow. If you enjoy any of those or the True Blood series; I would highly recommend this series to you.
This is basically an adult Twilight. There are adult problems, language and situations. The main character Sookie is much more developed and realistic than Bella, the vampires much more realistic and traditional.
The writing was a bit basic, but the plot made up for it. There are a lot of character names to remember, but as it takes place in a small southern town with deep roots, that's to be expected.
There were sex scenes, but they were very short and worded in a way that doesn't offend. Not even an entire page was dedicated to a scene so I don't really know what another reviewer was talking about.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes this genre.
I think that’s one of the reasons I like Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series so much—b/c I can relate. I grew up hearing people say things like, “Sure enough, some sumbitch, scuse me, was sneaking around the house,” which is what Bubba (and by “Bubba” I mean ELVIS) said after he scared away the creeper from Sookie’s house. And I am intimately acquainted with the small-minded prejudices that seem to thrive in small towns. My family, for the most part, isn’t like that, but you can’t grow up in that kind of place without hearing some very politically incorrect terms and phrases tossed around. The kind of place where if you take issue with said politically incorrect terms and phrases, you’re either “uppity” if you’re a woman, or a “woman” if you’re a man.
So it’s nice to see someone like Sookie—a college degree-less, “barmaid” who has been whispered and gossiped about her entire life b/c of her “disability”, come out ahead of her “betters.”
Better than nice. I bloody LOVE it.
No, Sookie didn’t go to college. Kind of hard to continue her education when she’s a telepath who can’t keep everyone else’s thoughts out of her head without extreme effort. So much effort that she has nothing left to devote to things like paying attention in class. And yes, Sookie is a SERVER (fortheloveofgod). I was too when I was in school. But Sookie is not an idiot, and though she does admittedly have her less-than-stellar moments, Harris ultimately creates a highly capable woman in her.
So for the three (or so) of you that haven’t read the books or watched True Blood yet, Dead Until Dark takes place in a world just like ours. With one exception—the Japanese have created and patented synthetic blood, ending blood shortages for medical facilities, AND prompting vampires to come out of the coffin, so to speak.
The vampires took this action b/c they felt they would be well-received now that humans no longer had to fear for their lives (in regards to vampires). Vampires could subsist on the manufactured blood, protecting humans from their thirst.
Things are rarely so simple.
Incidentally, the vampires’ party-line is that they are the victims of a virus that gives them the appearance of being dead for three(ish) days, after which they rise with allergies to things like garlic and sunlight, silver and . . . holy water . . .
They are received with equal parts fear and awe.
So Sookie is thrilled when a vampire walks into Merlotte’s, the bar where she works, and sits in her section. And when she realizes that she can’t hear the vampire’s thoughts she is shocked and delighted. But just b/c she can’t hear the vampire’s thoughts, doesn’t mean she can’t hear the thoughts of two bar patrons intent on draining the vampire for his blood. When she follows the three of them out to the parking lot and rescues Bill (the vampire), she begins the series of events that lead to her romantic involvement a vampire.
And the timing couldn’t be worse b/c someone is strangling women in Bon Temps (where Sookie lives) who are known to associate with vampires . . .
The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris was one of the first Urban Fantasy series I ever read, and no matter how disappointed I was with how it ended last year, I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving Sookie. Dead Until Dark was the beginning of that love, and up until book 10 or 11 that love only grew (and 10 or 11 out of 13 ain’t bad). This series is one that every lover of Urban Fantasy should have under their belt, so if you haven’t already, what are you waiting for? You’ve got nearly a dozen books before you need to be worried about anything, and if you simply can’t accept the ending, I’m sure you can find a fanfic somewhere that will do your dreams justice. Don’t miss out on Sookie altogether just b/c she doesn’t live HEA with the crowd favorite.
Top international reviews
This first book is definitely the best out of all the ones I read.
This story has such a different take on vampires from the previous books I have read. It was unique and fast paced which I really liked.
The characters were great, the world building was brilliant. A great start to the series.
'Dead until Dark' is the first in a series of books that revolve around Sookie Stackhouse, described as a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Though she is pretty, she has not exactly been dating a great deal as there is just one small problem... Sookie can read minds. Something that can be more than distracting when you're out on a date and he is pondering, at best, if you have dyed your hair.
She has been hoping to meet one - Vampires have 'come out' since the discovery of synthetic blood, but even though Bill is trying to fit into 'mainstream' living, having fangs is not a recommendation when women are found murdered showing bite-marks. Sookie soon finds out that being involved with him makes life more than just a trifle complicated.
I bought the book after seeing it recommended and reading some of the reviews. Overall, it was value for money. The book was cheap and I enjoyed it but I could not recommend it full-heartedly. Whilst I am lucky in that I can ignore a lot of negative points as long as there is an interesting or entertaining story, a lot of people will find it difficult to reconcile themselves with the shallowness characters display at times and the lack of much in the way of character development.
Bill, the Vampire, made little impression on me - Sookie's boss Sam, is a much more interesting character. Too much to hope he'll get the girl in one of the other books, I suppose. The shallowness I spoke of... the most obvious example is when a much loved minor character dies and once we have had a page or two of emotions running high, it seems to have very little further impact.
There is no accounting for taste some might say, but as I did read the book in one sitting, it was cheap, I enjoyed it and I am quite likely to buy the next one, it seems only fair to acknowledge that, hence my four stars. I would probably not recommend this book to men - it is much more likely to appeal to female readers. I also would not recommend that you buy this book for younger readers. One scene in particular is pure adult erotica (not romance).
The series follows the story of Sookie, living in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps. She has the gift of mind-reading, although she would never refer to it as a gift but more of a curse, as her head is constantly filled with noise. When she meets Vampire Bill Compton, she hears nothing and enjoys the peace. However, there is a serial killer in Bon Temps, one that goes after women who associate with Vampires. With both her brother Jason and her new Vampire boyfriend Bill both suspects, this first novel follows Sookie's investigation into the murders while trying to stay alive herself.
What strikes me most about Dead Until Dark, is how closely the TV show has followed the novels. The creators of the True Blood TV show on HBO have done a marvellous job of keeping the show as close to the novels as possible. It's always a shame when stories and characters are altered too much to suit a TV audience and ends up ruining a great series. However, reading Charlaine Harris' novels, it's obvious to see that nothing from the novels has been compromised to bring it to TV.
Having said that, reading the novels after watching the show on TV does have some downsides. While it's easy to picture the characters in the novels, the element of surprise is lost. While the story itself is still gripping and I found it difficult to put down, I already knew who the serial killer was from the TV show. I can imagine it's a spectacular read if you are unaware of the conclusion of the Bon Temps Serial Killer storyline.
It's a very entertaining and easy-to-read book. There's so much going on and very well paced. What HBO has fit into the entire Series 1 on TV, Charlaine Harris has fit it's entirity into this first novel. What I especially enjoyed is her creation of the Bon Temps townspeople. With Sookie working at Merlotte's Bar, Harris has enabled the reader to become familiar with everyone in the town. Sookie's telepathy only adds to this - the readers here the thoughts of Merlotte's patrons, meaning we get much more insight into the lives and thoughts of the less-important characters. She clearly paints a picture of the gossiping people of the small town, which really envelops you in the story. The main characters themselves are superbly well written and you feel so emotionally attached to them all.
Dead Until Dark has everything you'd want in a book - mystery, murder, romance, fantastic characters and a really enjoyable story. The only disappointment was that I knew how it would end. However, I fully intend on continuing reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels and I'm sure once I surpass the point in the storyline that is currently on TV, the story will grip me even more. Dead Until Dark is a brilliant book, but I did miss the element of 'what will happen next?'.
4 Stars **** (Would have been 5 stars, had I read this before watching the TV show!)
Living dead in Dallas
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone
Dead in the Family
This is the order of the main novels.
I have just finished reading them all. Some of them are, arguably, weak as individual novels but the overall story is very entertaining. I like very much that over such a large canvas the author could elect to avoid repetitiveness of plot form: quite refreshing actually. The enforced forms of genre novels and, even worse, soap-operas are really getting very tired and I would like to believe that series as naturally developing as this one can offer a nice change to the jaded pallet. The often referred to sex scenes only seem to occur in appropriate places and not in every novel: again this is quite excellent in my opinion. There are many frequently occurring intelligent insights and not a little humour. Detail regarding American life is present to just enough of a degree to be interesting without becoming tedious. I am genuinely interested to find out what happens next.
Sookie's a great character: sweet without being a pushover, funny without being snappy or sharp (although she has her moments), and with a refreshing moral centre. Her relationship with Bill is funny and touching, sexy in a light way, and less all-encompassing-love which is what the HBO team have chosen to make it.
Harris is especially good at conveying the feel of small town America and, as readers, we quickly feel at home here so that reading the later books is like visiting friends.
This is the first of what is currently a ten book series and one of the things I love about this world is the way life moves on, things change, facts we think we know later turn out to be not quite what we thought them. So this isn't great literature by any means, but it's a great read and the series is utterly addictive.
Despite that, I really enjoyed it! It was quick and fluffy, with a few genuinely thrilling moments and some nice splashes of lust and blood in there, as there should be in a good vampire story. The relationships between the characters unfolded nicely and the end of the novel tied everything up neatly while still making me wonder what was going to happen next. I'm definitely looking forward to reading on, and I'll make sure I get plenty more Harris under my belt before Series 2 of True Blood hits the screens here!
In this book, which has been turned into the True Blood series on HBO (another reason I read the book), we find Sookie Stackhouse as a telepathic waitress in a Louisiana bar. She falls for a vampire at the same time as there are a number of murders locally. It seems either her brother or a vampire is possibly involved, but are they or is it someone else entirely?
The book isn't bad, but it does drag a little in places. I know the story acts as the starting place for a series (if you're going to read this series, start with this book), but part of me felt there was a little to much exposition, and not enough drive in the story in places.
In addition Stackhouse really does come across as a naive waif type, which irritated me some. I didn't necessarily expect her to be all macho and butch, but I'm unsure how she got to her mid-20s with all the naivete that she brings to this first outing.
I'm wisely informed the series is good. Hopefully I'll enjoy the next in the series more.
Not many readers have said that in their reviews.
But her intelligence, determination and bravery set Sookie aside for me as a girl who deserves recognition. Cast within a set of characters who - for the most part - are not just 2D figure pieces to crowd out a story, Sookie, Bill and Jason are dramatic, complex and fun to read.
But for me, the absolute star of the show is the setting: Bon Temps. Harris has managed to give this town a character all of its own.
The only thing that let me down was the antagonist - the identity of the actual killer. It didn't really have the shock factor or the sense of dramatic effect I thought the rest of the book had.
That said, this book wasn't really about a murder investigation for me, but about the characters affected and the town it was see in.
I was holding to review this novel after watching all the recent True Blood series trying to grasp a fresh feel and analyse this paranormal romance in different way. I highly recommend this book as it's highly entertaining.
I have to confess, that this book didn't grab me from get go. I thought the writing was a bit clunky and read like a first novel. But the story was captivating, and the characters were very well developed. I stuck through it and was pleasantly surprised. The novels keep getting better and better. I am now on Book Five, and thoroughly enjoying them (wait until Club Dead - very good!).
I do think that there is a startling similarity to Twillight (but given that this came first, maybe it's the other way around). It is more adult reading with darker, conflicted characters, but light, happy and funny.