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Dexter Is Delicious Hardcover – September 7, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Authors are often poor narrators of their work—happily this is not the case with Jeff Lindsay, who brings a perfect performance to the narration of his latest novel starring Dexter, the charismatic, sociopathic serial killer. Life for Dexter has taken a major turn. He is now the father of a new baby daughter, Lily Anne, and this extraordinary event has him putting away his knives and duct tape and vowing to extinguish the dark murderous flame that has flared inside him for so long. But some vows are easier kept than others, and when he becomes involved in the investigation of a possible cult of cannibals, it's just possible that he will be drawn back to being the dark Dexter of old. Lindsay's wry reading proves that he knows Dexter and his world better than anyone. With a clear, controlled voice, he pulls the listener into the story, keeping the tone light even when describing the grisliest scenes, but he's more than capable of conveying danger and suspense. With material that alternates dizzyingly between the disturbing and humorous, listeners will cringe and chuckle from beginning to end. A Doubleday hardcover. (Oct.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
There are two Dexter Morgans, the one you see on television (in the hit series Dexter) and the one Lindsay writes about in his books. They’re sort of the same guy but not really: the TV Dexter feels like a fictional version of the “real” Dexter from the books. In his fifth novel, Lindsay paints Dexter, who works as a blood-spatter expert for the Miami Police Department, into a corner. He’s got a new baby, a beautiful little girl, and he really, really wants to live like a normal human, to leave his Dark Passenger behind and stop all this murder stuff (in case you’re a newbie, he only kills other killers, people who have evaded justice). But when he catches a case involving missing girls, vampirism, and cannibalism, he has a rough time keeping his homicidal urges in check. The novel, as usual, straddles the fine line between drama and satire, and as usual, it’s Dexter’s battle with his inner demons, his struggle to put a human face on his monstrous self, that takes center stage. Faithful readers will note that their favorite homicidal monster has made some real progress on that front: Lindsay has inched the character a teensy bit closer to normality. (But not too close: that would take all the fun out of it.) Recommend this one highly to fans of both the novels and the television series. --David Pitt
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Dexter kills only those who deserve it, and he takes care not to get caught. That's his Code, and he's driven to follow it by the not-so-tiny inner voice he calls his "Dark Passenger." He has no human feelings or emotions, though he does have a wife, Rita, and two step-children. The back-story is threaded in brilliantly by author Jeff Lindsay, so getting into the story was effortless.
This fifth book in the series, Dexter Is Delicious, takes Dexter in a new direction. We find Dexter in the maternity ward, gazing in awe at his brand-new daughter Lily Anne, overwhelmed with the need to nurture and protect her. Human emotions are beginning to encroach on his sense of purpose as a serial killer. But Dexter works as a police consultant (he's a blood spatter expert) and a new, ugly case tugs him away from domestic bliss. A teen girl has disappeared and it seems that vampires have abducted her. Or--worse--cannibals. In Miami? Apparently so.
Tangling with a "cannibal coven" offers creative and chilling opportunities for Dexter to find himself in harm's way, as he comes within a hair's breadth of "a fate worse than death, although certainly including it." He's a very busy man, juggling the dangerous and bizarre case, his new preoccupation with Lily Anne, the unexpected return of his brother Brian, and the retributive night forays commanded by the Dark Passenger. Author Jeff Lindsay lets Dexter tell it all in the first person, with some of the most plaintive and self-exculpatory prose out there. I listened to the Random House Audio version from Audible, brilliantly read by the author himself, and I would not have missed it for anything. This book is definitely Delicious.
Linda Bulger, 2010
The major difference is that while the tv series has occasional voiceovers, it mostly relies on Michael C. Hall's (awesome) performance to give us clues to who Dexter is. The books, however, are completely narrated by Dexter. He comes off as a little more of a jerk as a result - sarcastic, self-centered, and somewhat oblivious to the people around him. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- that's just who the written Dexter is.
In this outing, dearly devoted daddy Dexter is shocked by how deeply he reacts to the birth of his daughter. Dexter has always thought himself an emotionless sociopath, but his emotions have been peeking out as early as the first book. Now, with a floodgate of feelings freed, Dexter has to decide on his destiny. Is he still a serial killer? What is his responsibility to the budding killers he has taken under his care?
Meanwhile, and as usual, Dexter is surprised when the Miami serial killer community he has taken for granted kicks out another in the series of extraordinary killers that drive the main conflicts in the novels. This time, it's a group of cannibals who come into contact with Dexter and his family in some surprising ways.
Overall, I thought this worked. I bought the interaction between Dexter and his various family members, except possibly for Rita. (More on that below). I also thought that the investigation went fine, and that the various action scenes were appropriately suspenseful. Dexter's sister Deb's habit of going into dangerous scenes without backup left little leeway for the rest of the Miami PD to get page time, and struck me as implausible, but it resulted in some good scenes, so I'm willing to suspend disbelief on that one. I also really liked the way Lindsay is developing the alternate personalities of "Daddy Dexter" and "The Dark Passenger," and I enjoyed Daddy Dexter's frustration when the muggles can't tell that another serial killer is employing the same fake personality that Dexter himself uses on them.
I docked this a star because there are a few things that don't work as well.
- Dexter's complaints about Miami traffic or about where he's going to get his next meal are getting repetitive. They're important to the character, but IMHO, Lindsay needs to think of a way to freshen them up a little bit.
- Deb, Rita, and Chutsky all have moments that seemed bizarre or out of left field. I can't quite say that it's bad -- I'm honestly not sure if they are actually poorly written in places or if Lindsay is trying to say that Dexter, as the narrator, doesn't understand why they do what they do because his emotional intelligence is so stunted.
- As with the earlier books, Dexter switches between genius and idiot as necessary to advance the plot. I think that's actually in character -- his conflict between his emerging human personality and the Dark Passenger means that sometime he misses stuff right in front of his face, but it's occasionally jarring as a reader. "Unreliable narrator" books are tricky to do, and I think that Lindsay has it mostly right, but occasionally, it falls a little flat.