RARA-AVIS: Re: Dexter

From: caroli1975 ( karabair@gmail.com)
Date: 01 Sep 2007

I read the first book in the series, "Darkly Dreaming Dexter," before I watched the show. The book has a really fascinating premise; it's a unique take on the serial killer genre, and the voice is strong. The book overall feels really unfinished. Like, I sort of suspect he wrote a few chapters, with a proposal, sold it off the premise, then.
. .didn't really finish; the ending is abrupt, the plot sort of falls off and doesn't live up to the beginning.

The show, on the other hand, takes Jeff Lindsay's brilliant premise, expands it and places it in a real-world setting with multiple points of view, believable office politics, great supporting characters. In the book, pretty much everybody but Dexter is an idiot. The series does a much better job.

So, recommendations: 1) Watch the show first. If you really love it and want to see where it came from, read the book. Otherwise, the show is much better, and the book spoils things that I wouldn't want to be spoiled for.

2) Somebody mentioned that the book is only interesting if you're interested in serial killers. I think this is probably true, though I'd expand it to the genre of serial killer writing/ unreliable narration rather than the idea of serial killers themselves. (i.e., I have very little interest in serial killer true crime, but I've read enough fiction in the genre to be intrigued by a fresh take on it, which this definitely is. HOWEVER, I think that the series could be of interest to plenty of people who have no interest in that genre; it's the kind of show about which I've heard people saying, constantly, "I never expected to like this, but I do."

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