Thursday, November 05, 2009

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay is the novel on which the first season of the Showtime television program Dexter is based. Rather, on which it is loosely based, because some of the details of the show are not explored at all in the novel. If you are hoping to read more about the secondary characters—LaGuerta, Doakes, Batista, Masuka—you will close this novel feeling somewhat disappointed. The focus is solely and purely on Dexter Morgan, the narrator whose tone is self-deprecating and darkly humorous. I like dark humor; I never caught myself chuckling or even laughing out loud. I don’t know if it is because I was already familiar with too much of the story to appreciate its unfolding. I found most of the secondary characters less sympathetic in the novel than I do on the television show but I think this is more genuine to who Dexter, as a character is, because his emotional disconnect from those around him should result in the reader’s feeling a disconnect. I commend Lindsay for managing this, intentional or otherwise. It is my understanding that although the television show followed the first novel during the first season the producers and writers chose to move in new directions after that first season. I am curious to see how the author envisioned Dexter’s life after the first story’s closure. I can already tell you that the novel has a slightly different ending from the television show. That alone makes me want to read more.

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