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Recent Reading: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris - Mo's Journal
July 17th, 2009
11:04 am

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Recent Reading: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

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From:mofic
Date:July 17th, 2009 03:58 pm (UTC)
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By the very nature of doing a TV series, Ball had to expand the role of the other characters (altering a few that are now important, and adding some new ones) so Anna simply didn't die of exhaustion.

Yes, I was thinking about how a movie version of a novel necessarily contracts it (because more happens in a novel than you can portray in a couple of hours) and a TV version, by contrast, has to expand it.

So is Tara totally Ball's invention? Or does she show up in later books?

I totally agree with you on the sub-plots and the way they come together. I recently turned my youngest on to True Blood and we watched a few of the early episodes together. I was so struck in rewatching the first episode by how:

- all the important relationships are established, and in a very natural way (I hate it in books, movies, or tv when characters say things they just wouldn't say because the reader/viewer needs to know something)

- there's so much foreshadowing

- the queer subtext stuff is so good from the start (I didn't see any of that in the book, did you?)

Yeah, I'm not reading them for literary value, but for fun. And I did find the first book fun, albeit not as fun as the TV show.
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From:talktooloose
Date:July 17th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)

Queers Subtext (SPOILERS FOR SE02EP04)

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Alan Ball wrote an interesting bit of queer subtext into last week's episode -- the generational gap in new vampires like Jessica (created after vampires have come out of the coffin) and old school vamps like Bill. Bill points out the ways it is both easier and harder for her.
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From:mofic
Date:July 17th, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Queers Subtext (SPOILERS FOR SE02EP04)

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I know! I was really struck by that, too.

True Blood is shaping up to have as much queer subtext as the X-Men!
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From:talktooloose
Date:July 17th, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)

Re: Queers Subtext (SPOILERS FOR SE02EP04)

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A lot of world-building in the episode, too (there's a vampire queen! There's another telepath!), but frankly, Alan Ball isn't as good a writer as the rest of his team. I felt the same way when he wrote the occasional Six Feet Under. His dialougue is clunky.
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From:mofic
Date:July 17th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)

Re: Queers Subtext (SPOILERS FOR SE02EP04)

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I don't know who wrote which, and I haven't spotted a pattern, although certainly dialogue is better in some spots and some episodes than others.

The vampire queen is going to be Evan Rachel Wood.
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From:talktooloose
Date:July 17th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)

Re: Queers Subtext (SPOILERS FOR SE02EP04)

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Speaking of queer X-Men, do you know that in recent X-Factor issues, Peter David has made canon a long-standing slash 'ship? Rictor and Shatterstar kissed! (first time in a mainstream Marvel book) and are having some kind of relationship.
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From:mofic
Date:July 17th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Queers Subtext (SPOILERS FOR SE02EP04)

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I did know about Rictor and Shatterstar. Part of me thinks it's exciting and part thinks it's way overdue.

Are you saying there haven't been same sex kisses in Marvel before? Or just not with two well established characters?

The reason I'm asking is I have a very vivid memory of being in a comic book store with Doran when he was 12 or 13 and the sales guy wouldn't let him buy a particular comic without my permission and when I asked why it was in a special category breaking the code was told it was because two men kissed in it. I think it was an X-Force, but definitely a Marvel.

Of course, I could have hallucinated the whole thing...

Edited at 2009-07-17 10:32 pm (UTC)
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From:tarchannon
Date:July 17th, 2009 04:36 pm (UTC)
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Tara is indeed a book character; she's an old high school friend of Sookie's, but she's a a very different lady. She is chilly, white, and is a vampire lover. She manages a clothing store in the neighboring store, and being vampire friendly helps Bill and Erik keep Sookie in clothing (and appropriate clothing for the various vampire events) - since being around vampires is invariably destructive to clothing (and Sookie's pretty cash poor). She does, in a way, give Sookie that friend that she can discuss thevampire stuff with, but they aren't that close. I pretty much adore Ball's Tara, and I alternately want to cheer for her and hug her and tell her eveything with be all right. ;)

When you read along one book more, you'll catch just how brialian Ball is at picking up little things and using them to create sideplots for the other characters that are fascinating, and then be able to weave them back into the main story (usually to Sookie, as the core of the show). I'm a touch in awe, and I'm honestly studying how he does it because of there is a lesson in genius to be learned, it's there.

As far as the queer subtext, I did pick it up right away (but that might have been how I was pointed to the series in the first place). I think at various points it's very clear - and the parallels with *all* of the civil rights struggles are made. However, Ball is deft at underscoring this and bring the realities involved into focus.

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From:astronomylover
Date:July 17th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
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So is Tara totally Ball's invention? Or does she show up in later books?

Tara shows up later in the books, BTW. (I love Tara. She's one of my favorites.)
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