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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:shayheyred
Date:July 17th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
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Oddly, I just read the first book on my plane to England, having no idea it had anything to do with a TV series - and since I don't get HBO I haven't seen that. But I thought it was, without fail, the worst book, and worst mystery, I've read in years. The main character just smacked of a Mary Sue in a vampire fandom (she's gorgeous! She's telepathic! She's a virgin! Puh-leeze). All it needed was for her to have lavender eyes and be a brain surgeon. As for the prose, there were so many examples like "the taller man said," or "blue eyes locked onto green ones" that I could barely stop from hurling the book across the room.

The only thing that kept me going was the character of Bill (and I did love that a vampire has such a prosaic name) and the idea of him addressing the locals about his Civil War experiences. I enjoyed the whole concept of vampires "coming out," complete with vampire elections - though I confess I did not understand the "virus" story promoted in the press in the atory. I agree with you that Lafayette was the most appealing secondary character and I'm happy to hear he's got a bigger part in the show.

I wish I could see the tv show - I imagine it will turn up sooner or later on non-pay cable - because the concept of the show is great, even if the telepathy aspect still makes me roll my eyes. But the book? Horrible. Awful. I finished it and thought, "I've read bad!fic before, but this takes the cake."
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From:mofic
Date:July 17th, 2009 07:28 pm (UTC)
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The show is really good! And the scene where he gives his presentation is quite marvelous. It's extremely well written, well acted, and well conceived. The accents are great (and most of the main actors are not even from this country, much less Louisiana) and so is the music. I really, really love it.

The first season is available on DVD. You can rent it. I don't know about on non-pay cable - do premium cable shows do that? Like The Sopranos, for example?

I took the "virus" story to mean that when vampires first show themselves, some people look for a non-magical explanation for them. So the story is that they contracted a virus that made them look dead (i.e. they didn't really die) and that had after-effects that got exaggerated into the vampire legend, with the real sequelae being that they are sensitive to sunlight, silver, and garlic and that they have a blood deficiency that requires frequent transfusions or synthetic blood. And some vampires adopt that story because they think it will make people less frightened of them than if they know the truth.
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From:executrix
Date:July 17th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)

Don't Just Stand There, Do Something

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I got the first disk from Netflix. I was underwhelmed. I think that Tara is like Mahandra-from-Wonderfalls-lite. Also, Jaye in Wonderfalls has a much nicer brother than Sookie does, so Tara's fixation makes her seems dumber than Mahandra.

Also, I know that the Southern climate is enervating, but the (numerous) het sex scenes in the first two episodes featured men just lying or standing there moving the women's hips, which seemed...well, odd.
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From:tarchannon
Date:July 19th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
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Wow, I wish I had your luck in picking books. I come across a boatload of books that are far less well written (for axample, the X-Men novelization was apparently written by a high school sophomore that was flunking their first creative writing class, and well, frankly, Meyer's prose in the Twilight books are bad enough to make your eyes bleed). I'd guess that Harris is solidly in the middle, and after reading a sampling of other books in the supernatural romance/mystery genre, she's significantly higher than that in her genre. As for Sue's - never read Hamilton's Anita Blake series or pick up Twilight. The latter *burns*. :D
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From:shayheyred
Date:July 19th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
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Hee! I leafed through one of the Twilight books in a Barnes & Noble and thought I'd gone brain dead. I have a far greater opinion of fanfic now, having read Harris' book. But the sad thing is, I liked the premise enough that I'll probably end up reading all the novels.
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