Book Review: Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay


Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Series: Dexter (#1)

Publisher: Vintage Books

Publication Date: 9-19-06

Pages: 288

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Source: Library


Short and Sweet

I originally intended to read and review this as a separate entity from the television show, but I found that it was almost impossible to do. This book is so similar to the first series that it was hard to see it as separate, but I did manage to like it in and of itself and found a few differences, both negative and positive. I would highly recommend reading this if you’re a fan of the show or want to start watching it.
My Review

As a huge fan of the Dexter television series, I had no idea that it was first a book until last year, and I just now finally decided to try out the first book. I’d heard some negative things about the series (mostly that it goes downhill after the first book), and I normally like to read books before I see the on-screen version, so I was pretty hesitant to delve intoDarkly Dreaming Dexter.

But I was pleasantly surprised! This book is so unique and well-written. I can’t believe that it took me this long to finally pick up this creepy masterpiece.

Honestly, I had a lot of trouble getting into it at first, because the show does such a good job taking every little thing from the book that it was just kind of like reading the script version of the first season, which made it seem slightly boring. But I take full responsibility for that, as that wouldn’t have been my reaction if I’d read the book first.

After the first 100 or so pages, I started to see how the book differs slightly from the TV show, and was able to become fully immersed in and engaged by it. The main way the book is different is that we get so much more of Dexter’s internal thoughts, which ends up making it a lot more creepy. It still has the same humorous tone, but I found it to be much more macabre compared to the show.

The unique narrative voice is what makes this book so good. Dexter is incredibly unique and is very interesting to read about. I also love the way he interacts with the other characters in the novel, specifically LaGuerta and his sister, Deborah. While I found Dexter to be better portrayed in the book, I appreciate the televised versions of the supporting characters more, because the novelized ones unfortunately suffer from a bit of one-dimensionality.

Ultimately, I found Darkly Dreaming Dexter to be refreshing and extremely compelling. It’s such a great novel, but I do think that the TV show is superior, although I think that the book did a better job with Dexter’s thoughts and the creepier tone.

(see this review on Goodreads)

My Rating 4.5 anchors

3 responses to “Book Review: Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

  1. I don’t watch this show but of course I’ve heard of it! I had no idea it was based off of a book. (Seriously how did I not know that!?!?!?). It sounds like a show (and a book) that I would like. Serial killers are so scary but they’re also so interesting (in a weird morbid way).

    • You should definitely watch the show (after you read the book), it’s amazing! The first four season are available on Netflix streaming. I think that serial killers are really interesting, too. Although Dexter isn’t a “normal” serial killer by any means, so he’s very very intriguing and fun to read about/watch, but I’m not sure how comparable he is to other murderers. But the whole franchise is so different from anything I’ve ever experienced before. There’s really nothing else like either the book or the show out there.

  2. I’m a huge fan of the show, and I’ve been dying to read the books, it’s just a matter of finding time. I’m really glad to hear it’s worth reading!

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