Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Author: Jeff Lindsay
Series: Dexter (#1)
Publisher: Vintage Books
Publication Date: 9-19-06
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
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.
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.