Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Review)

April 11, 2011

Book cover for "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" by Jeff Lindsay.Title: Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Author: Jeff Lindsay

Narrator: Nick Landrum

Publication Year: 2004

Pages: 368 (audio length: 8 hours 18 minutes)

Genre: Fiction

Source: Audiobook version purchased from Audible.com

From the cover:

Dexter Morgan appears to be the perfect gentleman. He is handsome and polite, and has been in a relationship for nearly a year and a half. Yet appearances can be deceiving, for Dexter is a serial killer who has slain many people. But in this tale, he’s the good guy, for there is one little twist: Dexter only snuffs out other murderers. When another serial killer, with an eerily similar style, starts grabbing headlines, Dexter has a fairly morbid thought. Am I being challenged?

(This is the first book in the Dexter series.)

I finally started watching the TV series Dexter a few months back, right from season one. I haven’t even quite finished that season, though, I don’t think – I still have an episode or two left to watch, and I’m just waiting for the DVDs to show up in the mail.

So when I sat down to listen to Darkly Dreaming Dexter, I expected it to be about the same. And in some ways, it was. The major serial killer from the television show that season – the “ice truck killer” – plays a significant part, and many of the plot details are the same, but not all of it. And while some of the other major characters are the same or very similar – particularly Dexter’s sister, Deb, girlfriend, Rita, and police sergeants Doakes and La Guerta – that seems to be pretty much the basis from which the television series took the book’s central plot and ran with it.

I really loved the character of Dexter, even more than I loved the character in the TV show. I think that’s largely because the book is narrated from his point of view, so you get to see inside his head even more and really get to know him from the inside out. There’s also this cheesiness about Darkly Dreaming Dexter, largely present in the writing style and the little jokes, that Lindsay gets across in the narrative but which I don’t think would translate well onto the screen. But I loved it – it’s been a while since I’ve actually found myself chuckling through a book.

It’s not exactly an intricate novel of High Artistic Merit, but it was interesting and tons of fun. I had a hard time shutting my headphones off, because I wanted to know what happened next so badly. And you will, too.

Rating:

3 Comments

  • Ellen April 12, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I watched the first season of Dexter and had to stop because I couldn’t handle covering my eyes every time someone was being killed or a cache of body parts was showing up. Still, I just found these books here and have been wanting to read them…I’m glad you enjoyed this one, and hopefully I’ll be better able to withstand descriptions of gore than the sight of it.

    • Carina May 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

      I don’t usually do well with blood and gore, but for some reason, Dexter (the tv show) doesn’t bother me. And the books definitely don’t – because they really aren’t that gory! A lot of things happen off-screen, to be honest. There isn’t much description of blood and body bits.

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