Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Thanks to the writers’ strike, I started watching Dexter on CBS. Two of my siblings watch the program on Showtime and highly recommend it. I enjoy the show—and find myself strangely attracted to Dexter. I’m not ready to analyze what my attraction to a serial killer says about me, but I have discovered how little patience I have. I am dying (snark snark) to know what happens in the series, so I picked up the source material: Jeff Lindsay’s Darkly Dreaming Dexter.

The book benefits from the television show. Although Dexter, a blood-spatter-expert-slash-serial-killer, narrates the book, his character lacks development. I do not despise him—though I should because he is a serial killer—but I am also not attracted to him like I am the TV character. In fact, Dexter becomes tedious as the book progresses. He spends so much time explaining how emotionless he is that his proclamations lack authenticity and grow tiresome.

Lindsay’s writing is straightforward, the language often crude, and the characters basically one dimensional. The police officers at the Miami Dade Police Department are depicted as morons, and the media are a pack of idiots. In fact, the only character with half a brain is Dexter. Of course, that may be because the story is filtered through Dexter’s perspective.

I’ve heard rumors about the series’ season finale, so I was surprised by the book’s ending. After a quick consultation with my sister—who refuses to tell me what happens at the end of the first season—it appears the book and television show differ significantly. Great, I’ll have to be patient after all.

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