The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Dead Until Dark, by Charlaine Harris

Every once in a while, my book group will go for light, commercial fiction. This is how I found myself rereading Dead Until Dark, which I first read shortly after it came out. By that time, I was out of my “vampire fiction” phase. I’d read Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat books as quickly as she wrote them, back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and stuck with them long after Rice began writing for her own head instead of caring about her readers. That was enough, I thought. When Harris began her series 8 or 9 years ago, a friend recommended Dead Until Dark, which I liked well enough at the time but which didn’t pull me into reading the entire series.

Times have changed. I now want to read the entire series and just bought the next two books. It’s not the vampire fiction I’m into this time, however — Harris’s expert storytelling is what I enjoyed most about Dead Until Dark, and that’s what I hope I purchased more of with her sequels.

Protagonist Sookie Stackhouse is a closeted telepath at a time when vampires finally have the option of joining mainstream society, thanks in no small part to the creation of synthetic blood by the Japanese. Just like we can go to a bar and order a bottle of beer, vampires can now head to the same establishments and order a bottle of blood. And Sookie works as a cocktail waitress in Louisiana (of course). Thanks to her work and a series of misadventures, Sookie takes up with a local vampire named Bill, although she also encounters Eric, who ranks much higher in the area’s vampiric hierarchy. This being a murder mystery, Sookie and Bill have to find a murderer in order to keep Sookie’s handsome-but-dim-and-totally-set-up brother out of jail.

Although it’s fun to read, this is also a violent book. I’m not big on reading about violence, although I can read it more easily than watch it, so I doubt I’ll be tuning in to the HBO series. In any case, the violence is there. And if you are an animal lover who is reading this blog to find out if certain books include violence against animals, I have to caution you. No violence against animals is shown, but there are several animals in the book, and not all of them make it to the end. So I will declare this book only PARTLY SAFE for animal lovers.

I’m still going to recommend it, though. Enjoy!


March 22, 2009 - Posted by | animals, Book Reviews | , , , , , , ,

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