True, True Blood

Since the next installment of True Blood is due to begin June 26 (yes, I have my DVR programmed!), this seemed like a good time to re-visit the Sookie Stackhouse novels, by Charlaine Harris.

I just finished the latest, Dead Reckoning. And whatever else I say here, as soon as the next one is published, I'll definitely be reading it.

I think the strong point in Harris' series is, without question, the basic premise and the characters. The plot is paper thin; in fact, in this particular novel, nothing much happens at all. Without giving away anything, I can simply say that the way is paved for Sookie to take on another supe lover, and that constitutes the biggest plot development in the entire book.

But what remains is that we can't help enjoying the time we spend with Sookie, Eric, Sam, Pam, Alcide, and the whole gang. Harris has created characters that walk the line between silly trailer trash and lovable country folk confronted with mind-bending developments in the history of mankind (namely, that supernaturals are real and dwell among us).

Having also avidly watched the HBO series based (ever more loosely) on the novels, it appears that this season (the fourth) will deviate even more from the series' trajectory. While the characters are basically the same, and the essential premise holds, the HBO series has shaken and stirred to a considerably different froth - a little more dark, a lot more sophisticated, and where the books are romance-sexy, the tv series is downright erotic. (Can you say full frontal nudity, in chains, in the basement? Just for example.)

In both novels and tv series, Sookie has learned that she is part fae (fairy), and it is this that allows her to be clairaudiant, and devastatingly attractive to vamps (and, evidently, other supes, including shape-shifters). And while both novel and tv series are violent, the relatively mild descriptions of vampire death in the book (they sort of flake away) is definitely trumped by the ghastly explosion of blood that constitutes a vampire getting staked on HBO.

What is true for both, however, is that both Harris and the series keep us coming back for more by simple virtue of the continuing struggle for Sookie to find relative love and peace in a world populated with immortal creatures who (typically) have no moral boundaries, and where hidden agendas (such as the King of Louisiana's) keep cropping up and stirring the pot.

If you haven't already done so, read the novels from the beginning. Even if you're already a fan of the tv version, you'll want to get to know the Bon Temps of Harris' books as well as the gorier, darker one on HBO. And if you've not caught up with the HBO series - and you can take a little nudity and gore - check it out, again, from the beginning. You won't want to miss a... bite.


Anonymous said…
What do you mean?

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