Thursday, January 31, 2008

Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Just finished reading this last night. I have to say the experience was quite influenced by having seen the show first but even so, there are a few things I think the creators of the show really did well given what Jeff Lindsay gave them as a starting-off point. It's only 288 pages long after all. What I liked about reading this was getting that extra insight into the character of Dexter that can only come from reading a story that is told in first-person (although the show does do an excellent job of monologue-ing). The way Dexter talks about the Dark Passenger is a lot more substantial here but it almost seems like there are two Dexters sometimes; the show didn't really have that vibe for me---more like, I am Dexter, I have no emotion, I'm ALWAYS the Dark Passenger, it's just a question of timing and availability that I am able to BE him with all the killing........

The show did a great thing by pumping up the character of Angel Batista. Part of this credit should really go to the actor, David Zayes, without whom this part would really be nothing special, but that was one thing that was lacking for me while reading this. Angel just brought a lot to the series I think. Doakes also was marginally small in the novel but huge in the series, which I also enjoyed. LaGuerta had a bigger role in the novel but I don't know if it was necessarily a better one. I almost found myself liking her toward the end of season two, but that's another discussion. I just now saw that Jeff Lindsay was actually a writer on the series, so maybe these ideas came to him after having lived with the characters as they were......fleshing them out to be bigger, badder, and longer lasting could have been pretty sweet for a writer, in my opinion. The background and flashbacks of Harry and Dexter's younger years were great. Deborah was great and translated almost perfectly from book to film.

All in all, this was a very pleasurable read. The show has that special quality to it that can only come from great writing and kick-ass casting but the story itself is some sort of genius on its own; it was bound to strike a chord with me (serial killers and all....) I've seen only two seasons and already I have placed it on the highest pedestal possible (The Sopranos, Twin Peaks, 24). I look foward to the next installment in the triple-D Dexter series, which I believe is......DEARLY DEVOTED?!?!?