As usual I have nothing more than a topic in my head to start this semi-literate ramble brainfart type endeavour and the longer I stay away from fallout 4 the harder it gets to breath. But I really enjoyed the dexter books hence the name of the blog. I also really liked the show and I wanted a somewhat side by side comparison, keeping the spoilers to a minimum.
The first book is called ‘Darkly Dreaming Dexter’ and it’s essentially the basis for the first season of the tv show. Which I shamefully admit I watched before I started reading the books because I’m a pleb, there you go, happy now?
I do this a lot in fact, I watched the walking dead before I read the comics and then I read the novels but the comics came first so that doesn’t count. I watched the silent hill film before I even knew they were games, the same with the resident evil series. So all around I’m a big media pleb, ain’t life grand?
After the first season of the show it gets a little squiffy. In the first book it wraps up nicely, ok I lied there are gonna be some spoilers. But in the show it wraps up a little skew because in the show, he kills the ice truck killer but in the book he lets him live and he recurs later on in the fourth and fifth book and becomes somewhat of a pivotal character.
The book is a lot more morally grey since he doesn’t actually have inner conversations with his dead adoptive father Harry and instead communes with a supernatural entity inside himself which he calls the ‘Dark Passenger’. He alludes somewhat to this in the show but it’s done a little cack-handedly in my opinion because it’s brushed off as if it’s an addiction whereas the book goes full fahrenheit/indigo prophecy syndrome with fucking demons and voodoo and ancient Babylonian gods.
… Which I actually rather liked but someone obviously conked that on the head because it never really goes back to that in the book and the show gives it a wide berth for probably good reason, it begs beliefs I guess. Too tinfoil hat, Alex Jonesy I guess, I thought it was fun but I guess that was a rabbit hole that might have taken the books up the garden path and since I really liked the following books and I’m still reading them into book seven tells me it wasn’t all that bad.
The first things you notice between the books and the show, in the show he’s this bad ass judo serial killer who kicks the entire ass all the time for some reason. It was cool but in the books he is less John Wayne and more John Cusack… in con air, the film where he didn’t do much.
It’s not that I don’t like him being more vulnerable but I feel like a lot of the time he doesn’t get to be the hero of his own story and after like the tenth time he’s faced death but been saved at the last minute it gets a little annoying.
I mean I don’t begrudge it for using a device like that, I try my fucking damnedest to avoid that ‘ooh he’s about to be killed but then someone saves him at the last minute’ thing, but it’s like literally an unavoidable tension building device. I can’t really think of one of the books from the series where it doesn’t happen except the first now I strain my brain.
Another massive difference is the scope of the book, in the show we follow all these other characters like Batista and his sister Deborah as they have their own arcs but in the book it’s a first person narrative from Dexter’s perspective so these characters become window decoration. And this may sound like a criticism but when you’ve got a TV show about a blood spatter expert by day serial killer by night, I don’t really give a shit about how his friend’s love life is going unless it somehow connects to the serial killy stuff you know, it’s just fluff, useless TV show filler nonsense and the book cuts through it like crate paper to get to the good shit.
That being said the structure of a TV show meant that he had to kill someone per episode and the show handled that quite nicely, a little like the freak of the week supernatural/Buffy style. But in this case the monster was human. But even supernatural couldn’t keep that up and the books don’t even really try to have a murder per however many chapters. On average he’ll killer around one or two people a book, which is perfect because it really allows for a lot of emotion and tension and it really gets into the right frame of mind, it’s deliciously descriptive without making you want to gag like American Psycho levels of gore. It’s subtly macabre, casually sick and twisted, I love it ha-ha.
I think the biggest difference is that Dexter’s kids are fully fleshed out characters… somewhat in the book, whereas in the show they’re just flaccid annoying extras, in the book they have inner workings of their own. And spoiler alert, although there evil father isn’t in the books, what he left behind inside them is enough to make them interesting as they turn out to be just like Dexter. That being said, Lindsay hasn’t really gone into that aspect of their characters yet. Dexter has promised to ‘show them the ropes’ but he never seems to get around to it. He’s always so wrapped up in himself and his work and his ‘other work’ to really take the time and I can’t help empathising with that I guess.
Dexter is an animal and he deals with things as they come I guess, his own self interest and self preservation will always trump training his foster kids how to murder people.
In terms of where the story is going I think that’s going to be a big future problem because spoilers, his brother, the ice truck killer seems to take a keen interest in the kids and there may be a clash of who’s wings they’ll be taken under, Dexter being discernibly the lesser evil.
I genuinely love and get swept up in these books, I suppose in a scary way I and Dexter (Jeff Lindsay the author) have a similar inner voice and I love his style and his wit and the more and more I read the more influenced I get by his dark wit.
That’s fangirling enough for one blog haha, thanks or reading/.