Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Darkly Daring 2 for Halloween

If you stopped by yesterday, I'm sure you noticed HOW FREAKING LONG my post was. I'm feeling justified in doing a creepy follow-up on another post to celebrate Halloween.

On October 9th, I did a post titled "A Darkly, Daring Delight," reviewing Jeff Lindsay's first novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter. In the twelve days since, I've read Lindsay's second novel, Dearly Devoted Dexter and watched the first three episodes of the cable television show featuring Dexter.

For those of you who are not familiar with the stories, Dexter is a blood splatter specialist for the Miami police department. He comes from a family of cops: his adopted father, Harry, was a cop and his foster sister is a Homicide detective.

You might say that Dexter has a hobby. In his spare time, he's a serial killer. Oh, he only takes out people who deserve it--killer pedophiles, murderers, homicidal rapists--but he's racked up an impressive number of trophies.

In his second outing, more ink is devoted to Dexter's girlfriend, Rita, and her two precious tots, Astor and Cody. In spending time with the family, Dexter learns some unsettling things about them and about himself.

In addition, Dexter's problems with his nemesis, Sergeant Doakes, pick up speed. The good sergeant is convinced there's more to the forensic specialist than meets the eye. Dexter finds Doakes following him wherever he goes. This, of course, cuts into Dexter's extracurricular activities.

Dexter is still as creepy and as humorous as ever, commenting on everything and everyone around him in a wry, self-deprecating voice. Following the Plan of Harry, Dexter keeps his head low and tries not to draw attention to himself. Here's his description of his life:

And so I had learned how to dress neatly and smile and brush my teeth. I had become a perfect fake human, saying the stupid and pointless things that humans say to each other all day long . . . I could have been a vicious raving monster who killed and killed and left towers of rotting flesh in my wake. Instead, here I was on the side of truth, justice, and the American Way. Still a monster, of course, but I cleaned up nicely afterward, and I
was OUR monster, dressed in red, white, and blue 100% synthetic virtue. And, on those nights when the moon is loudest I find the others, those who prey on the innocent and do not play by the rules, and I make them go
away in small, carefully wrapped pieces.

Dexter is, of course, the complete sociopath.

One of my loved ones, noting that I no longer have access to the Showtime cable series based on the novel, was kind enough to tape the first three episodes for me. I watched all three hours in one sitting this weekend. For the record, I do not recommend this. It was a perturbing experience.

The show is true to the books although expanded with filler murders and subplots. A Cuban mob boss has been added to the mix and the upright Sergeant Doakes has an affair with his partner's wife.

It is VERY unsettling to see dead bodies cut into segments like a broken Barbie doll. The blood splatter and posing of dead bodies is shown as described in the novels. Like the books, this is NOT a series for the faint-of-heart.

Dexter is played by Michael C. Hall (David of Six Feet Under). He is perfect for the role--creepy and sympathetic at the same time. Julie Benz plays Derek's girlfriend Rita, and Jennifer Carpenter plays his sister Deborah.

Showtime has committed itself to twelve episodes. We'll have to see where it goes.

Happy Halloween!!


lainey bancroft said...

Trick or treat!
I've been reading and absorbing like a good little 'newbie'...or 'wannabe' I guess I should say. Blogger hasn't let me shoot my mouth off recently though. I didn't take it personally, guess it hasn't been very kind to anyone lately.
All tricks. No treats :(

Sounds like interesting reading. I'll have to check Dexter out. I'm almost as fond of macabre as I am of quirky.
Thanks for the heads up!

Maya said...

Lainey: Welcome back. Blogger has been having serious problems lately. Sorry.

If you like quirky and macabre, Dexter's your man.



ORION said...

I adored Darkly Dreaming Dexter. I'm getting the next one too...