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Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  415,988 Ratings  ·  15,962 Reviews
Sookie Stackhouse is a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. She's quiet, keeps to herself, and doesn't get out much. Not because she's not pretty. She is. It's just that, well, Sookie has this sort of "disability." She can read minds. And that doesn't make her too dateable. And then along comes Bill. He's tall, dark, handsome--and Sookie can't hear a word ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 292 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Ace Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!} I preferred the tv series, but I watched the show before reading (to be fair I've only watched season 1) and I just finished the first book and was…moreI preferred the tv series, but I watched the show before reading (to be fair I've only watched season 1) and I just finished the first book and was underwhelmed. I think it's a subjective experience.(less)
Matthew Lee Considering that this book was written five years before Twilight, it might be better to ask if Twilight is like the Sookie novels. Sookie is not an…moreConsidering that this book was written five years before Twilight, it might be better to ask if Twilight is like the Sookie novels. Sookie is not an empty shell of a character like Bella, and though naive, she actually has a voice, a job, and a life before and during her Vampire liaison.
As Chelsea said, this is more adult and less YA. (less)
Dark Lover by J.R. WardTwilight by Stephenie MeyerHalfway to the Grave by Jeaniene FrostDead Until Dark by Charlaine HarrisDarkfever by Karen Marie Moning
Best Paranormal Romance Series
4th out of 938 books — 11,463 voters
City of Bones by Cassandra ClareMoon Called by Patricia BriggsHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingVampire Academy by Richelle MeadMagic Bites by Ilona Andrews
The Best Urban Fantasy
6th out of 2,865 books — 10,108 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 28, 2010 Vanessa rated it did not like it
After reading a succession of more serious books, I felt the need to read something light and trashy. As I discovered from reading this book, you should be careful what you wish for. Light? Yes. Trashy? Oh yes. Oh yes, yes, yes. But not in a good way - just trash, trash, trash.

It is hard to say what I disliked more about this book - the sophomoric writing, or the annoying, vapid, 2-d, Harlequin-romance-heroine-helpless-twit persona of Sookie Stackhouse. Sookie is a psychic, and this fact is used
The first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series.

I confess - I picked this up at the bookstore for a few reasons:
1. The cover was sparkly and I liked the art.
2. Vampires! Having spent a huge chunk of my youth hoping the vampires in Anne Rice's novels would knock on my window late at night (shut-up, like you didn't???) I have been looking for the next Brad Pitt with fangs. (shut-up, like you aren't???)

And yeah. That was all it took. Sparkles and vampires - SOLD.

I opened up the book and kinda reg
Jan 03, 2009 Trin rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 12, 2012 Demo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Demo by: 10 Year old Stupidity
Some people have asked me why I never read Adult Paranormal Romance books.

Well, TrueBlood is the reason why. Read on, if you feel like snorting with pity-laughter.

Damn. I wish I could explain why I had to give this book a one star rating without sounding lame as hell. Because really, it was a stupid reason, one that only I would run into, and I'm 98% certain many of you will roll your eyes at me.

But I'm going to be honest. Because I'm nothing if not a truthful person. Ahaha, that's a total lie.

Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I'd never heard of these books until a few months ago, and as usual, once one person recommends them, everyone seems to be talking about them, you see them everywhere, and you get curious. They're in the fantasy section, though for some bizarre reason I was under the impression, at first, that they were YA and silly. They are fun, but they are definitely for adults. The vampire/mystery style reminds me of the one Anita Blake book I read, the first one, which was horrible (can't say that enough t ...more
Emily May
Apr 08, 2011 Emily May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal-uf

I started reading this series because I was currently watching True Blood and had developed a slight obsession with Eric. Since then, the books have become an absolute guilty pleasure of mine. They are not the best written and occasionally we get a little too much of what we don't care for (i.e. fairies and shifters) but amid the hot vamp sex and murder mysteries... who really notices those anyway??

Most characters have both annoying and redeeming qualities, but this is good - I never did like th
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
December 2014 buddy read with Shelly, Carole, Evgeny, Karly, Jess, Allison, Catherine & Monty Cupcake.

DNF at 50%

Sookie, Sookie, Sookie. Because of you most of my friends either hate me or think I'm a total freak. They think you're quirky, I think you're silly. They think your story is better than candy, I think your story is the most uninteresting ever.

Sorry guys, I don't think this review is going to go well.

I was recently told I was snarky and a cold-hearted, impatient cynic (you know wh
Vampire Lady
Dec 08, 2007 Vampire Lady rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: naive twenty-somethings who don't know good writing if it hit them upside the head
When I first read the premise for the book, I thought it was slightly intriguing. Nothing I would rush out to get and read right away, but still enough for me to put on my list of to-read. Now that I've read it, I want my brain back. I like the idea that vampires are a known part of the human world. I really do. I liked Sam, about the only character in the entire book I did like, and how Harris explained him. I just think it took to long for her to reveal it all and to get her point across.

I lov
Sh3lly ✨ Guardian of Mermaids with Broken Tails ✨
Original Rating: 5 stars
New Rating: 2 Stars

This was a Buddy read (re-read for me) with Sarah, Karly, Carole, Kristin (when we get to book 3), Kelly (when we get to book 4), Jess, and Catherine.

Ok, I don't know what I was thinking when I gave this book 5 stars. This is not a 5 star book. This was my 4th time reading this and I think my last. The main reason is: it's BORING. There was WAY too much Bill. I didn't realize how boring Bill was. I mean, he was always super boring compared to Eric, but
Jessica ❁ Far Dareis Mai ❁ Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

3.5 stars

I basically had two separate lives growing up. My main life involved my nurse mother, my pharmacist (legal) father, and two of my three sisters, all living a suburban life just outside of Charlotte, NC. My secondary life involved my biological father and his entire family which was (they’ve since departed) headquartered in Bon Aqua (pronounced “ACK-qua”), TN. Bon Aqua, thusly named for the water that locals lineup in their pickup-trucks to collect, with their emp
Jan 15, 2009 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
Let's get one thing straight...Sookie Stackhouse is no Bella Swan. You may have read the myriad reviews that list the similarities between Charlaine Harris's novels and the Twilight Saga and I can assure you that most of them are true. Harris refers to her vampires 'glowing', Bill drinks synthetic blood, Sookie can read minds...the list goes on and on.

But after finishing this book, what I can assure you is that in so many ways these books are so completely different that they bear no comparison.
Mar 08, 2016 Evgeny rated it liked it
Recommended to Evgeny by: Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*
Shelves: fantasy
A group read with my GR buddies.

Sookie Stackhouse has a disability - at least she thinks she has one. She can read minds and she always has to block this ability of hers to keep herself from going crazy from constant buzz of thoughts from everywhere. She also wants to meet a vampire, so when one finally walks into the bar she works as a waitress in, she literally jumps at him the way poor creature does not stand a chance.

For people who read Twilight I do not need to tell anything more as this
Scott Sigler
Nov 21, 2012 Scott Sigler rated it it was amazing
First off, paranormal fiction of any stripe really isn't my bag. I'm more of a hard-science/horror, horror/thriller kind of a guy.

I'm a big fan of the TRUE BLOOD television series. My wife tricked me into watching it, because I was convinced I "couldn't possibly like yet another kissy-vampire show." Well, I was wrong; I got hooked on the campy fun of TRUE BLOOD right off the bat.

Since I'm an author and have high hopes of seeing one of my own books turned into a series someday, I picked up the
Opening Line:"I'd been waiting for the Vampire for years when he walked into the bar."

I must be one of the last people on the planet to read Dead After Dark. I also haven’t had a chance (yet) to watch True Blood, although because it’s been all over the media I had a pretty good visual reference for the characters here without actually having to compare the two. I was able to just go along for the ride. And what a ride, I can definitely see now what all the fuss has been about.

Honestly I had a h
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
So, what can I say? I enjoyed the book, but in a guilty pleasures, sort of embarrassed to admit kind of way. Let's admit it - this is hardly well written, but it's quick and light and fun, and there's something to be said for that.

That said, I didn't really like Sookie's voice. I found it rather irritating right from the start. And the dialogue - ugh, who talks like that? And if people really do talk like that, then I'm glad I don't know them.

And there's not much character development to speak o
Feb 27, 2010 RandomAnthony rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-so-hot
Notes from the reviewer's internal dialogue before reviewing this book

You want to say this is, if not the worst book you’ve ever read, one of the worst. Is your assertion accurate or are you engaging in hyperbole?

I believe this is one of the worst books I have ever read. I didn’t finish, giving up at the 60% mark, but I stand by the statement under the assumption that the author didn’t turn into Shakespeare in the book’s final third. The last book I read that even approached this nadir was some
Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*
Buddy-read with these lovely ladies: Sh3lly, Sarah & Carole(With a hopeful guest appearance of Jess - because Jess & I read all the vampy-ness together, apparently :P)

Let's see if Harris' written word can live up to (or surpass) this sexy-ass vamp:

And beast:

The Review:

2 Stars

Where do I begin? Oh, I know! BILL! I have never been a fan of Bill. (In "True Blood" he always reminded me a bit more of a boring-ass tax accountant than a vampire, he just not vampiric to me....) So, yes, I knew
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
Buddy read starting December 29 with Sarah, Shelly, Evgeny, Karly, Jess, Allison, Catherine & Monty Cupcake.

Discussion Thread

2014 Review:
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

5 Stars!

When I saw that some of my friends on Goodreads were getting a buddy read of this book organized, I jumped at the chance to join. I don't really know why I love this book so much. It actually has a few problems and I see them but I just don't care. I love this book anyway despite all of its flaws
Feb 01, 2016 Jess rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: nope
Recommended to Jess by: previews of True Blood and Casey's rave review
Not for me.
Mar 30, 2012 Kay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fangbangers
Recommended to Kay by: it first started with anne rice...

I'll admit it. After the watching the first season of True Blood a year ago, I picked up this book with some expectations: that it has (1) a lot of sex, (2) a lot of gore, (3) a lot of wild personalities and (4) never-ending hilarities à la Jason's experience with V in the first season.

[All illustrations of #4 removed for overt sexuality and dangerously addicting laughing spells for those inclined toward stupid humor, like I am]

What did I get?

A naive southern waitress with very stilted sense of
Apr 19, 2011 Stephanie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, where to begin with this book...

I have read some truly atrocious writing, but this is by far the worst I have ever read.
Not for content or context (though ridiculous as it was), but for the actual writing itself.

Right from the start, the author bombards you with trivial descriptions. Hurriedly she lets you know what everyone in town looks like by comparing in pairs; for each person introduced, they are only described by being compare/contrasted to the next person she introduces.
Beth F.
Nov 14, 2008 Beth F. rated it liked it
Even though Bon Temps, Louisiana ain’t urban by any stretch of the imagination, I would still classify this book as urban fantasy. So if you enjoyed popular series such as The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and/or The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series by Laurell K. Hamilton, you might want to give Sookie Stackhouse a try.

I’m a fan of both and Sookie’s series has been on my to-read list for at least a year at the time I write this. I’ll admit the reason I hadn’t picked this series up sooner is bec
Jul 08, 2010 Michael rated it liked it
Shelves: 2000s
It has been said (I would tell you by who, but that would involve actual research) that Tolkein's most important contribution to literature is the Hobbit. (The race. Not the kid's book.) That said, I will with much pomp and ostentatiousness, say Charlaine Harris's biggest contribution to modern literature will be the Fangbanger. (Yes, I just compared Harris to Tolkein, in addition to totally exploiting the parentheses.)

I don't want to waste time telling you the storyline because you know it: st
Sep 23, 2007 Trina rated it did not like it
Let me start off by saying I am not a prude. I may live in Utah. I may have only kissed one man in my life- but I have no problem with a little sex in a book. This went far beyond that. To the point that the story was no longer the story of clairvoyant girl meets vampire and they try to catch serial killer together. The story quickly became girl and vampire have sex together a lot. That bugged me. Rather than being interesting or even exciting- it was boring. Sex does not a plot make. The story ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Alaine rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Alaine by: Annie
This book is one of the most entertaining books I've ever read. It has comedy, suspense, romance and fantasy! What more could you possibly want? Clearly the author has a very twisted sense of humour which I loved! There was one 'incident/character' that had me laughing so hard I nearly fell of my chair!
At this point I should say that I'm not a huge Vampire fan and I've only recently come to the Paranormal Romance sub genre. I've read and loved the Twilight series but when characters of Twilight
So finally, I meet Sookie Stackhouse. I am late to the party by about 15 years, but I really enjoyed making her acquaintance. I polished off the book in one evening and could quite happily have turned around and read it again right away. In fact I did go back and read my favourite sections again.

I found Sookie to be a smart and feisty main character. Instead of her telepathy being an advantage, she has found it the ultimate in distracting, almost like a learning disability. So when she runs into
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 28, 2015 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dead Until Dark is the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series by popular American author, Charlaine Harris. A cocktail waitress at Sam Merlotte's bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana, Sookie Stackhouse meets her first vampire when he sits as one of her tables. Bill Compton is trying to live in the mainstream since vampires "came out of the coffin" some four years before. Sookie has a unique (dis)ability that allows her to read minds, so she finds it quite refreshing to hear nothing at all from Bill's ...more
☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎
Don't know why I waited so long to start this series. There was so much that went on but having a hot vampire to fall in love with is a good start. I can't believe that someone would want to hurt Tina. Really? There were some interesting moments and can't wait to see whats to come in the next books.
Nov 19, 2008 Lori rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of A.Lee Martinez, Christopher Moore, Odd Thomas Series...
Recommended to Lori by: Logan
Shelves: fiction
This novel has taught me to Never.Ever.Ever. judge a book by its cover Ever.Ever. again!

I would see these books all over Borders and Barnes and Nobles and never give them a second glance.

Not because it was sci-fi (which I like). Not because it was Vampire sci-fi (which I like). But because of the super cheesy covers and the super cheesy titles.

Logan, I am thanking you for picking this book up and for recommending it to me.

One of THE best female lead characters I have ever read. Ever. Very
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  • Bloody Bones (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #5)
  • Undead and Unappreciated (Undead, #3)
  • Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5)
  • Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)
  • Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)
  • Tracking the Tempest (Jane True, #2)
  • Nice Girls Don't Date Dead Men (Jane Jameson, #2)
  • Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer, #3)
  • Dangerous Games (Riley Jenson Guardian #4)
  • At Grave's End (Night Huntress, #3)
  • Blood Lines (Vicki Nelson, #3)
  • Kitty and the Silver Bullet (Kitty Norville, #4)
  • White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows, #7)
  • Another One Bites the Dust (Jaz Parks, #2)
Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over twenty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Now she lives in southern Arkansas with her husband, her three children, three dogs, and a duck. The duck stays outside.

Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was wr
More about Charlaine Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Sookie Stackhouse (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2)
  • Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #3)
  • Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4)
  • Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5)
  • Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #6)
  • All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7)
  • From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse, #8)
  • Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse, #9)
  • Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10)
  • Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, #11)

Share This Book

“Woo woo, secret vampire stuff!” 227 likes
“I snuck a look to see how Eric was taking this, and he was staring at me the same way the Monroe vampires had. Thoughtful. Hungry.
"That's interesting," he said. "I had a psychic once. It was incredible."
"Did the psychic think so?”
More quotes…