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Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter #1)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  110,825 ratings  ·  4,586 reviews
The Basis for a New Showtime® Original Series Starring Michael C. Hall

Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the M...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Vintage Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Like so many others, I loved the Showtime series and wanted to check out the original source material. I was very disappointed indeed. Since a lot of other people seem to have liked it, it may just be a matter of taste, but...

The characters are two-dimensional cliches that can't tie their own shoelaces, except for the daringly deductive Dexter, who *can* tie his own shoelaces. Which makes him a genius. I recall seeing someone else comment that Darkly Dreaming Dexter needs to "show, don't tell."...more
I'm a BIG fan of the Dexter TV show on Showtime. This led to me being a bit hesitant to read the novels because I was worried about a serious case of disappointment. Michael C. Hall's portrayal of the title character is such an integral part of my enjoyment of the series that approached this book with trepidation, worried I wouldn't relate* as well to the novel's main character.

* a dangerous thought, I know, given Dexter's proclivities.

Well, turns out that my fears were groundless. The characte...more
Getting in mind of Dexter is never boring his insight is funny and his technique of killing is masterful.Dexter talks of his beginnings, of his first kill, the day his dark passenger became the rider. Recollections of the past with his father Harry and his deadly advice, its a good fast read in the rambling mind of a sociopath Dexter.
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Liza H
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2007 Chloe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love to root for the bad guy
Mysteries and Thrillers are often hit-or-miss for me. I have had the good fortune of being recommended a lot of writings from the creme de la creme of this genre by my father, so grew up ingesting PD James, John le Carre, and Dennis Lehane with the pulp sci-fi that was my fare of choice. I have also, at times, been forced to read a James Patterson or John Grisham for lack of any other reading materials. This has given me a broad exposure to what could arguably be called the most popular genre in...more
This review is brought to you by the letter D.

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Dexter is a delightfully demented and dynamic dude...

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Well now that is enough of that...

Dexter Morgan is a blood spatter pattern analyst for the Miami-Dade Police Department, but in his spare time he enjoys boating, eating donuts, spending time with his foster sister Deborah, playing with his girlfriend Rita's children...oh and killing people. Dexter lives by a code, "The Code of Harry". Before Harry Morgan -Dexter's foster father- died, he taught his...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Dexter is a serial killer, a killer who just can't help himself. He doesn't even see himself as human. But he does have something of a conscience and lives by the Code of Harry, his cop foster father, who understood his nature and sought to help Dexter control it somewhat when he was a teenager. Now a blood spatter analyst for Miami police, he's brought in on gruesome murder cases and a new serial killer in the city has Dexter feeling inspired, flattered and awestruck - and frightened that it's...more
Firstly I have never seen the show. Not once, not a single episode. Over the years I've been told to watch it countless times and then told I have to read the books. Well finally I decided to read one.

While it was a good story it always felt like something was missing. I prefer my crime books to have more truth about them. The whole plot point of the dreaming was honestly annoying. It felt like it was there just because the author couldn't think of a clever way of getting Dexter to the crime sce...more
Nov 01, 2007 Lauryl rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like thrillers who don't watch the show
Yeah, yeah, yeah...
so I picked this up because I saw the Showtime series. I admit, I have become a big fan of the show, which is pretty smart and complex, despite its kind of silly premise. AND it's gruesome, which is always good. The book, however, lacks the depth and character development of the show. I suppose that's one thing that television, as a medium, is actually really good at. The book feels a little flip, and a little silly, andeven though it's the first in a series, it doesn't feel l...more
Oct 13, 2007 Lori rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fricken-awesome
Oh Moon, glorious Moon --- Why did'nt I pick this up when it was first released is beyond me!

I love Dexter and his Dark Passenger. His sarcastic wit, his lizard brain, his fake girlfriend and actual love of little kids. His hobby-related career as a blood-splatter analyst by day, and his moonlighting as a killer of killers by night.

Whats not to love?? If you havent read this book (series) yet, you dont know what your missing! I highly recommend this to everyone.

I am ranking this my #2 favorite...more
Barks & Bites
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrated by: Author Jeff Lindsay

Darkly Dreaming Dexter introduces Dexter Morgan serial killer of serial killers. To the outside world he is a charming, attractive normal guy with a respectable job with the forensic department. But Dexter (for anyone who hasn’t watched the tv show) is constantly battling his “dark passenger” who dreams of death and can only be assuaged by brutal murder and clinical dismemberment. He was adopted as a young boy by a polic...more
Oh, Dexter... where to begin? I should probably disclose that I am a huge fan of the show, and have been for quite a few years. (What show? If anyone really doesn't know, it's a series on Showtime with this wonderfully creepy intro.) So I picked up Darkly Dreaming Dexter with more than a little trepidation. After all, as an avid reader, I am usually that pissed off person fuming that Hollywood makes too many unnecessary changes when transforming a book to either the big or little screen. Once in...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I simply love Showtime's Dexter. If Dexter the TV show were a book, I'd give it 5 stars. I've held off on reading the books that the show is based on for a while, because I didn't want anything to sully my Dexter-love. Was it possible they could favorably compare?

Luckily, Jeff Lindsay's first Dexter novel is pretty damn charming. Like The Princess Bride, the screen version by its very nature ends up missing a lot of the wonderfulness that's hidden in the narration. I loved the constant use of al...more
I've never watched the TV show so I can't really compare the two, but I found this book creepy.

It is creepy in how well the author captured Dexter's personality and reasoning. It was disturbing.

My only complaints are with some of the narration. I found it irritating how he would get these feelings he couldn't explain that he was missing something and I would have to sit there until 10 pages later when it came to him, and the cycle would repeat.

Not sure if I'll continue with the series. I'm a l...more
Oh how I love darling droll Dexter. Dexter is fluent in sarcasm, which is the language on my home planet, so I really loved this. Can't wait to finish the series. Great writing, fun characters, lots of swearing and subtle wit, this book was written with me in mind, I think.
Jun 20, 2008 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like their crime with a side order of humor
For the most part, the basic plot of the book is stereotypical crime thriller: there's a serial killer on the loose who must be stopped before he can strike again (and, of course, each crime scene is more inventive than the last). However, what makes the book so enjoyable is that Dexter, the blood splatter expert trying to catch the killer, is also a serial killer--albeit, a kinder, gentler killer. Because Dexter's foster father (a former policeman) spotted the signs of Dexter's sociopathic beha...more
Shayantani Das
Like millions and millions of other people, I too am a rabid Dexter (the TV show) fan. I very recently became aware that it was inspired by this novel and downloaded the audio book and “not hated” this book (don’t tell me that isn’t a word). It’s difficult for me to be a fair judge, because of course I inevitable start comparing the show and the book and everyone knows how that goes, Michael C. Hall's acting skills being such an essential part of the series. Hopefully though, the narrator of my...more
Apenas llegar a terminar de leer el primer capítulo, me hizo pensar que éste es un libro de lectura obligatoria para quienes (como yo) aman este género. El hecho de terminarlo en una noche, me hizo confirmarlo. Fue una lectura altamente adictiva.

Y es que en esta primera entrega de la saga "Dexter" del autor norteamericano Jeff Lindsay, nos sumergimos en una historia peculiarmente encantadora (y digo encantadora en el verdadero y más crudo sentido literal de la palabra) que con su trama que, al s...more
"Feeling - what authentic human fun!"

"And then more quiet, silence so deep it almost drowned out the roar of the night music that pounded away in my secret self."

"What to wear? I could think of no guidelines on what we were wearing this season to a party forced on you to celebrate an unwanted engagement that might turn into a violent confrontation with a vengeful maniac. Clearly brown shoes were out, but beyond that nothing really seemed de rigueur."

"I'm not sure what I am. I just know there's...more
Aug 21, 2008 April rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Insomniacs who arent thinking clearly
Like Dianne Ladd said in "Wild at Heart", this book is a "peice of S-H-I-toot". Dexter is a serial killer but only takes out people who deserve it. This is a great book for the housewife reader's circles who want something slightly edgy but lets them sleep at night, too. Dexter's personality is an mix of snobbishness and pseudo-intelligence, neither of which are believable or developed. And the bad news is, the book flap says Dexter will be the main character in more books to come. When I finish...more
Rick Fisher
I think it's hard to read a series after having watched it performed so perfectly on television. And, this being one of my favorite shows ever, I wasn't sure how well it would read.
The top point about doing this is also the lowest point. There are clearly defined pictures in your head, while reading, of every character. It paints a more vivid picture of each of them. I can hear Michael C. Hall's voice so intensely with each paragraph. It's such a great enhancement.
But, what happens when the a...more
A darkly funny romp about a serial killer who only kills other serial killers. Dexter may be the nicest murderer you will ever meet. The author manages to make him into a sympathetic, even emotionally tortured individual without removing the monster from him. Lindsay's style is quite funny with more than a little Chandleresque prose in his descriptions. For instance, check out the way he describes a very seedy area of Miami...

"Every major city has a section like this. If a piebald dwarf with adv...more
Carrie M.
What a surprise it was for me to find these amazing books that gave birth to one of my favourite TV shows. There are many guidance lines one can approach these novels, here I present you some:

1) The mask. Dexter is not an ordinary person. Dexter is a full-time actor; he pretends all the time and is aware that he must subdue his true nature to a lighter version of himself, 24/7. As an incredibly clever person (one collateral effect many psychos have) he knows better than many of us what to do and...more
I've enjoyed all the seasons of Dexter on TV so far, and when I went on a trip to Miami I figured, why not try one of the books? They take place in Miami. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the TV show captured everything enjoyable about the book.

For those of you who don't already know Dexter, he is a serial killer who only kills other serial killers. His father, a cop named Harry, rescued Dexter as a child from the scene of a grisly mass murder, and over the course of Dexter's childhood re...more
The first time that I read this book I was disappointed in it but that was probably not a fair assessment. This book was written two years before the series and the one book encompasses all of the action of the first season. Twelve hours of programming. The team of television writers had the opportunity to take an already interesting story and explore the possibilities more fully.

I feel that many of the novel's weaknesses were corrected in the television series and that the writers and actors d...more
Sep 29, 2007 Rebecca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sociopaths, fans of the tv series
It really takes talent on the part of any author to take a character that should be unlikable and turn him into a character you like and more importantly, empathize with. Dexter is a sociopath that has urges to kill but thanks to help and love from his family he's channeled his homicidal rage towards the dregs of society (priests that molest children). I was suprised how much I liked this book and what an addictive character Dexter is. I can't wait to pick up more books in this series and tune i...more
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is definitely not a typical "serial killer vs. police" novel. The protagonist, Dexter Morgan, works with the Miami P.D. analyzing blood splatter at crime scenes, and as a result he becomes involved in the city-wide search for a serial killer victimizing area prostitutes. The twist, of course, is that Dexter is a serial killer himself. Not the serial killer currently being hunted by the police, but a serial killer, nonetheless.

In general, I stay away from novels about seri...more
I liked it enough to finish it, which is more than I can say for Palahniuk's latest, Damned. Still, I wasn't really that captivated by the protagonist and I put off watching the show for two years because I didn't like the book, which was a really bad decision because the series is awesome.

There were two things that really didn't work for me:

1. The fact that Dexter likens sociopaths to superheroes, as if they all have some extrasensory power and they're all floating just outside the mental conf...more
Aug 17, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: twisted souls
Book Info: Genre: Thriller/Police Procedural
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: twisted people
Trigger Warnings: murder, torture

My Thoughts: This is actually my second read-through of this book. I've been collecting this series since shortly after book three came out. I've also watched the first four seasons of the TV series, but to be honest, I much prefer the direction the books have taken. But I'm ahead of myself here...

So, this book introduces us to Dexter Morgan and his world, where he bala...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Who out there likes Dexter? 114 411 Oct 06, 2014 06:03AM  
Bookworm Buddies: Dexter 36 30 Oct 04, 2014 09:07AM  
Book or show 58 255 Mar 18, 2014 04:47AM  
better or worse?? 12 71 Mar 18, 2014 04:39AM  
well, Dex. you agree? 1 33 Mar 10, 2014 04:01AM  
Bookworm Buddies: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter #1) by Jeff Lindsay 14 23 Feb 20, 2014 05:59AM  
  • Dark Origins (Level 26, #1)
  • I Don't Want to Kill You (John Cleaver, #3)
  • Psycho
  • All The Pretty Girls
  • The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet, #1)
  • Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter, #3)
  • The Variable Man and Other Stories
  • Sweetheart (Gretchen Lowell, #2)
  • The Hundredth Man (Carson Ryder, #1)
  • Astronauts Wife
  • Birdman (Jack Caffery, #1)
  • Denial (Frank Clevenger, #1)
  • The Psychology of Dexter
  • Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters
  • The Serial Killer Files: The Who, What, Where, How, and Why of the World's Most Terrifying Murderers
  • Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
  • I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent, #1)
  • The Hellbound Heart
Jeff Lindsay is the pen name of an American crime writer, Jeffry P. Freundlich, who lives in Cape Coral, Florida with his wife, author Hilary Hemingway, daughter of Leicester Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's brother.

Lindsay is best known for writing the Dexter series of novels. Many of his earlier published works include his wife as a co-author. Time Blender was written with Michael Dorn. He graduat...more
More about Jeff Lindsay...
Dearly Devoted Dexter (Dexter, #2) Dexter in the Dark (Dexter, #3) Dexter By Design (Dexter, #4) Dexter Is Delicious (Dexter, #5) Double Dexter (Dexter, #6)

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“Weren't we all crazy in our sleep? What was sleep, after all, but the process by which we dumped our insanity into a dark subconscious pit and came out on the other side ready to eat cereal instead of our neighbor's children?” 224 likes
“I'm not sure what I am. I just know there's something dark in me. I hide it. I certainly don't talk about it, but it's there always, this Dark Passenger. And when he's driving, I feel alive, half sick with the thrill of complete wrongness. I don't fight him, I don't want to. He's all I've got. Nothing else could love me, not even... especially not me. Or is that just a lie the Dark Passenger tells me? Because lately there are these moments when I feel connected to something else... someone. It's like the mask is slipping and things... people... who never mattered before are suddenly starting to matter. It scares the hell out of me.” 217 likes
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