Geraldine O'Hagan's Reviews > The Sookie Stackhouse Companion
by Charlaine Harris
It starts with a novella about Sookie’s much-mentioned trip to Sam’s brother’s wedding. To be honest, this wasn’t really summat I’d bemoaned the lack of in the books proper. All Sam’s boring relative are introduced and we are told in detail what Sookie plans to wear for the ceremony. We also learn that Sookie is the kind of sentimental, judgemental person who would rather see a human die than an animal because the human would most likely be partly responsible for their own death due to making stupid life choices. Which is charming. Also Quinn makes an unwelcome reappearance, recommences calling Sookie babe incessantly, and brings absolutely nothing else to the story.
The main plot point, if I can call it that, is the harassment suffered by Sam’s family for being “Shifters” and kin. This has already been thoroughly discussed in several of the novels, and it only serves to make me wonder why there is no mention of any difficulties faced by the presumably numerous “supes” around the world not directly associated with Sookie Stackhouse. If the events of this story are anything to go by, I can only assume that the nightly news must be full of related hate-crimes and viciously barbed rhetoric. Yet we hear nothing of this, because it doesn’t directly impact on the vapid world of Sookie Stackhouse. Basically, unless you’ve attempted to shag Sookie or one of her many men-friends, you and your life do not impact on her or her world.
At any rate, said harassment proceeds in an uninteresting manner, the nadir of which is Sam’s family prayer meeting, where the Merlottes ask God to help them with their hostile neighbours. Other than upsetting a three-year-old, this achieves nothing. Then Quinn’s love-life is sorted out, to nobody’s interest. Then Sookie goes on about guns some more. Then we hear every detail of a dull party, including every refreshment and condiment on offer. Then there is an incident regarding some minor characters trying to kill each other. Luckily the surviving attempted murderer explains the events preceding the killing in detail to Sookie despite the fact that they are enemies, so the reader is left with no hint of ambiguity and no doubt that Charlaine Harris is a lazy idiot. The awkward characters having been conveniently killed/arrested, Harris has run out of things to say and the novella ends.
Most Self-Congratulatory and Surely Untrue Comment
“people had told me for years that I had a great sense of humor”
Maybe they were all joking?
"I’m usually pretty accurate about human nature"
Stupidest New Character Names
Cyndee the Barmaid
Brother Bart Arrowsmith
Brenda Sue the Biker Babe
Most Compassionate Response to a Gruesome Murder
“You’d think I’d be distraught and upset. You’d think I’d be overwhelmed, having seen this horrible scene. But you know what? I was tickled pink…it was hard for me to suppress a smile”..
“Sookie,” said Luna into my ear, “it doesn’t hardly get any better than this.”
“I think you’re right,” I said."
Most Contradictory Self-Assessment
“I’d never been a squeamish person”
Really? I thought one minute of a “Saw” film was too much for you Sookie? Make up your mind.
Following this story there is a long and boring timeline of events so far in Sookie’s life, interspaced with transcripts of some of the most boring and mundane correspondence and telephone conversations conceivable by the mind of man, mainly involving Bill and Eric.
Next is a dull summary of all Harris’ vampire related short stories, presumably written in order to sell more copies of them.
Then lengthy witterings from Sookie about the various supernatural creatures she has met, and her inane opinions on such. It includes her usual pro-American random nonsense whilst discussing vampires, such as “But they all seem to manage to make a dollar or two; that’s the American way, isn’t it?” , ”the good old U.S. of A. was always a melting pot, so we figured they were just another minority wanting a new home” and ” “America’s the land of free enterprise” During this section we learn absolutely nothing, plus Harris’ doesn’t even manage to make it sound much like Sookie’s admittedly inconsistent voice, despite chucking in a bit of cutsey talk to remind us of her braindead manner.
After this there’s a filler trivia section. Then a recipe section, for more padding. Then an interview with True Blood creator Alan Ball, in which he advertises the show and used the irritatingly ubiquitous Americanisation “normalcy”. This section also introduces us to a True Blood fan who can’t watch the opening credits as she finds them unnerving, which is both bizarre and ridiculous. Next is a pointless summary of the works of Charlaine Harris and an unnecessary and rather sad piece on her fan club written by a particularly obsessive fan.
Succeeding this in the litany of banality, Harris strains her intellect by answering the queries of some of the aforementioned fans:
Least Shocking Revelation
“I don’t plot much in advance”
To be honest, I assumed she wrote one line at a time, without either forward-planning or any re-reading for fact checking purposes.
Most Worrying Confession of Authorial Irresponsibility
“I’m not always sure why I make the decisions I do”
Finally, the latter part of the book is bulked up with an alphabetical guide to “the World of Sookie Stackhouse”, which in its superfluous, unimaginative tedium perfectly encapsulates his book as a whole.