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Sookie Stackhouse #4

Dead to the World

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Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana. She has only a few close friends, because not everyone appreciates Sookie’s gift: she can read minds. That’s not exactly every man’s idea of date bait – unless they’re undead; vampires and the like can be tough to read. And that’s just the kind of guy Sookie’s been looking for. Maybe that’s why, when she comes across a naked vampire, she doesn’t just drive on by. He hasn’t got a clue who he is, but Sookie has: Eric looks just as scary and sexy – and dead – as ever. But now he has amnesia, he’s sweet, vulnerable, and in need of Sookie’s help – because whoever took his memory now wants his life.

291 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 3, 2004

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About the author

Charlaine Harris

385 books34.9k followers
Charlaine Harris has been a published novelist for over thirty-five years. A native of the Mississippi Delta, she grew up in the middle of a cotton field. Charlaine lives in Texas now, and all of her children and grandchildren are within easy driving distance.

Though her early output consisted largely of ghost stories, by the time she hit college (Rhodes, in Memphis) Charlaine was writing poetry and plays. After holding down some low-level jobs, her husband Hal gave her the opportunity to stay home and write. The resulting two stand-alones were published by Houghton Mifflin. After a child-producing sabbatical, Charlaine latched on to the trend of series, and soon had her own traditional mystery books about a Georgia librarian, Aurora Teagarden. Her first Teagarden, Real Murders, garnered an Agatha nomination.

Soon Charlaine was looking for another challenge, and the result was the much darker Lily Bard series. The books, set in Shakespeare, Arkansas, feature a heroine who has survived a terrible attack and is learning to live with its consequences.

When Charlaine began to realize that neither of those series was ever going to set the literary world on fire, she regrouped and decided to write the book she’d always wanted to write. Not a traditional mystery, nor yet pure science fiction or romance, Dead Until Dark broke genre boundaries to appeal to a wide audience of people who simply enjoy a good adventure. Each subsequent book about Sookie Stackhouse, telepathic Louisiana barmaid and friend to vampires, werewolves, and various other odd creatures, was very successful in many languages.

The Harper Connelly books were written concurrently with the Sookie novels.

Following the end of Sookie's recorded adventures, Charlaine wrote the "Midnight, Texas" books, which have become a television series, also. The Aurora Teagarden books have been adapted by Hallmark Movie & Mystery.

Charlaine is a member of many professional organizations, an Episcopalian, and currently the lucky houseparent to two rescue dogs. She lives on a cliff overlooking the Brazos River.

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5 stars
102,736 (40%)
4 stars
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3 stars
47,404 (18%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,069 reviews
Profile Image for Jayson.
1,726 reviews3,294 followers
June 14, 2021
(B) 72% | More than Satisfactory
Notes: Familiar and likable characters make it decent, but there's not much plot. Very static, it didn't add much to the series.
92 reviews
November 25, 2012
Loving eric and sookie's chemistry! I personally think that bill is a b*tch lol he didnt even know that sookie was trying so hard to pay her bill.
And oh yeah remember when
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Profile Image for Baba.
3,559 reviews852 followers
October 23, 2022
True Blood book 4 The most entertaining episode to date! A coven of witches seek to supplant the resident supernaturals; a spell is cast on Eric; and Jason goes missing! Some great Southern Vampire drama! A solid Three Star, 6 out of 12. The TV show does not get enough ongoing love either.

2010 read
Profile Image for Beth F.
354 reviews328 followers
December 19, 2008
This book starts off with a bang. Boring Bill announces he is leaving for Peru and Eric, the 6’4” Viking, makes an appearance in Bon Temps under a set of highly unusual circumstances: he is running down the side of the road half naked and he has amnesia. Now honestly, don’t you think more books should start with a half naked vampire who has amnesia? If that doesn’t appeal to you, well, to be perfectly honest, you and I might have a hard time finding something to laugh about together because that tickles my funny bone on so many levels; I can’t even begin to explain.

There are several things going through my head right now in regards to this book:

--Eric with amnesia is hot.

--I’m not thrilled with the inconsistencies that continually crop up, but I find myself willingly forgiving them because I’m having so much fun with the story. One example that stood out in this book was a description of shirtless Eric where he didn’t have chest hair. But a later description is about what his chest hair looks like when it’s covered in blood. Hm.

--I’m glad Harris finally explained how Bubba is able to enter private residences even if he hasn’t been extended an invitation. I’d been wondering about that ever since the end of the previous book.

--Jason, Jason, Jason. What’s going to happen to you, Jason? I’ve felt indifferent to Jason for most of the series thus far, but in this one it hit me that he reminds me of someone I knew years ago. My then-boyfriend had a goofy friend who fit Jason’s description to a T in personality, appearance, you name it. That made me laugh.

--As for Sookie herself, she continues to get more interesting with each book. She’s likeable and funny and appealing because she feels like a real person. It’s typical in this genre for humans who spend a lot of time hanging around vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures to become something more human than human. But not Sookie. At this point, the only thing she has to protect herself against the big bads of the supernatural world are her telepathic abilities and the fact that she can wield a mean shotgun (which is kind of hot in a lesbie friend kind of way). The only thing I would change about Sookie is to advise her to lose the word of a day calendars. They’re silly.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,531 followers
July 20, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

NOTE: The Eric gifs are coming, but y’all are gonna have to work for them ; )

By the time I reached Book #9 the end of the Sookie Stackhouse series, my reaction was something kinda like this . . .

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I (along with many other superfans of the Southern Vampire Series) was extremely disappointed. Not with the “who will Sookie end up with????” part. I mean seriously - DUH when it came to that question. I was bummed that it felt like Harris had thrown in the towel and just continued to milk that cash cow for all it was worth. I don’t fault any author for being done with a character or a series, but I do fault them for continuing on/signing new contracts/cashing paychecks when their heart isn’t in it any longer. As much as fans might bitch and moan about wanting moremoremore, it��s even worse when we get said moremoremore but find out we spent our hard earned moolah on crap.

Now, I’m not saying this series started off with goooooood books. Obviously they weren’t ever up for a National Book Award. Buuuuuuuuuut, this re-read reminded me why I got so addicted to all the fluffy yumminess . . .

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Mmmmmm, Eric. OBVIOUSLY! The early books in this series had more than just hot vampires and bangable werewolves . . .

going for them, though. They also had a PLOT. Better than that even - MULTIPLE plotlines and tons of action – both in and out of the sack. In Dead to the World we’re introduced to a weird little place called Hotshot, a glamazon known as Claudine, a missing brother, crossing storylines between witches and werewolves and shifters (OH MY), a cameo by Bubba . . .

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and last but most DEFINITELY not least, amnesiac Eric . . .

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You are all familiar with Eric, right????

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Wait. Where was I??? Oh yeah, Eric . . . .

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If only he’d done some more of this . . .

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along with the making of the sex.

Dead to the World was pure guilty pleasure that loses a star because in real life if your MOTHERF*&^ING RAPIST goes away to Peru you throw a G.D. party instead of pining for him. Get your f-ing head checked, Sookie. And also, because having all of the sexytimes interrupted by Eric calling the Queen of the Dipshits his “lover” which almost caused me to lose my sploosh. Worst. Pet. Name. Ever. Seriously. Here’s Exhibit A for proof:

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Many thanks to Stepheny for letting me tag along on this re-read and to Karly for hopping in as well. You gals know how to bring the Eric giffy goods ; )

I’d say I’m going to leave well enough alone and not read any more of this series, but I’ve learned to never say never. Plus, I might get the urge to read about ol’ Bob again . . .

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For now, though, I’ll simply say . . .

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Profile Image for Brad.
Author 2 books1,688 followers
July 14, 2010
Dear Charlaine,

This may come off a little mean, but I need to start by saying that you are a bit of a hack. But I don't mean that to be mean because the truth is I wouldn't want you to be anything other than the ass-kicking, pseudo-horror, pseudo-romance, pseudo-thriller hack that you are. You are my go-to guilty pleasure girl. I love hanging out with Sookie and her crew, and that's all down to you.

I just wanted you to know that Dead to the World is my favourite of the bunch. This had everything I love about Sookie and her world. Practically no Bill, lots of Eric (the hot Viking Sheriff of District Five), Weres, Witches, death, destruction, sex and tons of telepathic Sookie fun.

Did I say sex? Well, you hit the perfect balance between sex and action in this book, and I actually found some of the sex between Sookie and Eric to be arousing (not something I can say for your scenes between Sookie and Bill). And while I am on the subject of Vampire sex, Charlaine, thanks for eschewing the angsty, glittery, chaste, annoying Vampirism of Ms. Meyers. You celebrate Vampire naughtiness, then throw in some shape changing naughtiness for good measure, and that's so much more fun to read than the moody, whiny love triangle between a vapid girl, a pissy wolfboy and creepy "vegan" vamp.

So thanks for creating your bizarre, but believable world of everyday Supes who're challenging our prejudices by revealing that they've always been among us. Thanks for True Blood (both the fictional product and the HBO series), fangbangers (the coolest fictional term I've ever read in a pulpy novel), Fangtasia and the whole wacky population of Bon Temps.

I know your books are trashy, and I know some of them have pissed me off in the past, but Dead to the World is an exceptional piece of B-Lit trash. I am now a fan now matter how bad the rest of the books are. Sookie Stackhouse = Fun. I don't need anything more than that.

So thanks one last time, Charlaine Harris. I love your kooky mind.

Yours, Brad Simkulet
Profile Image for Fabian.
947 reviews1,562 followers
January 3, 2019
So after Bill there's Eric, the superhot amnesiac vampire. Whereas anybody else would run with the Mulholland Drivesque plotline and linger on the noir aspects that go hand-in-hand with vamp myth, Book IV radically changes the series from the "Twilight" part of the spectrum to more "Buffy" territory. Proud to say that "Dead to the World" has less Sookie injuries and more beastly bloodshed than any of the books that came before it!

There is still that erotic prose that owes lots to Anne Rice, the cute less-than-300-page plots that emulate the first one (the sole masterpiece in the Sookie Stackhouse saga) and though they do not maintain that one's appeal, they never settle for clearset formulas. This is always a good thing.

Yes, it must be said that sometimes the stories are too similar to one another and after being on a marathon of these (and will continue until book seven... I've bought them all at discount at Target!...) I sometimes forget what has occurred before and when. But I do love reading about Sam the shapeshifter, Bill, who leaves the plot for larger portions later on, & the clueless but lovable Sookie who tries to live as normal a life as possible, while the Children of the Night are drawn to her irresistibly. As are we.
Profile Image for Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile.
2,029 reviews587 followers
February 28, 2021
I really loved this one. I enjoyed the new Eric as much as Sookie did, and the plot leading up to the battle was exciting and mysterious. I do hope that Eric learns the truth about his time during the amnesia though.
Profile Image for Natasha.
289 reviews108 followers
September 26, 2010
Dead to the World is the fourth installment in the Sookie Stackhouse series. I actually read this a year or more back but re-read it last night again and realized I like it more than 4 stars.

Eric is my favorite character to start with, but during this book I love the new Eric also. He seemed so venerable and lost. It was Eric from a simpler time, without all the death and pain. He was reborn and cute as hell. lol! And I think Eric truly felt something for Sookie. What could have been! But, then Eric wouldn't be the Eric that we've come to love. And I do like the original Eric a lot.
As for the story line outside of Sookies romance life, Sookie doesn't have it easy. Her brother goes missing, she's being hated to the point where the answer comes to death and to save Eric from losing his memory permanently, she has to go up against very powerful witches, that ends up in a battle for lives.

Dead to the World was very exciting and suspenseful read. The romance was great and the plot was well put together. I really enjoyed this book. I'm not looking forward to Dead in the Family(due out in May?)

If you haven't read this series yet, or have only watched the show, I highly recommend you read the books. The show may be good but the books are great. You don't know what your missing!
Profile Image for Stepheny.
381 reviews541 followers
June 27, 2017
I'm not going to lie- I'm feeling disappointed. I have continuously heard that this is the "Eric book." From everyone who has EVER read these books. "Wait until you get to book 4!!" Who's Eric? you ask.

Let me show you:

He's a beautiful Viking vampire. He is sex on a stick. He will turn any woman's legs to jello...and well... other parts of her will be doing other things. Reactions beyond your own control...

What I really expected from this book was a ton of this:

Starring this ridiculous piece of man-meat:

What I got instead was more of the fucking werewolves that bore me to tears and underdeveloped witchcraft.

Oh and were-panthers

Yeah. I know.

So, while the few instances of sexy time with Eric were great I was overall disappointed. And even more disappointed that with a $50,000.00 paycheck Sookie couldn't even give him the benefit of letting know he finally got to tap that ass.

Talk about a snob! If I got Eric in the sack- you can guarantee everyone with ears would know about it. And then I'd use the 50 grand to pay for a national advertisement. But hey, I guess that's me.

Thanks to this crazy MahFah for agreeing to buddy read with me. :D And for My fellow Ramsey Snow Groupie for inviting herself into the buddy read and making it all the more fun. ;)
Profile Image for Erin .
1,230 reviews1,142 followers
August 25, 2018
I still haven't watched the show True Blood but from what others have told me, the show is much more serious than the books. The books are silly, sexy, and gory but in a light hearted way. Sookie is a bit of a simpleton but she's also tough even if she doesn't know it most of the time.

Dead To The World is the 4th book in the series and despite the length of time it took me to read it( I just wasn't in the mood for it) I enjoyed it just as much as the previous 3 books. I was happy that this book was a mostly Bill-free zone, I think he's super boring. I know that he'll be back but it was nice to have a break from him. Also Eric is everything. Although I did kinda feel like Sookie took advantage of him. I mean the man had amnesia. It felt a little rapey.

Overall I love this book and this series. I don't know if I'll ever watch the show(doubtful) but I will definitely continue reading this series.

2018 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge: A book with a cover you hate.

Hooked On Books August Read-A-Thon
September 24, 2015
2.5 Stars

First off, I would like to thank both Kelly and Stepheny for allowing me to intrude upon their buddy-read.

I do not believe it necessary to reiterate how much distaste I feel for Sookie Stackhouse. If you care to know my explicit feelings in this matter, I go into rather intense detail in my review here.

I will merely say I find her moronic and tedious, for purposes of this review.

After reading this, the fourth book in the series, I think I have figured out what it is exactly that I cannot stand about Harris’s writing style. I am a person who views language as an art form. I believe that while there are several words that may be substituted in the place of each other that there is generally one word which flows best. I believe that words have a reactive feeling within us and that (although English is certainly not the most elegant of the languages) a writer has a responsibility to their readers to attempt to make that language resonate in their stories. To choose words which do not smash and jar the reader in opposition to the emotions you are trying to invoke in a particular scene. (Of course, like almost anything, there are exceptions to this.)

I really don’t think Harris would agree with me. In my opinion, she sacrifices much in way of style and language art for substance in this series. And, to me, it shows. There are many choices she makes, language-wise, that simply do not jive with me.

Let me make an example:

The *bleh* mouthfeel (a word I find in contradiction to the very thing it’s expressing) of the word ‘Love’ is like a circle, perfectly rotating; it is a soft word that feels balanced on the tongue. Love. If love were a letter it would be an “O”. The word “Lover”, on the other hand, is like a “Q”, a circle with a stop in it; that feels jarring to my mouth (and also when my brain speaks it when reading). I abhor the term “Lover” (and “Baby”, for that matter). Both of these endearments are overused in this story.

I have much more positive feelings about the show based on this series than I do the book series it is based on, and as a reader that upsets me.

It’s no well-hidden secret that I have fond feelings for ‘Eric Northman’. Dead to the World begins with Eric having amnesia and behaving very docile and un-Eric-like. And while I adore the smart-mouthed asshole persona, I admit to having a soft spot for memory-washed Eric. He makes me wonder what Eric, the human Viking, must have been like.

There are several different stories happening simultaneously in this book. Jason, Sookie’s lady-killer brother, goes missing; Sookie is put on Eric-Watch and a group of evil witches is trying to take over Shevreport. For a book with so much potential plot there is far too much uninteresting bullshit within these pages. As I said, there is a lot of meat to this story (and I’m curious how it would have read if I hadn’t known what was likely to happen going in) but Harris concentrated far too much on the fat. Had this been trimmed down I believe it would have been more interesting, if not more artistically pleasing to me.

Also, that cover is not pleasant AT ALL. That image of Eric almost killed all sploosh-factor a couple times.

One final note (as my review is now reaching lengthy proportions): I loathed the amount of Bill-thought/talk within this book. For one, Bill was not present. For second, at the end of the last book Bill raped Sookie. The fact that this incident is glossed over in a way that minimises the act is DEEPLY unsettling to me.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,655 reviews5,127 followers
December 12, 2022
I finally was able to get it back from the library and finish this one! I think this is the only book in the series so far that I didn't power through in a couple of sittings (or just one), but I still loved it a lot — it just lost me a tiny bit towards the end with too much action and not enough characters being witty and dumb. 😂
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,860 reviews370 followers
March 27, 2019
2019 Re-Read

Just as telepath Sookie enjoys resting her mind around Vampire Bill, whose thoughts she can’t hear, I enjoy resting myself in this series that I’ve read and enjoyed before.
It's probably a bad indicator of your lifestyle when you miss your ex-boyfriend because he's absolutely lethal.

Wherein we learn that Sookie can certainly handle a shotgun or a baseball bat should the need arise. But she still wishes for a bit more back-up. Despite her misgivings, she proves repeatedly that she’s in many ways more street-smart and a better tactician than most of the supernatural beings that she hangs around with. Probably as a result of being a single woman, responsible for her own safety—an escape plan is a necessary fashion accessory.

Everyone keeps judging Sookie, thinking that she’s blonde & stupid, but she proves them misguided. She may not have the best taste in men (she tends toward the controlling, violent sort), but she’s an excellent practical psychologist (figuring out how people will act & why). Being a telepath has given her some insights that the rest of us could certainly use. Her general lack of experience in romantic relationships shows, but she’s learning gradually that she doesn’t need to put up with poor treatment. Amnesiac Eric shows her a bit of what a good relationship could be like—but I think Sookie is right, that it feels fake, knowing how proud the Viking vampire is when he’s himself.

As a friend of mine often says, “You get what you put up with.”


Original review

I found this book (#4 in the series) to be the least enjoyable thus far, although I still read it in a single evening. To my way of thinking, this is a transitional volume—Sookie & Bill have broken up, so Sookie needs to find a new way to stay safe in the supernatural community that she is now aware of.

The good aspects? Harris continues her pretty accurate portrayal of small town life in North America (minus the vampires & werewolves, at least in my home town). It can be petty and gossipy, but when bad things happen, people come together to do something about them. Sookie becomes a free agent (Bill the Boring has been sent to Peru) and, because of who & what she is (a telepath), Sookie becomes the focus of a fair amount of supernatural male attention. After being ignored & scorned by regular guys for years, Sookie is starting to enjoy being the centre of attention for a change.

Another plus is that Sookie does not get beaten up in this episode and she starts to think about keeping herself safe, instead of leaving it up to the man in her life. I like her determination to belong to herself, not to any man of any stripe and to be capable of whatever she needs to be capable of.

Negatives? Well, Eric doesn’t remember the days that he has spent with Sookie once the curse is lifted from him, so they are back to square one. Amnesiac Eric is a much different guy than the regular Eric, confused and dependent. (And he unfortunately becomes a lot like Boring Bill). I need more background info on Eric—what was he like way back when he was human? How did he get to be the smart-mouthed Lothario that he currently is (when he’s not cursed)?

Although the vampires are quite well realized and have a logical framework to behave within, Harris just seems to throw in other beings with very little thought. The portrayals of witches and Wicca are down-right insulting, and she throws in a Maenad, shape-changers and fairies casually, just because she can.

This series is fluff & sugar, not great literature, but each volume represents an entertaining evening. Despite the drawbacks, I’m still enjoying the series and will definitely request the next book from the library sooner rather than later.
Profile Image for The Flooze.
757 reviews249 followers
June 13, 2009
Ahhh, Eric...


One of the best of the series, especially in terms of character development. Sookie makes a very telling New Year's Resolution: to avoid getting beat up. And not half an hour later she's picking up a stray amnesiac vampire.

The chemistry between Eric and Sookie is wonderful. Pam in her take-charge mode is hilarious. The Were community is more complicated than ever. And Sookie's knowledge of Supes is growing every day. Charlaine Harris knows how to craft witty and interesting characters, with natural dialogue and distinct personalities.

But really. It's a book about Eric. Isn't that enough?
Profile Image for Brittany McCann.
1,643 reviews405 followers
February 14, 2023
The one where Eric forgets who he is. This is the book that makes Eric a viable romantic companion. Is it the greatest literary work of all time? No. But it is fun and enjoyable, and I laugh, and I enjoyed revisiting it after more than a decade. I LOVE this side of Eric.

It was great to see more of the communities outside of the vampires and to get a taste of more shifters before Quinn comes out to play.

My guilty pleasure series is still going strong.

Favorite quote:
"I went down, ass over teacup."

4.5 stars rounded up for fun.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,164 followers
June 30, 2015
My favorite book in this series so far! Why? you ask....

eric true blood photo: Sookie and Eric 5215_131567664950_737529950_3138463.jpg
Sookie, you lucky dog, you!

Yes! Finally Sookie realizes that Eric is much better than Bill the Bore!

And, even better - there is no Bill in this book except a few mentions towards the end. I was feeling like my True Blood dreams were coming true.

a dream is a wish photo: A Dream is a Wish... tumblr_ljehn3NaFb1qfqzaao1_500.jpg
okay, I realize that I need to dream bigger

But... Eric is not our normal Eric - he's amnesia Eric because a witch cursed him. So he's sweet, vulnerable, and open. Now, that makes Sookie like him more, and I admit that he's a sweetie pie. But, for me, personally, I like normal Eric. He has more bite (pun intended). He's sarcastic, hilarious, arrogant, and deadly. The perfect book-boyfriend! I don't want too much sweet in my book boyfriends. They need to be witty and have a little bit of a narcissistic personality disorder to be interesting to me. Yeah, I know how to pick 'em.

i like my men photo: Eric I like my men EricNorthman63-1.jpg
yeah, I'm going to be including a lot of Eric gifs in all my reviews. It just makes me happy. SorryNotSorry

So, Sookie is taking care of Eric while these witches are out to find him and are trying to take over all of the vampire and were ventures. They really know how to live up to their name bitches witches.

witch photo: witch heksen17.gif
That's just disturbing, Grandma. Did you forget to take your pills again?

Also, Sookie's brother, Jason is missing and there is evidence of foul play. I like Jason, and think he would be a great character to focus on later, so I was really hoping he would survive the book.

murder funny photo: murder button dogtags.jpg
Please don't push that button, Charlaine Harris! Let him live to f*ck another day...

Another character that is really coming to life in these books is Pam, Eric's number 2. She is funny without meaning to be - which is my favorite kind of funny. She's a super deadly and blood-thirsty bi-sexual vampire who looks like a soccer-mom, and is becoming Sookie's most unlikely friend. I want to be her friend! I need more crazy friends who are as bloodthirsty as I am (at least in the bookish sense). I hope that she gets a lot more play in the future books.

Overall, there is a lot of fun in this book, along with the romance between Sookie and Eric that I was hoping for, but I wish it could have ended differently. I want a romance between Sookie and the real Eric! The Eric that laid on top of her to take a bullet for her in the vampire house shooting, who dressed up and pretended to be flamboyantly gay for her, who was proud of her for killing Lorena, and who punched a guy in the face for saying a crude remark to Sookie, saying: "You are speaking of my future lover. Be more respectful."
As Sookie describes him:
He had never viewed Eric with any sense of humor, as I did. I'd always been leery of Eric, but I'd appreciated his mischief, his single-mindedness, and his flair. If you could say a vampire had joie de vivre, Eric had it in spades.

that's what I'm talking about photo: thats what im talking about WhatImtalkinabout.gif
Profile Image for Lauren.
2,271 reviews162 followers
June 15, 2018
Dead to the World
4.5 Stars

When small town waitress and closet telepath, Sookie Stackhouse stumbles across an amnesiac vampire wandering around in the woods, she immediately recognizes him as Eric Northman, the arrogant and domineering Sheriff of Area 5. After taking him home and cleaning him up, Sookie discovers that an Eric with no memory is sweet, vulnerable and oh so sexy. Unfortunately, the witches who cursed him are hot on his trail, and Sookie will have to pull out all the stops to keep him and those she cares about safe.

The Sookie Stackhouse series is not to be mistaken for serious literature in any shape or form. Nevertheless, the characters are engaging (aside from Bill the jerk) and the stories are fast-paced, action-packed and highly entertaining.

Dead to the World is the best book so far, and this is mainly due to the wonderful dynamics between Eric and Sookie. While Eric's charm and humor have been apparent from the start, and his deeper feelings for Sookie have been hinted at, these traits come to the fore in this installment as his amnesia allows Sookie to lower her guard and get to know the softer Eric beneath the smarmy façade.

In addition to Eric, Sookie's supernatural harem gains another member, Calvin Norris who joins Sam, Bill and Alcide in their affection for her. However, at this point, it remains unclear which of the "bachelors" will go home with the prize as each is problematic in their own way.

In terms of the story, there are two apparently connected threads - the witch coven's plot to usurp the Shreveport vamps and weres, and the disappearance of Sookie's incorrigible brother, Jason. Although rather predictable, both are well-developed with one or two compelling twists and turns that will have intriguing consequences going forward.

All in all, these books are light, fluffy and fun. However, readers expecting a written version of the TV show are going to be disappointed as any resemblance between the characters and the plot developments is superficial at best. Can't wait to see what is next for Sookie and her cohorts.
Profile Image for Courtney.
126 reviews60 followers
April 25, 2017
"You can't use blackmail on someone who doesn't know anything about the hold you have on them."

I've heard a lot about Dead to the World (the fourth installment of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse mysteries) being the "Eric book", so I was definitely looking forward to reading it. While I didn't completely love it, I wasn't too disappointed either, lol.

This book takes place three weeks after Club Dead, New years eve at Merlottes. And although they've exchanged each others belongings and are still broken up, Bill lets Sookie know that he's leaving to Peru to continue the project that the vampire queen of Louisiana gave him (so, he's pretty much missing for most of this book, yayy!)

On her way home from work, Sookie notices a mostly naked man running through the woods, but when she stops to offer help she realizes the man is really a vampire . Eric Northman. And he has no idea who he even is, never mind what he's doing running through the woods in his condition. After talking to Pam and Chow, Sookie learns that Eric was cursed by a coven of extremely powerful witches, headed by Mark and Marnie "Hallow" Stonebrooke (siblings). Not only can they cast spells, but they're also were's who drink vamp blood to enhance their abilities, and their goal is to take over the vampire's businesses and territory. They wreak all sorts of havock too.

Deciding it would be best for Eric to hide out with Sookie, Jason, her brother, not only helps talk Pam and Chow into paying his sister for helping them, but also helps her get Eric clothes and True Blood. After returning to his sister's house to drop off the necessities, Jason goes back to his place where his new fling is waiting for him; Crystal Norris, who also happens to be a shifter. But no one hears from Jason after that night, and no one knows what happened to him, not even Crystal.

After warning Alcide about the witches (and gaining the pack's trust) the Shreveport werewolves begin formulating a plan against them. With a powerful coven of witches out to take over Louisiana, her brother Jason missing, and a cursed Eric Northman hiding out at her house, her new year is starting off with an awful lot of trouble.

With her friend Tara's help she learns that their mutual friend Holly may be able to give Sookie vital information on the coven, and she does. Still wanting to find Jason, she asks her boss, Sam Merlotte, about the girl Jason was with on New Years (since Sam is a shifter himself). Although Sam warns her that they're... different, he still points her in the right direction and off she goes. While she didn't find her brother, she once again gains the favor of another "were" pack.

Eventually, Pam suggests that the "supes" team up and fight the coven together. So, Pam's area vampires, Colonel Flood's pack (the werewolves of Shreveport), some local wiccans and, of course, our MC telephath unite to get rid of the coven and hopefully lift Eric's curse and maybe even find Jason.

I loved how this book was mostly centered around Eric, and that with Eric hiding out at Sookie's house we get to see their relationship grow... Sort of. Unfortunately, Eric didn't know who he was, so we don't really see too much character development. I was disappointed that we didn't get to learn more about him.

Jason, however, had his eyes opened wider to the supernatural world and I was glad to see him grow as a character.

Alcide also grows as a character and I was so happy when he finally got to that point. Yayy!

We meet some interesting new characters in this book, such as Claudine (a fairy) and Calvin Norris (the leader of Hotshot's were-panther pack).
Profile Image for SeoHyung.
158 reviews
February 15, 2022
I’M so hardly CRYINGGG

Soo, I’m heartbroken. Sookie made the most perfect decision in her life, and NOW, that Eric recovered what he lost, THEY BROKE MY HEART!!

I can’t even write this review bcs of the tears.

Eric was such a cute boy and I love how he acted, how he took care of Sookie, how he loved her. (I know that he still loves her, duh)

I’m so happy of Alcide’s decision😏 and I know that he did what was the best.

Bill, dear loser, your place is far away from Sookie. Move ur ass back to Peru and remain there, die there, do whatever you want, just remain there and never return to USA, to Bon Temps. Sookie is better without you! She needs ERIC, that hot viking 🥵

I can’t wait to read the next book!

You still here? Go and read this series! You have to!
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,221 reviews2,159 followers
September 7, 2008
With Bill off to Peru, one night Sookie finds cocky, authoritative, smug Eric running almost naked down her road, his memory gone and his personality changed along with it. She takes him in despite many misgivings, and learns from Pam that he's been cursed by a witch. Then her brother Jason disappears and Sookie's worried the witches have taken him - though how could they know about him? Weres from Alcide's pack are being murdered and although she had promised herself not to get involved, she's also promised to look after Eric, whom the witches are trying to find, and try to find her brother. It's one hellish start to the year for Sookie, and this new, caring, considerate Eric is just too hard to resist...

Great fun, solid mystery and no glaring holes, that I noticed anyway. I was disappointed Eric doesn't remember anything that happened while he was cursed, because I'm really starting to feel sorry for Sookie and I'm glad she hasn't forgiven Bill yet - he's very distant and hasn't even made an effort to mend things.

One thing that still bugs me: Chow can't have been in the yakuza, because the yakuza is Japanese and Chow is not a Japanese name. It seems more like a handy Asian cliche and that's pretty disappointing.
Profile Image for Pam Nelson.
3,214 reviews100 followers
June 2, 2017
❤ 5 Dead to the World Stars ❤

This book gets me right in the feels.

Sookie has a hard enough time keeping everyone else’s thoughts out of her head, but then her brother goes missing.
Erik the freaking hot hunky vampire loses his memory.

And the Were community is looking to add a new breeder in to the mix and they have their eye on Sookie.

I llllove the interaction between Sookie and Erik, even if he doesn’t remember he is soo sweet to her. He gets under her skin as only Erik can do.
I loved how their relationship grew from lust to more.

Witches… in almost any book there are the good and the bad and making Erik lose his memory like that… Gotta say kinda genius. ;)

Loved this book, can’t wait to dive in to book 5.

*You don't have to like my review but its 100% my opinion, and I am allowed to have it.*
Profile Image for Geraldine O'Hagan.
112 reviews134 followers
October 17, 2011
Book four, and the addition of the hackneyed ‘amnesia’ device and some blood drinking were-witches does nothing to help Harris’s lazy characters and poor plot development skills.

This series is so consistently and repetitively poor that it’s hard to know how to express my disgust. I’ve resorted to highlighting a few points of particular chagrin to me:

Most nonsensical point:
“The Hotshot kids who attended the Bon Temps school always stuck together,and they were all a smidge . . . different.
It didn't surprise me at all that Crystal lived in Hotshot.”

States Sookie. Fair enough. Crystal is odd. Sookie is judgemental. Why would it surprise Sookie that Crystal is from a nearby centre of oddness? Except that Sookie hasn’t yet met Crystal, and has no idea she’s a bit odd. All she knows about her is her name, and that she’s been seen with Jason. Either a continuity error or an indication that all Jason’s sexual conquests have mental health problems by default, due to some as-yet undiscussed predilection of his.

Most notable inconsistency:
So far in the series Vampires are the only “Supes” to have made their existence public knowledge. I know this to be the case because Harris restates it in full at least twice per book. So when Sookie goes to visit a fellow waitress who specifically stated she hardly knows Sookie, why do they immediately begin chatting about werewolves without even a vestige of tact or concealment? Not a very effective means of keeping the secrets of a group of potentially deadly monsters. Possibly it was ill-advised of so many “Supes” to have trusted the most air-headed idiot in the Western Hemisphere with the knowledge of their existence. Then again, they are all sexually obsessed with her, so I suppose it was inevitable. Not sure how the other waitress knows though. Perhaps werewolves are an open secret in the service industry?

Stupidest assumption:
That becoming a Wiccan entails immediately dying your hair “matte black and spiked.” having four piercings in each ear, becoming anorexic and having cheap jeans. I think Harris is thinking of goths. Unfortunately she has apparently never met any, and has to base her description of them on a “Freak to Chic” episode of Ricki Lake she vaguely remembers from a few years back. Either that or she’s just an idiot.

Worst Lines:
Most of the sex scene in Chapter 6, particularly:
“Yikes. Yahoo. Yum”

Not appropriate in a sex scene. Or indeed ever.
“I kind of folded Mr. Happy up against Eric's stomach, so I could reach around him and get my fingers on that absolutely gorgeous butt.”

No. No, no, no, no.
“the truth was it hurt to remember my previous one-man status, now gone for good.”

Easily discarded, suddenly lamented, immediately forgotten again. Not only hypocritical, but a bizarrely old-fashioned concept to raise in the first place.
“my breasts, which were practically quivering like puppies who wanted to be petted.”

There is summat seriously wrong with Harris if she considers this an acceptable sentence.
Finally the scene is topped-off with Sookie reassuring Eric about his penis size. An insecurity you would have thought he’d have been able to overcome in 1000+ years, but it appears not.
All-in-all, appalling.

Worst Compliment
"You have the most beautiful breasts I've ever seen.”

From Eric. Whilst he has amnesia. Making Sookie’s effectively the only breasts he has ever seen, and his schoolboy flirting pretty poorly thought-through.

Least self-aware statement:
“I had never realized a woman could have to struggle to keep her hands off a man.”

Strange, since Sookie has found herself in exactly this predicament at least three times per book so far in the series. Even if she has no knowledge of the world whatsoever, you would assume she could remember her own life experiences. Particularly since random bursts of pathetic and unrealistic lust are the only emotions Sookie experiences other than self-pity, cute annoyance, and deep pain when her hair or clothing is disarranged.

Greatest Display of Social Ignorance:

1. Religion
“Oddly, my first feeling was one of embarrassment, when I heard Holly tell me that she was a non-Christian. I'd never met anyone who didn't at least pretend to be a Christian or who didn't give lip-service to the basic Christian precepts.”

Nobody at all Sookie? Bearing in mind that you have met countless vampires including one who is a 1000+ year old Viking, werewolves, shape-shifters, several serial killer, a maenad and a goblin? All of whom you are absolutely sure are Christians? Even though at least one of them is specifically a follower of a pre-Christian god? Gods, you’re stupid.
To add to this, Sookie is the kind of selfish, canting Christian who can disapprove of sex outside marriage and/or with numerous partners whilst excusing herself because:
“I figured God had made me with the disability of telepathy, and he could cut me a little slack on the sex thing”

Fair enough Sookie. You are special and no one has ever suffered like you. On no account rethink your prescriptive moral beliefs when you find them to be unliveable. Just continue judging everyone else for not abiding by them whilst assigning yourself a convenient get-out clause.

2. Gender Politics

Sookie is the kind of modern, post-feminist woman who considers an offer from a middle-aged stranger to physically protect her in return for sexual favours and the right to own her as being pretty gentlemanly and “not something to get all snitty about”. After all, he didn’t use any bad language or innuendo when making the offer. How chivalrous of him.

3. International Politics and History
“bad should be overcome. That's the American model.”
Not just ignorant, but also massively offensive.

Stupidest conceptual opposition
“Any red-blooded male who'd ever gone hunting,”

“any P.C. guy who photographed nature”

Two clearly defined and obviously contrasting groups if you have a low IQ and fail to grasp the concept of Political Correctness almost completely.

Least imaginative description:
“the sow collapsed and died. She reeked of pig and blood.”

Thanks Sookie. You really evoked the experience of seeing a hog shot. Smelly, like pig and blood. Brilliant.

Recurring elements of which I am bored:
In each Sookie Stackhouse book so much previous plot and so many old characters are re-described in terms almost identical to the last occasion(s) they were mentioned, that I can only assume that Harris’s main writing tool is the copy-paste shortcut. Some of the numerous examples include:
• Bubba. Just stop.
• Sookie continuously sexually harassed as a form of courtship.
• Weirdly-detailed description of the lay-out of Sookie’s house, and which parts she lives in to keep her utility bills low. Why does Harris feel the need to keep telling me this?
• Sookie pulling her hair back into a pony tail over and over again. Thanks Sookie, but I’m now more than aware of your favourite hairstyle. Plus it’s not adding a great deal to my enjoyment of the book.
• Sookie reiterating that she has had any number of sexual fantasies about Sam, or Alcide, or Eric, or whichever other man has just entered the room.
• Sookie describing in mind-numbing detail the clothes and hair of everyone she meets, plus the dullest items of furniture and architecture in any room she enters, no matter how many times she has already done so. With all this listing and obsession with detail, I’m beginning to wonder if Sookie is borderline autistic.
• Sookie stating that she is on a learning-curve. If that’s the case Sookie, then why in 4 books have you learnt nothing whatsoever? Other than new vocabulary from your oddly-appropriate word-of-the-day calendar, obviously.
• Sookie stating “I’m not educated, but I’m not dumb.” Yes you are Sookie. Spectacularly dumb. As well as being extremely defensive. Hence your constant insistence that you couldn’t get on at school purely because of your telepathy, even though working in a crowded bar gives you little or no trouble.

And finally, how can any writer be as unimaginative and stupid as to call the main Wiccan character Hallow?

I would like to think that these books can’t get any worse, but if this is the best Harris can manage four books in then I guess there’s not much hope of improvement.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Amelia.
60 reviews3 followers
January 20, 2010
I'm not sure why I didn't like this one as much as I thought I would.

There were several things that happened within it that were hilarious and fantastic.... BUT ... there was a lack of something.

I loved Pam, Bubba, Amnesiac Eric, Creepy Calvin.

There was a lot going on, as always, is the case with Sookie, but I just wasn't really into it. I felt like the story dragged a bit. I wanted more Eric time.

I loved that Eric and Sookie finally got their freak on but.... it just didn't seem as fantastic as I thought it would be (I'm not talking about Eric's prowess between the sheets). It felt like Eric wasn't. He was just a shell of his old self. I missed his innuendos and leering. The amnesiac Eric seemed kind of .... boring. :(

I feel like the "big showdown" with the witches was a let down. It seemed to easy. I'm not sure if I liked the whole Jason thing either. It seemed to be a bit much.

Alcide....... Yeah, don't like him. He is an idiot. I don't understand why Sookie can't see past his visably appealing mass to the dolt he really is.

Bill..... Never liked that asshole. Glad Sookie isn't mooning over him all that much.


I'm really glad to see that Sookie has developed more. She's not so naive anymore and she's starting to form a stronger backbone.

Hopefully the next book will improve... with more pervy Eric!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Buggy.
489 reviews679 followers
February 28, 2011
Opening Line: "I found the note taped to my door when I got home from work."

More like a 3.5 actually…
Dead to the World is the 4th instalment from the addictive and entertaining Sookie Stackhouse series, which for the most part I’m really enjoying. This addition had a lot going for it with Harris setting up some intriguing scenarios for our returning cast of characters. And once I got past the pages of repetitive back story I was quite excited about the prospects. Unfortunately though as much as I enjoy and admire her writing I was never able to get fully engaged in this story. It could be because of the addition of even more fantastical creatures, I mean I could have done without the were-panthers theme and the coven of witches, oh and how could I forget the good fairy but hey that’s just me and my aversion to UF speaking.

On the plus side the “new” Eric was delicious on every level though it does make me wonder what Harris has against Bill. Its not that I ‘m a team Eric, team Bill type girl but why bother to introduce him as Sookie’s love just to keep sending him away every book, its just weird to me and doesn’t even allow for a good love triangle to develop.

The thing is this series is almost awesome, the writing is amazing, the world building, the action and horror aspects, the relatable, fascinating and sexy characters but I just don’t always understand Harris’s choices. A few more love scenes wouldn’t go astray either, although the one that we do get here is extra steamy. In the end I can’t seem to stop myself from continuing on with this series, Sookie feels like an old friend and I need to know where this is all going.

Its New Years eve when we first join Sookie again, she’s driving home from a busy night at Merlottes. Bill has up and left for Peru and the last thing she needs or expects to see right now is a half naked vampire running down the road. Things get even more interesting when the vamp turns out to be Eric who for some reason can’t seem to remember anything. This new kinder, gentler Eric has no clue who he is much less what’s happened to him in fact he even seems a little scared. Sookie being well Sookie takes him home of course. I mean what girl could refuse a half dressed, nervous blond Viking vampire

It soon becomes apparent that whoever took Eric’s memory also wants him dead and through a series of events Sookie gets put in charge of keeping him alive. Meanwhile her brother has gone missing and a battle is brewing (ha) between a coven of witches and the local werewolf/ shifter population. Sam, Alcide, Bubba, Chow and Pam all make appearances along with a whole new cast of interesting characters. Now all Sookie has to do is find her brother, keep Eric alive, avoid the witches, dispose of the bodies, and hold onto her heart because this new version of Eric is very hard to resist. Cheers.
Profile Image for Beth.
700 reviews572 followers
April 15, 2020
I swear, if I’d of read this when it first came out I know full well I’d of loved it.

The whole love square/pentagon I legit kind of like them all (other than Bill) for different reasons. There’s SO much angst.

I am fully aware that this isn’t a “great” book however it is kind of enjoyable and I’m gunna keep going with the series.


Dead Until Dark - 2 Stars
Living Dead In Dallas - 2 Stars
Club Dead - 3 Stars
Dead To The World - 3 Stars
Dead as a Doornail - 3 Stars
Definitely Dead - 2 Stars
All Together Dead - 3 Stars
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 7 books2,027 followers
December 28, 2015
Jan, 2009: Somewhat to my surprise, this book was every bit as good or a bit better than the previous ones. Very enjoyable, quick read which for me to say about a 4th novel in a series is somewhat unusual. I generally tire of series as repetition takes its toll. Not in this case.

Some new oddities are introduced in a good, logical manner, opening the world up & adding a bit more depth. Sookie's character develops more & our time line of events is confirmed. This book takes place about a year after Sookie first meets Bill & I found it helpful that she reflects a bit on this. It tied the series tighter for me.

Apr, 2011: I re-read this as I'm listening to the series in audio book format & this one wasn't available for download. Nothing else to add.
Profile Image for April Kennedy.
Author 1 book122 followers
September 16, 2019
Well, that happened.

This series is just so enterianting, that I really can't stop. I find myself laughing out loud, rolling my eyes, snorting in disbelief and shaking my head.

I would fully recommend them if your looking for some light reading that will occasionally just blow your mind with the level of ridiculousness.

Fun, fast paced books, I am happy I splurged and bought the whole series at once.
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