Jason Brown (Toastx2)'s Reviews > Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
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Feb 04, 2011

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Read in February, 2011

Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the first in Jeff Lindsay’s widely loved novel series did not disappoint. It is nice to read a book that was highly recommended and lived up to it’s praise.

Essentially (as discussed in the first two chapters) Dexter Morgan is an unfeeling man, he pretends to display human emotions to get by each day, to hide in the normal human population. He learned early in life that he was different, with a desire to open animals up. Knowing this was a trend that would eventually lead him to opening humans, Dexter’s adopted father (a policeman) coached him down the path of only killing criminals and murderers, how to do it right, not get caught, and be safe. If he has to do it, he should make sure it counts for something. Obviously his adopted data loved him very much to be able to do this.

The story follows a string of bloody murders in Florida in which Dexter attempts to help solve while keeping his personal pass times firmly hidden from the world. This sounds a little dull, but it is only because I fear spoiling plot.

One thing to note regarding the writing; I love the alliterative nature of the Dexter, reflected in the title, as well as a number of his internal thought processes. Damned-able Dexterity Designed in Dexter’s Delightful Deeds.

I would suggest this to most readers who are interested in the thriller genre and do not mind a little gore. I wont get into the details of the plot line, just suffice it to say that it was gripping, and kept me interested from beginning to end.

I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Not to go off on too much of a tangent, but I have always found serial murderers interesting, especially the fictional interpretations of them. Especially”x2″ the justifications authors write in to make a connection with the villain protagonist. The goal obviously being to make the reader feel something in common with the main character, taking on a sympathetic point of view. This isn’t too difficult I suppose as most humans have a point in their lives where I am sure they are only steps away from making a horrible mistake. Many of them would possible find that a mistake is repeatable (or even enjoyable) as our apathy towards each other continues to grow with each passing generation.

Just a couple media examples I ran into over the years with out even searching anything out.

- When I was younger I read a Library copy of ‘The Claw’ by Norah Lofts. Filled to the brim with rape murder and excuses about why we should be glad for him. lets blame the mother in law (classic).

- In later years, Hannibal Lecter and his superior/fascinating history, a likable man with some utterly whacked thought processes.

- How about Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho… Patrick Bateman (’nuff said)

- More recently, Dan Well’s novel ‘I am not a serial killer’ is essentially about a 14 year old boy who is on the cusp of slaughtering people and is fighting against it. It takes a supernatural twist, but the core character is still primed.

- Chelsea Cain’s Gretchen Lowell novels.. Sexually/Intellectually charged and leaving readers not only in fear of the woman, but obsessed and in a cult like reverie of her.

- Jeff Povey’s awesome novel ‘The Serial Killers Club’ about a normal man who infiltrates an elite/secretive club for urban serial killers and decides to kill them all himself as a favor to humanity.. then finds joy in it.

- Let’s not even try to count the hours watching true crime on TV, Nora Roberts (JD Robb) books/influence, or the ever increasing Internet Crime Database.

These are obviously only a few examples of the genre and trending. I know it is nothing new. Humans have always looked slant ways at the dark side of our world and looked for ways to embrace/harness it. I have to wonder at the increasing frequency of this in media. It seems as if it is no longer good enough for Sam Spade to be the anti-hero, ass-hole that folks root for. Now we seem to be actively looking for pitch men that wear the devil horns and like to dance in the blood of their victims for our amusement.

Meh, anyways… Keep writing them/filming the movies and I am sure we will all keep reading/watching them.

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