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142 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the criticism?
I, like many others reviewing this book, have watched the show first and then was so impressed with it, felt compelled to read the book. I haven't felt this eager to read a book in a long time and I wasn't disappointed. What I am disappointed with is the largely negative reviews here.

Everyone's entitled to their opinions but I felt some of them must have been...
Published on 7 Oct. 2007 by D. Brewer

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery, apart from the ending
Review: Dexter Morgan is a serial killer serial killer. He’s also a forensic scientist for the Miami Police Departent and has a normal life outside of that. So one day, there’s a nother serial killer going round Miami, and this one is different. Instead of being one that Dexter can just take out quietly, this one wants to play.
I watched a couple of...
Published 8 months ago by Nina (Death, Books, and Tea)


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142 of 147 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the criticism?, 7 Oct. 2007
By 
D. Brewer "dark_mercenary" (Dorset, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Paperback)
I, like many others reviewing this book, have watched the show first and then was so impressed with it, felt compelled to read the book. I haven't felt this eager to read a book in a long time and I wasn't disappointed. What I am disappointed with is the largely negative reviews here.

Everyone's entitled to their opinions but I felt some of them must have been reading a different book to myself. Ok, I will admit that the book is not as big as I was expecting but then I don't feel it needed to be. The book is full of humour and the characters are interesting.

Some characters, such as Angel Batista, are not seen as much in the book as they are in tv show, but other characters such as Vince Masuoka are seen more. The producers of the show decided to show more of Batista than Masuoka and that is their perogative. I thought the characterisation of Masouka was good and showed that perhaps Dexter could have a friend, or at least someone to connect with.

Perhaps the criticism that has puzzled me the most is the theory that the character of Dexter is not likeable enough in the book. Correct me if I'm wrong, but considering the self-mocking tone displayed in the book as written from Dexter's perspective, it left me feeling like that was the point: Dexter knows what he is, and what he is isn't suppoosed to be likeable.

His constant references to not being human make him an anti-hero, not someone to be admired and revered for being righteous. If people choose to like Dexter (which they admittedly do and I am one of them), it's because we choose to, not because we're supposed to.

True, as it is written from Dexter's point of view, there is the sense that we are supposed to sympathise with Dexter but, after all, he is still a serial killer, and is in his own admission, a man with no guilt response.

The story is a lot shorter than the tv show but then a tv show's job is take something like Dexter and add their own spin on it: it's the same with Hollywood movies; I urge anyone to read Stephen King's The Shining and then see Stanley Kubrick's version and tell me just how different it is.

The obvious difference is the character of LaGuerta. In the show, she is a stronger, more competent character, however in the book she is shown as someone not particularly intelligent but displaying a hard edge at points. The main difference regarding LaGuerta is something I won't go into for fear of ruining the book for those who haven't read it.

The book has a lot of quirky humour and the story, although short, is still very interesting and inventive. Some characters have more depth than others and some are very different from the tv show. What I will say, to finish, is this: if you've seen the tv show first, please be aware it is quite different to the tv show but that shouldn't become a criticism of the book.

Television producers jobs are to take a book or script and tailor it to their own needs: they are two completely different mediums and one shouldn't be criticised because of the other.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding darkly delicious read, 7 Jun. 2008
By 
GratuitousViolets "Ash" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Paperback)
Just as in real life, popular fiction has always taught us that Killers are the bad guys of the world, whether their motives are for love, hatred, money, revenge or simply for bloodlust.

In popular fiction, the killer always loses and the good guy always wins.

But what if...what just IF the killer and the good guy are the same person?

Ask yourself that question and then dive into this dark and delicious tale of Dexter Morgan, a Miami based forensic specialist on blood analysis. A likeable and pleasant guy, charming and dedicated - but this is all a facade.

Dexter has always known he was different. Sociopathic, emotionless, and most unfortunately, he has a desire - a need - to kill. A true serial killer at heart he has learned to keep his murderous activities under control by choosing victims who have done wrong in the world (i.e. paedophiles, rapists, other murderers), killing them and carefully disposing of the bodies where they can never be found.

He's been content doing what he's doing for quite some time, and life is peachy, he's upbeat despite his rather dark thoughts, and he still manages to maintain a career, a girlfriend and a vague semblance of family with his sister.

However, life begins to change for Dexter as a killer who leaves bodies dismembered and strange little clues for Dexter to find, makes himself known.

A serial killer trying to find a serial killer proves more difficult when at least one of them is always two steps ahead.

This is a twisted story that is engrossing, darkly funny and imaginative. Dexter is the first serial killer characters I've ever read who remains likeable despite his dark deeds and inability to feel.

Somehow, the villain Dexter feels himself to be is the true hero of the story, and that's quite an achievement for the author to pull off.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreaming of the next one...., 15 April 2009
By 
Belfast Dave (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Paperback)
I have never watched an episode of "Dexter" on television, or anywhere else, so I was reluctant to even open this book (given to me as a present), let alone read it.
But God help us, I couldn't put it down. It was, and is, an absolute treat. I wont go into the storyline as I am sure everyone knows the premise for these books (and the accompanying television series), but I will happily support what the more favourable reviews endorse. Dexter is surprisingly likeable, given his main pastime is dismembering various other killers, while at the same time, being as complex and disturbing as any of the serial killers he happily dispatches of! I have already purchased the rest of Jeff Lindsay's "Dexter" novels and maybe when I have read them I might(?) just sit down and watch the television series. That said, listening to the many, many people I know, who are "Dexter" crazy (the t.v. show I mean), I may yet give it a miss. I would be broken if the the television series ruined MY Dexter experience, and diminished what has become for me, a delightful reading experience. Read 'em, and judge for yourself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and detailed Dexter, 11 Jun. 2010
By 
Brian Walker - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Hardcover)
Darkly Dreaming Dexter is by far the best book I have read in many years. The author gives great attention to internal thought. It is as if the book puts you in the seat of the dark passenger. You egg Dexter on you laugh at the horror, and you learn his amoral decision making process.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery, apart from the ending, 28 May 2014
This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Paperback)
Review: Dexter Morgan is a serial killer serial killer. He’s also a forensic scientist for the Miami Police Departent and has a normal life outside of that. So one day, there’s a nother serial killer going round Miami, and this one is different. Instead of being one that Dexter can just take out quietly, this one wants to play.
I watched a couple of episodes of Dexter before another show took over my life, but I enjoyed what I saw, and will go back to it, because it’s intriguing, and I like reading source material of films/books that have been adapted, so I read this.
The most complex character is Dexter, a sociopath carrying a Dark Passenger. In order to sate the Dark Passenger and also to keep to his morals, Dexter follows the advice of his adoptive father, Harry, and only kills those who deserve it. I’d like to see more of him. Serial killers really should not be this likable.
Deb was my second favourite character. I like the fact that she’s really driven, and fights against the men’s misogynistic views of her, even when being put on the group of undercover police posing as hookers.
The mystery goes in lots of different directions, which I enjoy. At the end, when the reveal happens, it’s just a big… wait? Where do you come from? However, this does give us some good backstory, and also gives Dexter an extra side to explore later.

Overall: Strength 3 to what I hope is the start of a bloody good series
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start for a great character, 8 Sept. 2009
By 
Dr Evil (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Paperback)
DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER introduces Dexter Morgan, a friendly blood-splatter expert for the Miami PD who happens to have a dark secret - he is also a well accomplished serial killer, murdering Miami's bad guys. In this book which is the first in the series, carefully mutilated bodies are turning up all over the city, Dexter is fascinated as each body is completely bloodless.

I read this book just after watching the TV show (both fairly recently) and it begins very similarly to season 1, with displays of Dexter's uncontrollable urges to kill and his fascination with the other serial killer in Miami. The second half of the book however is very different with some shocking surprises and a very unexpected final chapter. Lindsay's style of writing is great, all being told from Dexter's point of view (meaning that some of the characters such as Doakes, Angel and Rita aren't in it as much) speaking about his emotions (or lack of), his confused state of mind and the preparation and enjoyment of killing someone. It perhaps isn't as tense and as deep as the TV show but is still an excellent read all the same. I hate to compare it to the show as they are completely different mediums so I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series now which are completely separate to see where the story goes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Guilty pleasure, 28 Dec. 2009
This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Paperback)
I galloped through this in an evening. High-brow literature this certainly ain't, but my goodness, it is a good thriller. Kicking off from page one with a very gruesome abduction and murder (and finding myself kind of on the killer's side), I knew it was going to be a long night of the 'one more chapter' kind.

I must admit that, like others, I came via the TV series, BUT, I've only seen odd episodes of that here and there, so I didn't know the story or many of the minor characters and I probably enjoyed the novel more because of that. I have to say that I think the TV version 'sexed up' Dexter a bit, making him more appealing - no real surprise there though. The humour runs through the text though, giving a light and mocking touch to proceedings and keeping it from being just a slasher story.

On the downside, I felt the ending, though good, was a little rushed. Having seen Dexter's meticulous planning and care throughout the novel, we don't really know how he manages to get away with what happens in the last few pages. This alone was a little unsatisfactory. Ten more pages would've helped. All in all, good dirty fun. Looking forward to reading the next one.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So near, and yet..., 12 Nov. 2005
This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Paperback)
It really pains me to have to give this book less than five stars, because for most of the way Darkly Dreaming Dexter is a blistering, caustic, delirious and hugely entertaining novel that sweeps the reader up and carries you effortlessly along for the ride. However, in the closing stages the plot reverts to one too many over-used crime fiction staples which spoil the outstanding promise shown until that point. The damage is severe, but thankfully Dexter is such dazzling company before this that the weaknesses in the conclusion are not quite enough to bring the whole enterprise to its knees.
There is much to recommend this book before you get to the end, however. Firstly you must admire the originality of Jeff Lindsay’s undertaking: without ever shying away from what Dexter is, he gives us a serial killer who is not only human but also extremely likeable. There is something endearing in Dexter’s inability to understand emotion and the coldly clinical view of people that he takes as a result of this. That he simply accepts it as part of who he is, rather than lamenting it at great length, only makes him a more congenial narrator, as his cynicism, honesty and confusion are wonderful traits to observe; he never asks for sympathy and yet is still a surprisingly sympathetic character, especially as everything starts to unravel beneath him.
Lindsay’s use of back-story to explain Dexter’s beginnings is spare but effective, and the other characters are mostly effortlessly drawn with a great eye for detail – the observations that typify Captain Matthews and Vince Masouka in particular had me laughing out loud. The only real exception is Dexter’s sister, Deborah; we are assured on several occasions what a good cop she is, but she seems singularly unable to do anything on her own, running to Dexter every time any thinking is required. Granted, some of what Dexter comes up with is dependent on his own, uh, expertise, but his sister’s dependence on him to do her job for her grated with me. Thankfully, she is not around too frequently to spoil things.
Lindsay ties plot and character together with some truly outstanding writing, never losing sight of who Dexter is and what he is about; the fact that Dexter spends most of the novel at cross-purposes is also a lot of the fun here, and his own musings on the crimes being committed show uncommon bravery for a first time novelist. The book starts out of the gate so quickly that for the first 30 pages you are running to try and keep up, and Lindsay maintains a swift and effortless pace throughout as his prose veers joyously between the sublime (“Another huge new development was going to improve life for all of us by turning trees and animals into cement and old people from New Jersey”) and the delightfully ridiculous (“How bad could things be if my hair was neat?”).
All of which makes the flaws of the ending harder to bear, since Lindsay has proved himself considerably better than what he offers up. I’m not suggesting that there is an obvious better alternative, but the way it finishes feels rushed to me, as the predictability that he has staved off so well and for so long comes crashing in, leaving an unexpected sour taste after I closed the book. Lindsay is clearly a very gifted author, however, and on the strength of his creation here is most certainly a name to watch.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great crime/psychological thriller, 3 April 2008
This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Paperback)
I picked this book up because the blurb and the cover caught my eye. From opening the book I couldn't put it down. I'm not a huge fan of crime novels that are often heavy with police procedure but as this has the twist of a serial killer narrator I thought I'd give it a go, I wasn't dissapointed. It's easiness to read and sardonic humour throughout made it a fabulous book for pure escapism. The TV is good, but it certainly does not beat the books.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Funny and My First encounter with a Loveable Psychopath??!! (With one small moan at the end), 31 Dec. 2007
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Paperback)
Dexter is a blood spatter analyst working closely with the Miami Police. However, in his spare time he kills people (but only those who have committed horrible crimes themselves.) In this novel prostitutes are being found mutilated and murdered around Miami, and once Dexter has got over his admiration for the killer's `work' he decides to help his sister (a cop) to catch him and get her a well-deserved promotion.

I think that I may have been lucky that by missing the recent television series, I have nothing to compare the novel to. The first person narration in this novel is what really makes it so great , I still find it difficult to comprehend that I really liked Dexter even knowing the horrible things that he does! I think I will also remember this book as being more graphically violent than it actually is, as Lindsay manages to suggest quite a lot and leaves your brain to fill in the gaps.

The only slight problem I have is that Dexter will only kill bad men and yet still admires the work of a killer who targets prostitutes. I know this is a work of fiction, but I am getting a little tired of prostitutes being regarded as inherently bad people and therefore fodder for serial killers. In such an imaginative novel, he could have done something better.
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Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay (Hardcover - 5 May 2004)
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