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Darkly Dreaming Dexter Paperback – 27 Jul 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 238 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (27 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752865749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752865744
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.1 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Meet Dexter Morgan, the chief protagonist of Darkly Dreaming Dexter. He's a highly respected lab technician specialising in blood spatter for the Miami Dade Police Department. He's a handsome, though reluctant, ladies' man. He's polite, says all the right things, and rarely draws attention to himself. He's also a sociopathic serial killer whose "Dark Passenger" drives him to commit the occasional dismemberment. Mind you, Dexter's the good guy in this story.

Adopted at the age of four after an unnamed tragedy left him orphaned, Dexter's learned, with help from his pragmatic policeman father, to channel his "gift", killing only those who deal in death themselves. But when a new serial killer starts working in Miami, staging elaborately grisly scenes that are, to Dexter, an obvious attempt at communication from one monster to another, the eponymous protagonist finds himself at a loss. Should he help his policewoman sister Deborah earn a promotion to the Homicide desk by finding the fiend? Or should he locate this new killer himself, so he can express his admiration for the other's "art"? Or is it possible that psycho Dexter himself, admittedly not the most balanced of fellows, is finally going completely insane and committing these messy crimes himself?

Despite his penchant for vivisection, it's hard not to like Dexter as his coldly logical personality struggles to emulate emotions he doesn't feel and to keep up his appearance as a caring, unremarkable human being. Debut author Jeff Lindsay's plot is tense and absorbing, but it's the voice of Dexter and his reactions to the other characters that make this one of the most original and highly recommended serial killer stories in a very long time. --Benjamin Reese, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Lindsay applies the thumbscrew with witty relish and draws the reader in from the outset... Articulate and ghoulish, Dexter is one of a kind and his adventures never fail to entertain... Annoyingly clever. (Maxim Jakubowski THE GUARDIAN)

'A psychopath with a sense of irony and even a vestigal conscience is a novelty and so is this tasteless but witty, entertaining romp.' (Suzanna Yager SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

'Stylish, polished and very readable. Lindsay rattles off his story and does the job as professionally as Dexter does his.' (Andrea Henry DAILY MIRROR)

'A sleek black comedy' (Philip Oakes LITERARY REVIEW)

'In this debut novel, Lindsay has created many things - a mesmerising plot, stomach-turning gore, a fantastic read and the ultimate paradox, a serial killer you just can't help but love. It's the stuff dark dreams are made of.' (DAILY RECORD)

'At last a serial killer with an innovative variation¿ With a nice leavening of wit and macabre horror, Lindsay has written a memorable debut.' (MANCHESTER CITY LIFE)

'Beautifully written, witty and amusing... An interesting read, which is funny as well as bizarre.' (TANGLED WEB Bernard Knight)

'Part thriller, part police procedural and part black comedy - but the overall read is more than the sum of its parts.' (SUNDAY MERCURY)

'The best spine chiller this month has to be DARKLY DREAMING DEXTER, an excellent debut from Jeff Lindsay... A refreshing voice in the serial killer genre, it's a treat.' (THE BOOKSELLER)

'Articulate and ghoulish, Dexter is one of a kind and his adventures never fail to entertain... Annoyingly clever.' (Maxim Jakubowski THE GUARDIAN) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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By GratuitousViolets TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Jun. 2008
Format: 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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