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Sookie Stackhouse Set (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood) Mass Market Paperback – 29 Sep 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
she has since told me she loves the books better than the programs as they go in to more detail, on the draw back not a fault, all she does now is say "thats not in the book" as we watch it on the TV.
Book 1 Dead After Dark, Book 2 Living Dead in Dallas, Book 3 Club Dead, Book 4 Dead to the World, Book 8 From Dead to Worse are my personal favourites. Book 9 Dead and Gone was a little disappointing, off course finally Sookie marries Eric but with no real ceremony as she was just wondering what what going on and he is not as attentive to her like Bill was so I am a Bill fan. Anyway sill waiting for the next book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Now, this is where the story gets odd. Completely independently of my reading project I had heard about and planned on watching Alan Ball's new series TRUE BLOOD. I was a huge fan of SIX FEET UNDER and was anxious to see how he would handle a series dealing with vampires. A few days after I had ordered the first four Sookie Stackhouse novels I learn to my great shock that Ball's new series was based on the very same novels. It is the most serendipitous coincidence in my life as a reader.
Because so many people have become aware of these books as a result of the TV series, a word about the differences between the two is in order. There are both definite similarities and some sharp differences between the two. The books focus much more on Sookie and less on the lives of the supporting characters, not surprising given that Sookie is the narrator in the novels. Sookie's narrative voice is for me one of the joys of the books and I miss that very personal perspective when I watch the TV series. The books are also far less sexual than the series, though there are several sex scenes (though it never descends to the pure porn found in the Anita Blake books). The series differs sharply from the books when it deals with characters other than Sookie. For instance, Tara in the books is a minor (and white--some debate this, but she is explicitly described as having olive skin, something that is virtually always said of Caucasians, and there is not a single word to suggest that she is African-American) character. Jason plays a far smaller role. Just about everything touching Tara and Jason cannot be found in the novels. Sam and Tara are not involved. Lafayette cannot be regarded as an important character in the books, though his fate in the books sets up a surprising twist in the TV series. On the other hand, Eric is as important as the other three main characters in the books, Sookie, Bill, and Sam. Still, overall the larger story arc of the first two novels very roughly adheres to the novels. If this persists into Season Three of the TV series, then it will take place to some degree in Jackson, Mississippi and will see the introduction of the werewolf community to the story.
The one huge advantage of the novels over the series is that there is just so much more that happens. Season One of the series corresponds to the first novel in the sequence. I expected that the TV show would begin to diverge from the novels in the second season and to a degree it did. The TV series introduced Sophie, the Queen of Louisiana much, much earlier than in the novels, so I think that some of the stories are going to be accelerated. So I see no reason for anyone who enjoys the show not to plunge in and enjoy a whole string of new adventures in the life of Sookie Stackhouse, barmaid and telepath. What has delighted me is how consistently superb the novels are. I felt the second novel in the series, DEAD AND LIVING IN DALLAS, was a bit less entertaining than the second book, but all the rest in the sequence were increasingly excellent. And they all mesh to tell a unified story. One novel ends and the next picks up the story perhaps as little as two or three weeks later.
The novels also introduce new and more interesting supernatural characters. The Anita Blake novels did this as well, but I felt that that series was increasingly less successful. Both series introduce weres (were wolves, were tigers, were panthers, and others), witches, vampires from other locales, and fairies. But throughout it all Sookie remains both an innocent and an explorer.
All in all, this is one of the most enjoyable long series of novels that I know. My only real disappointment is that a date has not yet been announced for the next and ninth novel in the series. Charlaine Harris (who lives in the southern part of my native state of Arkansas) has a couple of other series and 2009 apparently is devoted to those. My hope is that perhaps the success of the TV show will cause Ms. Harris to revise her plans and bring out another Sookie Stackhouse sooner rather than later.
I will add that on some boards many fans of the books don't like Anna Paquin as Sookie. I do. She isn't quite the way the books describe Sookie, being slender and not at all voluptuous, whereas in the books Sookie is constantly described as curvy and very chesty. But I think Anna Paquin gets a lot of the spirit of Sookie. She feels in her performance very much like someone who has been traumatized by hearing the thoughts of others.
If you are a fan of TRUE BLOOD, you should definitely read these. I actually prefer the books to the TV show, though I like the show as well. But if you haven't watched the show, but enjoy well written book on supernatural themes, you should read these anyway. In the recent tradition of revisionist accounts of vampires, this is one of the best.
I am hoping for a remedy of Kindle disaster.
The Sookie Stackhouse novels are set in present times in a world where synthetic blood is created and perfected. Because of the synthetic bloods creation, it turns out that vampires are actually real, and they now feel that they can "come out of the coffin" and reveal themselves since they no longer need to be feared by humans (because they can just drink synthetic blood in stead of hunting humans). These books are a great escape that are written very well, I highly, highly recommend it!!!
P.S. I actually bought the OTHER box set which has only the first 7 books, this one has the newest in paperback From Dead To Worse, but this one obviously is better because you won't have to run to the store once you're on book 7 to get book 8 like I did!
In "Dead Until Dark," Bon Temps waitress Sookie Stackhouse can read minds, which is more of a curse than a blessing. But when she meets and befriends vampire Bill Compton, she becomes embroiled in the world of vampires -- and when her grandmother is viciously murdered, she finds that the supernatural world is a lot more complicated (and close to home) than she ever dreamed.
"Living Dead in Dallas" has Sookie is hired by vampires over a kidnapping, and ends up mired in a disastrous situation involving werewolves, Texan vamps, and a fanatical religious cult that hates the supernatural. "Club Dead" brings Sookie some relationship problems when Bill becomes inattentive... and vanishes. Sookie sets out to find her absentee lover along with Eric and the werewolf Alcide, but the result isn't what she expects.
After that, Sookie has problems in "Dead to the World" when she's confronted by a devious band of Shreveport witches, as well as handling her brother's disappearance and a newly amnesiac (and naked!) Eric. And "Dead as a Doornail" embroils Sookie in the inevitable werepolitics -- someone is shooting shifters, and there's a new potential werewolf leader in town. And Sookie may be the next victim.
"Definitely Dead" and "All Together Dead" brings Sookie back to the vampire political arena. First she heads to a pre-Katrina New Orleans when her vampire cousin is murdered, and learns a surprising fact about her family tree. And then she's called to a vampire summit where the Vampire Queen of Louisiana is being accused of murder. Of course, things get rough. And "From Dead to Worse" brings trouble back to Bon Temps -- the vampire and were worlds are rocked when power struggles erupt, and Sookie must deal with the conflicts, her family history, and a wedding.
The Sookie Stackhouse series does a great job of avoiding the usual pitfalls of urban fantasy -- it's not all doom'n'gloom, gothic pomposity and angst. Instead, it's soaked in down-home Southern charm, the pleasant little town of Bon Temps, and a generally mellow, relaxed atmosphere all throughout the series.
Of course, it doesn't stop Harris from piling on gruesome murders and nasty psychos here and there, as well as a few subplots that are deftly juggled in each book. Her style is warm, steady, mildly tongue-in-cheek ("We'd dumped a body together, and that creates a bond") and quirky, and she introduces some unique ideas into the usual wolf packs and vampire bunches (such as Elvis Presley, now a vampire!).
What flaws? Well, Sookie's love life and attractiveness has her occasionally bordering on Anita Blake territory. That we don't need. Despite that problem, Sookie is a likable character -- an unpretentious and no-nonsense waitress who doesn't go looking for trouble, but whose telepathic talents often draw it to her. And there's plenty of other likable characters: the charming Viking vampire Eric, Sookie's flaky werepanther brother Jason, her down-to-earth werecollie boss Sam, and many others.
The characters who don't click are the boring, slightly creepy Bill, and the weretiger Quinn (a machismo-dripping nonentity). Bill serves a plot purpose, but I honestly don't know why Quinn is there.
"Sookie Stackhouse Books 1-8" is a solid collection of Charlaine Harris's warm, Southern-scented urban fantasies. It has some rough spots, but it's a good lighthearted read.
Just a note, I thought the cover art for all the books were kind of cheesy, but I love that about them! So I was pretty sad that the first two books didn't have the same illustrations as the original ones apart from this set.
Now about the books. Charlaine writes so well, I love that woman! The books are fast-paced and there is never a dull moment. It's so action-packed and is always making you try to solve the mysteries that lie ahead. I have to admit, there were times when it was so predictable. There were quite a few gasp-inducing moments and many laugh-out-louds as well. There are SO many characters throughout all the books, but you're able to keep track of them all thanks to Charlaine's talent. I love that she opens us up to a whole new world of supernatural beings and makes it all feel like this really could happen. Sookie's narration is so fun and sassy and smart that I totally feel like I'm on the level with her. Sookie is my role model! I'm really pleased that Sookie is not a scrawny, anorexic size 0. But instead, a squeeze-into-size 8! A buxom-babe! I love it! No dumb blonde here.
The HBO series did change some of the book's plot so drastically, it makes me wonder how they're gonna handle the upcoming books. In season 2 for example, MaryAnn the maenad had such a huge role on the show (which I had thought they were really stretching her role ridiculously even though I hadn't even read the book yet) but the tiniest in the book. And as much as I loved Lafayette on the show, it turns out he has a very minor role in the book and doesn't even show up after book 2...so that'll be interesting to see what they do with him on the TV series. A few other things to point out, Bill never killed Long Shadow the bartender, so he didn't have to go on trial and take the punishment of "turning" a person--hence, there is no Jessica in the books. Why did HBO do this? I personally think that the accuracy of the details of Long Shadow's incident is pretty pertinent in the next few books. It pretty much ruins what's really supposed to happen. Or HBO is gonna have to change the plot entirely. Also, Godric was not Eric's maker, but that doesn't ruin anything in the next books, except for it being untrue. And the whole MaryAnn turning everyone in town crazy and having them all join at a mass orgy, that SooOooo doesn't happen in the story. I think HBO just wanted to ultra sex up the series-- and I thought they definitely overdid it and was pretty distasteful. There was too much of Jason's sex-capades on the TV series when in the books, though he was known to be a man-about-town, we obviously don't visit those scenes. Because of the TV series, I was skeptical that the books may be something close to harlequin romances--so glad they're not! Whew! There are some steamy sex scenes in the book, but it's not crude like in the shows. These little scenes were a nice little treat! :)
My few gripes were that the author keeps on rehashing what had happened in the past and re-describes each character in the progression of the series. Like, we meet Sam in the first book, and he is an important character and is seen in all the books, yet the author is always describing what he looks like for the millionth time! Sorry Char, but Sam is unforgettable! I also have to agree with other reviewers that it seems like every guy IS trying to get into Sookie's pants. But I guess it makes for tough decisions for Sookie to make.
Anyway, I just can't stress enough how wonderful these books are. Though I definitely think that these books are for adults only. I know there are high school kids that know so much about sex and all that now, but I just don't think it's appropriate for them. I did not let my little sister who's in high school read this.
All in all, Sookie's the best, Jason's an A-hole and I'm in love with Eric Northman. :)
Hope this was helpful.