The TV series has been running since Oct 2006, but the books only just pre-date it (2004). I quickly spotted some major differences in the plot between the award-winning TV series and the books. The death of a major TV character in ‘Darkly Dreaming Dexter’ (book one) was a little surprising and disarming, as I really liked this character in the show (no specific spoilers here, I promise!). I also found the significantly smaller role of Angel Batista (David Zayas) a little disappointing, much more accustomed to a more prominent role in for the Latino Police Sergeant on TV. How different adaptations can be from the original texts the author intended… However, once I’d trained my brain to temporarily suspend my knowledge of the TV show content (difficult, as I am currently through four seasons of dedicated viewing), I thoroughly enjoyed the first instalment of Dexter’s serial killing spree put down on paper.
When reading the book, of course, I firmly had Golden Globe-winning Michael C. Hall cast in the protagonist’s role. How could it be anyone else?! This was closely followed by the strong portrayal of Dexter’s sister, Debra, the brilliant Jennifer Carpenter had etched in my memory. She’s a character I’d find hard to forget – love her! The other characters in the TV show were more easily reconstructed on reading the book, but naturally, there were new characters (mainly bad guys) to embellish on with my imagination.
‘Darkly Dreaming Dexter’ maintained the satisfaction I gained from the fast-paced, sometimes gory, Miami based (but oddly, California filmed) storyline in the initial novel. Dexter has new challenges, both at work and home, and is still nourishing his ‘dark passenger’. I’ve been promised the lend of book three (‘Dexter In The Dark’) shortly, and can’t wait to see what else the author has created.
I wonder how Lindsay felt when the scriptwriters for Dexter, the TV show, pulled apart his well-deliberated and cleverly constructed debut novel plot. The evolution has created entirely different beasts – although the monster the series is centred around remains. I’m sure the royalties Lindsay’s undoubtedly received from the TV series and merchandise quietened any concerns, anyway. You can even get Dexter themed bin bags!
The well-deserved Dily’s Award for Crime Fiction was a great call by the judges. I’m looking forward to more dark tales from hidden parts of Dexter’s life. I’m in luck – there’s seven novels and eight TV series in total.
Anyone else a big fan?
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** Added note**
Today, my latest Love Film (subscription DVD service, for anyone who isn’t aware) has arrived. It’s the first in the fifth TV season of ‘Dexter’. Time to forget all that happened in the book!