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Dead Until Dark [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Charlaine Harris
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 2004 Sookie Stackhouse Novels

Visit our Sookie Stackhouse series feature page.

For years, Charlaine Harris has delighted fans with her mystery series featuring small-town waitress-turned- paranormal sleuth Sookie Stackhouse. Now, we are pleased to offer her first novel in the series in a special hardcover edition.

And with HBO launching an all-new show, True Blood, based on the Southern Vampire novels, the demand for Charlaine Harris and Sookie Stackhouse will be bigger than ever.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Review

Wicked fun and romance ... Reader Johanna Parker will have you laughing out loud. DAILY EXPRESS --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Charlaine Harris, who has been writing mysteries for over twenty years, is a native of Mississippi. Born and raised in the Delta, she began training for her career as soon as she could hold a pencil. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and (later) teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, and graduated to books a few years later.

After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris decided to establish a series. She began the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, which garnered an Agatha nomination. Harris's protagonist, a diminutive Georgia librarian whose life never turns out quite the way she planned, kept Harris busy for several books, but finally Harris (and Aurora) grew restless.

The result of this restlessness was the much edgier Shakespeare series -- set not in England, but in rural Arkansas. The heroine of the Shakespeare books is Lily Bard, a tough and taciturn woman whose life has been permanently reshaped by a terrible crime and its consequences. In Shakespeare's Landlord, the first in the series, Lily is caught at a moment when the shell she's built around herself is just beginning to crack, and the books capture Lily's emotional re-entry into the world, while also being sound mysteries.

Harris's latest venture is a series about a telepathic barmaid in southern Louisiana. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony for best paperback mystery of 2001. Each book about Sookie Stackhouse (and her dealings with vampires and werewolves and other creatures of the night) has gathered more readers to enjoy the books' unique blend of mystery, humor, romance, and the supernatural. The Sookie books are also being read in Japan, Spain, Greece, and Great Britain.

In addition to her work as a writer, Harris is married and the mother to three children. A former weight lifter and karate student, she is an avid reader and cinemaphile. She is a member of the vestry of St. James Episcopal Church.

Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the American Crime Writers League. She is a member of the board of Sisters in Crime, and alternates with Joan Hess as president of the Arkansas Mystery Writers Alliance. © 2004 Charlaine Harris --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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I'D BEEN WAITING for the vampire for years when he walked into the bar. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
So I was in a bookstore and I had to kill some major time and that is how I came across Harris' southern vampire novels. I had never heard of them before so I thought I would try the first one out. Well I read it in a day and went back to the bookstore and picked up the of the series that was availiable.

This book introduces us to Harris' heroine Sookie Stackhouse, a beautiful waitress in a small town bar. Not only does Sookie live in a world where vampires have recently been agknowledge as existing and are open to the public, she also has the gift/curse of being able to read people's minds.

I don't want to give anymore away but I would say that any fan of the supernatural should read this book, especially if you like your stories modern and with a sense of humour.

Currently I'm reading the second book in the series, so I can't really verify that the rest of the books are any good. But if they follow in the footsteps of Dead Until Dark, I think I will enjoy them just as much.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More "Love at First Bite" than Anne Rice May 16 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What this book has going for it is great gobs of Southern charm in the guise of its heroine Sookie Stackhouse, a small town Louisiana cocktail waitress who has this unfortunate gift of being able to read minds. Then she meets Bill, and can't read a thing he's thinking,which is a delight in her eyes.Her inability to read him is tied to the fact that he's a vampire, which in Sookies world is as common as any other race, creed, or national origin. They are referred to as "fangs" versus "humans", and it's not long before she's head over heels in love with him. The problem starts when bodies begin to pile up around town, and Sookie begins to fear for her life.
Sookie is a disarming and utterly charming character, and for me is what makes the book unique.Bill seems an interesting guy, but there's not much to him besides his lust/love for Sookie, but I'm imagining more will be revealed in subsequent books.Overall I found the tone of the book hard to classify; Is it a romance novel with an underworld twist, or a mystery novel with a romantic undercurrent? Either, both, I don't know. Whatever it is, it's amusing and worth reading providing you're not expecting Anne Rice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this book mainly because of the reviews and because she was compared favorably with Tanya Huff's vampire series and Laurell K. Hamilton. No Way! Tanya Huff's was my favorite and I enjoyed Laurell Hamilton's up to the last three books. This book did not have anything in it that caught at my attention enough to keep reading. If you are looking for a good vampire book try the above two authors or Barbara Hambly's two vampire books, or a book called the Vampire and the Cowboy. This book I would rate as boring and just plain dumb.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Expected Jan. 16 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It might have been a mistake to read this book after reading the Anita Blake series. I bought all three Charlaine Harris books and read them all in a row. I was more than a little disappointed. Some people may have found the books amusing....I didn't. I enjoy a good vampire book and found these books silly and well.........boring. Pretty much a waste of time. Sorry.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun with vampires May 15 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Charlaine Harris borrows liberally from fellow writer Laurel K. Hamilton in her girl-meets-vampire novel. However, Harris is certainly more comical than Hamilton (at times to the point of spoofing vampire fiction) as well as less interested in the macabre. The very silly author starts off on the right foot by dubbing her blood lusting hero "The Vampire Bill." Not Ambrose. Not Vladimir. Bill. Then later she one-ups herself by introducing "The Vampire Bubba" and a were-collie. Again, her bizarre love triangle (vampire-human woman-lycanthrope) is lifted from Hamilton's work. The twist here is that Charlaine Harris' heroine, Sookie Stackhouse, is psychic while Hamilton's protagonist can merely raise the dead. The author sets herself a tough task by setting her book in tiny Bon Temps, Louisiana, a town she seems to be depopulated very rapidly. If she is going to continue the series, a busload of new characters will need to move into town or the action will have to move elsewhere. There are at least a dozen murders in this book (counting four vampires and one pet cat), but they are largely "off-camera" so the content is generally not too violent or gruesome. Still, conservative parents might want to screen this book first before letting their pre-teens read it since it is fairly explicit in parts. All-in-all, Sookie is a pretty likable heroine and the book turns out to be a fun, quick-paced read for those who enjoy humorous paranormal mysteries.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Avid Reader & Reviewer April 25 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris is our introduction to Sookie Stackhouse, the Vampire Bill and the colorful town of Bon Temps, Louisiana.
Sookie, a very blonde, buxom, barmaid is not your average girl in Bon Temps. She has the ability to read other's minds. This ability is not an asset when working in a bar. Image if you could 'hear' someone's thoughts, worries, dreams, their most intimate feelings. How is a girl supposed to find a boyfriend in the backwater of Louisiana when she is acutely aware of all his thoughts? Sookie has found a solution - the Vampire Bill. Vampires where 'outed' some years ago after the invention of artificial blood. Sookie is unable to read the minds of vampires and finds great comfort in the arms of Bill.
Sookie begins her adventure with a chance encounter with the Vampire Bill and the 'Rat' couple, some local trailer park trash. Things quickly escalate as Sookie faces a series of murders that - surprise, surprise - appear to have been committed by a vampire.
Dead Until Dark is a hilarious adventure from start to finish. From Sam Merlot, the bartender with secrets of his own, to Jason, Sookie's brother and all around stud-muffin with a fancy pick-up truck, all the characters are colorful and entertaining. While Dead Until Dark is not dark, heavy, horror, it is entertaining and engaging.
Many have compared the Southern Vampire series to Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. While both series focus on human/vampire relationship, the similarities are few. Sookie lacks the predatory aspects of Anita Blake. Sookie is also very naïve, while no one would ever consider this of Anita Blake. Anita is very angst driven.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit dull
I decided to read this series after seeing the Tv show based on the books. It was an ok read but the characters seemed really wooden and unlikeable so I doubt i'll be reading any... Read more
Published 2 months ago by ravenliz
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
I found this book, just OK. I like the central characters but unfortunately it just didn't grab my full attention
Published 11 months ago by Liz Carr
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and quick read
I enjoyed the easy style of the author. It was a fun and addictive read. Fans of the show, the story is somewhat different and wouldnt spoil many suprises.
Published 11 months ago by Julie
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlane Harris dos it Again!
Couldn't put the book down! Charlain brings the characters of Bon Temps to life so vividly. Laurell K, Hamilton watch out!
Published on April 12 2012 by Pyretta
5.0 out of 5 stars SO THIS IS WHAT ALL THE FUSS HAS BEEN ABOUT
I must be one of the last people on the planet to read Dead After Dark. I also haven't had a chance (yet) to watch the True Blood series although because it's been all over the... Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2011 by Buggy
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Get Past Page One
I have been watching the True Blood series that was based on this book series since episode one. I find that the story is compelling and almost all of the characters are quite... Read more
Published on Aug. 7 2010 by Amanda Brindle
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I started reading this series a few days ago and hate to put it down. Full of wit and sass, just an amazing read. Not a sappy kiddy love or someone who can't hold there own.
Published on July 28 2010 by Copperdoo
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
I picked this up book up after I watched season 1 of True Blood and it was a huge disappointed. The writers of the show really improved every aspect of this book. Read more
Published on June 1 2010 by S. Heiberg
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm a waittress
Urban fantasy usually takes place in, you know, urban areas. Cities, big towns, and places where vampires and weres creep in dank alleys. Read more
Published on May 16 2010 by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Suggest to all Vamp lovers
LOVE this book. The whole series is great, but this book starts it off so well. So much suspense! Couldnt wait to get the rest of the books. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2009 by Courtney Parker
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