Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bliss Part 10

... comes in the form of Jeff Lindsay's Dexter By Design, aka Book 4 in the Dexter novel series, which I'm now roughly halfway through.

Was hoping to lift a few quotes for this entry, but will leave that for another time since I don't have the books with me at the moment.

As always, there's much to gush about, but I need to hold back a little so I don't end up revealing spoilers.

Rest assured that Dexter's - or should I say Lindsay's - signature brand of super-dark humour is still present in ample doses, and early chapters set the tone fabulously as the corpses pile up in quick succession.

There's a short lull in the breakneck pace when Dexter gets side-tracked by a family crisis, but at least there're no protracted Dark Passenger monologues like those from Book 3 ( Dexter In The Dark ).

Thus far, however, Book 2 ( Dearly Devoted Dexter ) is the best of the 3 novels I've read, although I've decided to pick up Book 1 ( Darkly Dreaming Dexter ) once I get the chance, as it's become clear that something really major happened in the 1st installment, which I consider quite a shocker.

Again, I'm endlessly fascinated by Dexter's many private musings, as well as the numerous peripheral characters who flit in and out of the main picture.
I've probably said this before, but will say it again anyway - the novels are satisfying primarily as hilarious commentaries on human behaviour, with the crimes taking on a more secondary role.
But it is a testament to Lindsay's amazing writing that I'm willing to forgive the less-than-challenging crime-solving techniques just because I enjoy his witty sarcasm so much.

Still, you can have your fix of nail-biting suspense and much more fulfilling detective work by watching the equally terrific TV version.

Don't think I've ever latched onto a TV show and its novels before. This is so addictive it's positively terrifying. All my People and Time magazines haven't been touched in months! :)

I guess my great appreciation for a character like Dexter Morgan also stems from the fact that I share a few of his traits. There's the overwhelming cynicism, the morbid sense of humour, the lack of interest in physical intimacy and social interaction, and maintaining a constant balance between one's public and private personas.

A memorable quote comes from TV's season 4, where a stressed out Dexter asks, "Who are any of us really? We all have our public life, our private life...", to which his deceased foster father's ever-present spirit replies, "And your secret life -- the one that defines you."

I may not lead a secret "life" in the literal sense, but there's definitely a part of me that I share with no-one, not even my best friends or my own parents. And obviously not anywhere on this blog.

And you can bet I have a reaaally dark side. :)

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