Dexter… a book purist’s nightmare, a screen junkie’s dream

It is virtually unheard of where a screen counterpart completely dominates its original birthplace of pages, but once every so often it does happen. One of the most prominent cases of this happening is with Dexter.

I started watching Dexter roughly the same time it started airing. I was completely captivated. This was something new. It used to be all about the movies, and series sucked, but in the last few years things have drastically changed. Movies just aren’t what they used to be, and series are filling a void so completely, it is scary to think that there was a stage where it was  not so. More time, energy and effort went into movies. Series are now the way to go.

It used to be viewed that an actor’s career was waning when they were cast for a series  How the times have changed…

Moving back to where I was… Dexter.

I love Dexter. I was so in love with the execution of the show, and then saw in the intro that the story was based on a book. Ever the book purist, I figured that if the show was that amazing, the book could only be better. This was my very rational and this time flawed logic. It never happens that screen tops pages. This was one of them.

I bought the Dexter omnibus, featuring the first three titles from Jeff Lindsay. I began with the wretched pages of Darkly Dreaming Dexter, and read through it.  I concluded my first foray into the sheets of Dexter, thinking it was roughly the same as what I had been watching, so the show was not doing too badly with breathing screen life into the story of Dexter.

I left the omnibus for quite a while then moved along to the second part of my trilogy, Dearly Devoted Dexter. I would like to clear it up, I was not reading the books and comparing everything to the series, like you would when you watch a movie and have read the book. I was hoping for something great. I hadn’t exactly loved the first one, but I had enjoyed the story. Then I began part two. Everything about it was substandard. The dialogue, the execution of events, the progression with the story and, most frustratingly, the character development. The more I read, the more convinced I became that Dexter was far suited for screen as opposed to the book that I had in my hand.

It took me months before I attempted a third venture, and I have only read two chapters from it. I cannot progress further. I don’t know what it is, but there is nothing awesome about these books. Nothing that drives me to want to know more. I feel that they are sloppy. It is so sad. It was a story that had potential, that had drive. Instead, the series knocked me off of my feet and the books left me highly disorientated.

Usually a story changes when it comes to life on a screen, and things change. Usually the execution is what drives me crazy. In Dexter, it was the way to go. I don’t know, but the series was far superior to the books.

5 thoughts on “Dexter… a book purist’s nightmare, a screen junkie’s dream

  1. Interesting … I was only vaguely aware of the book(s) on which the TV show was based but have never read them. Don’t think I’ll bother now and stick with the show… Nice write up.


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