Customer Reviews for

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

just...amazing...

This book was an awesome read. A serial killer who only kills "bad people", what a concept, huh? and it makes for a great story. I saw the first two seasons of the series on showtime and loved it, so I decided to give the books a try. I picked this one up the other day ...
This book was an awesome read. A serial killer who only kills "bad people", what a concept, huh? and it makes for a great story. I saw the first two seasons of the series on showtime and loved it, so I decided to give the books a try. I picked this one up the other day at a local used book store and once i started reading it I couldnt put it down. I figured that since i still knew most of the plot line it wouldnt be as intriguing but it deffinitely was. finished it in about 3 days and thats fast for me because normally I'm doing all kinds of other things and just don't have as much time to read, but I made time for this book. Lindsay just pulls you in and engrosses you into the story. And I never thought i would be rooting for a serial killer not to get caught. I was also highly surprised to see that the 1st season of the show stuck pretty closely to the book. Of course they added some things and changed a couple things but all the basis was there and a lot was the same. This book was thrilling, exciting, funny,....it had it all. so if you are even considering this book. Give it a try..i don't think you will regret it.

posted by blake_taylor on July 15, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

A Case in Which the Show is Better

I'm a huge Dexter fan when it comes to the show on ShowTime, so I decided to take a stab at the books once I found out the show was based on a series. Huge disappointment. The show is much more intense and the story and plot details outshine the book's ideas. This is de...
I'm a huge Dexter fan when it comes to the show on ShowTime, so I decided to take a stab at the books once I found out the show was based on a series. Huge disappointment. The show is much more intense and the story and plot details outshine the book's ideas. This is definitely a case where the show is more deeply involved than the book.
There are twists and turns in the show that keep the audience enthrawled with Dexter's character and the characters around him, but the book lacks any sort of excitement. The way the show manages to mold all the characters together and twist the audience's mind into thinking bad guys are good guys and good guys are bad guys is just amazing.
I had to force myself to finish this book, and I am usually a quick reader. This book, however, had me reading it for over a week and it's less than 300 pages. This was probably the case because every time I sat down to read it I became SO bored that I actually attempted to find anything and everything else to do.
It you're attempting to read this book because you love the show, have second thoughts and Don't.

posted by anna-b on December 31, 2009

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  • Posted July 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    just...amazing...

    This book was an awesome read. A serial killer who only kills "bad people", what a concept, huh? and it makes for a great story. I saw the first two seasons of the series on showtime and loved it, so I decided to give the books a try. I picked this one up the other day at a local used book store and once i started reading it I couldnt put it down. I figured that since i still knew most of the plot line it wouldnt be as intriguing but it deffinitely was. finished it in about 3 days and thats fast for me because normally I'm doing all kinds of other things and just don't have as much time to read, but I made time for this book. Lindsay just pulls you in and engrosses you into the story. And I never thought i would be rooting for a serial killer not to get caught. I was also highly surprised to see that the 1st season of the show stuck pretty closely to the book. Of course they added some things and changed a couple things but all the basis was there and a lot was the same. This book was thrilling, exciting, funny,....it had it all. so if you are even considering this book. Give it a try..i don't think you will regret it.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Case in Which the Show is Better

    I'm a huge Dexter fan when it comes to the show on ShowTime, so I decided to take a stab at the books once I found out the show was based on a series. Huge disappointment. The show is much more intense and the story and plot details outshine the book's ideas. This is definitely a case where the show is more deeply involved than the book.
    There are twists and turns in the show that keep the audience enthrawled with Dexter's character and the characters around him, but the book lacks any sort of excitement. The way the show manages to mold all the characters together and twist the audience's mind into thinking bad guys are good guys and good guys are bad guys is just amazing.
    I had to force myself to finish this book, and I am usually a quick reader. This book, however, had me reading it for over a week and it's less than 300 pages. This was probably the case because every time I sat down to read it I became SO bored that I actually attempted to find anything and everything else to do.
    It you're attempting to read this book because you love the show, have second thoughts and Don't.

    8 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 3, 2011

    Not bad

    I saw the tv series before reading the book. I could picture the cast acting out the scenes. Dexters narritive is sometimes to descriptive and lost me at some points. Overall a good quick read. Looking foward to the next book!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2008

    Good twisted fun, a real original

    Having been introduced to the show before even knowing there was a literary basis for it, I had high hopes for this book. I was not disappointed. Lindsay does a superb job of engaging us with his now iconic anti-hero, making Dexter a fully realized human being who is charming and repulsive in almost equal measure. Though some reviewers have expressed a preference for the televised version, I think this book makes a solid companion piece that will fit nicely on the shelf of any fan of the series. I'd also urge anyone who enjoys the deliriously twisted world of Dexter to check out Crimson Orgy, a new novel by Austin Williams that blends dark humor and jolting suspense/horror to great effect.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Good and Funny, with a Bit of Insight

    I'm aware of the Showtime Dexter series but have never gotten round to watching it. Then a friend recommended the series after viewing the multiple seasons in a marathon viewing session. I opted to read the first novel in the series. Go straight to the source, I say. Well, I enjoyed the dark humor. I especially appreciated Lindsay's ability to help us understand the cold unemotional world in which a sociopathic psychotic killers lives. For me, this is the best aspect of the novel. I found myself imagining what that must be like, to feel nothing, to relate to no one, to be always putting a show to deceive people into thinking you are like them and you like them. However, I found other aspects of the book not as compelling, in particular the reveal at the end, which I will not reveal, even though almost everybody reading this probably knows what it is. Good, but for the better serial killer fiction, see my recommendations.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    TV series is definitely better but still an interesting read

    I watched the first four seasons of Dexter before reading this book. The TV series is definitely more interesting because of the character development and fleshing out the plot. Still an interesting and quick read. If you are a huge fan of the TV series you should probably skip these books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2004

    Don't miss this one!

    A very original voice with a very original idea - you have to like Dexter - killer or not! I read this weeks ago and have gotten more copies for my staff and am recommending it like crazy. A must read for anyone who loves quirky, well written books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2014

    Like many people i found Dexter on Showtime. I was hooked and no

    Like many people i found Dexter on Showtime. I was hooked and not to long ago the show ended. I wanted more so I decided to give the first book a try, i was not disappointed one bit . The book was different from the show but no so different that the show was unfaithful to the material.
     The book was more just Dexter, it didn't have all of the supporting story lines like the show did. This book is Dark and Devious and unexpectedly comedic. To any one that has seen the show i highly recommend you read these books. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014


    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    Love

    Let me start by saying that I am a devoted fan of both the books and the TV series. Many people on here have said they prefer the show to the book based on story and character progression. I think people fail to keep in mind that books and film/TV are completely different formats with different rules for engagement. This book was meant to be the beginning of a series, so of course it can be a little slow at times. The show has to keep a certain pace to keep viewers. Thus why other characters have larger roles in the story and Dexter has a new kill in almost every episode. The books delve more into Dexter himself and his twisted psychology. A lot of the reading consists of Dexters internal dialogue. It gives the reader a deep understanding of The Dark Passenger, as well as an understanding of just how disconnected from humanity he really is. The show does a good job of presenting some internal dialogue as narratives. Also, Michael C Hall did an outstanding job bringing Dexter to life. His unassuming appearance, expressions, quick wit and knack for dark humor is SO Dexter-esque.

    Excuse the long post, but overall I say give both a shot and appreciate them for the differences that bring the whole world of Dexter together.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    If you've already watched the first season of Showtime's Dexter,

    If you've already watched the first season of Showtime's Dexter, you may struggle with this book. I watch both the show and read the books, and love them both - but keep them completely separate in my head. I don't try to reconcile what happens in the books with what happens in the show. The two Dexters start out very similar, as TV Dexter was based on this written Dexter, but if you continue with the books, and the show, you see that these really are two different characters. TV Dexter is far more normal, and written Dexter is far more damaged. Of the two I actually find written Dexter more intriguing and interesting. The books are written beautifully, and are a pleasure to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2012

    Better than the show!!

    I highly reccomend it! These books are amazing and the author is a genius. He makes a violent serial killer more than likeable not only by giving him a set of morals, but by giving him a witty sense of humor that greatly appeals to the dark, twisted streak in us all (much like Jhonen Vasquez's 'JTHM', which was actually the first thing that came to mind when i started reading this book...). I've only read the first three books so far, but i can honestly say i love this series! Trust me; read the first chapter and you'll be hooked : D

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    God it's disturbing how good this is

    A slow to start at first but then it turns very bloody & very "Dexter"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2012

    Very good

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It gives you a lot of information about Dexter's childhood/trauma and his foster father, Harry. The descriptions of his dark passenger are fascinating. I love the interactions (aka. face-offs between them) of one dark passenger to another. Not to mention that he is a serial killer of killers, all according to the rules of engagement taught to him by Harry. Even more surprising is that he rigidly follows the Harry rules every time.

    You are introduced to his sister and brother. His outlook on relationships and work is so dry, but he tries to put a positive spin on it all. Dexter's darkness spliced with a sense of humor keeps me reading these books in short order. The only thing that bothers me is the large amount of self pity and self loathing that is repeatedly mentioned. However, it serves the purpose of making him more human. It's okay.

    I read book #5 first, so it was interesting to go back and meet his brother for the first time. You do not have to read them in order (as they are nearly self contained novels), but it is best to develop with the characters from the beginning.

    I will be reading all of these books. I liked them that much! I have very few series that I commit to reading thoroughly, but this is one of them.

    -AvidReader

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Loved this book!

    This book is awesome! Read this book super quick. The beginning of the book matches up perfectly with the first season but it doesnt match up as the book continues. The show is different compared to this book. Youll see what Im talking about once you read it. FYI: Deborah is super annoying in the book just like in the show. Grrrr.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2011

    This book and the series are excellent!

    This book and series are extremely well-written and give the reader quirky characters that stretch the boundaries of what it is to be "bad" or "good." The unexpected protagonist is a surprise and it is to the author's credit that the reader ends up caring about Dexter and his world. If you've been watching the HBO series, forget about it - the televised series cannot hold a candle to the books for character development and interaction. Seeing the world revealed through Dexter's eyes is an experience. And the books just keeps getting better and better. Turn off the tube and head for the bookstore!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    Simply wow!

    I have not watched the series. I have always had the impression that Hollywood screws everithing up. Therefore, I will not comment in relation to that.

    This novel had me on my toes the whole way. It almost made me feel criminal. In my thoughts I was a cheerleader and I was cheering for Dexter the whole way. I felt every feeling he had or had not. Picturing every moment. I guess we all have a little bit of Dexter inside us...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent

    This first installment in the Dexter series is also the basis for the television series based on Lindsay's character. The television series is very different from the book series, so be sure to remember that as you read/watch. In a television show, you need to have constant twists/turns/hooks to keep audiences coming back every week. In a book, however, you have more time to examine/develop characters and you can spend more time on each plot. The Dexter books are fantastic, mainly because of Lindsay's voice. His first person narrative [as Dexter] is just incredible, and the voice is smart, funny, and very quick. Dexter's thought processes are fascinating, and we are reminded of Ellis's American Psycho as Lindsay brings the inner workings of a killer to life. Both the books and the television series are great, and I won't go into which is better - but this is a book review, and you really should read this book as well as the rest of the Dexter series. Lindsay is a great writer, and Dexter is a character that deserves your attention.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2011

    EXCELLENT

    The book is very much different from the showtime series! Better in my opinion. The book is way more descriptive (which a past review complained about)...but it kinda has to be since it is a book and not a show! The tv series switched it up so much it seems like a total different story. So it's pretty fun to be with the same characters...but with a different story. Bravo Jeff Lindsay! I already have bn holding a copy of book #2 at the front desk!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2004

    Wonderfully original

    Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the most original serial-killer novel I have ever read. I read a ton of thrillers (aka serial-killer novels) and Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the best book I have read in quite a while. Jeff Lindsay takes this watered down genre and injects a twisted (but great) sense of humor and made me actually care for what I thought would be an unlikeable character. I absolutely loved this book and will handsell it like crazy. I am anxiously awaiting the next Jeff Lindsay book. OK, I am done with this review, but I urge you to buy this book. When you finish it, you will tell your friends about it and they will tell their friends and so on and so on and so on....(well, you get the picture, don't you?) READ THIS BOOK. You will have a bloody good time!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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