The Reading Corner is a place where books of all genres are examined and reviewed. Comments, questions and disagreement are welcomed. Grab some coffee and a comfy chair and make yourself at home.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Real vampires

I've done it again, me and my reviewing. This time, it's a (mostly) positive look at the Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris. True Blood (one of my favorite shows) is based on them, and I'm only a little embarrassed to say that the show is the only reason I picked up the books. I am very pleased, however, to say that I was pleasantly surprised by them. They're not great, I'll be honest, but they don't really try to be. They try to be violent, steamy, interesting fun -and they are. That's all they are, and that's all they need to be. Hell, if that's all Twilight pretended to be, I might be able to like them.

Okay, that was an exaggeration.

Twilight can't even pretend to be as good as these books, because Twilight is too busy primping its hair and pretending to be a saga. It's a series. A series. Look up the definition of a saga before you sling the word around like so much mud.

The Sookie Stackhouse Novels aren't written for high-brow readers of literature. They're written for the everyday girl (or guy) looking for a little bit of lighthearted fun, and they deliver. There are plenty of flaws in the books (I get a pang every time I think of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" written as "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner"), but despite those flaws, at least there's a story. There's an interesting, complex story with interesting, complex characters. Sookie's shallow moments are human moments, not Mary Sue moments, and the characters continue to get more interesting as the series progresses.

So, while I would read these over Twilight in a heartbeat -less than a heartbeat -I still wouldn't call them good literature. But damned if I don't enjoy them.


  1. As a proud adherent to the Eggman Saga, I can't help but chuckle at the actual meaning of the word. I mean, who knew?

    Still, if a mildly anthropomorphic hedgehog with a penchant for celerity isn't the greatest heir to icelandic storytelling, I don't know what is.

    I agree with your take on the Sookie series, though.

  2. Well, I'm going to guess that the Eggman Saga is at least generally adhering to the definition, or it's satirical...either way, it doesn't seem like it's pretending to be great and lasting literature based on your description, which is one of my big pet peeves with Twilight.

  3. Oh, no! Sorry, I should've clarified... it's the name for Sonic the Hedgehog's comic series... collected as a kid... nevermind, yeah. It's all pretty bad.

    Does Stephanie Meyer actually think (/claim) that her books are all that? I've got to admit to never reading her site or knowing it firsthand, but I'm with you there.

  4. I don't know that she does (although it wouldn't surprise me), but absurd numbers of people call the series the "Twilight Saga" which is inaccurate and stupid.

  5. Oh, I just finished reading her latest book in the S.S. series a week or two ago, and to me it didn't really have the feel the other books did. It kind of rambled on until it got to the end, and I didn't really like any of the other story lines that were happening in the background. I hope the next book is better, but I guess I'll have to wait until May or June of '10 when it comes out.