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True Blood and The Sookie Books: One Man's Point of View

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True Blood and The Sookie Books: One Man's Point of View

Post  Barrister on May 12th 2010, 8:20 pm

After much cajoling from Aslinn and after some late night discussions over wine and cheese, I have decided to just put a few things down and invite the gentlemen of the forum to give their POVs of the books, the show and the characters.

When Aslinn and I first met, the first things I learned about her was she was very cute and she was a True Blood junkie (fan just doesn't describe her). I had watched the first season and enjoyed it quite a lot, and was looking forward to the second season when Aslinn explained the story we see on the telly was from a series of books and she urged me to read them.

I was a bit doubtful. I rarely read for pleasure anymore and I rarely read genre books and had not read anything about vampires since I dragged myself unwillingly through Bram Stoker's Dracula at University. But I have to say, my critique of Ms. Harris last installment not withstanding, I was captured at the first. She managed to take a legend that has seen its best day really and gave it a twist. And I fell for quite willingly our little swamp sweetheart, Sookie Stackhouse and her niave voyage into the world of the supernatural.

Being British, I have a set notion in my head about the south that is ridiculously romantic. It has to do with THAT BOOK...I'm speaking of course of Gone With the Wind. All my notions about the south came from that movie and as romantic and misleading as that is, I suppose I still do. And while Sookie is no Melanie Wilkes and definitely not Belle Watling I do see her as the wilful Scarlett, just as Aslinn does in her lovely analysis of Gone With the Wind and True Blood and the Sookie Books. There is just something lovely and intruging about her that I find ridiculously charming to me.

But I wanted a vampire I could like. I never thought it was fair the female vampires of literature and the silver screen were often more violent and feral than their male counterparts. Dracula in all his incarnations, got to be suave and debonair and seductive. Female vampires were simply bitches.

Pam was hard for me to cozy up to. She is still a bit scary to me and I have a difficult time imagining her being anything else but the authoritarian second in command to Eric. But then I read the books and I find myself fascinated with Pam. The revelation she had sex with Eric and loves him enough to run interference on his behalf softens her a bit. While I understand I would have nothing th offer her as a human companion, I think I would like to take her pub crawling. She is a game woman, and I would find her fascinating even if she looked down her nose at me. I look forward to reading more about her and seeing more of her on the show.

Then Alan Ball dropped an unexpected gift in the laps of male vampiress fandom when he gave us Jessica. Though she is very young, making her vampire erased the taboos one might have by way of older men lusting for her. At first I was coloured embarrassed by my instant attraction to her, but then as I accepted her immortality, I found myself quite shameless. In me, Jessica has a devoted follower.

The Queen of Louisiana is lovely and in the same vein of Jessica as she is beautiful and young but since her character on the show is disinterested in men, I find myself in limbo as far as my fandom on the show. In the books however, I find her intoxicating, ruthless, and I think had I been approached I would have been a goner, a devoted child just like the Saxon brothers and Andre her lover.

The men are fascinating as well. Bill reminds me of my grandfather, very old world British, a bit of a snob, but willing to care about folk who may not have had the same opportunities or education. A bit aloof, he and Bill would have rubbed along smartly.

Eric reminds me of a huge Irishman I met in university. Quiet, slow to anger, older than his true age, Pol was the one I would want by side in a brawl. Though he never looked for a fight, he never bowed out of an opportunity to throw hands. If he told you something you could count on it. Eric seems that way to me.

Jason reminds me of a feckless cousin I have and Aslinn assures me that every family has one of these. Handsome and charming and victim to a terminal boner, Jason may not be the top of my list of friends but one I am more than happy to watch from afar.

Lafayette is a great character and I am glad that Alan Ball decided to save his life. I have very few friends in the gay community I am aware of but he reminds me of my mate Phillip, who is every bit as sassy as Lafayette. There have been times I have felt put upon and estranged and after seeing Lafayette I wished I had been more brave. I had fewer obsticales and less guts, I am afraid.

Of the books, I think the one I liked the most was seven, All Together Dead. I loved the intrigue and the conflicts in the vampire world and the human world outside the hotel. I hope the next books of the series are just as exciting.

Points of View anyone? Gentlemen? Ladies?


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Join date : 2010-03-19
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Re: True Blood and The Sookie Books: One Man's Point of View

Post  Renee on June 15th 2010, 2:17 pm

After re reading Barrister’s insightful treatise on both True Blood and The Southern Vampire Mystery series fondly referred to as the Sookie Chronicles in my home I have decided to share my thoughts as well.

I admit freely that I am an avid reader and have been since I first learned to read about Dick and Jane. My love affair with vampires began in my 8th year when I discovered Dracula, my first taste being of Bela Lugosi’s timeless portrayal of the Vampire Count on late night television. I will never forget his entrance and my favorite quote “Listen to them, the children of the night, what music they make.” This led to my requesting a copy of Stoker’s novel and history, as well as a fledgling vampire lover, was made.

My delight knew no bounds when I first found True Blood while searching for something to watch one evening. Vampires, living in the open? What bliss! I embraced Alan Ball’s vision with gusto and at the end of Season 1 a hopeless addict was created leading me to seek out all that Charlaine Harris had written about Sookie and her world with the same voraciousness that I had exhibited as a child.

I have found Aslinn’s comparison of True Blood to that classic, yes even those of us living on islands in the cold and stormy Atlantic have read it and loved it, Gone With the Wind to be rather apt. Sookie does have the quintessential spark that is so vibrant in Scarlett and as a woman I both admire her tenacity and her vivaciousness while wanting to shake her till her teeth rattle because “Quite frankly Scarlett you annoy the hell out of me.” In Sookie’s case I’d like to add a swat along with the advice of “Put on your big girl knickers and act like an adult” in response to her often reactionary behavior. Yes, she is telepathic and this ability or disability, whichever is your view, has made her life difficult in the extreme. However, she has discovered a new world that, while it is filled with dangers seen and unseen, values her, desires her and offers her what she has craved most throughout her lifetime….silence and acceptance not to mention lovers, so move on.

Bill, as we follow in the GWTW vein, is very much like Ashley Wilkes, a Southern gentleman who tries his utmost to follow the code of ethics that was bred so deeply into his bones. Granted, he is now vampire and even the most courtly of men will have been deeply altered by the overwhelming changes that must occur when one is brought over. I do find it admirable that he tries to find within himself that which made him human although, most definitely, the vampire within lies beneath the surface of that exterior ready to surface when provoked. I personally find his duality intriguing, which possibly is what leads me to prefer him to our other vampire suitor for Sookie’s affections. Yes, I have read all of the books and have always believed that while Bill did wrong Sookie he was forced to those actions by others who most definitely held power over his very existence, a fact that many tend to overlook including Sookie herself.

Eric of course is the Rhett Butler of our tale, powerful, beautiful, ruthless and intrigued by Sookie on a very elemental level. Bill has her, Eric wants her and he has the resources and skills to begin a campaign to win her albeit using less than aboveboard means. I would be less than honest if I did not admit that I have found his antics both onscreen and in text amusing and I will admit that he does have a certain bad boy charm. *Eric girls, please note, I have in no way changed my allegiance with this statement*

Moving on and leaving the male vampires behind, we must now consider Jason. Aslinn is correct in saying that every family usually has a Jason in some form or another, I know my family has one although a feminine version. Whatever the gender, people of Jason’s ilk are usually amusing to spend time with and provide extended family and friends with fodder for speculation during gatherings. We can only hope that while Jason’s actions have dampened his enthusiasm, that he will regain his joie de vive and carry on with perhaps a little more discretion than before.

Next I would consider Lafayette, beautiful, flamboyant, irrepressible Lafayette who I am quite sure hides a great deal of pain behind that intriguing exterior. We know very little of Lafayette’s past as of yet, but hints have been made to a horrific childhood and adolescence that can not have been made easier by his homosexuality. However, one cannot help but admire his tenacity to continue on in his own special way. Everyone should know a Lafayette, I did in my younger days and he was glorious, although we had the same taste in men which did cause occasional interesting discussions. I am also grateful to Alan Ball for keeping him to continue to charm us and intrigue us with his antics.

Finally I must turn my attention to Sam, the last of our main men. Sweet, kind, cute in a scruffy way Sam who carries a torch for Sookie and is, to quote Mary Ann “You are so not an alpha.” Poor Sam, I sympathize with him, he’s the stereotypical example of ’nice guys finish last’. The poor guy, what he needs is the love of a good woman who doesn’t mind dog hair or giving the occasional flea bath. We all know a Sam or two, nice guys who just can’t seem to get it right or who lust after the absolutely wrong woman who’ll rip out their hearts and stomp on them if they don’t completely ignore their existence.

Moving on to the female portion of the cast.

It should come as no surprise that I am a fan of Pam, she’s never really failed to amuse me with her dry wit and her dated, yet classic clothes sense not to mention her shoes. Her irreverence towards Eric never fails and his anxiety about her reaction after he messily had a Roycewich in the dungeon was really telling as to what their relationship is. One cannot help but admire her.

On to Jessica, I have to admit I agree with you Barrister that Alan Ball gave all fans of the vampire genre a great gift. While the many fans can and do salivate over this beautiful creature I happen to find her antics amusing and watching the stronger vampires having such difficulty coping with her certainly has given me some serious laughs. Perhaps I feel this way because I have my own Jessica at home, minus the fangs, and watching someone as powerful as the mighty Sheriff of Area 5 finding himself unable to cope is enough to give me major fits of the giggles.

Next in the female vampire hit parade is her majesty Queen Sophie Ann, I’m definitely not as impressed with Alan Ball’s version of the queen. I greatly admired the queen in the books and how she ruled her subjects with an iron fist swathed in velvet, loved Hadley dearly and was as honest as a vampire could be in her dealings with Sookie often giving her leeway that we most definitely cannot expect in the queen we meet each Sunday evening. Our True Blood queen is polar opposite in every way, she is thoughtless and heedless, appearing to be utterly corrupted with the power that her station has given her obviously to her detriment. She is definitely a character we can love to hate particularly with those saber fangs.

The only human female that I consider a major character other than Sookie herself is Tara. To be honest one must feel pity for Tara, she is very much like an abused puppy, beaten to the point of viciousness but desperately craving love and affection. Only the bravest of people or those who have suffered in similar ways are able to pierce that hard exterior to find the frightened woman child within. We have been given glances into the pathology that has created Tara and seeing that can understand how she was absorbed so willingly into Mary Ann’s retinue last season. Many of us have friends like Tara, we understand why they are the way they are, we can forgive them when they hurt us but there are times when for our own protection we must distance ourselves. Poor Tara, she has received so many strikes and now to have lost her beloved Eggs, one wonders if she can recover enough to eventually open herself to friendship and love again.

As to the books, I believe my favorite was the first Dead Until Dark with Dead as a Doornail a close second and my least favorite being Harris’ last offering Dead in the Family. All this being said, I’m still hooked both on the books and the series.

That’s just my humble opinion though and should be taken as such. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


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