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Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay - Book Report/Review Example

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The first novel written by Jeff Lindsay, 'Darkly Dreaming Dexter', is an unconventional piece of literature. The authors used a creative approach to the traditional genre of crime novel to produce an eccentric work telling the reader about crime, punishment, the complexities of life in the modern world, the bizarre twists of relations between human beings, and the nature of police work…
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Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
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Download file to see previous pages Lindsay builds suspense in his work in a specific way. On the one hand, he makes it clear to the reader from the very beginning that Dexter Morgan is a serial killer and he fails to control his urge: the full moon spurs his dark desires, his Dark Passenger as Dexter himself calls it. On the other hand, the book never looses its pace of suspense despite such unconventional approach. Such effect is largely due the structure of the novel that keeps the reader thrilled until the very end and even after. Lindsay divides the book into three acts, and as the novel progresses the reader is increasingly thrilled. The first act introduces Dexter, his experience and his terrible hobby, but somehow Lindsay also provides enough dark humor and details that contribute to substantial controversy in the reader's perception of the serial killer: it is not clear whether to like him or hate him. The second act goes further making the reader aware of the protagonist's dark thoughts, strange behavior, and bizarre thoughts. Sometimes Dexter believes he is sub-human, sometimes believes he is super-human, sometimes does not know whether he has any relation to humans at all: "People fake a lot of human interactions. I feel like I fake them all, and I fake them very well. That is my burden" (p.113). On the one hand, Dexter claims he is absolutely emotionless; on the other hand, the soft sides of his nature illustrated by Dexter's statements "I just want a chance at a normal life" (p. 130) or "She's the only person in the world who loves me. I think that's nice. I don't have feeling about anything, but if I could have feelings at all, I'd have them for Deb" (p.152) suggests that such claims are not true though it is apparent that his emotions reveal only in extreme situations.
And finally, in the third part Lindsay gradually leads the reader to a very complex denouement which does not provide a single hint whether Dexter's Dark Passenger wins and his light side looses, or vice-versa. However, the ending crafter by Lindsay is a little bit frustrating because of its orderliness (though many questions still remain unanswered) which is barely consistent with the complex and controversial plot. Yet, despite this detail Lindsay still managed to build a suspenseful and thrilling novel.
Another highly unconventional trick employed by Lindsay is his specific use of red herrings. In thriller stories, red herrings are used to distract the reader from the original idea or the real culprit. A red herring can either take the form of a character the author describes as the killer, but in reality he is innocent or a clue that is described as valid, but eventually turns out to be of no value. Lindsay turns this common trick upside down and reveals from the very beginning who is the killer. At the first glance, it seems that such technique contradicts the nature of a thriller story, but in Dexter's case it works perfectly well due to several reasons.
Firstly, the style of narration chosen by Lindsay is unusual for the genre: the story of serial killer is told by Dexter himself. The narration is exceptionally convincing so that the reader gets the impression of being taken inside the contradictory and bizarre mind of Dexter who ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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