Saturday, July 28, 2012

Dueling Books

I am currently reading two books.  I don't usually do that because how hard is it to finish one and then read the other?  I guess it makes sense if you are doing research and looking at a bit of information here and there.  But for a novel just read it and go on.

I am a wee bit ashamed to acknowledge that I read romance books.  I actually prefer books with intrigue and a bit of romance over strictly romance.  I used to read only mysteries and then I migrated over to romance.  Now I go back and forth with a few biographies and other non-fiction thrown in.  If I had to analyze it I would say that I like the completed circle of a mystery.  Real life is much more messy and more likely to end badly.  I can get that in the news.  So a good mystery or romance finds the bad guy caught or the good guy with the girl and that is satisfying, somehow.


Don't ask me why I am reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter.  He is not as good guy.  He is a sociopath who enjoys killing people.  And yet he is the protagonist that you find yourself, in some weird way, hoping will prevail.  I don't even enjoy "caper" books or movies because I DON"T want them to get away with it.

We recently went on a long car trip with our two daughters.  Tara brought along two seasons of Dexter from Showtime to use in the DVD player behind my head.   It was rather strange to drive along listening to people being murdered or the planning of a murder.  And strangely compelling.  I wouldn't say that I am hooked and I don't have Showtime, but I did check out the book from the library to see how it differed from the series.

If you are unfamiliar with the book or the series, it is basically about a pleasant young man who has a need to kill people.  He was adopted as a small child by a policeman father who had rescued him from some unknown childhood trauma.  His father recognized early on that Dexter had some emotional issues after finding pet graveyards of the neighborhood animals that annoyed him.  He went about giving Dexter rules for who he could kill and how to get away with it.  I imagine that there are some cops that wish they could go after criminals that they know are guilty, but can't legally prove it. Dexter grows up to be a blood splatter expert for a police department which hones his skills in escaping detection.

This doesn't sound like a nice guy, but, like I said, he is strangely compelling.  Granted, the Showtime version has a slightly more likable Dexter than the book. 


I have Dog On It by Spencer Quinn loaded on my Nook.  I bought it some time ago, but have put off reading it.  I like to keep purchased books for an emergency, like a trip where I run out of library books.  I also use it to read at night when I can't sleep.  My Nook has a light so that I don't have to wake Lee to read.  So I have been reading Dexter during the day and Dog On It at night.  I need a break from the darkness that is Dexter and I am really enjoying the Quinn book.

Dog On It is the first in a series about a private detective, Bernie and his dog, Chet.  The story is told from the dogs' perspective.  Chet was almost a police dog, until a CAT ruined his final exam.  He hates cats.  He will start to narrate some part of the ongoing investigation and then get sidetracked by a Cheeto under a chair.  Dust and dirt don't interfere with his enjoyment of a wee snack.  Once he discovered a long lost portion of a burned hot dog.  After consuming it he felt kind of funny so he deposited it on the patio.  He felt MUCH better after that. 

Chet sometimes barks like Lassie to alert Bernie and then he barks like every dog to enjoy the bark.  I am enjoying Chet and will have to order the rest of the series.  I'm not so sure I will read more of Dexter.  It is a little too dark for me.

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