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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Howdy everyone!

Here are this week's discussion questions for chapters 1-3 of Dead Until Dark. Just a reminder, we will be reading Chapters 4-6 this week while discussing Chapters 1-3.

As I Gertie said before, you may want to just respond to other members' answers, but I (acutally me this time) would like to encourage you to answer the questions yourself, as well. I think that will enhance your reading experience. (I did mention that I would be totally copying Gertie here, right? Voila. Gertie's initial Outlander post. Thanks Gertie!)

To continue to read from Gertie's playbook, please try to avoid using spoiler tags. Not only does it clutter up your pretty posts, but knowing what many of us do about
Eric and things that happen later in the series
, the temptation to peek is overwhelming. And see how annoying that is, when you put in a spoiler tag, but don't really reveal anything? I would love to keep stick and stake usage to a minimum in the Dead Until Dark forum, mostly to protect my own hide. Please see rule 1 for the Book Klubs if you have any questions at all regarding stick usage.

I will post the questions each week, then post my own responses after the chat. You may feel free to answer the questions now, answer them after chat (tomorrow night!), comment on someone else's post, or introduce new questions for discussion, as long as you don't spoil something in next week's reading.

Now, finally, on with the show everyone!

1. The primary focus of chapters 1-3 of Dead Until Dark is the development of our heroine, Sookie, and an overview of her relationships with family, friends and co-workers. How do you feel about Sookie? What do you think are the defining points of her character?

2. Bill is our window into the complexity of vampire culture. Through him we learn much about the vampire world and the opposing lifestyles and views within that world. What do you think of the vampire world that Charlaine has created? What feelings do you have about the contrast between Bill's life and that of Malcolm, Liam and Diane?

3. Sookie's developing relationship with Bill is a catalyst that begins changes in her relationships with other characters--Sam, Jason, even Andy. What do you think of the secondary characters we have met so far?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Of course you can join in.  The more, the merrier.  The questions are in the first post (up there).  In addition, we'll be attempting live chat on the Kindle chat board tomorrow night, starting a 9 pm Eastern time.  Please subtract an hour for every time zone back from Eastern that you live.  That way we can all start at the same time.

Welcome!

~robin
 

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I adore Sookie and her openmindedness.  That, I guess, would be my idea of a defining point of her character.

I'm afraid to comment on too much as the chapters have blurred together in my mind.  I'm going to have to go back and re-read the book as we go so I don't give anything away!
 

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My answers to the questions...am I supposed to post them?

1.  I love Sookie.  I like that she is confident and strong and tells it like it is.  She does not judge others and she is sincere.
2. I have not read or watched much VAMPIRE works, other than Dark Shadows and Dracula and never thought this would appeal to me, but it is tongue in cheek and so well done that I am indeed, hooked.  I like how the author represents the vampire world and makes it both comical, scary and fun.  as far as the contrast in Bill's life as opposed to the other vampires, I like how he is trying to "mainstream" and live more like a human because it makes the story lines more believable and keeps us interested in how his relationship with Sookie will play out.
3.  The secondary characters are interesting and it is fun to follow what happens between Sookie and her brother, friends and town members.  I like how Sookie causes the other characters to see the vampire world and how the author fully describes the mind set of each character both individually and how Sookie sees them.  It is also interesting to see how Sookie "reads" each character to help them fully develop in our eyes.
 

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I love Sookie.  I feel Charlaine Harris has truly capture the spirit of the Southern women in her character-gentile and courteous on the exterior, but tough as nails!  Also her honesty and frankness with a little sass is so endearing!

I really enjoy the vampire world CH has created.  They are creatures that don't necessarily have the feelings and attachments people have, but she gives them a kind of human side with the interaction they have with Sookie.  Making them "legal" also allows her to develop them with more human traits, not just as evil blood suckers- a lot like Angel in the buffy series.

The secondary characters all give depth to Sookie and the story.  After meeting Grandma, one sees where Sookie gets her strength and gentleness.  Her brother Jason acts as a good alter ego to Sookie.  Sam provides Sookie with a relationship where she can share some of her emotions and allows her to explain her "disability", as well as learn that her problem doesn't affect how everyone else views her-he accepts her for just what she is.  He is one of the only characters that never judges her or wants to use her.  Each character shows us another angle to Sookie, and gives insight into how others view the vampires.  Through Sookies eyes we get a good read on all the other personalities, as well as prejudices and judgements.

Needless to say,  I LOVE the series!!!!!  It's better than Buffy ever was, and I was a real Buffy fan!!


 

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robin.goodfellow said:
As I Gertie said before, you may want to just respond to other members' answers, but I (acutally me this time) would like to encourage you to answer the questions yourself, as well. I think that will enhance your reading experience. (I did mention that I would be totally copying Gertie here, right? Voila. Gertie's initial Outlander post. Thanks Gertie!)
Just dropped in to say Hi! and wish you happy discussing.

Wow! I've been quoted! I feel so famous!



Let me know how the chat goes.
 

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Here goes my thoughts!

1.  I’m really liking Sookie.  She is unflappable most times, not even flinching to learn that Dawn was into “rough sex” or that Rene, JB, and Sam all knew this, intimately.  But if the unpleasantness is personal and occurring to her, sometimes she is almost non-chalant (the whole almost dying/healing thing) and sometimes she is very flappable (the reaction to Bill after the comment about Diana not being able to have a baby).  I do like her confidence in herself, just letting any ugly comments roll right off her back.  I love that she accepts her “disability” as just being part of herself.  Sure, she’s not thrilled with the burden of having to shield her mind and play dumb all the time, but she’s not whining about it either!

2. So far, I’m really liking the mixed world CH has created.  I’m not new to vampires, being a total addict to Angel (not Buffy though!), the Immortals after Dark, the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Moonlight, etc etc.  After so many series where vampires are taboo and unknown to the human populace, I look forward to see how CH is going to meld the two worlds.  I like how Bill is trying to “settle” down and meld back into humanity with mundane things like finding plumbers and electricians.  I get the feeling that Bill ran with Malcolm, Liam and Diane in the past and is only mere steps away from returning to the lifestyle. 

3.  I agree, the secondary characters are giving us depth to Sookie.  Grandma is the rock and stability for Sookie.  Jason has got the good ol’ boy character down pat.  With Sookie’s abilities, we get not only the glimpse of who the character is, but how they feel about Sookie, vampires, and what’s going on around them.  I’m not sure how I feel about Sam though.  At first, Sam is just the boss, which puts him in a definite box for Sookie, no other relations with the boss.  Then we see Sam get Sookie to open up a bit and she starts to explore that there might be a possibility for more with Sam.  But in the scene with Dawn’s murder, Sookie probes Sam’s mind and Sam blocks her out.  But not before she saw something, I expect.  Sam later makes a comment about vampires not being human and Sookie replies tartly, “neither are you”.  I wonder what she saw in Sam’s mind……

I’m really enjoying this too.  Anyone else a bit creeped out by Bill curled around her licking her head wound like an ice cream cone and calling her dessert?  For some reason, that scene really creeps me out.  Like, need to bleach my brain, creeped out.  ROFL!!!!

Back to the book...
Donna
 

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1) I am enjoying Sookie's character. Strong, but almost innocent. Walks right into a house full of vampires and tells them off, knowing she could be dinner, but not willing to back down. Telling Andy off when he was condescending about her work, that was priceless! She has a backbone even when she has no idea where she stands.

2) CH's world is charming. Southern style with a twist. So many books that have "integrated" society are based in big cities, it's fun seeing the small town view. Having a vampire who is fighting his nature isn't new, but her take on mainstreaming is wonderful and full of little quirks! Synth blood that fills need but not lust...leaves open a big door to trouble. In comes the "bad" vamps. Enjoying the freedom legality gives them and yet feeling superior to humans, treating them like pets or party favors. They really point out the change to the food chain.

3)Grandma is the past, comfort, home. The brother is the antithesis of Sookie's innocence. Sam, the rival for her love, who is left in the "friend" postion. I think the brother might have a bigger part at some point, but they will all keep their roles. The others though...will switch sides and come and go.

Wow, I did spell check and done good! Too bad there ain't a grammer check! LOL
Sorry the post isn't well flushed out or very thoughtful, I have to run and get my daughter from violin practice!
 

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I find I'm liking this book more than I thought I would. . . .I'm not generally a big fan of vampire literature, but I'm focusing on the mystery part.  I think what makes it easier is that, while Sookie has a real curiosity about vampires and the 'culture', as it were, she does find it kind of ooky.

I like that the author doesn't write as though we should all just believe that being a vampire is normal.  And while she does talk about what they do and are, she doesn't dwell on it and go into a lot of gory detail.  She is fairly 'matter of fact' about it but not all 'in your face' while at the same time acknowledging that it's definitely not mainstream.  In the very few other books of this sort I've read, you're asked to totally believe that it's the most normal thing in the world and they'll spend a whole page talking about attacking people and drinking blood.  So you know you're dealing with vampires, but you don't have to feel like you're in the middle of some neck-biting orgy all the time.

And, as I say, the fact that the main character finds certain things repugnant is part of what makes it work for me.  I guess I don't like the ones when the main character is too into it.

I don't know if the above makes sense. . .I know what I mean but I find it hard to put in words. :-\

Ann
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
but you don't have to feel like you're in the middle of some neck-biting orgy all the time.
These have all been great responses. But I have to say, Ann, that yours has been the one that made me laugh out loud the hardest. I completely know what you mean. I think the term "fangbanger", as it is used in Harris's books, is not meant to be affectionate. I think it was coined to describe a person who is far too into that sort of behavior. And I don't think Sookie is. She mentions a number of times that she "has to store up things to think about later", so I think the vampire world is more like a scientific observation for her. Moreso, I think than an "Ooooh! Bite me! Bite me!" type of experience, if you will.

She has a backbone even when she has no idea where she stands.
Well said! Not only did she set Andy in his place rather well, I thought it was right brave of her to look a strange vampire in the eye, in a dark parking lot and say "Don't you talk dirty. I won't listen to that." What a woman. I hope to be her when I grow up.

Anyone else a bit creeped out by Bill curled around her licking her head wound like an ice cream cone and calling her dessert? For some reason, that scene really creeps me out. Like, need to bleach my brain, creeped out. ROFL!!!!
OMG, YES!!

The secondary characters are interesting and it is fun to follow what happens between Sookie and her brother, friends and town members
lol, it always is fun in these kinds of towns. Especially if you can be on the outside looking in!

Hope to see everyone in chat tonight!
 

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i just started reading dead until dark.  I'm really liking this series.  I watched the first season of true blood on hbo.  I'm looking forward to joining this discussion group.
 
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