Saturday, October 17, 2009
My Sookie Stackhouse Triumph
Recently, I scored a major victory in my “Mom, I don’t like to read” quest. I’d signed up for the Sookie Stackhouse challenge, and in anticipation of fulfilling the challenge requirements, I’d bought the boxed set of the first seven Sookie novels.
At the time, my son had just discovered the “True Blood” television series; I told him it was based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and waved the boxed set under his nose.
Sure enough, about two weeks later, he ambled into my office and nonchalantly asked where the Sookie books were.
Without hesitation, I gave him the entire set.
He took off with them, and read them all in a week. Yes, a week!
After he finished the first book, I asked him, “So, how do the books compare to the television series?”
He gave a shrug. “The television shows are better.”
When he’d finished the boxed set, I asked him again how the books compared to the television series.
“They’re different. But they’re both good.” Pause. “So, did you say there are some more books in the series? Are you planning to get them soon?”
“Admit it! You like to read, don’t you?”
“No, not really.”
“Do you want those last three books in the series or what?” (I am not adverse to certain levels of bribery, if you really want to know.)
“MOM! That’s not fair!”http://msbookish.com/the-mom-i-dont-like-to-read-quest-and-a-mini-review-of-leviathan-by-scott-westerfeld/
From Financial Times ( yes, seriously )
The must-see series is True Blood (Channel 4 Wednesday), produced by Alan Ball (the man behind Six Feet Under) for HBO and adapted from Charlaine Harris’s vampire stories. It continues the HBO tradition of a genre that mixes genres: it’s part-vampire movie, part-sitcom based round waitresses in a Louisiana bar, part-mystery, part-soft(ish) porn, and overall a brilliant comic creation.
Anna PaquinIn this world, vampires have just become a recognised minority following the passing of the Vampire Rights Amendment and the provision of synthetic blood supplies so that they need no longer prey on humans. Liberals, such as waitress-heroine Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin, pictured), approve: confronted with evidence that vampires have not abandoned their bloodsucking ways, she says “I happen to think that to judge people on the actions of a few is wrong!”
She falls in love with a handsome vampire and offers him her (rare) virginity; he, falling for her, restrains his desire to sink his fangs into her and keeps his literally bloodthirsty colleagues, who come to his ruined plantation for blood and sex romps, away from her. Around them, young men and women couple, scratch a living and bemoan the boredom of small-town society. Sookie’s best friend, Tara, who is black, mocks whites for their supposed racism or their obvious stupidity, playing with affirmative action pieties for her own advantage and amusement.
It’s a monstrously fine and funny piece of work, because it so cleverly comments on contemporary anxieties, fads and follies while telling a story at the same time. And it is witty too: a tabloid headline on a counter proclaims “Angelina to adopt a vampire baby”. Contemporary American society has been imagined anew, with all its crazinesses and its grandeurs. It’s how comedy should be.