Ink vs Pixels - True Blood and The Southern Vampire Mysteries

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This hub may contain spoilers and opinion. You have been warned.

HBO's True Blood
HBO's True Blood

The Timeline

The book almost always comes before the movie or television show and this is no exception. The Southern Vampire Mysteries, aka The Sookie Stackhouse Novels, is a series of books written by Charlaine Harris . The first book was called Dead Until Dark and was released in the summer of 2001. The first episode of True Blood premiered on HBO in the summer of 2008.

As of May, 2012, True Blood is nearing its fifth season and Charlaine Harris has released 12 installments of The Southern Vampire Mysteries as well as a slew of novellas and short stories. Both the books and the television show are wildly popular.

The Characters

There's actually not a whole lot to say here. Every character from the show and books is identical right down to their appearance. I have yet to see a character on the show that differed in any dramatic way from the book version. It's worth noting that Jessica was never in the books, but I think that she should have been! She's the only main character that I can think of that isn't in both.

Scratch that, there is one exception. Tara is a completely different person in the show. I have no idea why they strayed so far, to be honest. Tara in the books was very interesting, there was nothing to improve upon as far as I'm concerned. She's not as crude, angry, damaged or crazy as her television counterpart. The show is still great even with that change, so no harm, no foul.

The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris
The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris

The Plot and Theme

This is where things start to differ. I wouldn't go so far as to say that the show and the books are complete opposites, but they're pretty darn close. True Blood did something that always impresses me whenever any show does it. It went its own way and it did it well. When a show is based on a book and doesn't intend to follow the book, it's either going to be a masterpiece or a complete failure. True Blood is definitely a masterpiece, the ratings don't lie.

While it follows the plot of the book, it does it in a very loose way. It might hit on a few key points, but it's totally different from there. And that's a great thing, really. So many fans of the books are fans of the show. I personally know a lot of people who saw the show first and then read the books and loved them both, but that won't apply to everyone if they don't like the steamy romance genre. I started with the show and then read the books and I don't regret it because it definitely didn't ruin the show for me.

Both of them are violent and gruesome. While True Blood can be pretty adult oriented at times, The Southern Vampire Mysteries novels are steamy romance books with a gruesome and twisted story. Both are excellent mysteries with great plot lines. The stories themselves are quite different. Though the end of a book may be close to or exactly the same as the related season of the show, the paths that they take to get there are often very different.

The verdict? As far as I'm concerned, they each get a 10 out of 10 in every way. I highly recommend both, especially if you are already a fan of one or the other.

Comments 2 comments

Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

I've loved Sookie since the beginning, and think that the show is awesome. It's a real treat for fans of the book, because we don't know exactly what's going to happen. It's a great way for HBO to keep long time fans hooked.


BonnyC profile image

BonnyC 4 years ago from Georgia Author

That's spot on, Georgie. Thanks for the comment!

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