Thursday, September 1, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

Title: The Sookie Stackhouse Companion

Author: Charlaine Harris.

Publisher: Gollancz

RRP: $32.99

ISBN: 9780575097537

Release Date: Sept 2011

Pages: 480


The complete guide to the internationally bestselling Sookie Stackhouse True Blood books.

THE SOOKIE STACKHOUSE COMPANION is a unique guide to Sookie Stackhouse and her dark fantasy southern-Gothic world, as well as an in-depth look at the award-winning HBO series TRUE BLOOD.

The book will feature a brand-new Sookie story and Charlaine's own map of Bon Temps. Other treats include: an introduction by Charlaine about the impact Sookie Stackhouse has had on her writing career and the influence on the genre at large; a large section on the award-winning HBO series True Blood; detailed summaries of each novel and entries on every important character, event and setting in the series, in Sookie's voice; an overview of Sookie's world, including information on the vampires, shapeshifter/wereanimal and fairie factions; interviews with Charlaine Harris and Alan Ball, as well as a selection of favorite Bon Temps recipes.


Charlaine Harris is the author of several New York Times bestselling series. She is married, with children and lives in Arkansas.


With books like this one, The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, it is pretty much guaranteed to reach the top 10 charts simply because of the hype around True Blood. The pinnacle of any writer’s career is when they reach this level and can relax about the worries of trying to put bread on the table and just focus on their craft.

I really enjoyed reading Charlaine's input into not just her writing process, but also how she eventually got Sookie out there into the world. I love reading the behind-the-scenes stuff, and there's plenty here. Not just about Charlaine and her many worlds, but also about the True Blood TV show and why Alan Ball loved it so much he had to make it a show.

There's some very cool stuff here--lots of valuable information.

Another thing that I particularly liked is the Life In Bon Temps section, which pretty much summarises all of the Sookie stories in order. This means that when hubby asks me if the latest True Blood season is (even remotely) close to the book or I want to remind myself, I don't need to skim through the actual books, I can just check it out here. Awesome!

Oh, and after each book summary there are some conversations, notes, and emails between Eric and Bill, which are a great way to fill in the blanks of what's going on behind Sookie's back. Very cool.

There's also a new story included in this Companion.

Small-Town Wedding fits between Dead In The Family and Dead Reckoning, and takes Sookie and Sam out of Bon Temps and into Wright, a small town in Texas. They're going to attend Sam's brother's wedding, which should be a joyful event... but turns out to be another nightmarish incident in Sookie's life. After the werewolves and shifters came out to the public, a lot of people developed a new prejudice against them. And this town seems to be filled with those people...

There’s also a really funny series of “private correspondence”—letters and emails and text messages—between Eric and Bill, with each set of letters following a summary of one of the books in the series. They’re hilarious, filled with Eric’s nonstop sarcasm and Bill’s kind of sanctimonious sincerity.

The best thing about this book was the fact that it was written by the author of the books. Often with these companion books, they are written by a third party and are bent towards the favourite likes or dislikes of that person. But with The Sookie Stackhouse Companion, you are given the extra bonus of having the personal notes of the author in the interpretation of the series. Huge plus for this.

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