Return of Santitas #CBR4 #Review No. 12 # Deadlocked: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris
Is Charlaine Harris kidding me?
This book amounts to an unedited description of the minutia of Sookie Stackhouse’s daily life. Do I really need to read about every trip Sookie takes to the grocery store? It’s not necessary to know that Sookie passed the time with Maxine Fortenberry at the Piggly Wiggly. Don’t worry, Sookie still made it to work 15 minutes early.
On checking her email:
…I had ten messages. Two were from Kennedy and Holly, setting a time to pick me up. Since that as a done deal, I tapped the Delete button. The next three were ads. Those were gone in a flash.
On opening her snail mail:
I sorted through the mail I’d picked up at the end of the driveway, throwing most of it into the trash can. I had to fish my electric bill out after I tossed it along with a furniture-sale flyer.
Not to mention that this girl cannot return to her own home without a surprise visit from one supernatural being or another. Harris does not trust her readers to remember anything about previous books, nor does she have the skills to subtly incorporate reminders or character sketches. The entire book reads like the introduction to a Babysitters Club or Sweet Valley High book.
I think the constant minutia might be Harris’s way of world-building–somewhere underneath all the detailed making of iced tea and passing the time at the post office the reader can excavate a mannered and friendly Southern culture. And to her credit, Harris has populated this world with regular people. Everyone is a waitress or a struggling shop owner or a construction worker or a cop. No one has a glamorous career and many of the characters are living on the edge financially.
In between trips to the Piggly Wiggly, Sookie manages to get involved in a murder, go to a fairy strip club, attend a potluck wedding, have hot sex with Eric Northman, fight with Eric Northman, interfere in fairy politics, and kill someone in her kitchen. Yet the most memorable part of this book was when she successfully campaigned for the staff at Merlotte’s to get lockers for their things. Say what you will about Sookie, but she is a real campaigner for her fellow worker. Like Norma Rae, but with a tan!