There's honestly nothing exceptionally literary about DEAD UNTIL DARK: it reads like many other poorly written pulp fiction mystery series. What makes it so popular, however, is its appeal to the secret dark sides of ourselves--the part of our minds that longs to read about vampires, stalker-like brooding male love interests, and heaps of lust and romance.
The characters are rather unbelievable in their predicaments, static until they are suddenly declared in a particular state of mind for the sake of plot and entertainment. There is an uneven development of romantic interest between Sookie and Bill, and much is left unexplained in Sookie's relationships with various people in her life.
However, I enjoyed DEAD UNTIL DARK much the same way I enjoy stupid, brain-numbing movies about characters I'll never be able to empathize with: because I can't relate to them, and instead am able to sit back and observe them through a microscope without their being able to object. I didn't feel close to any of the characters, and so I was able to secretly enjoy their dramas and love triangles and whirlwind emotions. And when you think about it that way, it's actually quite an enjoyable story. Despite the lackluster writing, I was unable to put it down, and had to read it straight through.
Definitely not quality vampire literature--turn to authors like Richelle Mead for that--but as pleasurable as watching MTV with a bowl of the most fattening ice cream in your lap.
The first story about Sookie Stackhouse, a mindreading waitress whose first love is found in this book. This series now has 9 books to it, and in my opinion, they're about average in story telling and picture painting. I don't care that HBO is making a series, about Sookie: after what was done to Jim Butcher's Dresden Files I don't trust them not to ruin this interesting tale like they did Harry's. I enjoyed the series but will enjoy them more when I read them for the 2nd time in order, now that I have all of the books.
If you like Vampire novels this one is great. I'm a huge fan of the Twilight Series. This, to me, is kind of the grown up version. More graphic sexual content, language and situations. I love that Charlaine Harris is from Arkansas (so am I) so I understand the souther style of the book. Sookie is hilarious. I can't wait to read the rest of the Sookie Stackhouse series.