Dead After Ever

I haven’t read the last book in “the Southern Vampire Mysteries” yet. But I’ve read reviews of it and knows the basic plot along with the spoilers of who Sookie sort off ends up with. I can’t say I’m surprised that Charlaine Harris decided on Sam – for the first she has always stated that Sookie would never become a vampire (which leaves out Bill and Eric) and It’s my understanding that Sookie really don’t want to deal with packs (that cuts Alcide from the race of her affections) and I understand Quinn has moved on and got a new girlfriend.

I believe why many are outraged at the ending is because they’ve seen True Blood. True Alexander Skarsgård is kind of good looking and very badass as a vampire. Not another word on True Blood since I really haven’t watched it since the first season; mainly because Alan Ball just took the characters from the novels, but changed them so much that they actually could be renamed because they don’t share many character traits from the characters in the books. No a book shouldn’t be adapted word for word, and creative liberty is fine, but changing the characters to the point of being unrecognisable is no go – at least in my opinion. Oh well, back to the topic.

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The first 9 books in the series. I bought a similar collection and that’s how I got hooked.

The Eric in the novels, I really don’t like. He’s manipulating Sookie multiply times like she’s manipulating him. To me, that doesn’t sound like a great relationship at all. Actually I think it’s rather unhealthy. I was happy when her relationship with Bill fell through because I never cared much for the character. I actually rooted for Alcide at one point, but that went away quickly. Never cared much for Calvin Norris (I think his last name is) or Quinn. I found the latter annoying – although both Eric and Bill were more annoying.

I’m not saying Sam is the perfect match, but I recently reread the short story in which they go to his brothers wedding – and it was just so sweet. Yes. I admit I’ve placed my money on Sam from the beginning of Dead Until Dark. I like their friendship and I think CH neglected developing it because of all the stuff with Eric, Bill, fairies and so on which is a shame. That’s probably another reason why many fans aren’t happy with the ending.

I never believed CH would deviate from the choice of not turning Sookie. And therefore I’m in the minority who will probably like the novel when I get around to read it. Another thing I was satisfied with without reading the book is CH didn’t feel pressured by Alan Ball into turning Sookie. I believe she will be changed in the TV-series. It’s refreshing that the heroine stays human – every other novel about vampires changes the heroine/hero at the end.

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The Book Cover of the American? Edition of Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris.

I’m a little miffed that the UK website of Amazon doesn’t offer the book with this cover! I have all the other books in the same style as the one above – and it would a shame to not have the last book in the series to match the rest. I actually think it’s a geneius book cover since Sookie has always been the core of the novels. She brought the charm and wits to the books. And I like the sublteness of portraying the guys in her life that way.

The bats represents Eric (Northman) and Bill (Compton) – but why are there three bats depicted?

The dog represents Sam (Merlotte)

The tale of the tiger represents (John) Quinn

And the wolf represents Alcide (Herveaux).

The four of them have had an impact on her life in different ways during her journey through the books. But she started out alone and in some way she ends up alone since it’s my understanding her ending up with Sam – unfortunately – isn’t definite. It’s a shame Jason isn’t represented on the book cover since he’s her brother and he has helped her – in his own ways – through the books.

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Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter

Or as the TV-series is better known, “Our Mothers, Our Fathers” or “Generation War” in English.

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From left to right: Victor, Wilhelm, Charlotte, Friedhelm and Greta

Beware of spoilers! It’s a German-produced television series, which is about five young people in their early twenties. They live in Germany during the second World War. Wilhelm is a lieutenant in the army, his brother Friedhelm are in the same division as him. Charlotte is a nurse at a field hospital on the Eastern front and is deeply in love with Wilhelm, who returns them. Greta is aspiring singer and the girlfriend of Victor. Victor is a tailor apprentice in his father’s voice and Jew. They meet one last time in 1941 before they are spread to the four winds and they promise each other to meet for Christmas six months later when the war is over. This of course never happens and in the end only three of them make it back to Berlin.

My biggest problem with the TV-Series is the execution of the love story between Charlotte and Wilhelm. We never get a closure to Charlotte’s confession to Wilhelm. Many would say the biggest problems would be historical facts and so on. One thing people have to remember the TV-Series is fiction and the writers are allowed to take liberties with the historic to make it fit their story.

They don’t mention it when they meet again in the last scenes. Maybe it’s left to our own imagination? I don’t know. But it’s hard to believe them being in love when they really only shares between ten and fifteen scenes together out of four episodes lasting an average of 90 minutes. It’s a shame because the actors playing Charlotte and Wilhelm got chemistry in my opinion. If they had been smart they would have utilized that.I most say the scene where Charlotte declares her love to Wilhelm after she mistakenly been told by Friedhelm that the former is dead. I don’t understand why he didn’t follow her when she ran away. We are left hanging if she ever gets the proper explanation of why he wasn’t dead. 

On the contrary to this Greta and Victor gets a great build up and we really got to know how much they cared for each other. Hell, she even slept with an SS officer trying to protect Victor, which she failed – miserably – might I add – first time around. She completely changes after seeing the war up close on her tour. After she gets back she starts criticising the Wehrmacht which ultimately causes her death. I firmly believe she is the one except maybe Friedhelm who changes most during the TV-Series.

I really don’t understand how Friedhelm changes from a sweet and caring guy to an ice cold killing machine. His most redeeming action is that he let Victor go when he met him in a forest on the Eastern Front. And that moment served for Victor to know that Greta had been executed.

The TV-Series is low-budget compared to it’s American counterparts such as Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan, but in Europe this is a big budget for a TV-Series. It’s definitely beautiful filmed and has a great editing. And I’ve never been a sucker for war movies since I was forced to sit through “Stalingrad” 6-7 years ago. I don’t like seeing people get blown to pieces or to see injured people on felt hospitals, but this TV-Series surprised me by not dwelling with such things – I think we would’ve seen more if Wilhelm or Friedhelm was in real danger of being blown up or something like that.

The 5 friends are played by:
Volker Bruch: Wilhelm Winter
Tom Schilling: Friedhelm Winter
Katharina Schüttler: Greta Müller/Greta Del Torres
Miriam Stein: Charlotte
Ludwig Trepte: Viktor Goldstein

Disclaimer: All pictures belong to their respective owners.