I finished the book Hemlock Grove yesterday. It is awesome. The writing is extraordinary and you can tell this is a genre the author loves the shit out of (There’s a nod to Lovecraft that I’m not sure works, but I admired his audacity in doing it–in other words, I’m not sure that acknowledging something in-story is really racist but trusting your readers to know it’s a nod to something really, really racist, somehow makes it non-problematic. Not that I expect a big, complicated discussion of race, but in a book that otherwise has no such discussion, I didn’t know if I was just supposed to like the main character but understand he carries on this racist tradition in honor of his beloved grandfather PERIOD or if that was also supposed to tell me something about how he might be stupidly bound to tradition in some ways. I hope for the latter, but think it’s the former.).
But, in the end, I can’t quite shake the feeling that it’s True Blood for boys. Every place Sookie might be talking about (in the books) or noticing (in the show) a nice body and a hard dick, here it’s all fine tits and wet, glistening crotches. But it’s not just that. It’s how, in Sookie’s world, she has a home she’s firmly rooted to, given to her by her beloved dead grandmother and Peter has a wanderlust–a deliberate lack of home–instilled in him by his beloved dead grandfather.
And I kind of suspect Netflix wants you to draw the comparison as well. Otherwise, why stick a Skarsgard in exactly the position they did?
Which isn’t to say that I’m not hugely excited, still. I am. Here’s the problem I have, though. I think this book is better than the Sookie Stackhouse books. I think the show is going to be better than True Blood. I moreso also think that this is specifically intended as a corrective to the weaknesses in both and, I am 80% fine with that and excited to see it, because I can’t take another season of vampires in board rooms.
I am 20% sad that the “corrective” to the problems of the Stackhouse universe include sticking a dude at the center of it.