Review – The Dresden Files – Audio Books 1-12 By Jim Butcher

So, I’m listening to The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher again. The books tend to be what I think of as the literary equivalent of candy. Sometimes you want a steak dinner, and sometimes you’d really rather have a chocolate bar, and both are equally appetizing depending on your mood, while being completely different. They’re generally un-serious, they have many MANY cliches, every character seems at least partially like a caricature of a real person, but not particularly corny, or, perhaps it’s just that Jim Butcher can write corny in a way that I appreciate. Every woman Dresden meets is hotter than the next, and they start out stunning. OK maybe not every woman, but damned near. It’s all rather formulaic, sort of Hard-boiled Detective crossed with The Southern Vampire Mysteries. We have the damaged anti-hero, down-trodden and solitary yet secretly(sort of secretly at least) immensely powerful and very well-connected.

After all this, you’d think I don’t like the series. You’d be wrong. I love it. It’s funny, and it feels like it knows what it is and just plays with the fact. Of course, that part of my opinion could be coloured from having read a quote from Butcher explaining how Dresden came to be, also I have a literary fetish for damaged anti-heroes. Still, I don’t know of many authors that can make a series that is specifically started as full-on unoriginal cliche, that I like anywhere near as much as I like The Dresden Files.

You know what? I was going to review each book individually, but screw it, that would require me to stop listening long enough to write each specific review. So, consider this a review of all of the audio versions I’ve listened to so far.

Onto the audio-specific portion. The books are all read by James Marsters, best known as Spike, from the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Well, 1-12 at least. He IS Harry Dresden, and I will admit I was horrified at the idea that he would not be narrating any further Dresden books, but he only seems to have left for one, so I’m OK now. I will also admit that while listening to his voice, having only seen him on Buffy, I have trouble connecting the voice to the face. How can an accent make such a strange difference? Not only do I love his delivery of Dresden’s lines, but frankly, all of his narration is as good as it comes imho. The voices are all unique, never over-done, and women sound believably feminine. The mood intoned always matches what I expect it to be as well. Ahh, but I’ve gone on that rambling thing again, and not used my stupid little list at all.

Feh… feh upon my list, I wish not to use it, but rather to speak in unnecessarily pompous tones in this, the breviloquent epilogue to my review, as on gossamer wings it flutters away.

I err… I haven’t slept in … I don’t remember. A long time. I’m going to regret that last part when I read this again, I just know I am.

The Dresden Files

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