Harry Dresden, Wizard P.I.

While in the States, I was introduced to a TV series called The Dresden Files – I saw the first episode, which amused me enough that I bought the series on DVD when I got home, and it is on my to-watch pile.

In the meantime, I tried the original novels, by Jim Butcher, and I am hooked. I’ve just finished the fifth book in the series, and am about to start number six. There are 13 so far, so I still have a way to go. I intend to take a break after number six, partly because I have other stuff to read, but also because these are nice light reading, so I want to save a few for when I need that kind of book.

Harry Dresden is Chicago’s only Wizard Private Investigator – at least, the only one listed in the phone book. He earns his keep as a wizard-for-hire, finder of lost things, and occasional consultant for the Chicago PD’s Special Investigation unit.

I probably read as many crime and mystery novels as science fiction & fantasy, which is why I think I am enjoying these books so much. The first person narrative is stereotypically pulp detective in form, and the books come over as a cross between Michael Connelly and Stephen King. They are also very funny in parts (intentionally so, I hasten to add).

Well worth a look. Each novel is more or less self contained, but there is a story arc, so I would suggest folk start with Storm Front, the first in the series.

9 Comments

  1. I’ve got the first five, as (er, illicit) e-books – well, text files that I can read on the Palm. I’d like to read the rest of them, but the local library doesn’t seem to have them, and I can’t, alas, afford to buy them. But yes, they’re light-relief fun.

    • chris
      April 3, 2011

      With the exception of the first book, which I bought as a paperback in the US, the others in the series I have are Kindle books.

      I understand that Amazon allows me to “loan out” books to other Kindle users for 14 days, which is easily long enough to read one of these. The only note of caution on this is that some publishers don’t allow this – I guess I will only know if my Dresden File books are lendable by trying.

      “But I don’t have a Kindle”, I hear you say. However, free Kindle readers exist for both Windows and Macs (and Android, of course).

      So if you wanted to experiment a little, I’d suggest you download the correct software from Amazon for your desktop and create a (free) Kindle account with Amazon. They have a number of free books on the Kindle store, that you can “buy” for nothing, just to test it out.

      If you feel like giving that a go, and it all works, then let me know. Once I have read book 6, I will see if I can lend it to you (as “lending” it to you temporarily removes it from my Kindle). It will mean you will need to read it in front of your computer (the books are DRM protected, so you won’t be able to transfer it to your Palm).

      Of course, there is the chance that lending only works with other Kindle users who actually own a Kindle – that wouldn’t be unreasonable. However, I won’t know until I try it, and as the software is free, it won’t cost you anything but time.

    • chris
      April 3, 2011

      Looks like I may have been premature. Lending is definitely enabled in the US. I thought I had read it was enabled now in the UK as well, but all I can find is that it is intended to come to the UK, but no confirmation that it has yet.

      So sorry for raising hopes.

  2. April 3, 2011

    [NOD NOD] M & A got me hooked on these after I ran out of new J.D.Robb to borrow. Hugely entertaining. And I’m a definite Harry/Murphy ‘shipper. =:o}

    It’s particularly rare (IME) to find a fantasy series that succesfully integrates (any form of) Christian into the mix, neither as a figure of mockery nor as “the only one who really knows how the world works” (shudders at some of the hamfisted christian propogandist fantasy out there), but simply as someone who sees the world a bit differently from the main protagonist, and can work quite happily alongside him anyway. (And they each have their own good in-story reasons for seeing the world the way they do, which is excellent.)

    • chris
      April 3, 2011

      From one of the other characters (NOT Dresden):

      “When I was a Boy, I liked Elvis. Had a chance to see him in concert when we moved to california. It was a big revival meeting. There was Elvis and a speaker and my english was not so good. He invited people backstage to meet the King. Thought he meant Elvis, so I go backstage.” he sighed “found out later I had become a Baptist.”

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