Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Harry Dresden's Jim Butcher

I just posted a clip to "Dylan Dog: Dead of Night" to my facebook page. I watched the clip and noticed that the guy drives a Volkswagen.

He is a paranormal investigator of sorts, not searching for ghosts, but helping clients that are from the paranormal realm, werewolves, vampires, etc., etc. But something seemed familiar about him and seeing his car snapped my brain awake.

Jim Butcher created the character "Harry Dresden" in a story he wrote for a writing class. This grew into The Dresden Files book series and later a TV show.

Jim's teacher told it was good, continued on with it, got it published and from then on, has produced very entertaining works. The first novel, well, not so great, but it had that nugget of billiance that he has played out ever since. In the audio books, they are read by actor/musician, James Marsters, who is brilliant at doing the readings and has pretty much spoiled me for listening to any other reader's efforts. James also played a favorite character of mine on Torchwood, another short lived series. I can usually tell if I will like some TV show by how long it doesn't last in production. Joss Whedon's Firefly series comes to mind.

Jim has other novel series out there (Codex Alera series; and Darkest Hour, a Spider-Man novel; oookay....), which I haven't read and don't really care about, although, I probably would like them and will eventually most likely get to them (not real sure about the Spidey novel though).

Jim's wife, Shannon, also has a series of books out, but I haven't read those either.

"The Dresden Files" was also a short lived, single season on TV some years ago and I enjoyed them, but they weren't as good at the books. Their one great offer was the guy in the skull, Bob, a fictional character in the book series, which is portrayed brilliantly in my opinion, by actor, Terrence Mann.
 Terrance Mann
Jim as a FAQ. Paul Blackthorn as Dresden was also very good.
 (From left to right) 
Paul Blackthorne, Valerie Cruz, Terrence Mann,
Conrad Coates: the main cast of The Dresden Files

"In the world of The Dresden Files, magic is real, along with vampires, demons, spirits, faeries, werewolves, and other mythical monsters. Harry Dresden works to protect the general public, who are ignorant of magic and the dark forces conspiring against them. This makes it difficult for Harry to get by as a working wizard and private eye. The Chicago PD's Special Investigation unit, when led by Karrin Murphy, regularly employs Dresden as a consultant to help solve cases of a supernatural nature." - Wikipedia

It's not just the character, or the plot that makes this series interesting, it's also the Universe Jim has created, Harry's offset humor is also a big part of it. Something about this ongoing story (there's currently fourteen books), has captured my attention, and that's not that easy to do.

I can only say, check it out and make up your own mind. But I have always thought it was one of the sadly best kept secrets around.

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