5 Reasons to Read – The Dresden Files

butchersbooksIt’s time to share some reading suggestions. So enjoy this new segment “5 Reasons to Read” where I will promote various works I think has something special to offer. Kicking it off with The Dresden Files.

Dresden Files by Jim Butcher is an excellent take on the contemporary fantasy genre. The series takes the classic fantasy elements and mixes it with Chicago’s gangster mythology and adds a John McClane-esque protagonist. Jim Butcher combines complicated plots with deep moral philosophy, gut wrenching violence, dark humour, sex and a celebration of geekdom in one excellent series. Add a dash of brimstone and a sprinkle of quasi Latin and you’re good to go.

5 reasons to read The Dresden Files:

  1. Its John McClane with quarterstaff! Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is a wonderfully mental character, with the skills / knowledge / stubbornness to survive just about anything thrown at him, is as glib as a Spider-Man and as philosophical as a warrior monk with anger management issues.
  2. Its a realistic world! A fully fledged magical society interwoven with the today’s Chicago (and elsewhere) that could realistically be hidden from us unlike the more fanciful Harry P. variety.
  3. Its a narrational smorgasbord! Almost all characters has depth, ambition, secrets and scars. Words have subtext hidden beneath subtext, and while some aspects or plot points are predictable (for the genre savvy), the books regularly surprise with twists, turns and clever framing.
  4. Its morally ambiguis! Taste the Nietzschean inner conflict. Harry is just a guy trying to do the right thing against incredible odds. Good or bad rarely comes into it. Every characters designation of good, evil and/or neutral always comes down to framing, motivation and perception is and how they perceive reality.
  5. Its written with the audience in mind! for Jim Butcher knows and respects his audience. And it comes through in his writing, in the attention to detail, various little nods too geekdom, fantasy literature and historical events.

I have become a massive fan boy, even if there are characters I dislike and stories that leave scratching my noggin at times. I enjoy the writing style, the characters and James Marsters audiobook interpretation is brilliant.

But what do you think? Am I giving him too much credit? Are his books  the equivalent of pulp fiction and his characters oddly stereotypical, and I just haven’t noticed? Let me know.

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