Monday, July 11, 2011

A bit of magic...

Hey guys, Huron here, I know it has been a while.  So today I wanted to discuss something a bit different.  This could be the start of something even.  You see, besides being the dedicated gamer geek that I am, I also spend a good amount of my time doing non-gaming things, perusing Netflix, Hulu, and a few other online video places for new and interesting things to spend my time on.  My recent divergence has been an Anime called Eyeshield 21, that and Starcraft 2, which I just started playing for the first time recently, but more on that another time.  Today I want to talk about about the Dresden Files.

My first experience with the Dresden Files was the short lived (only 13 Episodes) TV Series whose poster is pictured above.  If you haven't check it out yet and you like magic, mystery, and the paranormal I would recommend you check it out.  It is a bit light, and soap opera-ie and definitely not the best show ever but it is fun and a decent series that I wish there had been more of.  I found the series on Neflix over a year ago and have watched it all the way through a few times now.  Good Stuff.

However the tail does not end there.  As it turns out the Dresden Files is a book series.  A really good book series, with around 12 novels (the latest one coming out this week) and several short stories published.  The authors name is Jim Butcher.  If you like to read, like a good mystery, a bit (read lots) of magic, the supernatural, and pretty any other kind of plot element in modern fiction today (except robots, no robots so far, but I'm only through book 2) you will find it in a Harry Blackthorn Copperfield Dresden novel.  Or the Dresden Files for short.

I have to thank a good friend of mine, James from the blog 4 Ones for scoffing at me when I said the TV series was good while at his place recently, and insisting I take the first two novels home with me that night.  Course I left them at his place instead accidentally, but as luck would have it I end it back at his place on Friday night and the first two novels end up coming home with me for the weekend.  So I started reading the first one Saturday night and was done by Sunday afternoon.  Today I felt a bit sick and stayed home from work.  To pass the time I picked up book two and in just 7 short hours devoured all 401 pages of it.  I'm half tempted to call James up and see if I can drop by to grab the next few books tonight.

Are the books like the show?  Sort of, but better, much better.  You get more of what Harry is thinking, more of his motivations, and more things happen that just couldn't work on a TV show and would have trouble taking place in the movies.  You might be able to do it on TV, but it would take a whole 26 episode season just to tell one story, and not every episode would be as good as all the others.  Lots of setup in a Dresden Files novel, lots of characters to meet and for you to get and understanding of before Jim Butcher flips that understanding on its head.

However there are things I miss about the show that aren't in the novel, or only sort of there.  One of the big characters from the show was called Bob, he is a the ghost a powerful warlock who has been dead for 10,000 year who was cursed to be linked for eternity to his skull and serve whoever possesses it.  In the TV series he is cool and witty and Harry's closest friend, teacher, confidant, and sometime conscience.  In the book he is just an air elemental bound to a skull that Harry keeps in his lab in the basement of the building he lives in who is basically a talking almanac of sorcerous knowledge, and not even kind of a main stream character in the series, at least not yet.  Also there are little differences to Harry's background, his training, and details to some of the characters that are different then the show.  Just little things that bug me, as my first experience with the Dresden Files was the show and not the books and I have already formed images in my head about several of the main characters, and many of those details aren't the same between book and TV show.  But what can you do?

Long story short, read the books and check out the TV series.  You just might thank me for it.  Also if any of you have any experience with the Dresden Files, the books or the series I'd love to hear your thoughts, so don't be afraid to share.


  1. Laura and I just listened to the first book on our way to and from Williamsburg a couple weeks ago - I agree, great stuff. Haven't gotten around to the second one yet, but I do want to pick it up.

  2. IMO: The first book is atrocious. The next two are not very good.

    Buuut they're totally worth powering through, because the series becomes Really, Really Good after them. (Though, for me, it peaks at Dead Beat.) I'd very much recommend them.

    (So, if you actually enjoyed the first few 1) how? and 2) you're in for a treat.)

    I think you've got to have seen the show before reading the books to enjoy it. That's what I did.

  3. hehe I will bring the next two to the shop tonight. He starts off weak and gets way better the more books he writes. BTW, he is coming to the B&N in Tysons on August 1st. A ton of us are going out there to get books signed.

  4. @Rushputin - I think it was having seen the series first which is why I like book 1, I was familiar with the plot as the Pilot for the series was based on book 1. I liked book 2 because of all the threads throughout the book and getting to see then come together in the end. I will admit it was a real departure from the Dresden Files I knew from the series, and really fucked up shit happened, but it worked well enough to keep me entertained.

    @BBG - Cool thanks, I won't be out till around 7 and probably won't stay long, but I will have the first 2 books to return to you.

    @wrabbit37 - Cool, I might suggest watching the series (its available through Netflix, Hulu, Zune, etc) before going much farther with the books, though if you approach them with an air of Buffy or Angel you should be okay.

  5. First book is a little weak... Second book has quite a few problems... But by book 3 things are starting to shape up into an amazing series. After book 4 I couldnt put them down and plowed through the rest of the 8 books like wildfire. Awesome stuff.

    Book 13, Ghost Story is out July 26th.

    I also recommend the Roleplaying game books as well. It's a FATE based system, so dont know how narativist you like your RPGs. Big draw for me was the writing and layout. Excellent reads.

  6. I enjoyed the show greatly, and just like another series that was short lived, Brimstone, lament the fact that it didn't run longer. Ill have to see what the Kindle price is and add them to my wish list.


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