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The Dresden Files
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 6881
Location: Shuttling between France and the US

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:57 am    Post subject: The Dresden Files Reply with quote

Did/does anyone read the Dresden Files series?

I wasn't aware of it until I came across some fans of the series on CoS. The hero's a wizard, named Harry Dresden (same name as Potter) who solves crimes which have to do with the supernatural in Chicago. The "only wizard listed as such in the Chicago phone book". LOL.

It made me curious, so I ordered the first three books (there are, to date, 14 volumes or "case files"). The first one didn't impress me too much, but since I'd bought three, I went on to the second and this one was very good. The plot and the suspense are superb. I'm into the third one now, it's a bit like the first. Entirely different story, the author, James Butcher, is extremely inventive, but it didn't grab me as much.

However, it's an entertaining read, so I ordered the next 5 volumes.

I'd just like to know if anyone else had read it and what they think.
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Romentic



Joined: 16 May 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:30 pm    Post subject: The Dresden Files Reply with quote

Quote:
I went on to the second and this one was very good. The plot and the suspense are superb. I'm into the third one now, it's a bit like the first. Entirely different story, the author, James Butcher, is extremely inventive, but it didn't grab me as much.

Yeah, the guy has a fertile imagination. I agree that the second book, "Fool Moon", is one of the best, plot-wise and action-wise. You're "into the third" but haven't finished it, is that right? Hang on, it's a bit slow on starting, but it gets quite.... interesting!! Wait till you see what happens to Dresden's girlfriend Susan!!! Eek
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inkling7
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Harry Dresden Reply with quote

Couldn't he been just a little more imaginative and called his wizard any name but Harry - makes me think he was copying JK Rowling - just a little.....
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Harry Dresden Reply with quote

inkling7 wrote:
Couldn't he been just a little more imaginative and called his wizard any name but Harry - makes me think he was copying JK Rowling - just a little.....

I think it's a coincidence. The first Dresden book was published about the same time as the first HP book, or even a little before, I'll have to check the dates. The story is entirely different. An adult wizard detective in Chicago, solving crimes, battling vampires, ghosts and four different kinds of werewolves, with an eye for pretty women and several hot sex scenes (never gets into X-rated, though, but the hints are heavy), can't be further from Harry Potter.

No, I don't think there's any plagiarism here at all. Or if there is about the name, it would be the other way round, JKR naming Potter after Dresden. Either case is highly unlikely.
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Wildflower



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:26 pm    Post subject: Re: The Dresden Files Reply with quote

Romentic wrote:
You're "into the third" but haven't finished it, is that right? Hang on, it's a bit slow on starting, but it gets quite.... interesting!! Wait till you see what happens to Dresden's girlfriend Susan!!! Eek

You're right, I just finished the third book earlier this evening. It does get more than "interesting"! And what happens to Susan Rodriguez... Wow!!!

I've just started the fourth, "Summer Knight". Can't wait to get back to it!
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Mr. Write



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:05 am    Post subject: Why Dresden is called "Harry" Reply with quote

inkling7 wrote:
Couldn't he been just a little more imaginative and called his wizard any name but Harry - makes me think he was copying JK Rowling - just a little.....

You're off the mark, Inkling.

Wildflower wrote:
I think it's a coincidence.

It's not a "coincidence", Wildflower. It was a deliberate decision by Harry's father.

This is why the wizard Dresden is called Harry. Nothing whatsoever to do with Harry Potter.

Quote:
His father was a stage magician, eg pulling rabbits out of a hat magician. Harry's full name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, named by his father after Harry Houdini, Harry Blackstone, Sr., and David Copperfield. Harry's mother was a Wizardess, a powerful wizardess at that. She unfortunately kept company with some very bad people but Harry's largely ignorant of his mother's background until later books, which I won't go into, but it's pretty revealing and harrowing. At the age of five his father died and he was raised by a dark wizard called Justin DuMorne who tried to turn Harry into a dark magic user at 16. Having turned Harry's then girlfriend, Elaine against him, Harry went on the run but eventually got found by Justin via a summoned demon, which Harry killed. He & Justin dueled (not Harry Potter duel, but serious dirty magic duel) and Harry killed Justin by burning down the building he was in, killing Elaine at the same time.

At this point The White Council summons Harry for a trial. The White Council of Wizards is the governing body of all wizards the world over. It has magical laws, with the central law being "Thou Shalt Not Kill". Harry's judged by this council who commute the death sentence in favour of a probation of sorts. Harry is assigned a Warden of the Council who will watch Harry for the rest of his life to make sure he doesn't break any of the laws again. In the meantime he is awarded to a guy called Ebeneezer McCoy, another wizard who raises Harry for the remainder of his childhood. McCoy teaches Harry the "why" of magic as opposed to the "how", which is what Justin DuMorne had taught him. With that, Harry reaches a balance in understanding and eventually he grows up, moves out and ends up in Chicago working as a Private Investigator. He's a publically listed wizard. Unlike most wizards, he doesn't hide what he is. Most of his work is in association with the Chicago Police Department's Special Investigations Unit, headed by Lt. Karrin Murphy. He and Murphy have an on/off friendship, mainly because Harry shields Murphy from a lot of the work she brings him in on, because he thinks she can't handle the supernatural forces like he can.

Harry has a gift of the gab and often his smart comments get him into as much trouble as the magic he associates with. It can be quite funny, as well as utterly annoying. Harry has few friends, but one of them is a spirit known as Bob, who is bound to Harry and lives inside a human skull in Harry's lab. Bob is about six hundred years old and is the horniest spirit ever. Seriously, Bob is obsessed with sex and everytime Harry grants him leave out of the skull to run errands, Bob will try and get involved in some orgy... Some of the Harry/Bob moments are the funniest in the books.

Anyway, that's the abridged version.

Wildflower wrote:
The first one didn't impress me too much

The first one is a little corny, but ask anyone, they keep getting better! Agreement
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Talia



Joined: 09 Apr 2010
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Location: Kingdom of Valdemar

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Which Harry came first? Reply with quote

Quote:
Which came first? Rowling's or Butcher? Just curious.

Rowling published The Philosopher/Sorcerer's Stone about 1 year and 6 months before Butcher published Storm Front. So the whole big Potter mania, with movies and all, wasn't so big yet (when Jim was writing).

Harry Dresden is named after Harry Houdini, as his father was a professional magician. It IS a weird coincidence (to me anyway!) that TWO series about wizards named Harry are out there simultaneously!

Did anyone watch the TV series? I haven't, I wasn't aware of the existence of the Dresden Files at the time. I hear they made a few changes to Harry's outfit and car - the actor was too tall to fit in a VW, they gave him a Jeep instead.

They changed the name of the TV Lt. Karrin Murphy of the Chicago Police because, believe it or not, there is a REAL Karrin Murphy in the CPD!!! How's that for coincidence? I wonder whether Butcher knew that when he named Dresden's policewoman friend after a real policewoman? confused
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Mr. Write



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: The TV series Reply with quote

Talia wrote:
Did anyone watch the TV series? I haven't, I wasn't aware of the existence of the Dresden Files at the time. I hear they made a few changes to Harry's outfit and car - the actor was too tall to fit in a VW, they gave him a Jeep instead.

They changed the name of the TV Lt. Karrin Murphy of the Chicago Police because, believe it or not, there is a REAL Karrin Murphy in the CPD!!! How's that for coincidence? I wonder whether Butcher knew that when he named Dresden's policewoman frien after a real policewoman? confused

In a forum post Jim Butcher stated "The show is not the books. It is not meant to follow the same story. It is meant as an alternate world, where the overall background and story-world is similar, but not all the same things happen. The show is not attempting to recreate the books on a chapter-by-chapter or even story-by-story basis." continuing by saying that viewers should not expect a duplicate of the books, and those expecting it would be disappointed."

So, be warned. super grin
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Wildflower



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:51 am    Post subject: The Dresden Files Reply with quote

Quote:
The first one is a little corny, but ask anyone, they keep getting better! Agreement

You are absolutely right. I'm hooked. I'm galloping through the books until late at night or rather very early in the wee hours of the morning. At the rate of 2 days per 400+ pages books, I've just started the 6th book and have ordered the next 6. I stopped there because the last two are still in hardcover, which are heavy and not easy to read in bed.

I don't always like Harry Dresden's (or rather Jim Butcher's) humour - like Mr. Write quoted earlier, "Harry has a gift of the gab and often his smart comments get him into as much trouble as the magic he associates with. It can be quite funny, as well as utterly annoying" - but most of the time, his quips are very funny.

The plots, though, are really something. Unrestrained imagination, and the fight scenes are always so inventive and suspenseful. A little too much horror at times for my taste, though, so I'm not sure I'm going to watch the tv series, though I agree that the actor playing Dresden is very good-looking, from the photo posted in the Entertainment subforum.
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Mr. Write



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:03 am    Post subject: The Dresden Files Reply with quote

How did you like the old Japanese Knight of the Cross in Death Masks? And the atheist Black Russian Knight?

Which vampires do you prefer, those of the White, Red or Black Courts? What about the Winter Queens and Summer Queens and Ladies and Knights? super grin
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