The first short-story collection in the number-one New York Times- best-selling series - including brand-new Harry Dresden short stories!
Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of best-selling author Jim Butcher - a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan, as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago's only professional wizard.
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©2010 Jim Butcher (P)2010 Penguin Audio
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I've wanted to get my hands on the various Dresden short stories for some time but was stopped by two things: 1) I'm not a huge fan of anthologies, where most of the shorts appeared, and 2) the audio format versions were not read by James Marsters.
Jim Butcher did make some bits available on his website for reading, but the remainder appeared in Mean Streets, My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding and My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon, among others. All the stories are placed in the context of the Dresden-verse timeline. The last, which takes place immediately after Changes, appears nowhere else. Some of these are, as the author admits, not the best effort, while some are not to be missed, particularly Thomas' grimly determined everyday battles with the monsters he is related to as well as the one within him.
James Marsters is less a narrator, and more a one man show. I've probably noted it in another review, but it really can't be said enough the difference between someone who is merely reading, and someone who evokes the scenes, emotions, characters and interactions and portrays them well. I've been disappointed by books by best selling authors that were narrated in the barest sense of the word, and have followed other authors around in part because of the narrators chosen to read their works. Mr. Marsters is definitely in the latter category.
If you are a fan of the series, you probably know all these things, and just want the punchline: Yes - if you have been following the adventures of Dresden and company, do get this book. If you have never heard a Dresden novel, these stories are still good, but will have more meaning when you have read some of the other novels.
The fact that it ends.
Damn you Jim Butcher and your compelling characters! I started listening to the Dresden Files while on my daily commute and burned through all the books in a matter of a couple months. Side Jobs is another great book in the series.
Jim Butcher's skill in writing and development with the characters just keeps improving. This is a fun collection as you can get a feel for the growth through the stories written over time, ending with a great novella.
I recommend this book, and the entire series.
While I've listened to several of these stories read by other narrators, nobody brings Butcher's characters to life like Marsters does. I also enjoy the background Butcher shares before each story, giving a glimpse into the man behind the man inside the duster. This was just the fix I needed to carry me through until Ghost Story is released. If you are new to The Dresden Files, I highly recommend starting with Storm Front, but then come back and enjoy these wonderful additions to the series.
While I have kept up with the novels, I???ve never really hunted down the short stories. Anthologies sound like a great way for authors to get short fiction out there and to expose readers to other authors . . . unfortunately I???m just not one of those readers. I???m not willing to plunk down the money for a book that only has one short story I???m interested in. . .and that view goes double with my audiobook credits.
So, Side Jobs has been a wonderful injection of new Dresden Files stories for me, and a welcome relief while waiting for the next novel to be released. The stories provide some wonderful insights into Thomas and Murphy and other characters, along with a few really great short adventures with Harry. On top of that we get commentary from the author about each short story, the anthologies, and the people who put them together.
Among all the other wonderful books coming out right now, I am so glad I made time for this one.
And, as always, James Marsters does a great job.
I am so grateful for Mr. Butcher and Mr. Marsters. I wanted to get the anthologies that contain the Dresden short stories, but did not necessarily want to listen to all of the stories written by other authors. I also couldn't imagine listening to any Dresden stories narrated by anyone other than James. This is a prayer answered. The stories are classic Harry and shed a lot of light on things just glimpsed in the series. My only negative is that I still have too long to wait for the next installment. Bravo!
But it's Dresden so...If your a fan of the series and need a fix, this does the trick.
Most of these short stories are not new, however it is still great to hear James Marsters narrating them. Even if you own all the other short story anthologies that these stories first appeared in it is worth a purchase for the new stories contained within. People new to the series or that have not read all the novels may feel a little lost.
Jim Butcher writes some very compelling short stories in his book Side Jobs. I am not a fan of short stories but I gave this a try. I loved every story in the book.
I would highly recommend reading the series in order though, before reading this book. It will make more sense if you undertand the characters and plot lines going on.
I've found all of the Dresden series to be highly entertaining. The action is intense and the dialog is at times cheesey but believable and actually realistic. The characters, mortal or otherwise are easy to relate to and are fun to interact with. Side Jobs has been a good read thus far and the "writer's comments" in between stories have been a way to relate to the author. I suggest any Dresden file to all readers.
James Marsters gives another wonderful reading of the popular NYTimes bestselling author Jim Butcher's works--this time a collection of the author's short stories.
As a fan, it's an enjoyable romp through the series history with a tidbit of enticement for his future work coming out in July called Ghost Story. Butcher knows that his addicted fans can't wait, so he manages a simple gift for the dedicated to ease the cruelty he's inflicted on his characters and thus on us. Think of them as high caloric snacks between courses. Not necessary, but they enrich the entire experience at the table!
I own the paper editions; I devour them, but hearing James read them simply makes life enjoyable. Let's be honest, doing a search for chapters and hearing his rich voice say, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 etc... is as thrilling as when he's actually reading the work!
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