Monday, March 5, 2012

- Likest Thou Jelly Within Thy Donut?

I've been a Sci-Fan fan most of my life, but I've never cared for the 'Fantasy" genre. As an example, I absolutely hated the book series "Game Of Thrones". I found George RR Martin's writing style reminiscent of a Soap Opera where nothing was ever resolved, and the default solution to any problem is to add 5 more characters and stir aggressively. He lacked focus, and I got bored with the whole thing very quickly.

But since I've been traveling much more, I've been desperately flailing about trying to find some reading material to occupy my empty time. And on a whim I decided to give that genre one more try by reading "The Dresden Files".

I couldn't be happier that I did. Harry Dresden is Chicago's only professional Wizard. You can find him in the phone book under W. He finds lost items, and runs a low rent private detective agency, and he also saves the world in his spare time.

Look - any description I give you of the world Harry Dresden lives in will only sound silly. It's a curse of the genre. But take my word for it, the world that Jim Butcher created for Harry, is internally consistent, very interesting and makes for a good story. In that way, it's at least as close to 'real life' as communism.

Harry is a wisecracking gumshoe, but has enough flaws to keep him from being too annoying. He is, more or less, a regular guy who also happens to do a little magic. He doesn't have power over the whole world, and much of the time doesn't even have power over himself. But he makes for a great story.

The title of this piece is a line said to Harry by one of his more arcane opponents in the series. It was said with a wink to how silly it sounds and and had me laughing out loud. That sort of cutesy-ness is unusual in the series, but this was well placed. Mostly in the books it's regular people coping with the supernatural on the basis that even though it's all around us, most people choose not to notice it. It's much more believable and consistent than I'm making it sound.

If you're looking for a light entertaining totally escapist read then I'd recommend the set.


Laughingdog said...

If you haven't already, go check out Larry Corriea's book "Monster Hunter International". Fast paced writing, entertaining dialogue, and the cliches/tropes that he does use are used because they work, not because he couldn't come up with anything else.

Hans said...

Welcome to the fan club! I'll second reading the MHI series, and Larry's other series "the Grimnoir Chronicles" are great as well.