Hey all! Because I often have a commute, I’ve recently started going through the audiobooks of The Dresden Files (narrated by James Marsters AKA Spike from Buffy), and it’s pretty good. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to start it. The way the story transitions into a PI-story-but-he’s-a-wizard to the larger world is pretty cool, and most of the characters are believable and likable.
The series is by no means perfect, though. I feel like the main character is often TOO interested in describing women in elegant detail, and that sometimes turns me off, also the sex scenes are not great (but at least it’s not like a Harry Turtledove novel!). But all in all, I’m enjoying it. I’m up Proven Guilty, so maybe it gets worse, but I don’t think so.
What does everybody else think?
I am a big fan. Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher?) can definitely be a bit sexist and sometimes even homophobic, but I still love the books overall. I can sort of hand-wave it away with a “well that’s just Harry’s character, not the author”, but it’s still a bummer.
As it turns out, I like urban fantasy a lot. Whoddathunkit. It gets sorta worse as the series progresses, but only within a very specific setting/circumstance, which, again, can be justified by character POV. Can… I won’t spoil it, because I think you’re not there yet. U: Well, I guess spoiler-text is a thing: lesser spoiler, when he starts hanging out with the fae, greater spoiler, when he becomes a fae champion guy he gets even more horny.
They’re extremely fun novel equivalents of lightweight snacks, and it feels like we’e been waiting on the next novel for-e-v-er----
Oh yeah, I know about that thing. I’ll reserve judgement when I actually get to that point (Is that white night or the next one?), but in general, I find that it is really hard to justify problematic things happening within the fiction (This video is a really good discussion on this). However, people can enjoy things even though they are problematic, and who knows how it will change once that next book comes out at some point.
I do like these novels a lot, and James Marsters’ performance adds a lot to the audio book. Especially when (Spoilers for Small Favor) Dresden is praying after Michael’s injury. He gets that twinge of desperation and indignation just right.
Dresden is a real sexist asshole though. Like, (Spoilers for Proven Guilty) the second that Molly agrees to be mentored by him, his first instinct is to control her sexuality–he forbids her from having sex or even from masturbating. It’s played for laughs (Molly says something like “You’re kidding, right? Right?” as the scene ends) but that doesn’t make it OK.
It’s hard for me to tell if Jim Butcher is also a sexist or if he’s written a sexist character. Other characters call Dresden on his sexism regularly, and there are plenty of diverse female roles in the story, ranging from bad-ass cop to homemaker. And (spoilers for Cold Days) When Molly becomes Lady Winter, Mab compliments Dresden on how skillfully he’s manipulated her into loyalty to him. And he has improved somewhat over the series, going from hiding information from Murphy to ‘protect’ her to recognizing that she can handle herself. So my hope is that there’s a long character arc where he will improve that character flaw over time.
Yeah I completely agree. With both of you. I recognize the shitty things, but enjoy the series anyway! I’m hoping there’s an arc somewhere in there. We’ll see.
I don’t remember exactly when that event happens. Could be White Knight!