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Storm Front

The Dresden Files, Book 1
Narrated by: James Marsters
Series: The Dresden Files, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,391 ratings)

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Summary

My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I'm the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under Wizards. Believe it or not, I'm the only one there.

With rent past due and a decent meal becoming an issue of some importance, Harry needs work, and soon. A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt. Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters to vampires, while he himself is under suspicion of the crimes.

©2000 Jim Butcher (P)2002 Buzzy Multimedia

What members say

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • West Wickham, United Kingdom
  • 14-08-09

A great story & brilliantly narrated

I confess that I am a great fan of Jim Butcher's Dresden series and was very much looking forward to hearing the audio version. Well, I am delighted to say that I was not disappointed - quite the reverse.

James Marsters (who played Spike in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is a superb narrator. He perfectly captures Jim Butcher's quirky, almost conversational style; he brings Harry Dresden himself brilliantly to life, as well as drawing the other characters with great aplomb; and he keeps the momentum rolling along without let-up. Great stuff.

As for the book itself, I think it is a model on how to write the first of a sci-fantasy series: it perfectly balances the need for thrills and spills, humour, human interest, goodies and baddies with developing the magical background and back-plot. The series improves with every book so I very much hope that Audible get the rest of the series after the first four, all of which are available on the US audible website.

Strongly recommended.

53 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Iain
  • Mid-Devon, UK
  • 20-05-11

Gripping and atmospheric

Stylish supernatural rollercoaster of a novel, Butcher captures the Film Noir genre perfectly and adds an arcane twist. Harry Dresden, the only person advertising services under "Wizards" in the yellow pages, has a knack for finding trouble. In Storm Front, Dresden becomes the target of a brutal killer who has crossed the forbidden line to kill using black magic, and has learned how to harness enormous energies to kill his victims at a distance. Treated as a suspect himself, by the police and the white council of magic, Dresden faces seemingly impossible odds - he must stop the mysterious sorcerer before it's too late.

James Marsters delivers the narrative with Phillip Marlowe perfection. I can't recommend this book enough - I can't wait to download the next in the series!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Magic meets PI

First time I have read a Harry Dresden book and looking forward to reading the rest. A good mix of PI investigations, conflict, magic and action kept the plot going until the end. The characters were well drawn and easy to emphathise with. The plot draws you into the authors world of magic, fairies, demons and humans. I was slightly put off at the start by the world weary narration, although this suits the character it seemed slightly over the top but this didn't spoil my enjoyment of the story.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Amusing and gripping

I missed the TV series but I had the impression it was the sort of story I'd like and I was right.

The story has kept me hooked and I've looked forward to my bus journey to and from work but I've even found myself listening while doing the housework - it's the equivalent of the 'unput-downable' book.

James Marsters is pleasant to listen to and although there's quite a lot of irony, which we're often told Americans 'don't get', I found the delivery spot on.

I'm definitely going to get the next one in the series.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tessa
  • Beaconsfield, BUCKS, United Kingdom
  • 03-03-11

Great fun and beautifully read.

I tried this book on a whim and i'm so pleased i did. I think i had presumed that after reading so many paranormal books written from a female's point of view that one from a mans' might be a little gung ho and hard to relate to but i was so pleasantly surprised. The protagonist has a brilliantly dry sense of humour that had me giggling out loud every now and again. It was also so refreshing to read a paranormal book that was well thought out and consistent from start to finish, not getting muddled halfway through or getting a little silly by the end. Harry's back story is explained just enough without getting bogged down in the nitty gritty and it was amazing how quickly one was able to understand and relate to the character. In addition i loved the fact that even though the male lead was strong the female roles all had a character of their own. Usually strong or atleast independant, not just simpering excuses for gratuitous sex.
This was all supported by fabulous narration by James Marsters. Such a fantastic voice for this character, he manages to capture the wry sense of humour just perfectly.
So overall i think you can see that i loved it, now on to the next one!

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • EC W
  • Hove, United Kingdom
  • 15-05-13

Dashiell Hammett with Magic bits

This is a great romp of a story. A grumpy wizard / detective, in the style of Sam Spade, with lots of fallen women, sex, power, a mob ring and a ticking timebomb of a deadline thrown in for good measure. Even though I had the plot twist figured out half way through (I've done a LOT of detective novels) the magic angle made everything fresh and new. I will definitely be getting the next book.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

ewww!

The narrators loud breathing and saliva noises were very off putting. Apart from that it was OK although he could have put a bit more life in to the performance.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Superbly read by Marsters

First of all I cannot recommend the narrator James Marsters highly enough. He has the character of Dresden down to a fine art. The combination of story and Marsters reading was exceptional, so much so that I often laughed out loud at some of the snarky comments. As for the book, well Jim Butcher has found a loophole in the Supernatural book market and created a wizard, who is funny, interesting and captivating. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • Beulah, United Kingdom
  • 07-09-10

A Wizard Detective? Great fun!

Read this book after reading an audible review of someone who had read and enjoyed lots of similar books to me. Like them, I greatly enjoyed this different and interesting book. The protagonist is like a slightly cynical, hard-nosed Harry Potter whose life didn't quite work out the way he wanted it to and is now a P.I. The story is a good one, and the usual mobster, his pea-brained henchmen and gansta-moll avoid any cliche by the unusual wizard element to the story.

Recommended as an unusual read that is well-narrated, passing the time atmospherically and at times humourously.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • SB
  • 21-04-17

great tale

My first Jim Butcher book,absolutely loved it...reeked sarcasm and humour giving Dresden an addictive quality. looking forward to going through all the Dresden Files.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom
  • 20-05-10

Excellent Story, Distracting Sound Engineering

I loved the story and the narrator voice acting, but, like others, found the excess captured physical noises like breathing, swallowing etc very distracting. The chapter or section transitions were also very abrupt...breaking the flow.

I am glad I purchased it and would highly recommend it to all, but I hope they fix the sound issues for future books.

171 of 221 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Randall
  • 05-03-19

ZERO STARS FOR THE NARRATOR !

I CAN'T STAND THE SNIFFING.

Does Masters have a cold or is he just a pig?

The rest of the book was fun and it sounds like from the reviews that the narrator
gets a little better with each book. I will try the next in this series .

101 of 131 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Radish Bliss
  • 30-03-12

STOP SLURPING THE MIC!

What didn???t you like about James Marsters???s performance?

I swear that this reader has a chicken bone in his mouth through the entire book. And if he's not eating something, he is thinking about it. And now that I've said something, that is all you will be able to hear too. You're welcome! Does he slurp? SNIFF? Salivate, and then eventually swallow it all? You betcha!! But, the story is so cool that I'll have to listen to it all again. Sick!

42 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J.D. GRIMM
  • 29-07-18

TERRIBLE Narration Great story.

Where was the quality control in this project? Multiple times you hear the narrator moving around on his leather couch or chair. He never reads the chapters, so there are no breaks at all or indicators of where you are in the story. There was even a point where you could hear ice in a glass and him reacting as he spilled it. Completely unprofessional. I would give it negative stars if I could.


The story was great though! Jim Butchers first Dresden file book was definitely one for anyone in love with mysteries but wishes for more magic in them. Definitely worth a read... book but I’d say this audio book should be a pass if you want a quality, well edited work.

23 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • G. McDermott
  • 09-12-14

Issues.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

It was a master-stroke of genius to grab James Marsters to narrate the Dresden novels.

It was a work of utter carelessness not to get a better pop filter or editor - there are so many "mouth noises" and other small sounds that don't belong in a professional recording.

I've tried three times to listen to this, and each time, I give up a few chapters in.

20 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacqueline
  • 18-11-14

Smack, Slurp, Swallow, Sigh---Repeat

My first Dresden book, I almost thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hard to get past the various mouth noises by the narrator, which my have been by design--I'm not sure. After I heard that first "smacking" noise I couldn't NOT hear them.

However, I really liked the overall story. Harry, the good Wizard who likes to read and has a fabulous sense of humor, and fights crime! I can see why these stories have such a large following.

If you enjoy off-beat crime/fiction with some fantasy thrown in, I recommend it.

44 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Celia
  • 05-02-12

Horrible narration of a decent story

Not a bad story; I think I could have really loved this series which makes the narration all the more disappointing. Not only can't this guy act, he BREATHS and SIGHS into the microphone continually which is extremely distracting. I could barely finish the book as the narration was so irritating that it was difficult to focus on the story. I kept thinking about how good it would have been with an excellent narrator. So if you value your credits don't bother.

14 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Donna
  • 13-07-09

Excellent listen and a great start to the series

It must be hard - harder than just publishing your book - to publish a book in this format. Not only does the book win or lose due to it's quality, but it has the added complication of being able to fail due to the narrator being unsuitable to the material.

This book, and it's narrator, bring Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden to wry, sarcastic life.

What the book and narrator have, the audio editing could have brought out more. You do hear James Marsters take many a deep breath, and for many of those, it seems to fit into the nature of the character being portrayed. After a while, you understand that better editing would have alleviated the background product of getting long passages of text out.

I had still made the decision to download the next few books in this series by the time I'd reached the middle of the book. I'd checked first to make sure that the narrator was the same, and he is, before doing so.

A bad narrator has often caused me to stop downloading what might have otherwise been an excellent choice. A good narrator, like this one,
has caused me to listen to entire series I might otherwise have gotten in paperback.

I recommend this to fans of mysteries, magic and modern fantasy.

118 of 157 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 19-03-12

Spit or swallow, don't talk with your mouth full

Any additional comments?

Story isn't bad. Mainly well written and generally enjoyable, although the seemingly pointless antagonism between Dresden and pretty much everybody comes across as forced.

There is however a glaring issue... constantly having to listen to the narrator sucking and swallowing. Ask a 5 year old a question during dinner and you'll get a similar sort of sound. And then there's the regular inappropriately timed sighing. If it's that hard a job being a narrator for audible I would suggest he find another line of work.

Second thoughts... he should probably find another line of work regardless.

31 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Moku
  • 21-09-09

Quirky, original story; irritating narration

I wasn't sure how I would react to this book about a private-eye wizard, but it turned out to be surprisingly engaging. The author has a vivid, eccentric imagination that draws one into his fantasy world. My tolerance for wizardry, however, has been pretty well exhausted -- I don't plan to listen to the others in the series, in part because the narrator nearly drove me nuts. His delivery was needlessly, and often incongruously, breathy and whispery, with lots of distracting sighs, lip smacking, and noisy swallowing. Perhaps he just had his mouth too close to the microphone, but shouldn't the audio director have corrected this problem? Check the sample carefully before you buy this book, and bear in mind that 8+ hours of this narrator's irritating delivery may exhaust your patience.

28 of 37 people found this review helpful