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  • Storm Front

  • The Dresden Files, Book 1
  • Written by: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,053 ratings)

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Publisher's 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

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What listeners say about Storm Front

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Didn't expect to get so hooked

I blasted through it and am already working on the next one in the series.

9 people found this helpful

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Magical Detective Noir

I've read through and listened to the complete Dresden files multiple times and while this may be one of the weakest of the series, it serves as a functional starting point to draw you into the world of the White Council, Chicago underworld, Seelie and Unseelie Courts and even hints at some of the larger events that will happen later.
James Marsters does a great job of voicing Dresden and I honestly can't see anyone else voicing this gravelly, nerdy, stubborn detective thrust into events beyond his ken.

7 people found this helpful

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The first book in my favorite series.

I've read all the dmDresden Files books before listening to this, and the narration and acting a gravitas that just reading it didn't. totally recommend you listen to this series at least once!

4 people found this helpful

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A white knight’s fantasy

I made it an hour and 20 minutes before giving up. I regret purchasing this book. If it gets better after the first few hours I apologize but the cringy neck beard of a main character was too difficult to listen to any longer. Incredible narration though.

4 people found this helpful

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Old radio show mixed with wizards!

I loved this book! It has that old private eye radio show mixed with the fantastical. Awesome!

4 people found this helpful

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love it

loved it
so good!
James is the bomb such a great audiobook narrator and so soothing

3 people found this helpful

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A rough start to a truly spectacular series.

The Dresden Files are an incredible series that I feel any fan of fantasy, mystery, or any number of other nerdy shenanigans owes it to themselves to enjoy. Storm Front does not make the best first impression, but the story like its characters grow over time. They become rich, complex personalities with their own wants, perspectives and needs and goals. James Marsters does a masterful job of breathing life into this universe, and you owe it to yourself to experience it.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent Listen

Such a great audiobook and Mr. Marsters kept me really engaged. So much so that I'd stop what task I was doing to just listen along.

2 people found this helpful

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Marsters improves Butcher

Thin story, great performance. Marsters' dramatic ability makes Butcher's story almost worth listening to the end.



2 people found this helpful

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it's fine?

its dumb fun mystery stories. main character is a chauvinist. it is a an entertaining easy read though if you're looking for popcorn fantasy. the sexy scenes are a bit awkward but in a kind of funny overly schlocky way.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 2010-05-20

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.

190 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Donna
  • 2009-07-13

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.

128 people found this helpful

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  • John Morrell
  • 2019-05-25

Thoroughly Boring

I've heard a lot of great things about the Dresden Files and for all I know it gets much better in the later books but I found this book sooo boring and kind of obnoxious. 1. Writing feels very poor. Lots of cliché, weak character, and personally I found a lot of the trends very obnoxious. For example, every time Dresden meets a female character, she's described in this weird sort of sexual way as though Dresden is a really insecure lonely teenager. The pace is slow, soooo slow. It just drags along with piles of uninteresting details. 2. The narration drove me mad. There is a ton of sort of mouth noises, the sound of his spit or lips clicking and him breathing in loudly, I could barely stand it. And since the whole book is in first person every line is very over acted, the cadence and rhythm lurches around like a amateur theatre actor's reading the whole thing. I'm listening to it now and I swear if he swallows audibly one more time I'm going to scream.

117 people found this helpful

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  • Randall
  • 2019-03-05

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 .

113 people found this helpful

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  • Radish Bliss
  • 2012-03-30

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!

103 people found this helpful

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  • Gibby Family
  • 2018-03-31

The Narrator Hates People

The. Worst. Mouth. Noises. Ever.
I seriously wondered if he was eating bananas.
Who hurt you James!? Who hurt you!? Drink some water and stop licking peanut butter off the microphone.
I couldn’t finish the book and I really tried.

84 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2012-07-21

Finally!!

Finally, I have found a writer in this genre that I can follow. This genre seems to be filled with so many crap writers that I had almost given up entirely. I thought the premiss for this sort of literature had so much potential, yet I could not find a good writer in the field. Jim Butcher is that writer. JB could write in any field he wants, but I am glad he chose this one.

The story is ok, the characters are even better. I especially like Bob and hope he is included in later episodes. I like how the main character, beats himself up, like we all do sometimes, but then he gives himself a pep talk and gets things done. The writing is descriptive without being overly so. A lot of time and effort was put into writing this intelligently and creatively. It is not perfect and I will have to admit I debated on rather to give it four or five stars. There are one or two times when the solution to the problem comes to easily, but this is minor and he is mostly faced with major road blocks that he uses his brain to get out of.

The narration and production is different from any I have heard before. I have listened to hundreds of audio books. In this production you will hear the narrator breathing, sometimes it is part of the acting and sometimes it is just the narrator breathing. You can also hear him swallow, change position in his chair, and parting his lips. You would think this would be distracting and for some reviewers it was. For me, it made me feel like I was sitting in a chair across from Harry Dresden as he told his story. I am not sure if they did this on purpose or not. The narrator is excellent either way.

I will be listening to more in this series.

78 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Watson H. Rhodes
  • 2010-03-15

Memorable

I've finished Jim Butcher's first 2 Dresden Files books--this title being the first--and even though I've moved on and I'm now reading other novels, I find myself thinking of The Dresden Files in the middle of the night or at random times. If I feel like reading, my mind automatically assumes (with pleasure) that I'll be reading about Harry Dresden. That's a very high recommendation for any novel.

For those who don't already know, Storm Front introduces us to Harry Dresden, a practicing wizard living in Chicago. That set up and the resulting complications are what make The Dresden Files fun to read. Harry's an interesting character, with a colorful past involving a mother who was a witch, a father who was a stage magician, and an uncle who taught Harry how to be an evil wizard.

In Storm Front, people are being murdered from the inside out, literally. For Lieutenant Murphy of the Chicago Police, it's clear something strange is going on, so she calls on Harry, who occasionally works as a special consultant to the police department, helping with crimes that appear to have no worldly explanation. The magical universe Jim Butcher has created is both believable and fascinating. Learning about that world through Harry's eyes is what I believe is the best part of these books.

I have two major disappointments with these novels: Harry Dresden and Lt. Murphy have a working relationship; yet neither trusts the other. Lt. Murphy especially distrusts Harry Dresden, and the explanation for that distrust seems weak, at best. The false obstacles she places in Harry's path caused by this distrust hurt my enjoyment of the story. At the same time, Harry Dresden has a self-blame complex. Everything is his fault and his responsibility. I found his constant need to blame himself just plain irritating, especially when there was nothing he could have done differently.

Overall, I highly recommend this novel. The good definitely outweighs the somewhat minor irritations.

73 people found this helpful

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  • Tim
  • 2012-01-19

The Wizard Sam Spade

The premise that there is a real Wizard working as a private eye in Chicago is brilliant. The execution of the story and the performance by James Marsters is similarly near perfect. There is a gritty film Noir feel to the story which makes it at once credible and compelling. It has amusing moments and enough adult content for this not to be a great read for the Harry Potter crowd. The action (of which there is a great deal) feels very cinematic; you can imagine Riddley Scott doing a great job with the mayhem and monsters. I came to this series from the Iron Druid Chronicles which I have seen described as “Dresden Light.” That’s a pretty fair assessment, the villains are darker, sexier more violent and less funny in Dresden; it’s a different kind of story. If Iron Druid is ‘Twilight’ Dresden is ‘True Blood’. That’s probably a bit unfair to the ‘Iron Druid’ as ‘Twilight’ is horrible and ‘Druid’ is terrific...but you get my point. If I have any criticism of Dresden (and it’s slight) it’s that the hero almost never has a good time. There seems to be a rule in fantasy writing that along with fabulous magical ability comes a generally horrible life …to quote the Genie in Aladdin “Phenomenal cosmic powers! Itty bitty living space.” Beyond that tiny reservation, this is a terrific story and performance which I can highly recommend.

68 people found this helpful

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  • Bill Maurer
  • 2015-04-09

Good story! Annoying narrator

It was a good book, but the narrators heavy breathing got really old really fast. Listen if you can manage.

67 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 2017-03-07

Narrateur parfait! je recommande.

Le narrateur est vraiment impliqué dans l'histoire et étant donner que le livre est à la 1ere personne, cela rend la 'lecture' parfaite!