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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 (336 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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 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
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Old radio show mixed with wizards!

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

Great choice on the narrator too!! i can't stop listening. I'm glad, I gave this book a chance.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Marsters improves Butcher

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



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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyable and unpredictable!

I quite like the writing style. similar to The Shard Chronicles, but not quite as dark. looking forward to reading the rest of the series!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Didn't expect to get so hooked

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

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love it

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

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good book spoiled by awful performance

The story is good - think film-noire private eye in the dodgy end of Diagon Alley.
Performance is awful - for starters the narrator is too close to the mic so you hear every inhalation; secondly many of the passages sound like the recording session is the first time the actor has read the words; and worst of all he comes across as bored. Possibly he was following direction to be a 'world weary, cynical wise-guy' but the inflection is almost monotone, the phrasing is at odds with the actual words and ultimately he just sounds disinterested.
Would buy a print version of the next book; I'm engaged to find out what happens next. Just not with Mr Marsters.

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a perfect storm

A great intro into the fantastic world of the Dresden Files. Better than reading the book. James Marsters brings the character to life.

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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.

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
  • 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 .

101 of 131 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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!

42 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J.D. GRIMM
  • 2018-07-29

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
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jacqueline
  • 2014-11-18

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
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 2012-03-19

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.

32 of 42 people found this review 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.

118 of 157 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • T. Savage
  • 2018-08-16

Narrator annoying

I honestly had trouble getting into what I think is likely a good story because the narrator was so distracting with his deep breaths, sighs, swallowing, etc. I couldn’t tell if this was intended as part of bringing Harry to life or not.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • C. Buczkowski
  • 2019-01-15

Just okay...

The story wasn’t anything special, but decent for an author’s first book (I think this is his?). I’m not too familiar with urban fantasy, but it felt pretty run-of-the-mill. The detective noir vibe was too strong for my liking, but it’s probably good if you like that sort of thing.

A big takeaway for me is that I’m not a fan of first-person point of view in fiction. It’s done well enough, but by the end of the book I sort of wanted to punch Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden in the face. Too much time spent in that annoying head of his, or maybe it’s just his ‘voice’.

Which leads me to the performance...It’s alright, but Marsters plays up Dresden’s sarcastic nature to an irritating degree. The main qualm about the performance, though, is the constant lip smacking. That could have easily been edited out, and should have been—very distracting. Hydration is important.

All told, it’s fairly underwhelming for me. I’d probably give his other books in the series a go, to see how Butcher improved as he matured as a writer, but unfortunately, I can’t get past the first-person POV.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Becki
  • 2018-08-13

So disappointing!

I had heard good things about this series of books, but I was so disappointed! The story was shallow, predictable, and mediocre at best. And even though I have been a fan of James Marsters for many years, his reading of this book was terrible! It was so full of heavy breathing, heavy sighing, and without any kind of animation that he came across as incredibly bored, which made me bored very quickly into the book. I reluctantly finished it in order to be fair, but it was so breathy that it was like listening to an 8 hour obscene phone call! So sorry, but I won't be listening to any more of these books.

13 of 17 people found this review 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!