Book #26: Storm Front

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My friend Chuck has been going on about these Harry Dresden novels by Jim Butcher. So I thought I'd give the first one, Storm Front, a read. Eh.

Harry Dresden is a wizard who lives in present-day Chicago, advertises his services in the yellow-pages (which doesn't always sit well with his fellow magical practitioners) and, you know, fights crime.

The premise is intriguing enough, but the book didn't really grab me. (Well, I did tell Erica I had to finish a few pages before I could have dinner last night. I mean, you can't just put down a book in the middle of a giant scorpion attack.) Besides the generally lack-luster writing, the Chicago setting of the novel kept bothering me. Because, aside from some geographically accurate details about going down to the Dunes, it's not really Chicago, it's a Generic Big City. For example, Harry Dresden's apartment is on 10th. Except, there is no 10th St. (8, 9, skip, 11.) And there's a crucial scene where Harry is trying to escape from a demon by getting over the bridge on Reading Rd. Which also doesn't exist. Jim Butcher lives in Oklahoma, but there are these things called maps...

OK, I'm not sure why it bugs me so much. I guess it especially grates since I just read The Last Hot Time which really captures the feel of Chicago, albeit transformed by magic.

Oh, and this is egregiously mean, but compare the first six words of Jim with the fourth paragraph of this essay.