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Storm Front

The Dresden Files, Book 1
Narrated by: James Marsters
Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (541 ratings)
Non-member price: $41.00
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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
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Eager Start

I had heard a lot about the Dresden Files, it was highly recommended to me by my friends with the advice that it may be slow to start but the series pays off in the long term. I found I actually thoroughly enjoyed the first book and am looking forward to the rest. The plot gave a good grounding point for the stories to come and it introduces Dresden almost like a layman, if not for his power it isn't too hard to imagine him as just like anyone else, at the same time he isn't crazily powerful, nor does he suddenly just have destiny dumped on him, he's a regular office worker, except in magic and he's a private eye... and he doesn't have any money.
The narrator was what truly tied it all in for me. I considered it a stellar performance, it was the same as Daniel Radcliffe being the perfect image of the young harry potter we all had in our minds on reading the philosophers stone for the first time. The voice just clicked into place, to me James Marsters is Harry Dresden. I also appreciated the effect that not editing the narrator, to cut out his breathing and the sounds he made when he opened his mouth, had on the story. It legitimately made it seem as though the story was being recorded by dresden after the case. At the same time it also gave me a sense of presence, it was though I was sitting in a room with Marsters casually reading a book which I thouroughly enjoyed.
If you don't read the rest of the review at least read this, I would HIGHLY recommend this book to ANYONE.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The Dresden Files - Storm Front

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Noir and grizzled detective settings aren't appealing to me. However, I enjoyed the mystery, action and crime aspects of the book.

I didn't like the way the main character Harry made comments about every attractive woman he met, and eventually it became hilarious as well as bad. But he was occasionally likeable. Harry has a sense of humour and didn't seem to take himself too seriously all the time, which was nice.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jim Butcher again?

Previously I had read The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher and loved it. I was eager to try something else by the author, but Storm Front definitely has a different feel to it, which is fine. I won't be reading any more books from the Dresden Files series. Still may try out Codex Alera though.

Have you listened to any of James Marsters’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This was the first time I had listened to narration from James Marsters. He is an excellent narrator and does really well with emotional, hurt and crying scenes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A dull story

The book is boring and it's difficult to get into when the mouth noises from the narrator haven't been edited out. There's lots of sighing and lip smacking. It was painful.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting creation

Overall this book was pretty enjoyable, it integrated and explained this mixed world that included wizard. It was fairly well-paced and interesting.
The one thing that I disliked about this book was that with the introduction of every single female character he had to mention their appearance, and whether or not they were attractive and feminine and the tone the performer used was very off putting and uncomfortable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Listen, Sweet Story, Nice Tight Plot

I can't believe the author wrote this as a joke it's so damn good. can't wait to start the next one

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great fun. Looking forward to the next book. 😊<br />

Really enjoyed this book and I'm starting the next one now. Highly recommended to all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Always Go

loved it. couldn't stop listening to it. very Film noir / pulpy usually I'm not here into either, but somehow it works here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Is James Marsters bored?

I love the story, don't get me wrong, but the effort from James Marsters isn't what I expected. I feel like he's whispering his lines in places and theres no effort put in when the character is supposed to be yelling something. the recording isn't great either. Too much swallowing and other mouth noise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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really enjoyable as a detective and fantasy novel.

A cracking good read I was unable to put down. Spans 2 favorite genres and the synergy is far more than the sum of the parts.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Terrible Narration

Unfortunately I couldn't get passed the first chapter of this audiobook because the Narration was so poor. Frustrating even.

The Narrator speaks as if he's about to go to sleep and it becomes difficult to hear some parts. So you have to constantly change the volume. It's like he's just not interested in narrating the story.

The worst part however is the constant loud sounds of his mouth and saliva. It's as though the microphone was as close to his mouth as possible without actually being inside it! This is what made the book impossible to listen to. I still shudder thinking about it.

I really wanted to enjoy this book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Randall
  • 05-03-2019

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 .

47 of 52 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
  • 18-11-2014

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.

25 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Maxine
  • 13-03-2012

Only alright

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Only as a light read not as an audiobook. The narrator constantly takes an audible deep breath in and I am sure that it wasn't written into the story.

If you’ve listened to books by Jim Butcher before, how does this one compare?

N/ a

Would you be willing to try another one of James Marsters’s performances?

No

Do you think Storm Front needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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

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.

160 of 199 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-04-2019

Barely got through

I was set on finishing this book because my husband loves the series, I did but it was a struggle. Harry is just such an unlikable person and does so many illogical things it annoyed me to a great extent. So much could have been avoided by him not being such a painful sexist fool. Of course nobody wants to read a book about mister perfect, but Harry has so many demons plaguing him, makes so many silly mistakes that I couldn't connect with him on any level at all. The voice actor is good and fitting, but is very whispery which makes it hard for people with not ideal hearing and I may have missed out on some of the book because of that.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John M Motacek
  • 25-01-2019

narrator needs work

The felt the voice of the narrator was pretty for most of the book but there was a definite lack of emotion during the more dangerous or thrilling scenes. Even if outwardly Dresden is calm, inwardly he is definitely not and the danger and thrill seems pretty bland.

7 of 8 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
  • 13-08-2018

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.

10 of 12 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
  • 29-07-2018

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.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • 29-06-2018

Couldn’t finish

The smacking of his lips and swallowing during the reading is behind annoying. Story was good but recording is the worst I she ever heard.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bill Maurer
  • 09-04-2015

Good story! Annoying narrator

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

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tom
  • 14-08-2009

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.

49 of 50 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Iain
  • 20-05-2011

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!

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joanne Kendall
  • 12-08-2009

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
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-04-2013

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
  • 03-03-2011

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
  • 15-05-2013

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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl M-M
  • 06-10-2011

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
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • gamegirl
  • 14-01-2017

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.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 07-09-2010

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
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • SB
  • 21-04-2017

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