Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Missouri Memories

Sorry about the focus on this photo - it was really hard to get a clear picture as the book has a foil wrapper and the camera really didn't know how to get a clear picture I guess. Either that or it's because I've got a cold and my eyes don't want to focus, either. :(

One of my favourite authors is Jim Butcher. He writes two series (well, perhaps he writes more, but two of his series are getting regularly published) and both of them are great. Quite often I'll like one series an author writes but not the others. The other exception to this is C. J. Cherryh, but that's another book review.

Anyway, after travelling to Missouri for the weekend (way too many adventures getting there, but I did arrive!) I was heading home Monday after enjoying great hospitality and wonderful people. I'd brought a couple of paperbacks with me, but wasn't really enjoying the second one and not looking forward to nearly 10 hours of travel and a book that wasn't engaging my interest.

So, I wandered through a couple of the book stores after I got through security and spied the brand new title from Jim Butcher - a book that I had on request from the library.

Now I don't usually invest in hardbacks when I'm travelling - they weigh too much to drag around in my carry on luggage. But - it was the most recent Jim Butcher. And I really wasn't enjoying the book I was currently reading.

I think I resisted the urge for about - oh, 10 seconds? - and bought it.

I sort of remembered that Butcher was from the US 'south' and flipped to the back flap. Yup. He's from Independence, Missouri. :D Seemed all the more appropriate that the souvenir I chose to return with was a book written in Missouri!

Butcher writes with wit and not a little sarcasm. The Dresden series is a combination of hard PI and inventive supernatural fantasy. But it is always laced with penetrating insights about the human condition. This morning as I was nearly finished reading the book, one of the characters says to Harry Dresden "Stop learning, start dying."

How appropriate.


Michelle said...

I'm with you on the Dresden files. (Have yet to read his other series, someday soon.) Both my DH and I enjoy them. And, at this point we have the series in paperback, waiting to pass them on to a fellow lover of the fantasy/detective combo.

IMHO, Butcher's writing improves with each novel. His protagonist has matured as well and in the last 2-3 volumes displayed a sense of humor and sensibilities that I don't recall from earlier ones.

I'm currently reading Kage Baker's "House of the Stag" (on your recommendation, I believe). However, did I miss this when it came out?

Laura said...

I agree - Butcher does a masterful job of keeping the stories fresh and Harry growing.

Couldn't get through House of the Stag although generally I enjoy Bakers' work. Loved the Empress of Mars. :D


Benita said...

My husband is a HUGE Jim Butcher fan. He also likes Simon Green and I get the idea they are in the same vane. If you haven't tried Simon Green, maybe your library has them.

In fact, these are the two authors that he ends up getting in hardback because he cannot wait for the paperback versions to come out. High praise from someone who is usually tighter than bark on a beech tree when it comes to spending money.

Anonymous said...

I'm laughing! Most people in the lower 48 would not classify Missouri as the US South....

I'll have to check this guy out though!


Laura said...

Thanks for the author recommendation Benita - I'll check our library.

I know Missouri isn't really 'south', but it's all relative. I live near the 54:40 Latitude which is way far north of Missouri - but still far south of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Alaska. The people up there chuckle at us calling ourselves 'northerners'. :D