Friday, October 28, 2011

The Voice of Jim Butcher

So on Wednesday, a few of you mentioned some great authors with distinctive voices.  I want to share with you, now, why I brought up this topic to begin with.  I just finished listening to Ghost Story by Jim Butcher.  It's the thirteenth Dresden Files novel.  I've read all of those books and listened to all of them on audio.  The first twelve novels and the short story collection were all narrated by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), but the most recent one was narrated by John Glover (Lex Luthor's dad in Smallville).

Jim Butcher already created a unique voice for his Dresden character: the character that narrates the story.  When you read the books, it's clear that it's the same "person" speaking in each book.  But I was a little skeptical about the change in narrator for the audio version.  I understand that Marsters wasn't available, so they had to get a new person, but I was braced for a DRASTIC change in the overall feel of the story.  But I could barely tell the difference.

This could be attributed to the quality of acting from both narrators, and I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that Glover listened to at least one volume of the series to get a feel for Marsters' narration style, but Butcher's voice is so strong, so unique, that even though Glover has a different speaking voice, the narrator still sounded like Harry Dresden.

By the time I made it to the second chapter, I completely forgot that a new actor was reading the book.  I visualized the story in much the same way that I visualize all of the books.  And the few changes that occurred because of the new actor made sense because so many things have changed in Dresden's world.  At the end of the experience, I knew that no matter who narrates these books, it's Butcher's vocal style that makes Harry Dresden come to life.

So if you've never read The Dresden Files, go do it.  Or pick up the CDs from your local library.  Better yet, do both.  They're also available on Audible.

Have a great weekend.  I'll see you on Monday if I don't die of exhaustion over the weekend.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read anything by Butcher, but I see his books all the time at B&N. I should pick one up sometime soon.

    I'm not into the audibles, but if I enjoy the author's characters, I'll read everything I can by that author. This is a reason I don't enjoy reading just the first book in a series. I like to wait until the entire series is out before I begin the first one.

    Enjoy your weekend!