Side Jobs: Stories From the Dresden Files

Overview

The first short story collection in the #1 New York Times bestselling series-including a brand-new Harry Dresden novella!

Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher-a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ...

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Overview

The first short story collection in the #1 New York Times bestselling series-including a brand-new Harry Dresden novella!

Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher-a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 hardcover, Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago's only professional wizard.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Readers have followed the exploits of Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden for over a decade, but this case file is the first collection of short stories about the wily wizard/investigator. Like Harry himself, Side Jobs covers a wide swath of urban asphalt; from gritty back alley monster encounters to whimsical supernatural flights. Dresden Files sliced perfectly for leisure reading. This 400-page hardcover contains a never-before-published novel that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of Jim Butcher's April release.

Publishers Weekly
Fans of Butcher's long-running and bestselling urban fantasy series featuring Chicago wizard PI Harry Dresden were stunned by the concluding events of the 2010 novel Changes. They'll probably want to skip ahead to the last of this collection's 11 stories, "Aftermath," set just hours after the end of that book. With Dresden's fate uncertain, it's his longtime ally, Sgt. Karrin Murphy, who must help find a kidnapped werewolf. This entry is the collection's strongest, full of powerful emotion. The rest of the book is a mixed bag, ranging from Butcher's first attempt at short fiction--"a novice effort" that "wasn't up to par for professional publication"--to more recent tales set around and between the novels. First-timers will be lost, and this uneven volume mostly makes the case that Butcher's talent is best displayed in longer form. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews

Eleven tales, 2002-2010, complete with author's notes and chronology, embellishing the exploits of Chicago's Harry Dresden, licensed PI and professional wizard, ranging from an apprentice piece written two years before the Dresden Files series achieved liftoff to an unpublished novelette set hours after the end of Changes (2010).

All the regular cast members feature—Bob the Skull, long-suffering Karrin Murphy of the Chicago PD, Harry's vampire half-brother Thomas, Molly the apprentice, Harry's werewolf allies Billy and Georgia—as Harry (or, occasionally, somebody else) fends off attacks from an ever-lengthening list of evil supernatural entities. Jenny Greenteeth of the sidhe, for instance, abducts Billy the Werewolf's bride to be, Georgia. Harry helps Thomas combat another vampire, while gleefully demolishing a shopping mall. A young wife turns out to have been abducted by a son of Grendel the monster (it's breeding time). Poor Harry tries to take a day off, only to get involved with psychic parasites, as Molly sets his lab on fire. Another tale stars Thomas, with Harry convinced that his magically disguised brother is the bad guy. A renegade priest threatens a former Knight of the Cross. Enchanted beer paradoxically brings Murphy and Dresden together while forcing them apart. Finally, there's the splendid, aforementioned original novella. In all, the book is of no great depth, but it's witty, fast-moving and well worked-out. Butcher's yarns go along with the standard supernatural repertory while providing enough twists to keep things fresh and intriguing.

Sidelights on the Dresden mythos, which no true fan will want to miss.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451463654
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/26/2010
  • Series: Dresden Files Series
  • Pages: 418
  • Sales rank: 260,502
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Butcher

A martial arts enthusiast whose resume includes a long list of skills rendered obsolete at least two hundred years ago, Jim Butcher turned to writing as a career because anything else probably would have driven him insane. He lives with his wife, his son and a ferocious guard dog.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2010

    For Dresden nuts!

    The hardcover is on my desk next to me, and of course I have all Dresden titles for Nook, too, now. Each short story is headed by an annotation by Jim Butcher himself. Pretty cool.

    A Restoration of Faith (pg 1) is a pre-Storm Front look at Harry meeting Murphy. Harry saves a run-away pre-teen girl from a Bridge Troll.

    Vignette (pg 21) is a look at Harry working out a Yellowbook ad with Bob.

    Something Borrowed (27) is a look at a Faerie revenge move on Billy and Georgia's wedding.

    It's My Birthday, Too (61) is a fast-paced Black Court Vamp romp of wit, quick thinking, and Little Folk bargaining when Harry tries to celebrate Thomas' birthday. My favorite of the book!

    Heorot (107) teams Dresden up with Gard. We learn her background, your jaw drops, a damsel is saved, and Mac thanks Harry.

    Day Off (149) is my second favorite "side job". If artists were contracted to paint this story, they would need to hire the genetic love-child of Norman Rockwell, someone from The New Yorker magazine, and any conceptual artist Sam Rami used in the Spider-Man trilogy.

    Backup (173) is a Thomas Raith POV. Worth the read. I bought this when it was released seperately, and was not disappointed. It deepens the scope of the non-human realm of the Dresdenverse.

    The Warrior (211) shows how little choices have big ramifications. And it shows that Michael, though disabled, is still one kick-butt character.

    Last Call (269) is a Harry/Murphy tag team that stops a maenad from turning a Bulls game into a drunken lovefest. Murphy nearly cleans Dresden's clock. Read it!

    Love Hurts (303) is a fun read about a Red Court scientist "spreading" love through enchantment, and how Harry/Murphy tag that creature for Death's collection.

    Aftermath (335) is a Murphy POV after Changes, when Dresden is missing/ presumed dead. Murphy and Billy go after Sea Mutants. Oh, yeah, and Marcone spares Billy's life so he can save others' lives. Look for that debt to be called upon later in the Dresden series.

    I rated the Book Cover poorly, because Dresden does NOT wear a hat, but ROC's artist can't take it off, apparently....

    I had a hard time rounding up these Side Job stories on my own. I ran across "The Warrior" after I read Turn Coat in that small anthology. I scoured the Internet for PDF scans of any other short Dresden story. Now I have them all! :)

    18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Clearly this compilation is for fans of the series

    Although the quality of the eleven entries varies to an incredible degree, fans of Dresden will want to read the anthology that is a sort of history of the author. No question, the audience will want to read the novella "Aftermath", which occurs a few hours after the end of the stunning Changes. Many of the tales fill the gaps between the novels especially with a close look at support cast in entries like "Backup" focuses on Thomas and "Warrior" on Michael. Some like the first Dresden unpublished tale, A Restoration of Faith, displays Jim Butcher's talent, but not experience as the contribution is a bit confusing; that might be caused by knowing so much about the only wizard in the Chicago phone book. Clearly this compilation is for fans of the series; newcomers would be better off watching the TV show or starting with the novels as that is Mr. Butcher's forte.

    Harriet Klausner

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    Good for the hardcore fans, not for the casual.

    This was a welcome distraction while waiting for Ghost Story, I must say, but fans looking for answers to questions that were raised at the end of Changes will not find them here. The new Novella features Murphy and offers no clues as to what happened to Harry.

    It's a neat little collection, but fans looking for a significant push to the plot will not find it here.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2011

    Love Harry

    This series is a great read between other reads. That's when I catch up with Harry and his antics. Like different T,V. shows. Great stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    Perfect for fans!

    It was great to have all of the stories together!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    Recommended - worth adding to a collection

    An enjoyable series of reads! This is a convinient opportunity to have all Butcher's short stories in one volume. Just the newest novella and the penultimate story in the collection make the book worth its price.

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