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Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2) by Jim…
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Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2) (edition 2001)

by Jim Butcher

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6,546176582 (3.89)283
Member:ElizaBaum
Title:Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2)
Authors:Jim Butcher
Info:Roc (2001), Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:magic, urban fantasy

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Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

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Showing 1-5 of 174 (next | show all)
Six-word review: Gruesome lycanthropic killings challenge investigator wizard.

Extended review:

Number two in the Dresden Files series gives us consulting wizard Harry Dresden on the trail of murderous werewolves. As in the first book, there is a lot of graphic detail involving limbs, organs, blood, and other organic matter. Within a context that's liberal with humor and casts frequent sly winks toward the audience, Butcher (whose name does resonate ungently with me) doesn't play those scenes for laughs, thank goodness; rather, he stresses their gravity by showing us the intensity of Harry's reaction to them. Still, I do find those passages hard to read. They're very far from the nice, clean, civilized murders of your typical cozy mystery.

But I wasn't expecting Mary Poppins, especially not after the first book. So this isn't a complaint, just a comment.

In fact, I'm liking the series well enough to have gone on to book three, Grave Peril, the minute I finished this one.

It's interesting to notice how Butcher keeps his main character sympathetic despite the supernatural forces that he can command. Harry's humanity is emphasized in a number of ways. For one thing, like many a popular fictional detective, he's perpetually in financial arrears and struggling to make the rent, so he has to take some jobs he really doesn't want. For another, he has uneven and often frustrating relationships with women. The wizard police (and the Chicago police) are often on his case. He's also prone to impulsive actions that backfire or compromise his position. Most especially, though, I like the fact that he has to work to perform his magical feats, and they cost him something--sometimes a lot. They're not always successful, either, as when he is already exhausted or when he lacks a focusing device such as a staff to help him channel his energy.

We also see him doing some reflecting and soul-searching--not enough to impede the action, but enough to show us that he is haunted by parts of his past and that he agonizes over moral and ethical questions, even tackling (page 388) the nature of evil. He is strongly tempted by the easy choices and the safe courses, and yet time and again he finds the courage to do the right thing even against his own apparent interests. Flawed, conflicted, and plagued by doubts, Harry nonetheless appeals to our better natures. I hope Butcher can continue to maintain that tricky balance.

Another noteworthy feature is something that I would call covert literariness. I see it in deft phrasing such as this:

The walls shook around the beast, as though its very presence were enough to make reality shudder. (page 206)

and apt images such as this:

The soreness lifted out of my muscles, and my cloudy, cloggy thought process cleared as though someone had flushed my synapses with jalapeño. (page 244)

and occasional lyrical passages like this:

She tensed at first, and then melted against me with a deliciously feminine sort of willingness, a soft abandoning of distance that left her body, in all its dark beauty, pressed against mine. (page 312)

Why covert? He doesn't call attention to it. He doesn't show off his vocabulary. He keeps the common touch, and we barely notice departures from ordinary conversational prose such as "without" in this sentence:

It was dim inside, and from what I could hear, it was still raining without. (page 257)

--for which I can almost forgive him his persistent use of "quirk" as a verb. He doesn't make self-conscious literary allusions or indulge in a lot of complex sentence structure. He does, as is all too rare these days, use the subjunctive correctly, as in constructions such as the quote from page 206 above; although he offsets it with expressions such as "if I'd have been" (which expands to "if I had have been"; the "have" should be struck out). Moreover, he slips in little indications of cultivated tastes, such as a reference to operatic overtures. I have an idea that Butcher is carefully managing his character to maintain an Everyman persona while hinting at other, broader, deeper dimensions.

What raised this installment from a 3 to a 3½ for me was the riveting description of the subjective state of a werewolf in the full grip of bloodlust and a mighty surge of bestial power. I've seen something like this done effectively once before, in Alice Hoffman's Second Nature, and there too I found it emotionally compelling. I don't think Butcher's handling of that portion could stand any improvement at all. ( )
5 vote Meredy | Jun 20, 2015 |
Fool Moon moved faster than Storm Front and I enjoyed the ride. I found out more about Harry and his past. How magic works in this world became clearer. I thought it was truly clever how the various werewolf myths were used. Trust was an important theme in this novel. Whom do we trust and why? Another question raised was when does a person deserve knowledge, not wrapping in a safe cocoon. These are good questions to ponder. ( )
  Jean_Sexton | May 22, 2015 |
In this second entry in the Dresden Files, Chicago wizard Harry Dresden is called in to consult on an odd murder where the chief clues include a strange, gigantic wolf print. Harry crosses swords with werewolves and the series' continuing guest villain, Gentleman Johnny Marcone, Chicago's mob boss who figures in somehow. Someone once said that he takes his hero and puts him jeopardy, and keeps him there. This fits the bill. Everybody, it seems, winds up wanting a piece of Harry. Good characters, private eye humor, lots of fun and Harry pulls it off again...by the skin of his teeth. ( )
  NickHowes | Apr 19, 2015 |
Warewolves? Really? No. That is definitely not the kind of more interesting monster I had in mind wishing the monsters weren't so boring. Though I must admit that all supernatural series, whether in books or television, touch on the subject sooner or later, and this wasn't by all means the worst story. And Tera really made it all so much better! Ah, a breath of fresh air, that she-wolf.

If in the first book I did not much care for Murphy, in this one I outright despised her. That has got to be the most boring, shallow, superficial, bitchy, humorless and wittyless character yet. Please tell me Dresden isn't goind to ask her out. Please?

Loved all the drama, definitely. Dresden crying? Poor, poor Dresden.

Still hooked. ( )
  v_allery | Apr 19, 2015 |
Underwhelmed. I would rather read about the Nevernever and the White Council. They seem to be much more interesting characters. I am tired of hearing about Harry's stupid jacket. Can we move on to bigger and better things please. I will say this, the police station...incident was pretty darn good. I suppose I shall plod on with the series. It really not terrible. But not something I want to read all in a row like other series out there. ( )
  jaddington | Feb 16, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jim Butcherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chong, VincentIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marsters, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGrath, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451458125, Mass Market Paperback)

Could a werewolf be loose in Chicago? Common sense says no. The grisly evidence says yes. So does Harry Dresden. And with his weird connections, he should know.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:51 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When the corpse of a brutally mutilated murder victim turns up at the time of the full moon, accompanied by some most unusual paw prints, professional wizard and supernatural investigator Harry Dresden finds himself searching Chicago for the werewolf stalking the city.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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