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Ghost Story (Dresden Files, No. 13) Hardcover – July 26, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 1,073 customer reviews
Book 13 of 15 in the Dresden Files Series

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Editorial Reviews


Harry Dresden has a vitality that few urban fantasy heroes can match SFX Narrated with his usual sardonic wit, this is another fast-paced adventure... [that] keeps its grip to the very end TELEGRAPH a truly remarkable book and a fantastic series Walker of Worlds --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

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.

Product Details

  • Series: Dresden Files (Book 13)
  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; First Edition edition (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045146379X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451463791
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,073 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jim Butcher read his first fantasy novel when he was seven years old--
the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. By the time he turned eight,
he'd added the rest of the Narnia books, the Prydain Chronicles, every
book about Star Wars he could find, a great many Star Trek novels and
the Lord of the Rings to his count.

So he was pretty much doomed from the start.

Love of fantasy, his personal gateway drug, drew him toward a fairly
eclectic spread of interests: horseback riding (including trick riding,
stunt riding, drill riding, and competitive stunt racing), archery,
martial arts, costuming, music and theater. He played a lot of role-
playing games, a lot of fantasy-based tactical computer games, and
eventually got into live-action roleplay where players beat each other
up with boffer weapons.

So, really, he can fly his nerd flag with pretty much anyone, and
frequently does.

He took up writing to be able to produce fantasy novels with swords and
horses in them, and determinedly wrote terrible fantasy books until,
just to prove a point to his writing teacher, he decided to take every
piece of her advice; fill out outlines and worksheets, and design
stories and characters just the way she'd been telling him to do for
about three years. He was certain that once she saw what hideous art it
produced, she would be proven wrong and repent the error of her ways.
The result was the Dresden Files, which sure showed *her*.

She has not yet admitted her mistake and recanted her philosophy on

Jim has performed in dramas, musicals, and vocal groups in front of
live audiences of thousands and on TV. He has performed exhibition
riding in multiple arenas, and fallen from running horses a truly
ridiculous number of times. He was once cursed by an Amazon witch
doctor in rural Brazil, has apparently begun writing about himself in
the third person, and is hardly ever sick at sea.

He also writes books occasionally.

Jim stands accused of writing the Dresden Files and the Codex Alera.
He's plead insanity, but the jury is still out on that one. He lives in
Missouri with his wife, romantic suspense and paranormal romance writer
Shannon K. Butcher (who is really pretty and way out of his league),
his son, and a ferocious guard dog.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jim Butcher is one of those authors I count on. Usually his books are like the reading equivalent of a weekend at a five-star hotel with a personal chef and a cabana boy. GHOST STORY was was more like a weekend at a four-star hotel with a nice dinner out. Not bad - not even close to it - just not the same superlative wonderfulness that Butcher usually delivers.

In GHOST STORY, Harry is forced into a passive role. The title is literal: he's a ghost. He can't do much of anything. He has to stand by and let other people act, or, if he's lucky, persuade them to act according to his instructions. In terms of Harry's character development and moving the series forward, I think this is exactly what Harry needs. For example: there's a sideplot with a gang of kids who are ordered to do a drive by shooting on Murphy's house. Harry ends up hanging out with the top kid, learning about his situation, and then working to change it by rustling up some caretakers and competent adult supervision. He achieves a better, more humane result than he would have found if he'd been able to jump in and fight, like he usually would.

In general, Harry is forced by his circumstances to do a lot of listening, waiting, and reflecting. Harry's always been a smart, thoughtful guy but not someone who dwells unduly on the past. I think that being forced to change his tune is good for him as a person and ultimately for the series - but, just like having Harry be so passive, it's not great for the reading experience. I think half of GHOST STORY might be flashbacks. Taking a stroll down memory lane with Harry is enjoyable...but it's still a STROLL, and Harry Dresden books are usually a lot more like, I don't know, a freight train crashing down Mount Everest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At a time when so many sci-fi and fantasy writers produce two or three good books and then start phoning it in, Jim Butcher stands apart from the crowd. He just keeps getting more imaginative, more sophisticated and more entertaining with every new book in this series. Ghost Story is the 13th novel of the Dresden Files and it rivals White Knight and Turn Coat for the best.

I have to admit that I was somewhat skeptical that Ghost Story would work as well as some of the other books in the series. Changes, the previous installment in the Dresden Files, ended with the main character left for dead. So much of the appeal of the previous novels derives from how Dresden uses magic to combat enemies in the realm of the living that I couldn't really think of how Ghost Story could be made interesting. Leave it to Jim Butcher to turn an unlikely premise into a great read.

As it turns out, Harry Dresden's luck is not much better in death than it is in life. In fact, he doesn't get to go to the great beyond because there was something that was not right about his death. Instead, he has to return to earth as a ghost to find out who murdered him. If he fails, he learns, three people who are close to him will come to great harm. Harry returns to earth to find that the planet is deeply troubled. The destruction of the Red Court has led to a power vacuum and chaos in the supernatural world. Magical beings are attacking and destroying both each other and humans who connect with the world of magic. The stakes are as high as they have ever been.

Harry's adventures as a ghost are hugely entertaining. He is invisible and cannot communicate with others in the absence of help from Mort the ectomancer or other mediums.
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21 Comments 254 of 284 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
When I first picked up Ghost Story, I was expecting another high-octane thrill ride, picking up where Changes left off. My assumptions were incorrect. This volume of the Dresden files takes a much more simple, introspective approach to what's going on. The first half of the book feels a bit plodding, but you come to realize later than this was purposeful, and that it made for a much better second half.

Dresden again finds himself in over his head, this time on the other side. He's got a mystery to solve, and just about no way to solve it, considering he's incorporeal. Characters that you have come to know have changed, sometimes dramatically, in the wake of what has happened to Harry. After figuring out a way to interact with mortals, that method is stripped away from him, and he's again left with nothing but his wits.

If there's one thing that Jim Butcher does right consistently, it's that he knows how to plant a completely unexpected emotional moment into his stories. This one is packed pretty full with these, as Harry sees the world from an outside perspective.

The writing is solid, ad the plot moves on at an appropriate pace. the only complaint I have is that the villain was far too predictable. From the first encounter, I had the identity pretty much locked down. That's not to say that the baddie wasn't effective, just that there could have been a red herring or two thrown in the mix to keep things interesting

Also, prepare yourself to be left with some of the same questions you had at the end of Changes, along with a slew of new ones. Overall, this is a great read, and a worthy addition to the series. I recommend buying it immediately if you're a fan of the Dresden files!
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