Those of you who’ve been following this web site’s reviews for a while already know I’m a huge fan of bestselling author Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. So it’s probably no surprise that I couldn’t resist a new one when I went shopping for books to read during the renovation this summer. Yes, I actually bought Working for Bigfoot: Stories from The Dresden Files. This compilation of short stories spans Jim Butcher’s career, and is like a series of snapshots from different stages of a Bigfoot’s life – beginning when he is just a Bigfoot kid. Hey – Bigfoots (Bigfeet??) don’t just spring into being as adults, you know. And try parenting one…
Although I’ve never gotten into the whole Bigfoot myth, I have friends who love to speculate about it so I thought it would be a kick to read stories about this ultimate backwoods humanoid creature. Also, I want to make sure you know that although The Dresden Files novels are written for an adult audience, I’d say that this one will work for middle school readers and up. And these stories are decidedly humorous – just what I needed after a hard day of house renovation problem solving.
In case you’re not familiar with Harry Dresden, he’s a Chicago wizard who hires out to clients to help them solve some of the (let’s just say) less than savory problems that crop up in life. You know, the kind of problems no one sees coming because they’re supernatural, and who actually believes the supernatural is going to come make an even bigger mess of their life when regular ordinary life is messy enough. I mean, most people don’t even know these creatures exist, which is probably a good thing. To say Harry is less than popular among the big bad uglies would be a gross understatement. For example, most, if not all, of the vampires hate his guts and the fairy folk? Well, I won’t even bother to tell you what the queen of the dark fairies thinks of him. Don’t want to blister your ears for real.
Working for Bigfoot is comprised of three novellas (which are more the length of short stories), in which Strength of Big River in His Shoulders seeks Harry’s help with problems affecting his son, Irwin, at different stages of his life. Strength of Big River in His Shoulders is a creature of the forest, so he can’t directly intervene in his half-human son’s more urban life for pretty obvious reasons. Still, the boy needs help reconciling the two halves of who he is – and he keeps running into problems created at least partially by his Bigfoot half. It’s up to Harry to help smooth him over the bumps in the road along the way to maturity and finding his place in the middle between the human and the Bigfoot worlds.
B Is For Bigfoot: This story takes place when Irwin is in middle school and being bullied, if you can imagine anyone bullying a Bigfoot. Let’s just say there’s more to it than meets the eye.
I Was a Teenage Bigfoot: The second story takes place when Irwin is in high school and becomes ill with what is assumed to be mono – it’s not that simple, of course.
Bigfoot on Campus: The last story finds Irwin having survived to attend college, only to land in some unusual freshman problems. I mean, like most people, I had problems adjusting as a freshman in college but, luckily, they didn’t involve vampires. Sheesh.
If you’ve gotten the idea that these stories are fun, light reading for Dresden fans then you’re right. Do not, however, expect new insight into Harry Dresden because these were previously written. They also don’t have the content weight of most Dresden Files novels, and to me seem written for a younger reading audience; however, they do feature the same ol’ loveable, quirky, snarky yet wise Harry Dresden. Working for Bigfoot will make for a fun read if you’re a fan, even though these short stories have been previously published elsewhere. If you plan to buy this book; however, I would strongly recommend the e-book over the hardcopy – it’s a much better price for such a short book (136 pages).
Can’t wait to read it?
Working for Bigfoot was published on June 30, 2015, so it’s available from your favorite online bookseller below. Just click the link, download it as an e-book, and you’re in for a couple of hours of fun reading!
I’d love to get your comments on Working for Bigfoot, Jim Butcher and/or his other work, and/or this review.