Jim Butcher

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Jim Butcher in 2011

Jim Butcher (born October 26, 1971) is an American novelist, most known for his contemporary fantasy book series The Dresden Files. He also writes the Codex Alera series, and recently started the Cinder Spires.


  • When I finally got tired of arguing with her and decided to write a novel as if I was some kind of formulaic, genre writing drone, just to prove to her how awful it would be, I wrote the first book of the Dresden Files.

The Dresden Files[edit]

Storm Front (2000)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: Santa is a much bigger and more powerful faery than Toot, and I don't know his true name anyway. You'd never see me trying to nab Saint Nick in a magic circle even if I did. I don't think anyone has stones that big.
    • Chapter 6
  • Harry Dresden: Tequila? Are you sure on that one? I thought the base for a love potion was supposed to be champagne.
    Bob: Champagne, tequila, what's the difference, so long as it'll lower her inhibitions?
    Harry Dresden: Uh, I'm thinking it's going to get us a, um, sleazier result.
    • Chapter 8
  • Harry Dresden: I'd made the vampire cry. Great. I felt like a real superhero. Harry Dresden, breaker of monsters' hearts.
    • Chapter 9
  • Harry Dresden: The world is getting weirder. Darker every single day. Things are spinning around faster and faster, and threatening to go completely awry. Falcons and falconers. The center cannot hold. But in my corner of the country, I'm trying to nail things down. I don't want to live in Victor's jungle, even if it did eventually devour him. I don't want to live in a world where the strong rule and the weak cower. I'd rather make a place where things are a little quieter. Where trolls stay the hell under their bridges and where elves don't come swooping out to snatch children from their cradles. Where vampires respect the limits, and where the faeries mind their p's and q's. My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. When things get strange, when what goes bump in the night flicks on the lights, when no one else can help you, give me a call. I'm in the book.
    • Chapter 27, final lines of the book

Fool Moon (2001)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: In McAnally's pub and grill, there aren't any service people. According to Mac, if you can't get up and walk over to pick up your own order, you don't need to be there at all.
    • Chapter 1
  • Harry Dresden: Sometimes I hate having a conscience, and a stupidly thorough sense of honor.
    • Chapter 1
  • Harry Dresden: Maybe it wasn't anything I'd done. Maybe the monsters had gone on strike. Yeah right.
    • Chapter 1
  • Karrin Murphy: Yes, Your honor, your victim was killed by a werewolf.
    • Chapter 2
  • Harry Dresden: It's a place with a history, the neighbors are quiet, and my rent is cheap—though less so than it was before the demon thrashed my place.
    • Chapter 7
  • Harry Dresden: Don't mess with a wizard when he's wizarding!
    • Chapter 18

Grave Peril (2001)[edit]

  • Michael Carpenter: I still can’t believe, that you came to the Vampires’ Masquerade Ball dressed as a vampire.
    Harry Dresden: Not only that, but a cheesy vampire.
    • Chapter 24
  • Michael Carpenter: Lord, we walk into darkness now. Our enemies will surround us. Please help to make us strong enough to do what needs to be done. Amen.
    • Chapter 24

Summer Knight (2002)[edit]

  • Bob Here's where I ask why don't you spend your time doing something safer and more boring. Like maybe administering suppositories to rabid gorillas.
    • Chapter 10
  • Harry Dresden: As I pulled into the parking lot, I reflected that odds were that not a lot of clandestine meetings involving mystical assassination, theft of arcane power, and the balance of power in the realms of the supernatural had taken place in a Wal-Mart Super Center. But then again, maybe they had. Hell, for all I knew, the Mole Men used the changing rooms as a place to discuss plans for world domination with the Psychic Jellyfish from Planet X and the Disembodied Brains-in-a-Jar from the Klaatuu Nebula. I know I wouldn’t have looked for them there.
    • Chapter 18
  • Harry Dresden: Sometimes the most remarkable things seem commonplace. I mean, when you think about it, jet travel is pretty freaking remarkable. You get in a plane, it defies the gravity of a entire planet by exploiting a loophole with air pressure, and it flies across distances that would take months or years to cross by any means of travel that has been significant for more than a century or three. You hurtle above the earth at enough speed to kill you instantly should you bump into something, and you can only breathe because someone built you a really good tin can that seems tight enough to hold in a decent amount of air. Hundreds of millions of man-hours of work and struggle and research, blood, sweat, tears and lives have gone into the history of air travel, and it has totally revolutionized the face of our planet and societies.
    But get on any flight in the country, and I absolutely promise you that you will find someone who, in the face of all that incredible achievement, will be willing to complain about the drinks. The drinks, people. That was me on the staircase to Chicago-Over-Chicago. Yes, I was standing on nothing but congealed starlight. Yes, I was walking up through a savage storm, the wind threatening to tear me off and throw me into the freezing waters of lake Michigan far below. Yes, I was using a legendary and enchanted means of travel to transcend the border between one dimension and the next, and on my way to an epic struggle between ancient and elemental forces. But all I could think to say, between panting breaths, was, "Yeah. Sure. They couldn't possibly have made this an escalator."
  • Harry Dresden: The noise was deafening, and no one could have heard me anyway as I let out my own battle cry, which I figured was worth a shot. What the hell. "I don't believe in faeries!"
    • Chapter 31

Death Masks (2003)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: Some things just aren't meant to go together. Things like oil and water. Orange juice and toothpaste. Wizards and television.
    • Chapter 1, Opening Line
  • Harry Dresden: I wouldn't burden any decent system of faith by participating in it.
    • Chapter 7
  • Johnny Marcone: Do you know what I think?
    Harry Dresden: You think we should shoot Nicodemus in the back at the first opportunity and let Michael dismember him.
    Marcone: Yes. I drew my gun.
    Harry Dresden: Okay.
    • Chapter 32

Blood Rites (2004)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault.
    • Chapter 1, Opening Line
  • Harry Dresden: There was a sound of impact, a raspy, dry scream, and the vampire went down hard. It lay on the ground like a butterfly pinned to a card, arms and legs thrashing uselessly. Its chest and collarbone had been crushed. By an entire frozen turkey. A twenty-pounder. The plucked bird must have fallen from an airplane overhead, doubtlessly manipulated by the curse. By the time it got to the ground, the turkey had already reached its terminal velocity, and was still hard as a brick. The drumsticks poked up above the vampire's crushed chest, their ends wrapped in red tinfoil. The vampire gasped and writhed a little more. The timer popped out of the turkey. Everyone stopped to blink at that for a second. I mean, come on. Impaled by a guided frozen turkey missile. Even by the standards of the quasi-immortal creatures of the night, that ain't something you see twice. "For my next trick," I panted into the startled silence, "anvils."
  • Harry Dresden: It’s not my fault all women like motorcycles, Murph. They’re basically huge vibrators. With wheels.
  • Thomas Raith: An errand is getting a tank of gas or picking up a carton of milk or something. It is not getting chased by flying purple pyromaniac gorillas hurling incendiary poo.
  • Karrin Murphy: I'm pretty sure there's no Nobel prize for pornography.
  • Harry Dresden: Kincaid! Bolshevik Muppet!

Dead Beat (2005)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: On the whole, we're a murderous race. According to Genesis, it took as few as four people to make the planet too crowded to stand, and the first murder was a fratricide. Genesis says that in a fit of jealous rage, the very first child born to mortal parents, Cain, snapped and popped the first metaphorical cap in another human being. The attack was a bloody, brutal, violent, reprehensible killing. Cain's brother Abel probably never saw it coming. As I opened the door to my apartment, I was filled with a sense of empathic sympathy and intuitive understanding. For freaking Cain.
    • Chapter 1, opening lines
  • Harry Dresden: Because Thomas is too pretty to die. And because I'm too stubborn to die. And most of all because tomorrow is Oktoberfest, Butters, and polka will never die.
  • Harry Dresden/Waldo Butters: Polka will never die!
    • Chapter 22
  • Harry Dresden: Took cover. In the action business, when you don't want to say you ran like a mouse, you call it 'taking cover.' It's more heroic.
    • Chapter 34
  • Waldo Butters: Screw up my life?
    [He stared at me for a second and then said, deadpan]
    Waldo Butters: I’m a five-foot-three, thirty-seven-year-old, single, Jewish medical examiner who needs to pick up his lederhosen from the dry cleaners so that he can play in a one-man polka band at Oktoberfest tomorrow.
    [He pushed up his glasses with his forefinger, folded his arms, and said]
    Waldo Butters: Do your worst.
    • Chapter 5
  • Quintus Cassius: I have dreamed of this night, boy.
    [he purred, and gently stroked the side of my face with the baseball bat.]
    Quintus Cassius: In my day, we would say that revenge is sweet. But times have changed. How do you say...? "Payback is a bitch."
    • Chapter 36
  • Carlos Ramirez: Everyone else who lets me ride on their dinosaur calls me Carlos.
    • Chapter 41
  • Malcolm Dresden: Son. Everyone dies alone. That's what it is. It's a door. It's one person wide. When you go through it, you do it alone." His fingers squeezed me tight. "But it doesn't mean you've got to be alone before you go through the door. And believe me, you aren't alone on the other side."
    • Chapter 43

Proven Guilty (2006)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: Blood leaves no stain on a Warden's cloak.
    • Chapter 1, Opening line
  • Harry Dresden: Dresden Taxidermy. You snuff it, we'll stuff it.
    • Chapter 24
  • Harry Dresden: You can never tell how someone is going to handle power — not until you hand it to them and see what they do with it.
  • Harry Dresden: I don't care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching - they are your family.

White Night (2007)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: Many things are not as they seem: The worst things in life never are.
    • Chapter 1, Opening line
  • Harry Dresden: Keep in mind that this appears in the same book of the Bible that approves the death sentence for a child who curses his parents, owners of oxen who injure someone through the owner's negligence, anybody who works or kindles a fire on Sunday, and anyone who has sex with an animal.
  • Harry Dresden: A little humiliation and ego deflation, now and then, is good for apprentices. Mine sighed miserably.
  • Harry Dresden: Murphy had found a spot on the street, which made me wonder if she didn't have some kind of magical talent after all. Only some kind of precognitive ESP could have gotten us a parking space on the street, in the shadow of a building, with both of us in sight of the apartment building's entrance.
  • Harry Dresden: We're all human. We're all of us equally naked before the jaws of pain.
    • Chapter 26
  • Harry Dresden: We still hadn't learned, though, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you're just going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something. Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There's the little empty pain of leaving something behind-graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There's the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There's the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There's the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.
    • Chapter 31
  • Harry Dresden: Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don't feel it.
    • Chapter 31
  • Harry Dresden: Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it's a big part, and sometimes it isn't, but either way, it's part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you're alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.
    • Chapter 31
  • Marcone: In my judgment, my buildings are less likely to burn to the ground during one of your visits if you are disoriented from being treated like a sultan.

Small Favor (2008)[edit]

Turn Coat (2009)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: That's Doctor Smart-ass. I didn't spend eight years in insult college to be called Mister.
    • Chapter 22
  • Harry Dresden: I can't believe I'm about to say this. So think real careful about where this is coming from: Have you people ever considered talking when you've got a problem?
    • Chapter 23
  • Harry Dresden: You’re in America now. Our idea of diplomacy is showing up with a gun in one hand and a sandwich in the other and asking which you’d prefer.
    Anastasia Luccio: Did you bring a sandwich?
    Harry Dresden: What do I look like, Kissinger?
    • Chapter 24
  • Harry Dresden: The U.S. isn’t a perfect place, but it’s better than most people have managed to come up with. And all my stuff is there.
    • Chapter 28
  • Harry Dresden: There’s power in the night. There’s terror in the darkness. Despite all our accumulated history, learning, and experience, we remember. We remember times when we were too small to reach the light switch on the wall, and when the darkness itself was enough to make us cry out in fear. Get a good ways out from civilization-say, miles and miles away on a lightless lake-and the darkness is there, waiting. Twilight means more than just time to call the children in from playing outside. Fading light means more than just the end of another day. Night is when terrible things emerge from their sleep and seek soft flesh and hot blood. Night is when unseen beings with no regard for what our people have built and no place in what we have deemed the natural order look in at our world from outside, and think dark and alien thoughts. And sometimes, just sometimes, they do things.
    • Chapter 40
  • Harry Dresden: Even a broken clock gets it right occasionally.
    • Chapter 47
  • Harry Dresden: This is Waldo Butters, and his geek penis is longer and harder than all of ours put together.
    • Chapter 49
  • Listens-To-Wind "Injun Joe": Not gonna bind ya or break ya, old spirit. Just gonna kick your ass up between your ears.
  • Listens-To-Wind "Injun Joe": There is world that should be, and the world that is. We live in one.
    Ebenezer: And must create the other, if it is ever to be.

Changes (2010)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: You don't explain to the janitorial staff how your company is a part of a sinister organization with goals of global infiltration and control. You just tell them to clean the floor.
  • Molly Carpenter: Wrote the Laws of Magic, founded the White Council, was custodian of one of the Swords and established a stronghold for the Council, too. He must have been something else.
    Harry Dresden: He must have been a real bastard. Guys who get their name splashed all over history and folklore don't tend to be Boy Scout troop leaders.
    Molly Carpenter: You're such a cynic.
    Harry Dresden: I think cynics are playful and cute.
    • Chapter 6
  • Harry Dresden: Hers was a beauty so pure that it was nearly painful to behold--Athena heading out on a Friday night.
    • Chapter 7
  • Harry Dresden: Susan smiled at me, giving Molly the Female Once-Over--a process by which one woman creates a detailed profile of another woman based upon about a million subtle details of clothing, jewelry, makeup, and body type, and then decides how much of a social threat she might be. Men have a parallel process, but it's binary: Does he have beer? If yes, will he share with me?
    • Chapter 9
  • Harry Dresden: The freaking Council never does anything quickly, and I had a bad feeling that tempus was fugiting furiously.
    • Chapter 10
  • Harry Dresden: Pretty sure that Roman Catholic priests don't have peeps. Too trendy and ephemeral. Like automobiles. And the printing press.
    • Chapter 14
  • Susan Rodriguez: Harry, have you ever heard of the paperless office?
    Harry Dresden: Yeah. It's like Bigfoot. Someone says he knows someone who saw him, but you don't ever actually see him yourself.
    • Chapter 17
  • Warden Chandler: PS--Why, yes, I can in fact capitalize any words I desire. The language is English. I am English. Therefore mine is the opinion which matters, colonial heathen.
    • Chapter 18
  • Harry Dresden: As a whole, people suck, but a person can be extraordinary.
    • Chapter 18
  • Harry Dresden: But there were some things I believed in. Some things I had faith in. And faith isn’t about perfect attendance to services, or how much money you put on the little plate. It isn’t about going skyclad to the Holy Rites, or meditating each day upon the divine. Faith is about what you do. It’s about aspiring to be better and nobler and kinder than you are. It’s about making sacrifices for the good of others—even when there’s not going to be anyone telling you what a hero you are.
    • Chapter 26
  • Queen Mab: For love men will mutilate themselves and murder rivals. For love will even a peaceful man go to war. For Love, man will destroy himself, and do so willingly.
    • Chapter 30
  • Harry Dresden: Paranoia is a survival trait when you run in my circles. It gives you something to do in your spare time, coming up with solutions to ridiculous problems that aren't ever going to happen. Except when one of them does, at which point you feel way too vindicated.
    • Chapter 33
  • Sanya, Knight of the Cross: There is, I think, humor here which does not translate well from English into sanity.
    • Chapter 33
  • Sanya, Knight of the Cross: Laugh whenever you can. Keeps you from killing yourself when things are bad. That and vodka.
    • Chapter 33

Ghost Story (2011)[edit]

  • Harry Dresden: Boobs are near the center of the universe, until you turn twenty-five or so. Which is also when young men’s auto insurance rates go down. This is not a coincidence.
    • Chapter 9
  • Harry Dresden: Death is only frightening from the near side.
    • Chapter 14
  • Harry Dresden: Discussing a problem with yourself is almost never a good way to secure a divergent viewpoint.
    • Chapter 21

The Dresden Files short stories[edit]


  • Thomas Raith: Harry's a wizard. A genuine, honest-to-good-ness wizard. He's Gandalf on crack and an IV of Red Bull, with a big leather coat and a .44 revolver in his pocket. He'll spit in the eye of gods and demons alike if he thinks it needs to be done, and to hell with the consequences-and yet somehow my little brother manages to remain a decent human being.

Day Off[edit]

Originally published in the anthology Blood Lite (October 21, 2008, ISBN 1416567836

He who kills the cheer springs for beer.

  • The next time you interfere with me, more than smoke will interfere with you.
    • Character: "Darth Wannabe"


Originally published in the anthology My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon (December 26, 2007, ISBN 0312375042

  • Spelunking is dangerous enough without adding in anything that could be described with the word "ravening".
  • I'd never seen anyone go truly, old-school berserkergang, but that scream...It was like hearing an echo rolling down through the centuries from an ancient world, a more savage world, now lost to the mists of time. And suddenly I had no trouble at all believing her age.

Restoration of Faith[edit]

Originally posted on the "author's personal website" in 2004

  • Bridges are a troll's specialty. Whether because of some magic or just because of aptitude, you never get across the bridge without facing the troll. That's life, I guess.

Codex Alera[edit]

Princeps' Fury (2008)[edit]

  • Open eyes are of little use when the mind behind them is closed.

First Lord's Fury (2009)[edit]

  • Life, Tavi reflected, seldom makes a gift of what one expects or plans for.

Personal Quotes[edit]

"Shut your whore mouth and write, book monkey." From his personal Facebook page, summarizing the messages he gets about spending time doing anything except putting out the next book.

External links[edit]

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