Colleen's Reviews > Mean Streets

Mean Streets by Jim Butcher
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's review
Sep 18, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: anthology, angels-demons, ghosts, urban-fantasy, wizards-sorcerers, fantasy
Read in September, 2009

No surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed Jim Butcher's short story "The Warrior". A fast-paced tale, centering on Michael Carpenter, his family, and his connections within the church many months after the events in 'Small Favor'. One of the reasons why I enjoy Butcher's stories is that his novels are filled with character development and lots of action. We don't get 3+ pages of unnecessary description about the scene, and if the description goes on for more than a paragraph, it's because it's important to the characters or the scene itself. This is also why his novels are so tough to put down once started.

I also easily fell into Kat Richardson's Harper Blaine story "The Third Death of the Little Clay Dog". A 'Greywalker' story centered around a third party client's bequest in their will to place a clay dog statue on someone's grave during the Day of the Dead celebration in Oaxaca, Mexico. I found the mystery to be intriguing and the characters engaging. I have the first 2 novels of the 'Greywalker' series, and I planned to get around to reading them eventually. However, I enjoyed this story so much that I'm bumping them up to "next" after I finish Butcher's 'Turn Coat' and 'Princep's Fury'.

To a lesser degree, I enjoyed Thomas Sneigoski's 'Remy Chandler' short story "Noah's Orphans" -- particularly his conversations with his Black Lab Marlowe (who reminded me of Shadow, the dog I grew up with). The story was well-written, interesting, and I liked Remy & Marlowe, but the battling of fallen angels and tracking of Noah's killer is just not interesting subject matter for me.

It is rare that every story in an anthology speaks to the reader. "Mean Streets" does pretty well in that I enjoyed 3 of the 4 stories presented. The final short story "The Difference A Day Makes" by Simon R. Green was the dud for me. John Taylor is a private investigator in The Nightside ("the longest night in the world, where the sun has never shone and never will") where anything dark, sick & twisted that can be imagined can be found. Taylor is a paranormal version of the hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe with the dialogue sounding exactly like Humphrey Bogart's characterization. I never connected with any of the characters, and the mystery was unappealing to me. Way too formulaic in style and plot, and too much overblown description about things I could care less about. I found the story to be boring and trite, and it was a struggle to read the entire tale and not just stop reading after the first chapter.

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Quotes Colleen Liked

Jim Butcher
“Harry Dresden. Saving the world, one act of random destruction at a time.”
Jim Butcher, Mean Streets

Reading Progress

09/17/2009 page 109
31.87% "although I've already read Kat Richardson's story (p 141-243) too"

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