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But even though it is such a cliche, it's a good one and it's done well. There's an interesting magic system, there's a good enough story, the characters are easy to relate to and likable. Personally though, I have two problems:
1. One, like Lexx I found Harry a bit of a chauvinistic dick. But I found it more forgivable than Lexx. Which made me wonder why that was, and my conclusion was "Well, coz he's a man." Once I think that I berate myself for being sexist but also wonder why this excuses it. And I think it comes down to the underlying sexism that does still pervade every day life for women, and we just have to accept that sometimes, some men are chauvinistic dicks. And we have to deal with this or we'd be angry all the time. And sometimes it's not coz they think they are better than us. I mean the old men at work hold the doors open for me, not because they are bad people, it's just what they do. And that's my point. I can't yell at them every time coz that makes me the bad person, not them for implying I can't open a door. But when he says things like:
My own hands were too broad, but Murphy had delicate little lady's hands, except were the practice with her gun and her martial arts staff routines had left calluses. p302
That's just plain fucking rude.
2. I can't stop thinking of Harry Ramsden's. This was a fish shop in a small Yorkshire town next door to Dad's own. He used to ride his bike in the 40s over there and buy fish and chips wrapped in newspaper out of a hole in the wall. It then became a restaurant in the same town, then a chain in the UK, and then in the late 90s it had grown to a chain in airports around the world. It was crap from an Aussie fish and chip perspective, mainly as it was all mass produced at that time. But I can imagine being a kid and buying it out of someone's kitchen it would have been great. I thought they had gone bust but apparently not from the quick google for a link. Anyways, I keep mixing up the names. Not Jim Butcher's fault.
So I'm settling on a 4. I'm hoping Harry get's better. And that James Masters reading the audiobooks I have of the next few make it even better.