Hugo Award-winning author Charles Stross is renowned for his cutting-edge science fiction. This third entry in his “edgy … spoof of Cold War spy thrillers” (Booklist) finds covert agent Bob Howard learning about a top-secret dossier that vanishes with his boss. Determined to discover the contents of this memorandum, Howard runs afoul of Russian spies, ancient demons, and apostles of a hideous cult planning to raise the Eater of Souls from the undead.
©2010 Charles Stross (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
While _The Jennifer Morgue_ was a bit disappointing (though by no means bad) compared to _The Atrocity Archives_, this book was every bit as good as the first in the series. Not quite as exciting, since the concepts in it have already been well explored in previous two books, but this story is certainly more of an adventure than anything else in the series to date. If you liked _The Atrocity Archives_ even just a little, you should go out of your way to read / listen to this book.
The narrator, Gideon Emery, is PERFECT for this book (as he was for the other two) and does an excellent job with one exception: the mispronunciation of "rosin". It's hard for me to believe that even in British English, it's pronounced the way he said it; I assume he's not familiar with the substance and has therefore never heard it pronounced correctly. THAT was rather distracting.
Wonderful blend of Lovecraft and spy novel. Be sure and read the first too books in this series, The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue.
Very intense and another great Laundry book. Charles Stross' story pulled me in and Gideon Emery did a wonderful job of portraying the different characters. REALLY looking forward to the next Laundry novel.
The story is sort of a Monty Python/BBC version of Men in Black using subtle British humor in the face of scenarios that should be terrifying. The main characters were likable and interesting and the plot was off-beat enough to keep you guessing the whole way. It made my 14 hour drive fly by nicely.
Bob Howard is finally coming into his own as a field agent for the Laundry. He combats both office politics and the unknown horrors in this fantastic addition to the Laundry Files.
The climax - of course. Here is the thing - you can't help but be disgusted by what happens to Bob but at the same time, you realize that there might a lot more that will flow out of the event.
Mr. Emery has done a terrific job with the whole Laundry series. I have begun to track other books that he narrates and will likely get one yet another one in the future.
In general, Mr. Stross has done a terrific job implying the horrors and the nastiness that goes with a lot of the magic in his world without any tactile evidence. In this story, he got a little too far into specifics for my taste - although my sensitivity might be driven by the fact that I have a new-born son myself (I will leave my commentary there to avoid spoilers, but anyone who has read this book will know exactly what I am talking about.)
In general, I have absolutely LOVED the Laundry Files series. It introduced me to H.P. Lovecraft and I have been searching - in vain - for anything in the same genre. Stross does a great job with the writing and I am looking forward to seeing the books take on their own life rather than being a somewhat empty shadow of a different genre (Jennifer Morgue was difficult because it is SO precisely like a Bond book that there was no suspense.)
Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!
Book- The Fuller Memorandum
Author- Charles Stross
Voice- Gideon Emery
Book- ~$8 http://www.amazon.com/Fuller-Memorandum-Laundry-Files-Novel/dp/044102050X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420247010&sr=1-1&keywords=the+fuller+memorandum
Audiobook- ~$15 http://www.audible.com/pd/The-Fuller-Memorandum-Part-1-Audiobook/B004V4O9W6
TL; DR- Sit down and learn about the Laundry. 93%
Basics-Bob Howard has been pulling a few too many hours at the Laundry. He makes a rookery mistakes that shouldn't happen, and now is sent out on personal leave after someone dies. However, strange cults across the world never take personal leave. Can Bob survive an attack on the Laundry, keep his sanity, and learn more about some ancient Laundry secrets?
Characters- Bob's really Bob in this one. Moe is Moe, and you also get to learn a bunch more about the other characters in the Laundry with this one. Based on the previous books, every character is well described for the new readers, and every character stays in character all the way through this book. Excellently done. 5/5
Setting- I have never been to England and much less to London. But, Stross does a great job of describing the city and making me see places and geography in my head. It almost makes me want to go and see if I could track Bob through the city and see the hidden sights Bob describes. 5/5
Story-The Laundry is a book series about middle management always screwing with the people who actually get the work done. However, I can't see how anyone might get their work done when they have to account for everything even when they know the penalty for such actions is not being able to get fired? I'm complaining a bit, but I don't enjoy the amount of possible threats from inside the Landry. That kinds of gets a bit boring. What I did enjoy was the amount you get to learn about the history of the laundry. Stross does an excellent job of telling bits of Landry and character history over the course of the novel. I loved that even if I didn't enjoy the internal threats and bureaucracy as much. 4/5
Summary-I really like the Laundry novels. Stross does an excellent job of bringing Cthulhu mythos to the masses while still being true to its roots. I do bet a bit bored with the inter-Laundry problems, but this one is a great read. I got to learn a bunch about the Laundry and its members. This was done in some text dumps, but it was done in a smart way throughout the book. If it's at least as good as this one, I can't wait to pick up the next one! 93%.
Audiobook Extra- Gideon Emery is Bob. And, he also does a great female voice with an accent as Moe is in this novel a lot. Well done! 5/5
Stross finally hits his stride in this story. This is not a Dresden files wannabe. Steeped in occult history, philosophy and technology this is not a god botherer friendly book, if your faith is so fragile that reading a story where god doesn't exist, and what we think are gods are actually extra dimensional aliens upsets you, do yourself a favor and go read the left behind series instead. The interlacing of tech, history and occult is done very creatively, the narrator does a great job with accents and his tone and timing is top notch.
A return to fun office workplace Lovecraftian shenanigans!
Yes, you read that right, with The Fuller Memorandum, Stross has once again decided to spoof typical workplace drama with his Lovecraft flavor. I wouldn't say it is a satire anymore, which I am sad about. However, it has become a very competent, creative, and entertaining urban fantasy with a twist. I don't actually know what that twist is, but there is something about this series that defies definition and makes me hesitate to even call it urban fantasy.
To the uninitiated: go buy The Atrocity Archives. Really, do it now. This book is a continuation of what happened previously and follows Bob as he gets into trouble. His mouth gets him into trouble most of all, but his competency and ability to get out of sticky (and sometimes hilarious) situations makes him a prime target for gibbering horrors and those that worship them.
This time Bob has to navigate interoffice politics, a missing boss, a growing disaster, and an iPhone. The bits about the iPhone are worth reading every book up to this one just to fully appreciate those jokes. So. Flipping. Funny.
I continue to recommend this book to anyone who has an office job, especially a governmental one. It is funny, entertaining, and quite good all around with its likable characters, relatable protagonist and fun story.
I'm a big fan of urban fantasy, and listen to Jim Butcher's Dresden series over and over, catching new nuances each time.
But this is to Dresden what Dan Simmons' Hyperion is to "Goodnight Moon." I'm absorbing the Laundry Files ad quickly as my shuddering gray matter can accept it, and must applaud true Bardship when I experience it. Scary, nightmare inducing as it may be, it's something truly amazing to behold, like watching the Hindenburg burn -- from the INSIDE.
Bravo, Mr. Stross, bravo.
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