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.
Laughter is the best medicine, but if you are laughing for no reason, you may need medicine.
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.
I love this series, I love the narrator, I love the characters, I love everything about these books. Eventually, I will have them all read.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.
I just can’t get enough of THE LAUNDRY FILES. This series has almost everything I want in an urban SFF adventure — an intelligent hero with a wry sense of humor and a great voice; an eclectic supporting cast; a fast pace with lots of action and plot twists; a cool mix of fantasy and science fiction; occasionally odd (and interesting) structural choices; a reverence for geek culture; and a smattering of computer science, mathematics, quantum physics and neuroscience. And Lovecraft. I love it.
In The Fuller Memorandum, the third LAUNDRY FILES novel, things start badly for Bob after he accidentally kills a bystander during a mission. He’s sent home to await an inquiry. That’s pretty bad, but soon things get worse. His enigmatic boss goes missing, there are Russian KGB agents and members of a cannibalistic doomsday cult sneaking around, a secret document called “The Fuller Memorandum” disappears from the laundry archives, and Bob’s wife (Mo) is involved in something that’s got her scared for her life and she can’t talk about it. And what the heck is “Teapot”? And why is paperclip usage being audited? Bob, who’s getting a little paranoid, has to unravel all this mess before…. well, he’s not sure before what, but whatever it is, he knows it’s going to be bad. Like, end-of-the-world kind of bad.
As with the previous LAUNDRY FILES stories, the plot of The Fuller Memorandum is fast-paced, unusually structured (Stross likes to play with the narrative perspective), completely unpredictable, and contains a bizarrely disparate set of elements that somehow works together in a way that’s quirky and juuuusssst manages to not go over the top. Stross has a great sense for when he’s about to cross the line.
In this story we learn about sympathetic magic (this is why paperclips are counted), what Mo’s violin is made of (uh… yikes!), and some of our questions about Bob’s inscrutable boss are answered. None of this disappoints — it’s all wonderfully weird and makes us want to find out more about the Laundry’s history.
Not only is the plot entertaining, but the LAUNDRY FILES novels are also funny. Bob has a great sardonic voice and he loves to take opportunities to spout his cynical opinions on just about any topic. In The Fuller Memorandum, he makes particular fun of our obsession with the iPhone (“Precious!”), which he insists is injected with some sort of glamour. He calls it a “Jesus Phone” and when he buys one (the glamour made him do it), he christens his iPhone with the name “The NecronomiPod.” In one hilarious scene, the bad guys who are torturing Bob discover the phone (“Oooh, shiny!”) and get distracted from their work as they start pressing the icons. And I also gotta love that Bob reads THE DRESDEN FILES on the train and makes allusions to THE LORD OF THE RINGS, Philip K. Dick, and other much-loved speculative fiction.
I can’t wait to see what Bob and The Laundry get up to next in The Apocalypse Codex. I’m listening to the audio versions of THE LAUNDRY FILES which are fabulously narrated by Gideon Emery. He’s captured Bob’s voice and tone perfectly, and his performance adds a lot to my enjoyment of these stories.
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