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The Atrocity Archives: A Laundry Files Novel | [Charles Stross]

The Atrocity Archives: A Laundry Files Novel

Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.
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Publisher's Summary

Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.

©2004 Charles Stross; (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"In Atrocity, Bob, a low-level computer fix-it guy for the Laundry, a supersecret British agency that defends the world from occult happenings, finds himself promoted to fieldwork after he bravely saves the day during a routine demonstration gone awry. With his Palm, aka his Hand of Glory (a severed hand that, when ignited, renders the holder invisible), and his smarts, he saves the world from a powerful external force seeking to enter our universe to suck it dry....With often hilarious results, the author mixes the occult and the mundane, the truly weird and the petty." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1069 )
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4.3 (900 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark J. Cherry Ohio 06-30-14
    Mark J. Cherry Ohio 06-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "A wonderful introduction"
    If you could sum up The Atrocity Archives in three words, what would they be?

    Lovecraftian Science Adventure


    What did you like best about this story?

    Many things. The writing is superb, very fluid, and fealt natural. The setting appealed to my background in IT, and ultimately I found the main character - pseudonym Bob Howard - to be very relatable. The way the structure of the world is revealed over the course of the book is well done, and sets the stage for what looks to be a really cool series.


    What does Gideon Emery bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Being American, and Stross being British, there were a number of minor details like common slang that I likely would not have picked up on were I reading. With Emery's inflection where relevant, I instantly understood exactly what he meant even though I had never heard the phrase before.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I want to listen to the entire series in one sitting!


    Any additional comments?

    This is like the Dresden Files if Harry were a hacker instead of a wizard and based in London instead of Chicago.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Madeleine Canada 10-01-13
    Madeleine Canada 10-01-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    13
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    "Disappointed"

    I was more than a little disappointed with this book as I was hoping to find another series as gripping, amusing and imaginative as The Dresden Files or even as funny and exciting as The Rook, by Daniel O'Malley (by far the most original and entertaining book I have listen to this year). Sadly, it read like a wet Sunday with just the same amount of tension and excitement. Gideon Emery, the narrator, was certainly competent, but was not able to inject any air of mystery or suspense into this less than thrilling piece of writing. I would have hoped, with a title like 'The Atrocity Archives' to have had a much darker and emotionally charged story - silly me! The only upside to this story, for me, was the mildly satirical dig on British bureaucracy, that aspect of my country of origin that reinforces my relief at not living there anymore. I guess I won't be buying the rest of the series.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Ramirez 07-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great performance, fun story."

    I enjoyed the story, but the performance of this audio book really stood out for me.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norman Pearl River, LA, United States 05-20-13
    Norman Pearl River, LA, United States 05-20-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    37
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    3
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    Story
    "Charlie knows bureaucracy and armageddon"
    Any additional comments?

    James Bond has a license to kill, but the rest of us have to save the world and find love and happiness working for micromanagers who get in the way. Charlie Stross manages to make sorcery plausible and have wonderful characters in situations and organizations I recognize. These are characters I want for friends and to back me up. Sorry if I haven't made this as fun and exciting as I thought it was. I loved halting state and this brings back good people in fantastic situations , and it is an enjoyable ride.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 09-30-10
    Jan 09-30-10
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    "Awesome book"

    This is well read by Gideon Emery, and a great book! I'd describe it as a Science Fiction/Horror/Comedy. The back story for the Concrete Jungle (the 2nd book included after the Atrocity Archive) gets a little slow, but it has a great payoff. Makes me want more office toys!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CURT VAN DE LIGT 07-03-14 Member Since 2012

    Science Fiction, humor, education, philosophy, horror and non fiction are my favorite genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    0
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    "Let Down"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    For me it was not well spent. I found the book disjointed and dull. I was really looking forward to listening to this one but there were to many problems with this title.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    WILLIAM CROWN POINT, IN, United States 11-05-12
    WILLIAM CROWN POINT, IN, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    15
    11
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    "A step above pulpy"

    This is a simple story which is made victim of an unholy union with horrors from the inconceivable void, built up with either a genuine knowledge of advanced mathematics or a knack for smooth-flowing technobabble and then coated with all the dry jokes about government bureaucracy; all of them.

    I recommend it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Carpenter Fremont, CA USA 09-30-10
    J. Carpenter Fremont, CA USA 09-30-10

    roulette

    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
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    436
    18
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    1
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    "Awesome book"

    This is well read by Gideon Emery, and a great book! I'd describe it as a Science Fiction/Horror/Comedy. The back story for the Concrete Jungle (the 2nd book included after the Atrocity Archive) gets a little slow, but it has a great payoff. Makes me want more office toys!

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Houston, TX, United States 05-14-15
    Christopher Houston, TX, United States 05-14-15 Member Since 2015
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    "I liked it and I didn't. "

    I certainly found it interesting but I didn't really feel like anyone was in danger mostly just kind of creepy stuff locked away in vaults or other dimensions. I guess my problem is more time was spent on the mechanics of this logical explanation of magic than trying to freak me out that someone/everyone was in peril.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leon Miller New Orleans, Louisiana 05-05-15
    Leon Miller New Orleans, Louisiana 05-05-15 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wildly creative and great, great fun."
    Have you listened to any of Gideon Emery’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Gideon Emery was one of the best narrators I've listened to. This audio book had a range of characters and he made each one distinct and memorable. I was very impressed, thoroughly enjoyed listening to him, and will seek out other books he's narrated.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    James Bond meets Cthulhu in a laugh-a-minute apocalypse of fun!


    Any additional comments?

    Wonderful! Suppose your department's IT nerd were actually a secret agent with a doctorate in computational demonology. Such a mashup of Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, spy fiction, Lovecraft, and geekdom might seem too much, but it works, in no small part due to the author's creative and fascinating world-building combined with a wry and often hilarious sense of humor. If you might enjoy Harry Dresden as a spy, then I think you'll enjoy this book. Besides, I'm very sympathetic with the notion that "a pact with the Devil is all well and good, but I still need a phone number for solid IT support."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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