We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
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.
Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (1141 )
5 star
 (421)
4 star
 (419)
3 star
 (197)
2 star
 (66)
1 star
 (38)
Overall
4.0 (966 )
5 star
 (365)
4 star
 (332)
3 star
 (176)
2 star
 (61)
1 star
 (32)
Story
4.3 (967 )
5 star
 (479)
4 star
 (340)
3 star
 (113)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (19)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 03-20-15
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 03-20-15 Member Since 2014

    I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1342
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    453
    344
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    560
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A sysadmin saves the world"

    Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

    The Atrocity Archives contains the first two novellas in Charles Stross’ THE LAUNDRY FILES: The Atrocity Archive and The Concrete Jungle. The series is based on the premise that, before he died, Alan Turing solved a theorem that proved that mathematics could be used to gain access to other space-time dimensions. Unfortunately, what’s out there is exactly what H.P. Lovecraft said there was — sleeping tentacled horrors that might be inclined to enter our universe if gateways were opened. To avoid mass panic, this has been kept secret from most humans. The ones who accidently find out are scooped up and brought into a secret organization where they are paid to help keep the world safe. In England, that organization is a government agency known as The Laundry.

    Bob Howard is a computer geek who was brought into The Laundry after he accidentally hacked into another dimension while generating some new fractals. Because he was previously in IT, Bob has been given a sysadmin role at The Laundry. He spends his days dealing with all the usual sysadmin and IT issues such as helping his inept colleagues who don’t know how to solve their own computer problems or who manage to screw up the computers they’ve been given. Occasionally Bob is asked to help with a mission, but so far only when they need him to hack into a computer or steal files or something else geeky.

    In The Atrocity Archive, Bob manages to impress his superiors with his quick thinking when he stops an otherworldy being from entering our world during a demonstration he was asked to attend. Now Bob has been given his first field assignment — to protect a beautiful and brilliant young Irish physicist who works in Santa Cruz, California. She’s attracted the attention of governments and terrorists but neither she nor Bob knows why until they get sucked into a dimension inhabited by Nazi necromancers.

    In The Concrete Jungle, which is shorter, Bob is asked to discover what caused the strange death of a cow in Bancroft Park. He teams up with a tough cop named Josephine to uncover a dastardly world-threatening plot which involves basilisks, Gorgons, zombies, brain tumors, DRM, and more Nazis.

    The Atrocity Archives pushed all the right buttons for me. I loved the mix of computing, math, physics, neuroscience, history, technology, and Lovecraftian horror. It’s a real geek fest. I loved Bob and his cynical sense of humor as he dealt with a nosey supervisor, nasty office politics, a crazy girlfriend, a couple of strange mechanically-inclined homosexual roommates who he affectionately calls “Pinky and the Brain,” and all the bureaucratic nonsense involved in working for a government agency… not to mention Nazis and zombies. I enjoyed every moment of The Atrocity Archives; even the long info dumps didn’t bother me because I found them so interesting. I can’t wait to read more of Bob’s adventures.

    Gideon Emery narrates the audio version of The Atrocity Archives which is 11 hours long and produced by Recorded Books. His voice is perfect for Bob Howard and I love the way he interprets the story. I’ll be choosing this format for the rest of the books in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark J. Cherry Ohio 06-30-14
    Mark J. Cherry Ohio 06-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    40
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    247
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    72
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    436
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Cloned3 RVA USA 06-22-15
    Cloned3 RVA USA 06-22-15 Member Since 2015

    cloned3xys

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    227
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "No character connection"

    I felt no connection to the characters; at no point did it bother me that they were in distress. The stories were interesting but not compelling. At points it seemed to drag on and on. I would not recommend The Atrocity Archives: A Laundry Files Novel; however, I would not discourage anyone form reading it. I MIGHT listen to the next in the series.
    I marked the book Finished half way through so if something happened to my iPhone I would not download it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.