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The Delirium Brief Audiobook

The Delirium Brief

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Publisher's Summary

The eighth case in Charles Stross' Laundry Files, the Hugo Award-winning series described by Kirkus Reviews as "a weirdly alluring blend of super-spy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy, and Lovecraftian horror".

Bob Howard's career in the Laundry, the secret British government agency dedicated to protecting the world from unspeakable horrors from beyond spacetime, has entailed high combat, brilliant hacking, ancient magic, and combat with indescribably repellent creatures of pure evil. It has also involved a wearying amount of paperwork and office politics, and his expense reports are still a mess.

Now, following the invasion of Yorkshire by the Host of Air and Darkness, the Laundry's existence has become public, and Bob is being trotted out on TV to answer pointed questions about elven asylum seekers. What neither Bob nor his managers have foreseen is that their organization has earned the attention of a horror far more terrifying than any demon: a British government looking for public services to privatize.

There's a lot of potential shareholder value in the Laundry's "knowledge assets". Inch by inch, Bob Howard and his managers are forced to consider the truly unthinkable: a coup against the British government itself.

©2017 Charles Stross (P)2017 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (371 )
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  •  
    Jasmine Wahlberg Pennsylvania, USA 07-13-17
    Jasmine Wahlberg Pennsylvania, USA 07-13-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic, frustrating, squamous, and rugose"

    First, the tl;dr and spoilerless version: Any fan of this series will find this book to be as well-written and consistently-toned as the rest of the books in it. The performance by Gideon Emery is, as usual, great and easy to listen to. Overall, except for the book ending in an appropriate yet frustrating place, leaving the reader champing at the bit for the next, it's definitely worth your time.

    The longer, slightly more spoilery version: This latest outing for our humble narrator Bob Howard is fantastic, but somewhat bittersweet. The tone of the storyline and the characters themselves have definitely matured naturally over time. Still, in this book, you can sense things drawing to an asymptote, an ending or new beginning, as there is a cavalcade of older characters and conflicts trotted out to neatly tie their stories into the main overlying thread of "humans at ground zero for fights between beasties beyond our comprehension." I won't sit here and give you a recount of the storyline -- I'm certain others will do that, and who wants the story ruined for them like that before they read it anyway? -- but suffice to say that there are a lot of twisty surprises, old faces, and new powers to keep you hanging on the next words.

    Overall, this book sets a bit more brutal of a plot than most before it, but it's appropriate as the stakes get higher and higher. Shippers of Bob and Mo will definitely feel a bit better if the events of The Annihilation Score left them feeling blue (as they did me). The book still gets out its geeky humour, but probably more appropriately as Bob (and presumably the author) drift away from being current with tech, the jargon has lessened over the years, the merciless nerd-splanation that some people have found off-putting has receded. Cheers to the author for coming neatly to rest in this respect, not bothering to re-explain every last detail at every turn, knowing that people reading this book are not likely to have picked up the tale this deep into the series.

    I very much enjoyed this book, even though with an hour left I could tell I was going to be angry that the book was ending so soon, with so much left to happen. People who have enjoyed this series would be well-advised to snap this up and listen.

    The only thing left to say is something I keep saying to myself over and over: Poor Bob.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron 07-21-17
    aaron 07-21-17 Member Since 2014
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    "The twist"

    Pay attention to the whole story because of the minor twist turning into something that's going to change the entire tone of the future books to come.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Ono 07-21-17
    L. Ono 07-21-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Love the narrator"

    Big fan of this series. Maybe not quite as funny as some in the series but lots of familiar faces and character arcs tied up.This book is maybe heavier on the bureaucracy side and a lot about privatization. But I was satisfied .

    Really enjoyed the narrator. Will look for more books narrated by Gideon Emery

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Luella 07-16-17 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprisingly Good"

    I stumbled across this book looking for something new and that's what I found. With the understated British humor ("No one expects the Spanish Inquisition") this was a refreshing change from the American sci-fi / fantasy books that start out entertaining and just move right into over the top, stupidly absurd humor. Don't get me wrong, I like American sci-fi humor, I just recently came off R.C. Bray's Spec Ops and while Skipper the AI in a beer can was entertaining in his first appearance he was just TSTL in the following book.

    I can see going back and getting the prior books in this series. It reminds me a bit of Torchwood (boo hoo, I've lost all my good sci-fi TV series). My only complaint is the ending. I won't insert a spoiler, and maybe I need to read the prior books to get it but WTF was that ending? Gotta get more and see if I missed the point.

    Worth the credit even with the ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremiah Mccoy 10-13-17 Member Since 2007
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    "Excellent story"

    This is a return to form for the series. This is a standard spy story wrapped in the horror tropes. Good story and good reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Colin Austin, TX, United States 10-09-17
    Colin Austin, TX, United States 10-09-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Revolting item should be reclassified as horror"

    So disgusted by the continued appearances of disgusting parasites transmitted, now by rape. Revolting choice, and a lapse by the editor. The series, once clever and funny, is now simply gross and stomach-turning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ton london england 09-18-17
    ton london england 09-18-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "between arock and a hard place"

    and the laundry has to surviveas an old enemy returns. so you have a red hairedex violinowner. an eater of souls a few vampires and the leader of wella bunch of elves go at it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay H. Pittsburgh 08-18-17
    Jay H. Pittsburgh 08-18-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Best yet"

    I like the laundry, but I loved this book. Couldn't put it down. Lots of action and suspense.
    It makes me want to re-listen to the whole series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seanisms 08-10-17
    Seanisms 08-10-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Great listen"

    Love the laundry series! Gideon Emry is fantastic at narration! Can't wait for next one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Monument, CO, United States 08-10-17
    Bryan Monument, CO, United States 08-10-17 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lesser of Two Evils"

    This is a good, straight-forward, rip-snorting, upper-class-twit bashing, Laundry story. Bob Howard is back and is still the Eater of Souls. This story answers the question, What if the entire upper level of government were taken over by soul-eating worms? And with the tight circles that run the British government, there aren't too many people who would have to be "turned" in order to make this work.

    Without giving away too many spoilers, the Laundry is dissolved by the Cabinet Office. The members of Mahogany Row - the top level executives and sorcerers - are on the run. Everyone else is fired. What contingency plans has the organization put in place to keep going? Who is behind the attack? How will everyone respond when some of the deeply serious things of the night start coming loose? Give this a listen and find out.

    This story is an immediate extension from Book 7 in the series - The Nightmare Stacks. So many of the characters from that story continue into this one. And this one's ending makes it obvious that there will be a continuation coming soon.

    One of he great joys of listening to this series of stories is the narration by Gideon Emery. He is wonderful in voicing all the characters and conveying the emotions and action.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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