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The Apocalypse Codex (A Laundry Files Novel) Hardcover – July 3, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: A Laundry Files Novel (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover; Book Club Edition edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781937007461
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937007461
  • ASIN: 1937007464
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Stross gives his readers a British super spy with a long-term girlfriend, no fashion sense and an aversion to martinis."
(San Francisco Chronicle)

"Bond and Bourne never faced the adversaries Howard confronts."
(Alternative Worlds)

About the Author

Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England in 1964. He holds degrees in pharmacy and computer science, and has worked in a variety of jobs including pharmacist, technical author, software engineer, and freelance journalist. He is now a full-time writer.


More About the Author

Charles Stross, 49, is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005 and 2010 Hugo awards for best novella, Stross's works have been translated into over twelve languages.

Like many writers, Stross has had a variety of careers, occupations, and job-shaped-catastrophes in the past, from pharmacist (he quit after the second police stake-out) to first code monkey on the team of a successful dot-com startup (with brilliant timing he tried to change employer just as the bubble burst).

Customer Reviews

This is a well written book with great characters and plot.
Gary Bartz
I have read all the "Laundry Files" books, and this is certainly one of the better from the series.
Wundt
He is able to create a world in his writing that is both believable and surreal.
Andrew Keyser

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas A. Sanders on July 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was not a big fan of the previous novel in The Laundry Files series (The Fuller Memorandum) because I thought it was too dark and grim, and lacked all the wonderful touches of satire and whimsy that Stross normally brings to these stories. I am pleased to report that this latest novel is much less dark (though of course the subject is darkness and the Lovecraftian entities that lay beyond the darkness), and that Stross seems to be back in fine form.

Bob is back with a new mission, to be undertaken only reluctantly and without a full appreciation for what's *REALLY* going on (as usual). This time, he's accompanied by two new "External Assets" who give him an opportunity to practice his recently learned management skills. (The Laundry has finally come to appreciate his true potential, and is grooming him for promotion. Thus, offical training in the arts of management and leadership.) And Bob discovers, through the usual trials (and errors) that he does indeed possess management and leadership skills--as well as other skills that The Laundry appreciates perhaps more than the more traditional bureaucracy of HMG would.

Stross does a great job with plot, creating a credible threat that demands our hero's best efforts (plus a little more). The "External Assets" are great characters, apparently an homage to a comic strip of which I'm only vaguely aware (sorry about that). But even without an appreciation of the characters' relationship to the comic strip, I was still able to care about them and their fates.

If I have a quibble, it's that Bob's wife, Mo, who is an effective and capable agent herself, is not featured in this episode. It's pretty much all about Bob and his two "Assets" -- and Angleton, of course. And the Auditors. And the Black Chamber.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Steve Proctor on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In this excellent supernatural technothriller, John Shirley's Demons meets Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. A British programmer turned demonologist works for the top-secret British organization called the Laundry. His superior is an embodied "Soul Eater." It's all the modern state's way of making sure that supernatural conflicts between good and evil don't end up swinging the wrong way. The current conflict? A strange, perhaps demonically involved American televangelist is getting a little too cozy with the Prime Minister. Problem: the PM can't be investigated by the Laundry. So it's necessary to exploit external channels.

So, is it any good? If you like hard-boiled narration, score one point. If you enjoy plots where the integrity of the fabric of the universe is hanging in the balance, score another point. If you enjoy plenty of hinted-at, but never fully-explained technologies that knit together the spiritual-demonic with modern electronics, score yet again. And if you enjoy a constantly unfolding, ever accelerating plot that drives toward a multi-dimensional apocalypse, score another point. And if you enjoy story elements that cause you to wonder if reality is a dim reflection in glass of a far stranger, and more twisted truth... then you really ought to just run out and buy this book.

For reality-bending that is more "literary," including infinite libraries and the end of the world, check out Borges' Labyrinths (New Directions Paperbook). For a scholar's playful word-bending, check out THE Book of Word Games: Parlett's Guide to 150 Great and Quick-to-Learn Word Games.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on July 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First and foremost, let me get it out of the way that the ONLY reason I'm feeling like Mr. Stross and the "The Laundry" series seems to be "slipping" a bit is because he (and it) have been so stratospherically good in the past... You would be hard-pressed to find a better author than Mr. Stross or a series with more originality than "The Laundry"...

and now for the down-side...

The first books in the series relied on a nearly endless string of inside references from the IT community and popular horror lore... not to mention the descriptions of government bureacracy that often left me in tears from laughing and my neck sore from nodding in agreement with his dead-on (no pun intended) characterizations of governmental idiocy.

However... those obscure references were always explained in due time through the course of each book... and even the EXTREMELY idiosyncratic "Brit-speak" was normally cleared up via the characters actions. Mr. Stross would throw a phrase or reference at you and you could then look forward to finding out "what he meant by that" later in the book... and THAT was one of the great things about the series!

But... that endearing trait seems to have taken over his writing style and festered into something that is now starting to alienate all but the most rabid and fanatical readers (which I considered myself to be until this last book). It has gotten to the point that his characters are now often nearly unintelligable to even fairly "hip" readers who know many of the "in" jokes and British cultural references.

I have little doubt that this approach seems like a natural progression for Mr. Stross and his editors... "Hey, if the fans say that they like that about the series, let's give them even MORE of it... right?
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