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The Fuller Memorandum (The Laundry Files) Paperback – July 1, 2010

88 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stross's third Laundry novel (after 2006's The Jennifer Morgue) continues to describe the Kafkaesque absurdity of government bureaucracies, but the tone turns dark when series hero Bob Howard accidentally kills a civilian during a routine exorcism. Bob soon discovers that there's a mole loose in the Laundry, the ultrasecret British intelligence service that deals with the implications of magic being a branch of pure mathematics. At issue is a memo by the Laundry's founder that relates to something called the Eater of Souls. The only person who knows anything about this is Bob's enigmatic boss, Angleton, but when he inexplicably vanishes, Bob and his wife and fellow agent, Maureen, are left on their own to stop CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN: the end of the world. The satisfying ending should appeal to fans of gory horror while making them question the definition of humanity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Imagine a world where gnarly Lovecraftian demons are all too real yet are routinely neutralized with high-tech wizardry by a supersecret British spy agency, and you'll get an inkling of the genre-bending territory Stross explores in his Laundry Files novels. In the series' third installment, Stross' recurring protagonist, the underappreciated junior-level Laundry agent Bob Howard, confronts a horrifying new threat from the netherworld. His latest assignment begins innocently enough when his supervisor sends him to investigate a haunted airplane at an RAF museum. Then a botched exorcism accidentally kills a bystander, leaving Howard facing a Laundry internal inquiry, and things steadily get worse. After Howard's wife and fellow agent returns home traumatized from an overseas assignment and Howard narrowly survives a run-in with a zombie hit man, the Laundry puts every operative on alert with Case Nightmare Green, a code name for a potentially world-ending showdown with the forces of evil. Stross enthusiasts more accustomed to the author's cutting-edge sf will nevertheless delight in this edgy, semiserious spoof of cold war spy thrillers. --Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Laundry Files (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (July 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841497703
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841497709
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 1 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Stross, 50, is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005, 2010, and 2015 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By D. Harris on July 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Bob Howard is a minor cog in a dangerous machine - the Laundry, a secret British department dedicated to protecting the nation from Lovecraftian horrors. In this universe, Lovecraft unwittingly stumbled on more of the truth than he knew. he was followed by Turing, who discovered that abominations from other dimensions can be summoned by mathematical theorems and invoked by computer code.

Would be tech support worker Howard has much more to worry about than the office cabling or backups.

This is the third in Stross's much praised Laundry series after The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue. They are good, but in my view this is the best yet, pitting Howard against foreign spies, cultists and his own missing boss as he races to retrieve the missing memorandum itself. TFM picks up themes from the earlier books, being stuffed with technology in-jokes, nods to The Register (so, Bob's shiny new iPhone is constantly described as his "jesusphone"), and scenes of office life as well as darker humour. We also learn more about the Laundry itself - its history, personnel (look out for the "residual human resources") and why it is so obsessed with paperclip security - as well as the true purpose of London's Post Office Underground Railway.

The previous two books were styled and structured as tributes to/ affectionate pastiches of, respectively, Len Deighton and Ian Fleming, as Stross subverted the conventions of the Cold War thriller to address his cosmic occult threat.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By TS VINE VOICE on July 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is Charles Stross's third novel in the ongoing story of Bob Howard, a career computer programmer and IT guy who happens to work at "The Laundry," the British Civil Service arm designated to protect against threats mystical and magical.

Stross here cooks the familiar stew of geek references, office politics parody, spy thriller, and Lovecraftian occult esoterica that's flavored the Laundry series so well so far, and if you liked the first two books (The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue) you'll like this one (although it's closer to the post-cold-war spy-thriller tone of the first book than the Bond-esque stylings of the second). Fans of the series will find out more about the mysterious past of Howard's boss, Angleton, and you'll see some further development of Howard's relationship with his now-wife, Dominique O'Brian. The book maintains a thriller-appropriate level of tension throughout, with some lighthearted moments, and numerous references to geek culture (such as a series of comic descriptions of an iphone, and a buried allusion to Jim Butcher's _Dresden Files_ books).

Where this volume does differ from the prior two books is in its sense of escalation. The occult players in Bob Howard's world are all moving towards "CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN," the coming apocalyptic incursion of Lovecraftian Elder Gods into our reality, projected to happen sometime in the next few years of series-time.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By S. M Stirling on July 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Charlie Stross is an excellent writer and I can't recall anything of his that wasn't worth reading. The "Laundry" books, about the secret bureaucracy of, as it were, anti-spooks who guard the UK from Lovecraftian extradimensional horrors is, however, his best work -- with the "Merchant Princes" series a close second.

The dry humor and dynamite action combine with considerable psychological insight to make this top-of-the-line scienced fantasy and just plain damned good writing.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Carroll VINE VOICE on July 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sorry to break from the fulsome praise others are lavishing on this book, but I found it to be a bit of a trudge.

The book's a spy-hunt, sort of like one of Le Carre's "Smiley" novels, combined with an attempt to free one of the elder gods to do whatever it is elder gods do. Oh, and a little old KGB lady gets killed in an industrial accident.

So, maybe it's not so much a trudge as a sort of dash from place to place, waiting for bad stuff to descend randomly. Take the wrong turn onto the wrong bike path, etc., and suddenly you're in a world of hurt. Mind you, those bike path bits did have a sort of "Deus ex Machina" feeling to them. Lock up the wrong file in the wrong safe, and suddenly soul-eaters are about to be on the loose. Basically, this book gives you the feel of being a hunted animal. That gets tiring after a couple of hundred pages.

iPhone aside, there's a lot less of the tech angle than there has been in previous books.

What else? Well, you want to see how things turn out, even if it's an illegal zombie rave.

Other bits. Organized (disorganized as well) religion gets the normal scoffing. Tories come in for more stick, although there's also a swipe at some Labour types. Presumably, the Labour types who get stick are insufficiently Trotskyite. An interesting argument is made for why the world is overpopulated. The underground life of London looks interesting - I'd love to see a ground-penetrating radar picture of London. You get more information about the Laundry, and especially Angleton, who turns out to be quite the character.

All in all, I suppose this is a decent addition to the "Laundry Files".
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