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The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files) Hardcover – July 1, 2014


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Product Details

  • Series: Laundry Files (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (July 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425256863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425256862
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (167 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for THE LAUNDRY FILES novels
“Smart, literate, funny.”—New York Times bestselling author Lev Grossman, Time
“Well written, well reasoned, and thoroughly entertaining. Dig into the Laundry Files—there’s a mad joy inherent to these books that is difficult to find anywhere else.”—The Maine Edge
“A weirdly alluring blend of superspy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy and Lovecraftian horror.”Kirkus Reviews
“A fabulous, out-of-control paranormal espionage horror thriller.”—Genre Go Round Reviews

About the Author

Charles Stross is a full-time science fiction writer. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005 Hugo Award for best novella (“The Concrete Jungle”), Stross has had his work translated into more than twelve languages. In addition to the Laundry Files Novels (The Atrocity Archives, The Jennifer Morgue, The Fuller Memorandum, The Apocalypse Codex), he is the author of Accelerando, Wireless, Saturn's Children, and Neptune's Brood.

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

I highly recommend the Laundry files books and stories.
Robert E. Barnes
This one offered a truly edge-of-your-seat plot and developed the characters further.
mollyt
The series keeps getting darker as the end of days approach.
bigjsl

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jim Stenberg on July 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Rhesus Chart is the fifth in a series of novels that begins with The Atrocity Archives and continues with "The Jennifer Morgue", "The Fuller Memorandum" and "The Apocalypse Codex". The Laundry, where series protagonist Bob Howard works, is a super-secret agency of the British Government tasked with dealing with supernatural threats. Bob tries to retain his humanity and a semblance of a normal life in face of overwhelming danger, and despite knowing Secrets that Man Was Not Meant to Know. In style the Laundry Files are the illegitimate offspring of H.P. Lovecraft with John le Carré, mashed up with "The Office". Bob Howard's previous adventures are referred to frequently, so it would be best to read the series in order.

The premise of this latest installment (no spoilers not already found in the item description) is that there are vampires in London. But very little is as it seems; there are many surprises and reversals as Bob gets to the bottom of a very intricate plot. The vampires are not dealt with at all the way I expected. Old characters reappear (it would not be amiss to reread the series to this point) and some long established characters depart. I don't know how many novels are planned in the series, but there is a definite sense that Doomsday is approaching.

The humor is as good as it ever is, as is the suspense and the humanity. There are genuinely sad scenes: Bob's growth in knowledge and power is not without significant personal cost. Oh, and along the way, he adopts a black cat named "Spooky".

Highly recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Maizels on July 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Rhesus Chart is the fifth in Charles Stross' Laundry Files (The Atrocity Archives, The Jennifer Morgue, The Fuller Memorandum, The Apocalypse Codex) that follows the trials of British civil servant Bob Howard, a former computer scientist corralled into working for a super-secret division of MI-6 tasked with defending the Universe. The series is a cross between the classic Cold War spy thriller and Lovecraftian cosmic horror. (Indeed, the recent Laundry Files novella Equoid involves Lovecraft himself.)

This time out.... Frankly, this time out is disappointing. The previous novels involved adventure, danger, action and excitement, even if Bob didn't want any part of it. This novel never leaves London, much less Earth; it never really gets beyond second gear. Though the story is told in first person, a good half of the action takes place when Bob is not present, and is told by reconstruction or after-action report.

This applies even to the climactic scenes of the novel, which turns a Pyrrhic victory into merely a damp squib. It's still a decent read, but given how well the series started out, this latest outing is so much less than it might have been. I would not really recommend it either to a new or an established reader of the series; instead, pick up Equoid and the other short works.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By the GreatReads! TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The Rhesus Chart by Charles Stross is the fifth book in the Laundry Files series, and continues to be as entertaining and delightful as ever with its wonderful blend of fun, suspense and horror. In this episode, Stross takes the series to a new level as the British government agency continues its fight against supernatural elements. New readers will be hooked while others who have been reading the series may find some of the stuff a bit repetitive, though helpful for those who come in late, but nevertheless enjoying the same.

In The Rhesus Chart, Charles Stross weaves a fascinating tale of some British investment bankers known as Scrum accidentally stumbling on a formula that will turn them into billionaires but with devastating consequences. It will also turn them into vampires. The Laundry, as a top secret government agency fighting supernatural elements has never been called in to deal with vampires. When bankers at the most distinguished financial institutions turned into blood-sucking vampires with a fascination for O positive, hacker-turned-agent of the Laundry, Bob Howard, realizes that the situation is much more complex than the agency assessed it to be. It has the potential to imperil the whole world apart from endangering those close to him. As Bob ferociously works his way to end the menace, he finds himself a step behind as the leader of the group is a former Laundry agent who knows the working of the agency inside out. Not just an ex-agent, Mhari Murphy is Bob’s ex-girlfriend too.

Stross’ fascinating storyline is absorbing. The concept is brilliant and the plot is well-imagined. Stross’ fine writing with almost perfect plot twists and turns makes The Rhesus Chart a delightful and enjoyable read. Tense, funny, absorbing and amusing, many readers will find immense delight in The Rhesus Chart.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By crawlkill on July 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Unexceptionable, but unexceptional. Stross made the deliberate decision to expand the scope of the Laundry series beyond its original arc, and has also said that he's run out of spy tropes to riff on, and so is deliberately moving to a more general urban fantasy genre. It shows. The Rhesus Chart isn't bad; it's just not clear why it exists at all. The story told moves the metaplot needle not a hair'swidth, and the take on vampirism, while given a little bit of cosmic horror spin, isn't even remotely new enough to challenge or surprise the reader. Bob continues to be Stross' weakest narrator--deliberately, I think, but being charmless on purpose doesn't make you charming--and, in keeping with The Apocalypse Codex, the story meanders back and forth for a couple hundred pages after the introduction before hitting a very abrupt and overconcise climax that doesn't especially feel dependent on what's come before.

I'm glad I read it, but it definitely isn't encouraging me to encourage friends who've never touched or didn't like the series to pick it up because "oh man the latest one will blow your mind." I guess that's the tl;dr.

More helpfully: Go read all the other Laundry books, starting with The Atrocity Archive, -then- pick up this one. You'll enjoy it if you're invested in the series, but it's definitely not a place to jump in in medias res.
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