- Series: A Laundry Files Novel (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (December 30, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441016685
- ISBN-13: 978-0441016686
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 236 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Atrocity Archives (A Laundry Files Novel) Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Lovecraft's Cthulhu meets Len Deighton's spies in Stross's latest, as the Scottish author explains in his afterword to this offbeat book offering two related long novellas, "The Atrocity Archive" and "The Concrete Jungle" (the latter previously unpublished). With often hilarious results, the author mixes the occult and the mundane, the truly weird and the petty. 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. In "Jungle," Bob teams up with a cop, Josephine, to save the Laundry from a powermonger who seeks to stage an internal coup by using zombies as her minions. Amid all the bizarre happenings are the everyday trappings of a British bureaucracy. Bob gets called on the carpet by his bosses because he requested backup during an emergency without first getting his supervisor's okay and filling out the requisite forms. Though the characters all tend to sound the same, and Stross resorts to lengthy summary explanations to dispel confusion, the world he creates is wonderful fun.
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.
""Stross has gene-spliced H. P. Lovecraft and Len Deighton to produce a SF thriller that is both witty and unsettling."
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Top customer reviews
I would recommend it highly if you enjoy techno-babble, computers, "weird fiction," paper-clip inventories, poking fun at the idiocies of the workplace office environment/politics, and/or "thrillers." You would probably find it especially enjoyable if you have a craving for "Lovecraftian" stories with a contemporary setting since these types of stories are somewhat difficult to find in my experience.
I think Stross does an admirable job of providing comic relief to the particularly nasty bits. You might find yourself about to put the book down because some of the things Bob discovers in the depths of the Atrocity Archives are... well, let's just say the Archives are well named. But then you'll find yourself with a finger jammed between pages while you laugh so hard tears roll down your cheeks. Well, this is assuming you have a suitably dark, twisted sense of humor like I do.
I enjoyed it very much and am about to start THE JENNIFER MORGUE. I first found out about this series of novels on Chaosium's website. They publish the paper and dice Role Playing Game CALL OF CTHULHU and, as I discovered, a game called THE LAUNDRY which is based on this series.
Well, that's about it. Just give it a try!
Chicago Nerds discussion notes: [...]
This book is a mixture of hard scifi, bureaucratic satire, alternative history, spy genre and a touch of romance. It's very enjoyable, but I found myself blipping over the detailed mathematics of it all (hence the four star review). Don't let this put you off the book, however. Bob is a very likable character and makes an excellent narrator. We are introduced to other characters who will play parts in future Laundry Files stories, most notably Angleton, Bob's scary and mysterious manager. He's my favorite character and he and Bob make a memorable team.
"Atrocity Archives" is rather short and is paired with an excellent short story which serves as a follow up, "The Concrete Jungle." The short story form is very well suited to Laundry adventures and I hope Mr. Stross gives us more of them in the future. I'm a fan of this entire series and highly recommend that you start here and move on sequentially in order to get the most out of the series.
Most recent customer reviews
Especially recommended for the nerds among us. (You know who you are!)
This is called a novel, but it seems more like a chronological series of novellas.Read more
You'll either love it or hate it or just be bemused. Me, I like this stuff.