- Series: Laundry Files (Book 8)
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Tor.com (July 11, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765394669
- ISBN-13: 978-0765394668
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 172 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Delirium Brief: A Laundry Files Novel Hardcover – July 11, 2017
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“Stross still spins a heck of a yarn.” ―Kirkus Reviews on The Delirium Brief
"Gaudy and gory....This is Stross in one of his darker moods....The political side of the book...signals some of the real-world anxieties that stand behind the entire series." ―Locus on The Delirium Brief
“A fast-paced blend of espionage thrills, mundane office comedy and Lovecraftian horror.” ―SFX on The Rhesus Chart
“Alternately chilling and hilarious.” ―Publishers Weekly on The Jennifer Morgue
“Combines a le Carré-style espionage thriller with Lovecraftian horror to great effect.” ―The Guardian on The Fuller Memorandum
“Smart, literate, funny.”―Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians
“A bizarre yet effective yoking of the spy and horror genres.”―The Washington Post Book World
“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.” ―Booklist on The Fuller Memorandum
About the Author
CHARLES STROSS is a British SF writer, born in Leeds, England, and living in Edinburgh, Scotland. He has worked as a tech writer, a programmer, a journalist, and a pharmacist; he holds degrees in pharmacy and in computer science. He has won three Hugo Awards for his short fiction, including in 2014 for Equoid, a Laundry Files novella originally published on Tor.com.
Top customer reviews
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The Laundry has finally come to the attention of the British political establishment. They start the book amidst great uncertainty, with The Powers That Be horrified to discover a completely overlooked security agency engaged in international special ops with no oversight, and so careless that they can't stop a surprise alfar invasion without five plane crashes. The politicians become much more concerned with managing optics than with managing OPERA CAPE. So far so good. We see Bob, of all people, drafted into emergency damage control. We see Mahogany Row scrambling to implement their burn-before-reading emergency legal contingency plan. But on page thirty-nine we see the ominous return of a figure I was not expecting, who promises to make the political struggle for control of the Laundry a desperate affair indeed.
In the face of an existential threat not just to the Laundry but to all of Britain, how far are they prepared to go? In many ways, this book reminds me of Jim Butcher's Changes, in which the protagonist is placed in a desperate situation that requires more and more compromises that would have once been unthinkable.
We knew that the Laundry was determined to not go gentle into that good Case Nightmare Green, but here we see how ungentle things are becoming.
This isn't just a fun (if horrifying) story; it is also fun to read. Stross retains his full brilliance not just at plot, but also at the sentence and paragraph mechanics of writing, choosing terms and witticisms that fit the tone perfectly. I rarely need kindle's "look up the meaning of this word" feature, but I did here, and it was always a spot-on choice. I knew my brother will be reading my copy right behind me, so I suppressed the urge to read him the occasional extra-gripping paragraph. I couldn't stop myself from leaving the occasional note, usually "Eep!"
He also does a wonderful job of cutting away at key moments to show the broader consequences of what's going on, or to present an apparent non sequitur that turns out to be crucial to the plot.
When does the next one come out?
In "Delirium Brief" the Laundry finds itself in dire straits. CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN is worsening. The agency has lost many of its longtime agents to death or arrest (see "The Nightmare Stacks" for why), and a villain from a prior book has resurfaced and is suborning the British government in a very bad way. An intrepid group of agents remains and has gone dark to try to carry on the fight. What to do?
The book is tightly written and the plot twists are nonstop. Some of the prior books in the series have been criticized for slower, more introspective parts disrupting the action, but that is not the case here. It's very difficult to put this book down. Another strong point: Bob Howard is back as the narrator. Most of the book is written from his point of view, and we get to see just what he is capable of now that he's free of Angleton's restraint. (It's never been explicitly stated that Angleton had Bob under a geas after the events of "The Fuller Memorandum," but I rather think that had to be the case.) We also get to see more of the Senior Auditor, Dr. Armstrong, aka King of the Badass Bureaucrats.
My one criticism: two characters who reappear in the series do so with significant changes which (in my opinion) are inadequately explained. The best way to put it is that we learn through dialogue what has happened, but it's very incomplete. My hope is that this will be covered further in the next book. The hard part is waiting for the next book! Well done, Mr. Stross. This one is a winner.