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The Fuller Memorandum (A Laundry Files Novel) Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews
Book 3 of 5 in the Laundry Files Series

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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: A Laundry Files Novel (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reprint edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044102050X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441020508
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I decided to give The Laundry series another try after being gravely disappointed with The Jennifer Morgue. I was intrigued in The Atrocity Archives by the possibilities of a Lovecraftian spy agency, particularly since I was a huge fan of Delta Green, but The Jennifer Morgue's parody of James Bond was shallow and uninteresting. The Fuller Memorandum, by contrast, is a return to form and I appreciate it. It takes the premise of a Lovecraftian threat to the world seriously while simultaneously also keeping some of its humor. Unlike The Jennifer Morgue, the humor of the novel doesn't go overboard and remains on the right side of this-close-to-ridiculous.

The premise is Bob screws up during a routine exorcism and things go from bad to worse in his professional life. Even worse, this is occurring when there's something happening with a long-buried secret of the Laundry's organizational life. Part of what I enjoyed about this novel is it remembers the terrifying forces the Laundry deals with are actually terrifying. The Atrocity Archives made a nice balance between humor and horror, never going too far into one area or another like The Jennifer Morgue. The humor is actually funny, too, which allows it to be enjoyed for its own sake.

The book deals with one of my favorite elements of H.P. Lovecraft's writings, specifically cultists. What does inspire a person to want to worship the Great Old Ones? The book gives the obvious answer and expands on it, horrifying Bob with its logic. It also does a nice parody of upper-class English life, highlighting the kind of secrets which can hide under seemingly respectable people with tongue-firmly-in-cheek.

I also enjoyed the story's emphasis on the 'secret history' of the world.
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