Never volunteer for active duty...
Bob Howard is a low-level techie working for a super-secret government agency. While his colleagues are out saving the world, Bob's under a desk restoring lost data. His world was dull and safe; but then he went and got Noticed. Now, Bob is up to his neck in spycraft, alternative universes, dimension-hopping terrorists, monstrous elder gods and the end of the world. Only one thing is certain: it will take more than ‘control+alt+delete’ to sort this mess out...
This is the first novel in The Laundry Files. This audiobook includes the short story The Concrete Jungle.
©2004 Charles Stross. Introduction copyright 2004 by Ken Mcleod (P)2013 Hachette Children's Books
"Tremendously good, geeky fun" (Telegraph)
'A WEIRDLY ALLURING BLEND OF SUPERSPY THRILLER, DEADPAN COMIC FANTASY AND LOVECRAFTIAN HORROR.' (Kirkus Reviews)
Behind the scenes, programmers have discovered the way to control gateways to other dimensions.... If you have never read any Charles Stross, then this is a good place to start. Charles Stross is thought-provoking, frightening and entertaining in this first book of his Laundry Files. Those of us who have worked in or for the public service will recognise some of the bureaucracy tangles that our hero has to deal with. Jack Hawkins does an excellent job with the narration. I found this book funny, frightening, gripping and wonderful!
As good as the print edition, (read print first)
Lovecraftian, leaky establishment type novel
Made me laugh, cringe and bounce with excitement in equal measure, some of the beaurocracy is closer to reality than is entirely comfortable.
Please make the other stories available audible.com has all of them including the sci-fi novels, don't force us to suffer with this void in our life
Cold-war, love, bureaucracy
It has to be the protagonist. His journey is that of the classic fairy-story hero, and he is likeable!
The revelation of the relationship between the protagonist's two male room mates.
It is a well crafted, intelligent appraisal of how the British Secret Service would deal with the supernatural. It has a Fifties, Cold War feel, layered with the twenty-first century's real-world worries.
It is very gripping - a dynamic writing style, with real characterisation that grounds the very strange events into our recognisable real world. Only quibble is Stross's failure to fully characterise the female characters - a not uncommon problem with male authors, and Stross's women tend to fall into stereotypes; sex object(albeit with brains), bimbo or ball-breaker.
Charles Stross channels Ben Aaronovitch and Terry Pratchett in his younger period, and achieves somnething that is uniquely his own voice. He doesn't stray too far into the horror/torture/gross genre, but keeps it grounded with comedy, current references and the human drivers of love, loss and learning.This book is in two distinct parts - I believe they were originally published separately, but the repetition of setting back story isn't too cumbersome, and it all hangs together well.I'm definitely looking for more of his work.
"Lots of geek-speak and acronyms."
I enjoyed this book, despite, or maybe because of the geek-speak! Very 2015. It almost made the reader part of the Laundry. It took me a while to engage with Bob, but once I did I was cheering him along, admiring his quick wit, intelligence and reluctant bravery.
An original and entertaining book which could almost happen. On a par, though very different to Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials books (recommended to young and old), not quite up to Jim Butcher's Dresden series or Ben Aaronovitch's Peter Grant books, a hard ask, admittedly.
"Brilliant take on a lovecraftian universe"
I've not got/read the book so I wouldn't be able to tell you. There is a lot of dense tech-speak, however, and I think it would be nice to have a printed version, in order to see what was said with more clarity.
It's difficult to fill this in without giving any of the plot away. One thing that's not too spoilery stands out, however. The moment our valiant hero is besieged by beaurocracy, only to be able to take it to a department head and foil there attempts at harassing him.
I first heard Jack reading Scott Mariani's books and I think he brings the same here. They are confidently and compidently read, with enough characterisation to add to the narrative without going over the top, and making it sound like a children's book.
It was tricky to get in to at first but, once I had, I couldn't put it down. If I had a (very) long car journey, I can see myself putting this on again.
Really great book which is a little confusing at first but becomes more understandable as the plot unwinds. There is enough humour in here to offset some of the scarier elements and the use of mythic elements is particularly well achieved. Looking forward to listening to book 2, which I have just purchased.
"I always knew maths was slightly evil"
Fantastic! Great performance, amazing story. Len Deighton meets HP Lovecraft and a sense of humour.
Great story and performance. One quibble is the opening bit about Charlie Stross and how great he is, I already bought the book, I did not need it sold to me again.
"great experience and incredible book!"
loved the story and characters, narrator was perfect. wish all four in the series were on Audible.
The refreshing take on both spy and supernatural fiction. Some great world building too.
"Bob Howard" is a great perspective to explore the Laundry universe at turns humorous (appropriately dark) and knowledgeable but most importantly he is satisfyingly human and avoids a lot of the boring macho tropes that the genre still has difficulty with.
Yes. All of them have been have been uniformly impressive. I hope that He continues to narrate the series.
The finale had me on the edge of my seat.
I really hope that Audible makes the rest of the series available with this narrator.
Good story and lively narration. Will certainly download more.
Need to concentrate as fair few twists and turns.
"what took me so long?!"
I've been meaning to read anything by Mr Stross for years. So glad I'm here!
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