The Atrocity Archives : The Laundry Files

  • by Charles Stross
  • Narrated by Gideon Emery
  • Series: The Laundry Files
  • 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Bob Howard is a computer-hacker desk jockey, who has more than enough trouble keeping up with the endless paperwork he has to do on a daily basis. He should never be called on to do anything remotely heroic. But for some reason, he is.


What the Critics Say

"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....With often hilarious results, the author mixes the occult and the mundane, the truly weird and the petty." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A great techno-spy-Lovecraftian-horror-comedy

Charlie Stross writes great-to-excellent science fiction/fantasy in many sub-genres, but this novel (and its two sequels) is probably his most original. Its hero is an IT support expert turned secret agent fighting against supernatural horror and organizational bureaucracy. The book is by turns satirical, scary, and action-packed, and generally succeeds admirably, especially for its target audience, for whom it is likely to be a home-run.

And boy does the target audience matter: the book is full of allusions and in-jokes, as well as many quickly listed references. You can (and will) miss a few, but if you aren't a nerd, that is, you aren't into IT and Lovecraft, then you may not be the target audience for this book, and may miss most of its cleverness. For example, expect quick, but important references to: Alan Turing, gorgons, Forward-Looking Infrared Scanners, Windows software licensing terms, Cthulu, John Dee, Mandelbrot Sets, The Great Old Ones, and much more. If the list intrigues you, definitely, definitely get this book. If it baffles you, this might still be a good listen, but will be confusing as well.

As for me, nerd that I am, I loved it, and look forward to seeing the sequel, and the new book coming out in July 2010. The reader, by the way, does a great job.
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- Ethan M. "On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through"

I truly wanted to like this...

The story had promise - a computer geek who battles the forces of evil using his technology expertise.
Unfortunately, the author's attempt to meld science and the supernatural fell flat. Much of the dialogue consisted of inscrutable acronyms and quasi-digital gobbledigook punctuated by phrases like "and this will prevent zombies from eating our brains" or "because if we don't upgrade the capacitor to 7 ohms, the demons from the planet Zoob will destroy earth." That schtick might work as the frosting on a well-conceived story, but it cannot stand on its own... and certainly not in such large quantities. [By the way, I have worked in the tech field for 20 years. I understood a good deal of the tech stuff -- but a lot of it was made up.]
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-04-2010
  • Publisher: Recorded Books