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The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
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The Atrocity Archives (original 2004; edition 2008)

by Charles Stross

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2,105673,129 (3.93)1 / 98
Member:crazybatcow
Title:The Atrocity Archives
Authors:Charles Stross
Info:Ace (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Audiobooks
Rating:***
Tags:audiobook, sci-fi, 12 in 12

Work details

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross (2004)

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English (66)  French (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
Pratchett states that if the world contains things that even the dark is afraid of, then you can bet that there'll be a secret government agency covering them up for our own good. Such is the premise behind "The Atrocity Archives." The Laundry is the British organization tasked with keeping their country safe from paranormal phenomenon and extra terrestrial uglies.

The Laundry is a rogue intelligence agency battling to prevent infestations of extradimensional horrors. Bob Howard is our hero, a computer geek working in the IT department who is drafted into field duty. However, while Bob is out saving the world from who knows what horrors, his boss in the IT department is constantly on his case for everything from missing meetings to not filling out his time sheet. This struck me as humorous and all to real when considering a government institution. The Laundry brings to mind the spy world of "Get Smart" as the facility itself is accessed through a toilet stall.

"The Atrocity Archives" is the most unusual spy novel I believe I have ever read, and the Laundry the most unusual organization. Guardians of the dark secrets that threaten to drown us in nightmare, the lips of the Laundry employees are sealed as tight as their archives. To get even the vaguest outline of their activities takes a privileged hacker like Bob, nosy enough to worm his way in where he isn't supposed to and smart enough to explain his way out of trouble.

Bob Howard is about as far away from the James Bond stereotype as he can get. He is, at heart, a geek. He is not suave, debonair, or particularly charismatic. He is not a ladies man, and in fact is trying to get rid of his psycho ex-girlfriend. But Bob does have his strengths, most notably his intellect, and is able to handle himself ably enough in the field. If the ultimate grade of a spy is results, then Bob Howard represents his craft well. ( )
  NPJacobsen | Jun 6, 2015 |
The storyline was interesting however I found there was too much technobabble for me to enjoy it fully. The book is amusing and has some really good moments. ( )
  nebula21 | Jan 27, 2015 |
While this first volume in Stross' Laundry Files series is clearly one of his early works, it is very readable and darkly funny. This volume is comprised of two novellas, "The Atrocity Archive" and "The Concrete Jungle," both of which are surprisingly topical. ( )
  wanack | Jan 11, 2015 |
I was quite skeptical before beginning this book, as I'd heard a lot about massive amounts of jargon and not much story, but I'm glad to say that the people who said that were wrong.

Charles Stross writes a story that will suck you and not let go. Definitely a recommend! ( )
  amymyoung | Nov 27, 2014 |
I keep trying Stross' work, because I've read other novels of his and I know that there are some elements which interest me, some things which I do keep turning the pages for. I was actually more interested in The Atrocity Archive and "The Concrete Jungle" than I have been in most of his other books, which is a start, but I'm afraid a lot of it went over my head (not geeky enough) and some of it went under (fart jokes).

All in all, the alternate history conjured up here is interesting, though I can't really talk about the mathematics, geometry, etc, because I can't write down my own phone number without transposing a digit or two. That somewhat hobbles the story, because I think there's humour and worldbuilding there that I just. don't. get. Which is unfortunately how Stross has made me feel before.

I don't think I'll be reading any more of this series, though I quest on in my attempt to find a Stross book I genuinely enjoy. It seems like he has cool ideas, and it's not like it's his writing style that throws me off -- I just don't feel like enough of a nerd! ( )
  shanaqui | Nov 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Strossprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barth, MechthildTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Condellone, LynneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredrickson, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Halpern, MartyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MacLeod, KenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montiglio, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my Parents,
David and Cecilie Stross
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Green sky at night; hacker's delight.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441013651, Paperback)

Charles Stross takes a departure from his epic science fiction to craft this cross between Len Deighton—style espionage and H.P. Lovecraftian horror.

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 somehow, he is...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Computer science guru Alan Turning paves the way for esoteric mathematical computations that Nazi Germany uses to perform a summoning, bringing an unexpected evil to Earth through a portal to an alternate universe.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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