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The Jennifer Morgue (2006)

by Charles Stross

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Laundry (2 & 2.1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,826536,589 (3.9)75
Bob Howard is a special operative for the British agency called The Laundry, and his task is to stop a rogue billionaire from using an artifact, known as Gravedust, with the power to reanimate the dead. The U.S. Black Agency sends the lethal Ramona Random to aid Bob's mission, but she seems to have a different agenda.… (more)
  1. 00
    Redshirts by John Scalzi (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: In The Jennifer Morgue, Stross twists the James Bond trope; in Redshirts, Scalzi plays with Star Trek tropes.
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» See also 75 mentions

English (52)  French (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Maths is magic and the Elder Gods are real. Bob Howard works for the Laundry, the UK's secret intelligence agency that protects you from these facts and their consequences, which include such delights as insanity, possession and having one's soul eaten.

I'm reading this series in random order, having gone 3-1-2-4. This is book 2, in which our reluctant hero has to stop the megalomaniac business man turned would-be Ruler of the World by circumventing a fiendish geas that will only allow a highly unrealistic type of super-agent to get close to the villain. Yes, some-one has to become James Bond in order to save the world! Cue stereo-type and cliche subverting jokes such as a glamourous hottie that's really a succubus and minions that are literally zombies.

Great fun. ( )
  Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
Fun, though not quite so novel or imaginative as The Atrocity Archives. This was more Ian Fleming and less H.P. Lovecraft. Looking forward to the next two! ( )
  goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
Third read! 2/23/18:

I'll give a more loving review this time. :)

After much much reflection, I have to say that this is probably the funniest of all the Laundry Files books. The Ian Flemming style works perfectly not only for the plot, the geshes, and the snark... but for the fast pacing and the dry, dry humor. :)

Smart cars on the Autobahn? Destiny entanglements? Hero traps? Supervillains controlling the world through their military spec word processors? Delicious. Utterly delicious. :)

And of course, there are a few absolutely gorgeous musical scenes with Mo. But I won't get into that here because that's some of the best parts of the whole story. But Bob absolutely shines. :)

I'm still giggling at all the great scenes and the snark. And please don't mistake me when I refer to snark. The snark is built into every level of the novel, from dialogue right down the scenes, the characters, the themes, and the plot. All of it: SNARK.

Yummy. :) :) :) One of my favorite UF series ever, and it has everything a growing boy could ever want. Tentacular horrors, hacking, Bond action, and utter geekiness. :)


Original review:

This book is my personal favorite of the series so far. Maybe I happen to enjoy Ian Flemming's style, and maybe I just happen to love the freaky humor that turns the whole novel into a very prolonged visual joke. The best reason for loving the novel is the same as the previous stories: the beautiful mixture of ideas.

Merged review:

Having a virtual game mixed with gibbering horrors creeping in from real alternate dimensions is a cool concept and all, but this story is pretty much okay.
It's not extremely funny, but a decent aside giving me a few chuckles.

Very short, cute.

Exit conversation. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Enjoyed the book but got disoriented by black black organizational references and 007 entanglement overplot villainy. ( )
  scottshjefte1 | Sep 6, 2019 |
(This review is only to make me remember what happened in a book and why I liked it.)

Second Laundry Book, Bob is slowly moving up the ladder, although Mo's apparently at least twice as fast and ten times as deadly as him. Comes with a spin-off, Pimpf, about Bob and a planted intern battling demons in Neverwinter Nights.

Slightly better written than the Atrocity Archives, and much more amusing the second time I read it, mostly because you get to appreciate Bob as Bond Girl more. Erm, yeah, here's the story:

Basically, something even BLUE HADES is afraid of wants to get free, and uses a devious billionaire and his wife (who works in surveillance cosmetics) to achieve its goal. They set up a hero trap (people are compelled to follow Bond movie behaviour), which leads to Bob getting destinyentangled with a Black Chamber operative, Ramona. (Obviously, the Black Chamber want the artifact to themselves.) Everything seems to go wrong, because neither Bob nor Ramona realize that Bob is the Good Bond Girl and Mo is Bond. All's well in the end, including a proposal (Bob to Mo), to break free of the Bond thing ;) ( )
1 vote _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Strossprimary authorall editionscalculated
Condellone, LynneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DeFex, Annette FioreCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fredrickson, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montiglio, SteveCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Andrew, Lorna, and James
First words
August 25, 1975
165 W, 30 N
The guys from the "A" and "B" crews have been sitting on their collective ass for five weeks, out in the middle of nowhere.
Quotations
The Laundry operations manual is notably short on advice for how to comport oneself when being held prisoner aboard a mad billionaire necromancer's yacht, other than the usual stern admonition to keep receipts for all expenses incurred in the line of duty.
Give me root access on a hostile necromancer's server farm, and I am at home.
The Laundry collects computer scientists who accidentally discover the elements of computational demonology, in much the same way as Stalin used to collect jokes about himself.3

3He had two Gulags full.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Bob Howard is a special operative for the British agency called The Laundry, and his task is to stop a rogue billionaire from using an artifact, known as Gravedust, with the power to reanimate the dead. The U.S. Black Agency sends the lethal Ramona Random to aid Bob's mission, but she seems to have a different agenda.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Ruthless software billionaire Ellis Billington has got his hands on a device which will enable him to raise an eldritch horror code-named "Jennifer Morgue" from the ocean's depths for the purpose of ruling the world. It's up to Bob Howard, agent of Laundry and demonology hacker extraordinaire, to thwart his plans. His mission is to infiltrate the yacht of Ellis whilst also evading American agent Ramona Random who has an agenda of her own.
Haiku summary
Hackers, monster, spies
A horrific sunken secret
James Bond in there too

(Jannes)

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