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The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross
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The Jennifer Morgue (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Charles Stross (Author)

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1,684496,451 (3.91)60
Member:J_Colson
Title:The Jennifer Morgue
Authors:Charles Stross (Author)
Info:Golden Gryphon Press (2006), 340 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:to-read, books-i-d-like-to-finish-in-2017

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The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross (2006)

  1. 00
    Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas 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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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
(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 ;) ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
Uh that was wonderful - especially the second half. How am I to get anything done with page-turners like this one?

I read the first Landry Files book, The Atrocity Archives, and two short stories set in the universe over the holidays and loved them. So as soon as I finished the first audiobook, I picked up the next one. Due to the sad case of my tablet breaking I ended up spending a few weeks not listing until I figured out how far I had gotten in the book and could pick it back up. I really started listening again yesterday and was almost unable to put it down. To the point where I stopped playing Wildstar (closed beta) to go listen to some more of it. I just spend all afternoon finishing it. The second half of the book really kicked up the gear.

The series is so very British, from the underfunded agency to the low-confidence protagonist. The book even have a James Bond theme going through it! This second book really plays with the tropes of the spy thriller genre actively as a part of the plot (Yeah go metafiction) - which is just so much fun!

The plot is a bit slow getting started and there is a fairly long into, which made me very happy I was listening to it. But once the plot kicks up I found it hard not to try to squeeze time in to listen to it and it is the kind of book that requires my full attention - so no playing skyrim while listing.

The writing is still really clever and Bob's inner dialog is awesome. I love Ramona's character as well - she is the best deep one ever. Their complicated relationship is very enjoyable to follow with Mo on the sideline of course.

The ending is really great. I love how the tropes are put on their head and it is really interesting to see how the modern British non-hero protagonist is stuffed into the Ian Fleming mold. I think that is all I can say without spoiling.

See more reviews by me: http://www.mackat.dk/book/2014/02/the-jennifer-morgue/ ( )
  macthekat82 | May 26, 2018 |
I've tried to read Stross in the past, and this is the first one I've finished. Others I've started and then gotten distracted from, and after completing this book, I really feel I should go back and give them another chance. This is fun book that blends modern day techo-geekery, espionage and the Cthulu mythos. On top of that it has fun poking some fun at the James Bond archetype, and there is a rather interesting little essay about the Bond in the back of the book. The essay isn't groundbreaking, but it's an interesting read.

The story itself is enormous fun. It's not a life-changing book by any means, but it merits the fourth star for the entertainment value alone and the fun of having the hero be computer geek wielding bootable Linux on a USB key. The Bond angle is a fun bit of play, with more than a little joking at that titan of pop culture's expense although it isn't really a full deconstruction of the Bond mythos, so if you're looking for profound statements in that regard you will be looking in the wrong place.

I did have one complaint and that was that the Stross takes an obvious short cut in the narrative. Most of the book is told in the first person, with the exception of the prologue, which takes place in the past. The prologue bit, I'm fine with. But there is a moment midway through the book where it shifts to third-person in order to show two other events, one in the past and one in the present. The worst part is that the author steps in as a new narrator speaking directly to the reader (for the only time in the book) and basically says, "Let's go look at these other things for a moment and come back." It's really irritating and takes you out of the story, and it felt like Stross was feeling lazy and couldn't think of another way of getting the related plot points into play. It's only a brief interruption though and things quickly get back on track.

Final conclusion: an enjoyable book, a quick read, and worth your time. ( )
  andrlik | Apr 24, 2018 |
Second in the Laundry Files series. The Laundry is still in Dansey House, security works (sort of), and we're introduced to more nefarious scheming from Human Resources.

Includes the novella PIMPF
  AstonishingChristina | Mar 4, 2018 |
Definitely a fun read. Not quite as dark as the atrocity archives. ( )
  Douglas_K | Feb 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (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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Original title
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Important places
Important events
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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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In 1975, the CIA made an ill-fated attempt to raise a sunken Soviet ballistic missile submarine from the depths of the Pacific Ocean. At least, "ill-fated" was the information leaked to the press. In reality, the team salvaged a device, codenamed "Gravedust," that permitted communication with the dead. Enter Ellis Billington, glamorous software billionaire, who has acquired Gravedust by devious means. Billington plans to raise an eldritch horror, codenamed "Jennifer Morgue," from the vasty deeps, for the purpose of ruling the world. Worse still, he's prepared occult defenses that can only be penetrated by one agent walking a perilous path." "But James Bond doesn't work for the Laundry. Instead, they send Bob Howard, geekish demonology hacker extraordinaire. Bob must inveigle his way aboard Billington's yacht, figure out what the villain is up to, and stop him. But there's a fly in Bob's ointment by the name of Ramona Random - a lethal but beautiful agent for the Black Chamber, the U.S. counterpart to The Laundry. The Black Chamber has sent Ramona to ride shotgun on Bob, but Ramona has her own agenda that conflicts with her employer's ..." "After becoming "entangled," Bob and Ramona are captured by Billington and used to further his insidious plot. But let's not forget Bob's significant other, Dr. Dominique "Mo" O'Brien, also an agent of The Laundry, who has been trained especially for this mission. Can these intrepid agents stop Billington from raising the dead horror and thus save the world from total domination? The Jennifer Morgue takes the reader on a wild adventure through the worlds of Lovecraft and Ian Fleming, non-Euclidian mathematics and computer hackerdom - sort of like Austin Powers, only more squamous and rugose."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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