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The Jennifer Morgue (Laundry Files #2)

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4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,292 Ratings  ·  473 Reviews
Bob Howard, from The Laundry, secret UK agency against evil forces, narrates boarding yacht of Ellis Billington for Gravedust device that talks with dead. Ellis plans to raise Jennifer Morgue, monster from deep sea, rule world. U.S. Black Chamber sends lethal Ramona Random, in conflict with her bosses. Includes: Pimpf tale - Bob in virtual game; Afterword; Glossary.
Hardcover, 313 pages
Published November 2006 by Golden Gryphon Press
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.L.   Sutton
Feb 16, 2016 J.L. Sutton rated it really liked it
Combining a tribute to Ian Fleming (and his hero, James Bond) with Lovecraftian overtones, Charles Stross once again delivers an entertaining tale of bureaucracy versus the evil forces of the universe. It was only a short part here, but I did enjoy the reveal about the diabolical forces behind PowerPoint. There's a reason (rooted in the occult) why you go to sleep when someone whips out a PowerPoint presentation. It definitely fit the mood of the book.
Robert
Aug 23, 2013 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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 u
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⊱ Irena ⊰
3.5

To be honest, it is much better than the first (which I also liked). I would have loved this if not for one of the tropes I hate the most in fiction. It was so unnecessary, especially in a story like this.

Oh, well, it doesn't matter. The rest of it has been as crazy entertaining as you could imagine in a story where you get a mashup of lovecraftian and James Bond themes, maths and physics, the occult and lots of humour. And a bunch of other stuff.
Bob gets saddled with a special partner and h
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Stephen
3.5 stars. The second book in "The Laundry" series after the excellent The Atrocity Archives. This story can best be described as Ian Fleming meets H.P. Lovecraft (or James Bond meets the "Old Ones"). A spy thriller set in a world where the metaverse can be breached using complex mathematics and mankind co-exists with entities right out of the best Lovecraftian horror tales. As usual, Stross' writing is excellent and the plot is pretty well thought out (though certainly far-fetched). Overall a v ...more
Tfitoby
Lazy Review: It's like an urban fantasy version of James Bond mixed with H.P. Lovecraft.

Very Lazy Review: OMFG TOTES RIPD OFF Ben Aaronovitch & Chris F. Holm!!!!

Blurb: Second book in series, follows Bob a computer hacker who accidentally discovered that magic and demons and stuff are real and is now a desk jockey who occasionally has to run field ops for the Laundry, the MI6 of magic and demons and stuff. This time he gets sent to a beautiful Caribbean island to stop an evil billionaire from
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Chris
3.5 stars. Good paranormal thriller as Bob teams up with a partner from another secret agency and is caught up in a very specific hero archetype geas... This edition also contained the short story PIMPF, which I'd subtitle Bob Gets an Intern and Almost Lets Said Intern Die...Whoops.
Sherwood Smith
Apr 03, 2015 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: fantasy
What a wild ride! Charles Stross takes Bob of the Laundry, which is a mix of occult, spies, and bureaucratic nightmare, and mixes it up with James Bond style spy craft. The entire book spoofs, riffs, and engages with the Bondverse, adding in lots of humor, action, twists and turns, and of course Lovecraftian grue. Don't miss the fascinating essay at the end about Bond, Fleming, and spies.

I will probably space these out: while I enjoy Bob, the computer tech and math that mixes with magic, and the
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Lesley Arrowsmith
Mar 31, 2016 Lesley Arrowsmith rated it really liked it
Bob does Bond! Great fun!
Alan
Dec 11, 2015 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I think Stross' Laundry Files books fit a particular niche crowd. They definitely aren't for everyone, and perhaps that is why this doesn't receive a four star rating (even though I'm likely to read more of his work).

The humor in the books is subtle, and much is really aimed at those who might have a better than average understanding of tech (having done some sys ad work I'm sort of qualified there). For the averegae reader the tech references and humor could be a big miss, one that would detra
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Nicholas
Jun 03, 2012 Nicholas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
So...how do I explain this. This book was written for me. I don't mean, personally for me, Charles Stross wouldn't know me from Adam; I mean that I'm a former UNIX administrator with a love of nerd humor, geek culture, Bond movies, Cthulhu mythos, and the trappings of eldrich horror. This book was written FOR ME. I am its people. If you were to take down the refined details of the target audience, I'd hit every check-box.

I assume there are less than a hundred people ON EARTH who would fit the sa
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Sandi
Aug 17, 2012 Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this installment in The Laundry series. It was a lot of fun. I especially liked all the references to James Bond.

I am going to add some high praise for the narrator of the audiobook, Gideon Emery. I'm assuming here that he's an English narrator because that's the main voice in the novel. There are quite a few Americans in this installment and Emery does a great job with the American accent. The one example that really stood out to me was the word "process". The first vowel in t
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Jeremy Acord
Sep 30, 2011 Jeremy Acord rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeremy by: Terrafovea
Stross ramps up the immediacy of his prose in this even further: the present tense is omnipresent; characters are introduced when they enter conversation, like lurkers abruptly piping up on an IRC channel, usually with an attitudinal declaration attached.

Or, at least, that's how it starts. As the novel goes on, Stross gradually adds elements in the canon with another author whose storytelling informs the plot. Some of these changes are momentary and jarring, but they aptly mirror the progression
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Belarius
Jan 26, 2008 Belarius rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovecraft/Bond/Adams Fans
Charles Stross returns to the world of British occult espionage in The Jennifer Morgue, a sequel to his eccentric, high-density work in The Atrocity Archives (reviewed here). Staying true to form, Stross once again constructs an elaborate parody of genre fiction by simultaneously using and mocking the traditional narrative formula.

The Jennifer Morgue is, like its predecessor, actually a longer story (of the same title), a shorter story ("Pimpf"), and an essay lumped together into one book. The m
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Mike (the Paladin)
*Actually an audio Ebook...it's what I have access to, but then I like audio books.*

So far...not nearly as good as the first one...

And my opinion didn't change. This one wasn't (in my humble opinion) nearly as good as the first one. The first one was obviously intended to be a sort of collision between H.P.Lovecraft and Ian Fleming. This one was to be that also...but Lovecraft's influence has faded to a slight ghost and Fleming is not only here...his work has been slammed into the story, actuall
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Psychophant
Mar 18, 2008 Psychophant rated it really liked it
This a very well rounded book. It does not get a higher score because it is so limited by the cliches it is spoofing that is impossible to see how it could be better within those constraints.

James Bond meets Lovecraftian horrors, in a darkly humorous way.

If you like a comedic approach to cosmic horrors, this is your book. If that leaves you cold, skip this book.

Anyone who knows what Delta Green means, will certainly like this.
Ben Babcock
Did you finish The Atrocity Archives and think, “Gee, I liked this magical computational spoof on James Bond quite a lot, but I wish it had been Bondier and spoofier?” Well, if you did, then The Jennifer Morgue is the Laundry Files novel for you.

I didn’t—so keep that in mind when I say things like, “All I wanted to do with my life was read this book.”

I am not a Bond fan. I’ve never had a Bond film marathon. In fact, aside from seeing Skyfall in theatres with friends and (maybe) Casino Royale, I
...more
Carly
**edited 12/20/13

What would you get if you substituted a computer nerd for James Bond, then sent him off to fight Lovecraftian Deep Ones? Well, in fact, you'd get this book.

There's this fun (well, depending on how humorous you find Lovecraft) little story ("Dreams in the Witch-House") in which a mathematician discovers that very abstruse topological mathematics can transport one to far-off dimensions and manifolds in which (you guessed it) the uber-horrors lurk. In the Laundry series, Charles St
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Matt
Feb 16, 2010 Matt rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Computer geeks who are fans of H.P. Lovecraft
I like this book well enough, but can't really recommend it. It has numerous flaws that I found myself overlooking simply because it was pushing so many geek buttons. To begin with, the novel fails utterly to set the right tone for a horror story, and after page 50 or so its more like a slapstick comedy with an occasional gruesome murder. Also, the book has more techno-babble than an entire season of Star Trek: TNG. It's the worst case I've ever encountered in all of my years reading science fic ...more
Kat  Hooper
Mar 20, 2015 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
The Jennifer Morgue, the second novel in Charles Stross’ LAUNDRY FILES, is a science fiction spy thriller that’s an obvious homage to Ian Fleming and H.P. Lovecraft. Bob has been sent to the Caribbean to try to find out why Ellis Billington, an evil megalomaniac billionaire, is interested in The Jennifer Morgue, a place deep in the ocean which may be an access point into our universe by tentacled eldritch horrors. For this assignment, Bob is paired up with someone from the American agency that d ...more
Charlie
Jan 28, 2011 Charlie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our hero Bob, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Ray from The IT Crowd, is sent on a mission to The Carribean with a suspicious, but very beautiful, woman. He has to negotiate gambling, high rollers, an impressive yacht, and a certain number of denizens of the deep, in a high speed, spy thriller/Lovecraft style novel.

It had me turning pages, laughing, and exclaiming over plot points. I was totally gripped. One of the best books I've read in ages.

This is numer 2 in The Laundry series (started w
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Rebecca
Oct 18, 2014 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I had found the first book of the Laudry Files, in which mathemagic exists but is controlled by a bureaucracy every bit as stifling as any real life government agency, intriguing but uneven. In this second novel, most of those problems get evened out for a smooth, clever, fast-paced ride.

I don't want to spoil too many of the twists here. Suffice it to say that Stross takes the Bond archetype and does some truly clever things with it. I was particularly pleased with how he chose to handle the gen
...more
Tim Hicks
Apr 16, 2014 Tim Hicks rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Well, that was fun.
I've read books 1,3 and 4 in this series; didn't know I had skipped #2.
Actually 3 and 4 are better.
This one is limited by the admittedly-not-bad idea of using the James Bond framework, but it's still a ripping yarn with a very good long final action scene.

I still don't care for Mo's magic violin - way too much of a stretch for a mostly-rational world in which controlling wild magics is so normal that it's part of the civil service.

But I'll give that back to Stross for the
...more
Rob
Feb 18, 2015 Rob rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An Odd1
Feb 23, 2015 An Odd1 rated it it was ok
"F-ing weather" p 4. Readers have to be in that frame of mind to like this writing, plus some sort of techno-blabber. Prologue set in 1975 was a struggle. Narrator absent. Constant curses. I skip boring parts, eventually much.

Two trawlers "commies .. don't even g-d- know what we're doing down here" p 9. Brit "hatchet-faced .. smoking an unfiltered Camel in clear violation of shipboard fire regulations" says "You're messing .. in strict contravention of Article Four. I'm here as a neutral observ
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Hester
Oct 27, 2015 Hester rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the short story at the end, but the novella bothered me for all sorts of spoiler-y reasons.

(view spoiler)
...more
Tarl
May 02, 2015 Tarl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lovecraftian, spy
Stross has once again created a unique novel in his continually impressive world of spy/lovecraftian fiction. Where his first book set the mood and rules of his world, The Jennifer Morgue not only manages to expand this amazing world, but also pokes fun at the James Bond stereotype of spies.

As with his first novel, the techno-babble will confuse some, and titillate others. At points Stross manages to make technology seem like magic, and there in lays the point of both Stross, and Lovecraft's, wo
...more
Ric
Mar 02, 2012 Ric rated it liked it
Bond. James ... or maybe it's Bob. In the grand tradition of science fiction satire (new genre?), here he is ... password '007'. Well, ok, maybe there's no such genre, and if there were, there are limited entries.

But however others may want to classify this book (Locus nominated it for best fantasy), it's still a hoot! Just hilarious. Stross sends up every fixture of Bond-dom: drop-dead gorgeous femme fatale, exotic locale, and rich but crazy megalomaniac. You can almost hear the Bond theme pla

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Johan
May 12, 2014 Johan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The Jennifer Morgue is the second book in the Laundry or Bob Howard series by Charles Stross. This review contains some minor spoilers.

Did you ever experience the feeling of being turned into a zombie while watching a PowerPoint presentation? Well, here it is for real, a PowerPoint presentation is used to turn people into zombies. After barely surviving this ordeal, Bob Howard, computer übergeek and demonology hacker extraordinaire in his Majesty’s occult secret service, must stop software billi
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brian dean
Mar 24, 2011 brian dean rated it really liked it
Note: I used the 'add book' feature and don't know how that looks. I hope the links are clear.

I don't think I liked this one as much as The Atrocity Archives, but I did like it a lot.Bob Howard hates demons who threaten the Earth...and Powerpoint. A professional reviewer described the hero as "a British top-secret spy who has no fashion sense, is in a monogamous relationship and hates martinis" ( I am writing from memory so that may only be a paraphrase). In this book, that is not entirely true.
...more
Mieneke
Nov 12, 2011 Mieneke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2011
Like its predecessor, The Atrocity Archives , and its successor, The Fuller Memorandum , The Jennifer Morgue is hilarious. A brilliant play on the classic spy/James Bond mythos, it manages to both poke fun at this archetype and subvert it. Everyone has seen at least one Bond film and the debate over who is the true Bond is eternal—it's Sean Connery of course, no contest. But given the fact that everyone knows at least some Bond, this is a very accessible novel for readers new to speculative fi ...more
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Charles David George "Charlie" Stross is a writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His works range from science fiction and Lovecraftian horror to fantasy.

Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams and Richard Morgan.

SF
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More about Charles Stross...

Other Books in the Series

Laundry Files (7 books)
  • The Atrocity Archives
  • The Fuller Memorandum
  • The Apocalypse Codex
  • The Rhesus Chart
  • The Annihilation Score
  • The Nightmare Stacks

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“Nothing stands for content-free corporate bullshit quite like PowerPoint. And that's just scratching the surface...” 15 likes
“Britain is relying on you, Bob, so try not to make your usual hash of things.” 5 likes
More quotes…