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The Delirium Brief

(Laundry Files #8)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  4,423 ratings  ·  372 reviews
Someone is dead set to air the spy agency’s dirty laundry in The Delirium Brief, the next installment to Charles Stross’ Hugo Award-winning comedic dark fantasy Laundry Files series!

Bob Howard’s career in the Laundry, the secret British government agency dedicated to protecting the world from unspeakable horrors from beyond spacetime, has entailed high combat, brilliant ha

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by
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Adam Miller Yes, the plan is that this is set quite close after the end of The Nightmare Stacks, and is back with Bob.

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  4,423 ratings  ·  372 reviews

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Start your review of The Delirium Brief (Laundry Files, #8)
Second read in about a single year. How about that? But the series is great and I feel nothing but happiness when reading it. BOB IS BACK. I admit I've been missing him.

Suffice to say, I'm REALLY looking forward to the next and latest book to come out at the end of October!

Could anything get MORE FUBAR for the world?

Lesser evils, indeed. lol

Original Review:

I'll be honest, I've been a long-time raving fan of the Laundry Files, so when I got the next pre-release from Netgalley I practically fell
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is my first encounter with Stross and his British ministry in charge of keeping the supernatural from consuming the Earth that we know. Urban fantasy is a popular genre with many vying for your attention. Though this is book 8 in the series, I grabbed it off the shelf on a whim and I am glad that I did. Though quite different from an American Harry Dresden file, this novel shows the same attention to detail and a heavy coating of black humor.

The humor, for me, tends to balance the gore and
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This eighth book in the Laundry series is a bit darker than the others. Not as much as I had expected after some warnings (after all, we had baby-sacrificing religious nutters before) but still dark. It's the end of the world after all. Or one of the ends.

An old enemy has made his way back across the dimensions and positioned himself as well as his followers to take out governments. Not really hard since all it takes to make politicians his best buddies is some blow and a few hookers. Although,
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure, I'm a bit of a Charlie Stross fanboy.

That being said, The Delirium Brief is that rare sequel that elevates the books that preceded it. Laundry Files novels have occasionally been amazing, and rarely disappointing (Jennifer Morgue being the low point IMHO), but this one followed through on so many story threads from previous novels that it made those novels more satisfying.

This is probably the darkest of the series. Don't expect as much humour, but instead expect every action t
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Only a half-decent end saves this long story from a 1-star. 3 of 10 stars
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A culmination of several book's worth of characters and plot.

We return to Bob Howard as our narrator which is the first time since he became the Eater of Souls. There's plenty of Mo, Cassie and Alex though as well as Mhari and the Senior Auditor. In The Rhesus Chart (LF#5) the Laundry came directly under attack and was weakened badly. In The Annihilation Score (LF#6) the need for greater engagement from the Laundry came clear even as it lost access to one of its greatest weapons. In The Nightmar
Michael Burnam-Fink
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, sci-fi

With The Delirium Brief, Stross reaches an aggressive midgame of The Laundry series. The past five books were setting pieces on the board, moving pawns, feint with a knight or bishop. Now, he savagely uses those pieces, cutting down whole swaths of the setting. Expect to see all your favorites from the series to show up, don't expect them to survive, at least not with all their parts...

In the wake of the CASE NIGHTMARE RED incursion in Yorkshire, the Laundry is very much blown
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Something I may come back too later. Stross is a good author as always, but I feel like he's been getting more and more depressing every time I read him. Sort of... I always perceived the Laundry Files as a kind of horror/comedy, and I feel like since about Book 5 the comedy bit has become increasingly lost.
David Harris
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm grateful to the publisher for an advance copy of this book.

What can I say? Strauss's Laundry series gets better and better with each volume.

The Laundry is the section of the British Civil Service that deals with funny business - monsters, magic and unspeakable beings from beyond the stars. The books are, if you like, techno thrillers - if your tech is necromancy, and the thrills come from abstract maths.

In the latest book, we see the aftermath of the attack on Leeds by an elven host in The N
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People into mediocre political satire
Charles Stross tries something very interesting here - narrating the coming out of hitherto secret government agency after a major crisis that the agency caused. There's just a few problems:

- Stross clearly hates the current government and that leaks into his writing, he's unable to envisage that the political class (and the senior civil servants) are in it for anything other than their own base desires.

- Stross clearly ran into a brick wall about the sheer scale of what he was attempting to po
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
I think I'm over Stross' Laundry Files. The last outing pitted us up against superheroes which seemed to me to be low hanging fruit. Stross' writing style has veered into his narrators telling the reader something and not allowing the reader to discover things themselves. A shame really, because Bob Howard was, at some point, a likeable character. Not so much anymore. All of the characters are just worn out tropes bandied about every few years doing very predictable things. The most shocking thi ...more
O.S. Prime
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
A series that began as a fun, cheeky take on fantasy, IT and bureaucracy is now a drudge. First two-thirds of the book are more about UK politics than about anything interesting. Ending is unsatisfying.

Looking back, my personal jumped-the-shark point in this series is when the V Syndrome characters were introduced. All downhill since. Stross should turn the crank just one more time to finish this series.
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holy crap. O.O This one was a rollercoaster ride. Very intense. And now I have to go see when book #9 is going to come out...
C.T. Phipps
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, cthulhu
THE DELIRIUM BRIEF is the latest book in the long-running Laundry Saga by Charles Stross. The Laundry, for those unaware of it, is one of the Neo-Mythos stories which have emerged in the past decade or so that has a postmodern take on the Mythos. Peter Clines, Ruthanna Emrys, Anne Pillsworth, myself, and a few others are similar. In the case of Charles Stross, it's combining the stuffiness of being a British Civil Servant as well as computer programmer with the oncoming end of the world by ooogi ...more
Seth Lewis
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have no idea why I continue to read these other than habit. It's like the writing was crowdsourced by reddit.
Allen Adams

Investing your time in a book series is a risky proposition. We only have so much time to read, so we obviously want the books we choose to warrant the time spent. Bookshelves everywhere are littered with series that started out strong only to peter out due to creative stagnation, diminishing returns or George R.R. Martin-esque gaps of time between installments. As one might imagine, a series that manages to largely avoid all of those pitfalls is something
Stig Edvartsen
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, male-author
I really enjoyed this.

It is more focused and faster paced than many of the previous books and when Stross lets Bob front some of his opinions on politics, politicians and their ilk he takes scathing to levels of fine art.

As with the rest of the series, it gets progressively darker - possibly matching the UK zeitgeist. I wonder how this series will read in 50 years when in the reader's mind it will be divorced from current politics.
Disappointing. And a bit tedious. Sure these are always hit and miss, sometimes in the same book, sometime in the same chapter. But this one was a bit of a miss. One part just echoes reality, when the government invites something evil and stupid in. Another part just fell over of its own weight. So bits are good, just not enough of the bits. And it ended up being too focused on plot and not enough on character. Its still a Laundry Book though, just not one of the better ones.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, espionage
So many ratings of a book that's not even been (I think?) preprinted- are all 6 (odd, it says 473?) reviews by people who've seen advance (probably tentative, given the author's laudable willingness to revise often in the interests of story) copies?

Jul. 11 2017- have now read but not ready to write a real review yet. (Besides "Enjoyed very much, thinking of rereading tomorrow.")
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
A continuation of the Laundry Files saga. A number of villains from earlier books reappear. Still reasonably amusing but perhaps this saga should conclude soon.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Whoah! I wasn't expecting that!

Initially I was a little disappointed because the much heralded return of BoB Howard as narrator was not as much as fun as anticipated: his distinctive voice seems to have largely disappeared. To some extent this is understandable since he's ten years older than when he first appeared, has seen an awful lot of horror, terror, death and destruction and has also ceased to be entirely human - but his nutso forms of expression were a great part of his appeal.

Later reve
Matthew Bates II
Quite the ending. This series does not usually end with this kind a cliffhanger. They beat the bad guy but damn where to they go from here.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
This book was sent to me by the publisher,, at no cost. It's out in July 2017.

The Laundry, which has several novels about it now, is a secret government agency that's a bit like the Men in Black but more high-tech because the Scary Things in the Night are often accessed via maths and/or technology. Computers may well summon extra dimensional beasties. Bob Howard started as a tech guy who fell into the Laundry accidentally and now he's a fairly significant player in the organisation, alth
Kevin Hogan
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it

*That* got dark.

Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a long-time fan of the Laundry series, I really enjoyed The Delirium Brief. This book is full of old acquaintances, not only Laundry personell, but also adversaries. Unlike in previous books, many of these are not introduced in detail. This has two consequences: First, old Laundry fans will not be not bored with unnecessary context they already know. Secondly, this is the least appropriate book to start with. You'll really get the most out of this if you are already familiar with almost all o ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, scifi
It started very promising (4*), then went down to 3* and the ending was chaotic (3-). I am going to have to reread several of the previous books to understand all the references in this book. So many bright/original ideas and exciting/horrific events are crammed into this book, but it is at the expense of the characters and the story.

Reread 2019: While reading "The Delirium Brief" (Laundry Files #8) in 2018 I couldn't place certain references to earlier Laundry Files books. So, I intend on rerea
Alright, speaking here as a government lawyer, if you are a government lucky enough or Machiavellian enough to have The Frelling Eater of Souls on your frelling payroll, don't privatize his frelling department. Even if you're really unhappy that his department just settled an invasion by the Hosts of Air and Darkness by granting said invaders asylum. Better than fighting with dragons. And seriously don't contract with crazy American military contractors to provide the same services cheaper. That ...more
Alex Sarll
Turns out that if there's one thing worse than the stars being right and the Great Old Ones returning, it's swivel-eyed, privatisation-hungry politicians sticking their oar in about how best to deal with same. Stross had to rewrite chunks of this post-Brexit when it became clear that even as an avowed cynic he'd underestimated the stupidity, incompetence and venality of our rulers; at the point when this already low bar was then further lowered, I think he just threw his hands up because otherwi ...more
Wing Kee
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
For an 8th book this was a wonderful direction to go.

World: Stross’ world building is great, the Laundry series has always had wonderful deep world building, sure there is some info dumping but it’s well thought out. This is a continuation of that and also a calling back as there are characters and things and places that have been around since the forth book and the chickens come home to roost in this book. We’ve been reading about the end of the world from Stross for a while and this is a nice
Pavlo Tverdokhlib
The Laundry, Britain's occult intelligence agency, is exposed to the public. And following the mishandling of an Elven invasion that left thousands dead and large portions of Leeds in ruin, the British government is not happy to discover a secretive part of itself. Swinging with popular opinion, the Crown in Parliament makes plans to deal with Britain's magic spies the 21st century way- by privatizing and outsourcing their redundant Civil Service posts to the highest bidding private contractors. ...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.


Other books in the series

Laundry Files (9 books)
  • The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1)
  • The Jennifer Morgue (Laundry Files #2)
  • The Fuller Memorandum (Laundry Files, #3)
  • The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4)
  • The Rhesus Chart (Laundry Files, #5)
  • The Annihilation Score (Laundry Files, #6)
  • The Nightmare Stacks (Laundry Files, #7)
  • The Labyrinth Index (Laundry Files, #9)

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