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The Jennifer Morgue

(Laundry Files #2)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  11,689 ratings  ·  642 reviews
The name is Howard. Bob Howard. Please don't hurt me...
Bob Howard, geekish demonology hacker for The Laundry, must stop a ruthless billionaire from unleashing an eldritch horror, codenamed "Jennifer Morgue" from the ocean's depths for the purpose of ruling the world...
ebook, 416 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Ace Books (first published November 2006)
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,689 ratings  ·  642 reviews

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J.L.   Sutton
Feb 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. For me, this is the strongest of the the th ...more
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 cou
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in the Laundry Files series and proudly presented to you by Cthulhu-like oceanic overlords as well as Ian Flemming and a certain agent he created.

Once again, Bob is more stumbling than purposefully walking and it frustrates him and the reader alike. It's not frustrating as in the book isn't good, but frustrating as in "can't these people see what a glorious geek he is?"! Because Bob is. He's a nice guy, a good guy, a smart guy (unless it comes to how to talk to women), an
ᴥ Irena ᴥ

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
Aug 13, 2013 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
Jordi Balcells
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-terror
Menuda brutalidad de libro. Tengo los sesos que me echan humo. Nunca pensé que leería un infodump sobre la historia de los sistemas de eyección de la cabina en helicópteros, pero eh, este libro lo tiene, junto a muchos otros infodumps que molan mucho. Lo recomiendo a frikis de a) la informática, b) los horrores lovecraftianos y (sobre todo) c) las historias de James Bond. Además, tiene detalles como las notas al pie y la narratología/tropos que me recuerdan un montón a Pratchett. Como cualquier ...more
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, reviewed 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
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
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.
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 rounded up
Feb 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical, funny, sci-fi
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
Sherwood Smith
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
Lesley Arrowsmith
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bob does Bond! Great fun!
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird-horror
I'm at the intersection of knowing Bob Howard's cultural references, understanding the Lovecraft flavor injections, and being in the vicinity of the mathematics and technology. And while it is is grade-A technobabble and cultural snark and surface mathematics, it eventually makes my eyes glaze over. This is unfortunate because the plot relies on various MacGuffins and deep borrowing from James Bond--spoilers!--and without Bob spouting this stuff, the story falls apart.

There are series of parts t
Jul 03, 2015 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
Aug 17, 2012 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
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.
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 12, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jeremy Acord
Aug 12, 2011 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
Mike (the Paladin)
*Actually an audio'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
Konstantinos Georgokitsos
The Laundry Files is an extremely funny series (even more if you know a thing about computers and programming, but it is no prerequisite). This time, in addition to the occult, Stross deals with the spy of spies, James Bond. With an afterword on the spy genre that is worth reading in itself, he again delivers solid fun and entertainment. This series is a keeper.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate Charles Stross. Well, that’s a love-hate thing. I love his creative similes and metaphors; I hate the fact that I can’t write like that. I felt that way when I read my first “Laundry Files” novel, The Atrocity Archives, and I felt it trebled when I read The Jennifer Morgue. In fact, the only reason I rated The Jennifer Morgue at four stars instead of five was that there seemed to be a lacuna in which a casual reader would think that the protagonist reaches down from the deck of a large wa ...more
An Odd1
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"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
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
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Volvemos a la Lavandería con el segundo de sus Expedientes, que reúne la novela que le da título, el relato Pimpf y el ensayo con entrevista incluida La Edad de Oro del espionaje. A los conocidos elementos de tecno-thriller, espionaje, burocracia, humor, informática demonológica y horrores lovecraftianos Stross suma en esta ocasión un entregado homenaje a Ian Fleming y su más famosa creación, Bond, James Bond, desde las novelas a la visión icónica que el tamiz de las versiones cinematográf
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017, e-books
4 Stars

Awesome science fiction thriller / horror / mystery. I loved the start of this series it is tailor made to my likes. This is my first Stross novel even though he has been on my to read list for a very long time.

Great characters.
Great world.
Great science fiction.
And more.

I really liked it.
C.T. Phipps
Jul 08, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really hated this book.

This is the case of fandom getting in the way of a good story because I loved The Atrocity Archives and I love Weird Espionage. In this case, the book is one long satire of James Bond and you'd think I'd love that, except for the small problem that the book is about mocking James Bond while I'm a huge James Bond fan.

I laughed precisely twice during the entirety of the book. The first time was a joke about having a James Bond-esque souped up...Smart Car. That, my frien
**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
Proposes a hypothesis to explain why James Bond and his villains had such marvelous gadgets. A TERRIFYING, TERRIFYING HYPOTHESIS. Hint: It involves Cthulhu.

Being insufficiently versed in BondLore, Unix, makeup, and the deeper perversities of PowerPoint, I know I missed a lot of the subtext. But what I picked up was hilarious. Also, disturbing. The text proposes that the Cold War was really a Lovecraftian age, where life could only been sustained by most people by a determination to not grapple
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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 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 Delirium Brief (Laundry Files, #8)
  • The Labyrinth Index (Laundry Files, #9)
“Nothing stands for content-free corporate bullshit quite like PowerPoint. And that's just scratching the surface...” 23 likes
“Britain is relying on you, Bob, so try not to make your usual hash of things.” 6 likes
More quotes…