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The Jennifer Morgue: Book 2 in The Laundry Files [Paperback]

Charles Stross
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 5.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Sep 2007 Laundry Files (Book 2)

Bob Howard is a computer übergeek employed by the Laundry, a secret British agency assigned to clean up incursions from other realities caused by the inadvertent manipulation of complex mathematical equations: in other words, magic.

In 1975, the CIA used Howard Hughes's Glomar Explorer in a bungled attempt to raise a sunken Soviet submarine in order to access the Jennifer Morgue, an occult device that allows communication with the dead. Now a ruthless billionaire intends to try again, even if by doing so he awakens the Great Old Ones, who thwarted the earlier expedition. It's up to Bob and a collection of British eccentrics even Monty Python would consider odd to stop the bad guy and save the world, while getting receipts for all expenditures or else face the most dreaded menace of all: the Laundry's own auditors.

Frequently Bought Together

The Jennifer Morgue: Book 2 in The Laundry Files + The Fuller Memorandum: Book 3 in The Laundry Files + The Atrocity Archives: Book 1 in The Laundry Files
Price For All Three: 17.16

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (6 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841495700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841495705
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England, in 1964. He has worked as a pharmacist, software engineer and freelance journalist, but now writes full time.

Product Description


Wonderful fun (Publishers Weekly)

Tremendously good, geeky fun (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

The alternately chilling and hilarious sequel to The Atrocity Archives.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stross does it again 7 Sep 2007
By Christopher Halo VINE VOICE
The Jennifer Morgue is a direct sequel to The Atrocity Archives which I reviewed earlier this year (and loved).

When billionaire, Ellis Billington, tries to get his hands on a piece of forbidden technology that's been hidden in the depths of the sea for millenia by things with too many tentacles and not enough arms (aka aliens!), there's only one man good enough to stop him.

That man is Bond, James Bo... Erm, Howard, Bob Howard...

As usual with Stross, this book is packed with plenty of ideas. It's also much more laugh-out-loud funny than The Atrocity Archives.

"I'm going flat out at maybe a hundred and fifty kilometers per hour on the autobahn while some joker is shooting at me from behind with a cannon that fires Porsche's and Mercedes'."

There was perhaps, a bit too much info-dumping with regards to mathematical stuff and computer... stuff. Maths and computery-stuff are to me, what Marmite is to a jellyfish: meaningless, but avoidable. There wasn't too much though, and the story soon pulled off like an Aston Martin DB9 being chased by demon-possessed zombies...

The Jennifer Morgue didn't quite end right for me, though. The penultimate chapter concluded very satisfyingly, tying up loose ends and leaving a natural resolution to all the plotlines that Stross had (yet again!) woven into an excellent and richly developed story. I fully expected the story to end there. Instead, there was another chapter that seemed largely unrelated to the rest of the book and would have, I think, made a suitable opening chapter for another Laundry book. Nothing wrong with that particular chapter, just out of place.

Stross did though, escape the trap of filling the reader in too much on earlier events.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So Mr Cthulhu we meet again 19 April 2011
By The Emperor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This was very enjoyable. Immensely silly, but in a good way.

This is a pretty amusing novel and there were moments when it seemed slightly obvious and maybe a little ridiculous but despite that it is very cleverly constructed.

The actions scenes were surprisingly impressive and the whole background of his laundry series of books is very well done. Angleton is a great character.

At times I thought that maybe it was a smidgen too long and conversely, that the ending was a trifle rushed. Despite these minor quibbles I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

He is a very entertaining writer and I thought that this was just as inventive as the atrocity archives but was significantly better written.

The afterword was very interesting and thoughtful.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Christopher Burns VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bob Howard, SysAdmin and Occult Ops. field operative for The Laundry, continues to have an interesting life. Here, his destiny is entangled with a demon, and he's charged with stopping a billionaire megalomaniac from awakening the Old Ones at the bottom of the ocean, and hastening the onset of CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN - and all without blowing his expense account. If you've read The Atrocity Archives, you'll know some of what I mean; if not, I haven't spoiled anything for you and you have some pleasantly diverting reading to do.

Stross's writing style is very accomodating without being patronisingly simple, and I read through this over the course of a few day's worth of train trips. Bob, his main character, has an amusing inner monologue which portrays the clear contempt Stross has for modern executive corporate work practises (and handily serves as a narrative since the book is basically a first-person account), and somewhat oddly this is also a book about how mathematics and physics are actually the basis of demonology (the "demons" in these books are actually extra-dimensional aliens, albeit highly dangerous ones who aren't always sentient). The plot begins to creak a bit once the major plot exposition is underway around the final third of the book, and although this strays into sci-fiction horror, it actually begins to become slightly ridiculous rather than engaging - slightly "schlock", if you ask me. I didn't like where the "James Bond" theme was going, and it kept going right up till the afterword.

The previous novel, The Atrocity Archives (actually a collection of related short stories), is the better bet here, in my opinion. The Jennifer Morgue isn't a bad book, and I enjoyed reading it - but the prequel is better, I think.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant play on the classic spy novel 12 Nov 2011
By W.M.M. van der Salm-Pallada TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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 fiction. It also makes it easier to catch most of the pop culture references Stross scatters throughout his story.

Bob's sidekick in this novel, Ramona, was awesome. A combination of both the good and the bad Bond girl, she was the perfect partner in this adventure. Her chemistry with Bob was more than just caused by her glamour and their entanglement. I liked that the more Bob saw of the 'true' Ramona, the more he was attracted to her, instead of in lust with her. Again, this is such a cliché, both in books and films, but it works beautifully in this book to create tension between not just Bob and Ramona, but also between Bob and Mo, his partner. The latter tension is not just because of jealousy issues but also because we as the reader see how hard Mo is working to get to Bob, while Bob is slowly getting closer to Ramona, despite still wanting to be with Mo.

The bad guy was classic as well, and scarily current, what with #occupywallstreet and the growing distrust of the mega rich and large corporations. He even has a cat to stroke and a secret lair! His methods to world domination are pretty eerie and scary, but Stross' final proof that PowerPoint is an instrument of evil had me in stitches, because who hasn't fought with PowerPoint at some point when preparing a presentation?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great read
Published 9 days ago by hayley
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read
Excellent; quirkily "characters" facing the normal humans; good pace , some humour, well worth the time & the sequel I have already pre-ordered.
Published 14 days ago by E. P. Lowis
4.0 out of 5 stars Clever fun with classic tropes
This is the 'Stross does Bond' book but I find that description doesn't really show how cleverly he has mixed Ian Fleming with his Lovcraft/Dilbert horror and humour. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jonathan
4.0 out of 5 stars Very fine sequel
Stross develops the ideas introduced in The Atrocity Archives. He takes a substrate of Lovecraft and applies liberal doses of Fleming with decorations in Butcher or Pratchett style... Read more
Published 6 months ago by xrseyre
5.0 out of 5 stars bring on book 3
I like these books. There is a great story line, good dialogue and enough in jokes for the most widely read of us slightly odd SF/fantasy/comedic/romance/James Bond/RPG partakers... Read more
Published 9 months ago by A. Weston
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
A good Book. Here are the additional words required to submit to the silly review system do bi do di.....
Published 11 months ago by Mr. J. P. Atherton
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and funny, but deeply disturbing
Stross picks his influences carefully, and then researches them in greater depth than you might imagine, for a novel in this genre. Read more
Published 14 months ago by D. S. Thalenberg
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as other Laundry books
Enjoyed reading this but it's not as good as the other Laundry novels.
Story line got too complex for its own good and suffered somewhat under the weight of various... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Xerxes13
5.0 out of 5 stars A man out of his depth
This is hard to put down, it careers along dragging the hapless hero along behind it. Mayhem from start to finish, magic is dangerous stuff when it's real, computers make it a... Read more
Published 15 months ago by A. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good
I generally enjoy Charles Stross and am working my way through his novels. This one was complex and interesting. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mark Lovell
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