View our feature on Charles Stross' The Fuller Memorandum.
National bestselling author Charles Stross brings back Bob Howard-"a British super spy with a long-term girlfriend, no fashion sense, and an aversion to martinis" (San Francisco Chronicle)
Bob Howard is taking a much needed break from the field to catch up on his filing in The Laundry's archives when a top secret dossier known as The Fuller Memorandum vanishes-along with his boss, who the agency's executives believe stole the file.
Determined to discover exactly what the memorandum contained, Bob runs afoul of Russian agents, ancient demons, and the apostles of a hideous faith, who have plans to raise a very unpleasant undead entity known as the Eater of Souls...
Stross's third Laundry novel (after 2006's The Jennifer Morgue) continues to describe the Kafkaesque absurdity of government bureaucracies, but the tone turns dark when series hero Bob Howard accidentally kills a civilian during a routine exorcism. Bob soon discovers that there's a mole loose in the Laundry, the ultrasecret British intelligence service that deals with the implications of magic being a branch of pure mathematics. At issue is a memo by the Laundry's founder that relates to something called the Eater of Souls. The only person who knows anything about this is Bob's enigmatic boss, Angleton, but when he inexplicably vanishes, Bob and his wife and fellow agent, Maureen, are left on their own to stop CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN: the end of the world. The satisfying ending should appeal to fans of gory horror while making them question the definition of humanity.
Bob Howard’s Adventure with the Eater of Souls
Charles Stross has another great novel in the Laundry Files Series! In this installment, our protagonist Bob Howard, deals with the fallout from the theft of the titular Fuller Memorandum. This document is tied to the powerful occult being known as The Eater of Souls. Who is it that wants power over this extremely dangerous being, and what do they intend to do if they obtain it?
The Laundry is the secret government agency charged with protecting citizens of the UK from Lovecraftian horrors, and other occult manifestations. They use tools such as computational demonology, and iPhones running supernatural software, along with more traditional occult methods to quietly keep the gibbering horrors out of our world. They also try to keep close tabs on their paper-clip supplies, and to avoid any interaction with the Auditors, which are to be feared as much as things from the beyond.
This novel is exciting and fast paced, and puts Bob in the center of the events. We also get a look into the backstory of Bob’s mentor in the Laundry, Dr. Angleton.
Quite possibly the finest novel in Stross' series of books about Bob Howard and the Laundry.
Titles? Superfluous. Read the review, you nincompoop.
An examplary trifecta of the elements of quality storytelling: well-tempered comedic leanings, engaging pan-dimensional character-craft, and a strikingly appropriate suffusion of surprise and misdirection to keep you on your toes, yet allow you to remain grounded.
In the post-mortem to one of his short stories, Stross comments on the supreme difficulty of spinning quality comedy on the level of Wodehouse; however, though Charlie might insist upon denying the possibility of such, I consider this work to display at least as masterful command of the genre as that giant’s own (albeit in a wildly different vein or flavour, I suppose…)
Altogether Stross’s best work yet, and among such legendary deep-future masterpieces as Accellerando and some selections from Wireless… I hardly apply that title lightly.