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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 97 star ratings
4 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
97
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    The cosmic horrors of being a civil servant.

    This was a fun read for me on a few levels. First, I work in technology and have had jobs not unlike Bob's more non-glamorous role at the Laundry. I've also worked for the public service, so the satire on bureaucracy and the culture that develops amongst "the lifers" really made laugh. What makes this book interesting is how quickly it switches between being this dry British satire, to gothic horror/ science fiction. As a hardcore nerd, I've always liked the 'cosmic horror / elder god' Lovecraft stuff, and the way he drops these elements into this mundane world of office politics and clock-punching civil servants is brilliant. Be prepared to wade through a lot of dialogue early on, much of which is very funny although at times it does get into pretty 'dry humour' territory. The second half of the book really picks up though and kept me up way too late reading several nights in a row. I'm looking forward to reading the next one in the series, having just discovered them.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Awesome book

    This is an excellent spy-horror-hacker novel. For anyone who likes near-future sci-fi, fantasy, and fiction of bureaucracy, this is the novel for you. If anything, the attached short story "The Concrete Jungle" is even better than the main novel. Be sure to read the afterward for an explanation of the author's influences
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    My favorite of the Bob Howard novels and of Stross's work in general. It blends math, history and lovecraftian horror with the humorous slant of the office. It reminded me of a twisted version of neal stephenson's.cryptonomicon , only way cooler.
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    Recommended

    I picked this up after hearing Yahtzee Croshaw recommend it on a couple of his Lets Drown Out youtube series episodes, and it was worth it! Alot fo the humour comes from the narrators struggles with corporate and government buracaries; theres alot of reference to paperwork, report reading and Matrix Management (which led me down a wikipedia rabbit hole). In the briefest, clearest, words i can chose... Bob Howard is a spy in world were magic and technology blend, he works at a government office dedicated to keeping things underwraps, and holding off various apolocaplic scenarios. Some people might be turned off by some of the technobabble, i know i didn't understand alot of it, but it only really lasts a page at a time and is no different then anything else you might encounter in a fantasy novel. the only difference is this uses real word technical words, which tend to get people turned around. I would defientely recommend this book and i cant wait to pick up book 2.
97

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