|The Fuller Memorandum is the third book by
Charles Stross to feature Bob Howard secret agent for Her Majestys Intelligence
Service (occult division) a.k.a. The Laundry, and arguably his most successful so far in
the series. The Fuller Memorandum can be read without reference to
either The Atrocity Archives or The Jennifer Morgue
(although they do provide detailed back story if needed) which are the two earlier works.
those unfamiliar with the series this is H P Lovecraft meets Terry Pratchett, or for those
not up with literary fads: horror meets satire. The horrors and frights of H P Lovecraft
exist but the summoning rituals all involve abstruse higher mathematics best done
on computers, which is where Bob Howard comes in as he was a computer geek and sort of
mathematician. The Laundry exists to stop any malicious or accidental summoning.
In The Fuller Memorandum Bobs boss has gone missing and
the expected end of the world has moved from being nigh to a bit sooner than that, like
maybe next week. Bobs job is to prevent the end of the world happening, find the
office mole and not come to the attention of the Auditors (because theyre really
scary), which he makes harder by getting captured by the occultists seeking to end the
I found this to be a thoroughly enjoyable novel and possibly his best work to date. The
horror elements were finely drawn and the satire was appropriately leavened with grue (if
you die working for The Laundry your working career is not necessarily over, as you could
continue on as a residual human resource or zombie). An added touch for me was the how Mr
Stross was able to bring the cut and thrust of office politics and modern management in to
the mix in an unaffected way. This is a series the author has grown into and repays that
growth to the reader with interest.