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I have just bought the The Fuller Memorandum and realized that it is the 3rd book in a series.

Is it OK to read just this one, or should I read the other 2 first?

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While the series share the same protagonist (Bob Howard), they're 3 different books, even different writing styles and can all be read apart.

Where The Atrocity Archives was written in the idiom of Len Deighton and The Jennifer Morgue was a pastiche of Ian Fleming's James Bond novels, The Fuller Memorandum is a homage of sorts to Anthony Price's Dr David Audley/Colonel Jack Butler series of spy thrillers, and features two minor characters named Roskill and Panin, names which appeared as recurring characters in Price's series.

Wikipedia, "The Laundry Files: The Fuller Memorandum"

  • 5
    I agree, they can be read apart. But I think they work a lot better in sequence. – sjl May 2 '12 at 19:53
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I'm just reading the forth book "The Apocalypse Codex" and I also recognize that Stross always gives short introductions into relevant aspects of the story. So, you'd still understand most of what happens without reading the other books.

But I strongly advise you to read them in order. Especially "The Apocalypse Codex" has many references to previous topics, e.g., "destiny entanglement" and such. Personally, I wouldn't have had that much fun reading it if I had read it out of order.

6

Read them in order for maximum enjoyment and understanding:

  1. The Atrocity Archives
  2. The Jennifer Morgue
  3. "Down on the Farm"
  4. "Equoid"
  5. The Fuller Memorandum
  6. "Overtime"
  7. The Apocalypse Codex
  8. The Rhesus Chart
  9. The Annihilation Score
  10. The Nightmare Stacks
  11. The Delirium Brief
  12. "The Howard/O'Brien Relate Counseling Session Transcripts – Part 1"

Also read Mr Stross' blog for further fascinating information

  • Agreed. I started reading with "Down on the Farm" and must say I would have been better placed to enjoy it fully if I had read the earlier books first. – Jules Sep 25 '17 at 8:31

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