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Summary

It's a brave new Britain under the New Management. The Prime Minister is an eldritch god of unimaginable power. Crime is plummeting as almost every offense is punishable by death. And everywhere you look, there are people with strange powers, some of which they can control, and some, not so much.

Hyperorganised and formidable, Eve Starkey defeated her boss, the louche magical adept and billionaire Rupert de Montfort Bigge, in a supernatural duel to the death. Now she's in charge of the Bigge Corporation, just in time to discover the lethal trap Rupert set for her long ago....

Wendy Deere is investigating unauthorized supernatural shenanigans. She swore to herself she wouldn't again get entangled with Eve Starkey's bohemian brother, Imp, and his crew of transhuman misfits. Yeah, right.

Mary Macandless has powers of her own. Right now she's pretending to be a nanny in order to kidnap the children of a pair of famous, Government-authorized adepts. These children have powers of their own, and Mary Macandless is in way over her head.

All of these stories will come together, with world-bending results....

©2022 Charles Stross (P)2022 Hachette Audio UK

Critic reviews

"For all of Stross's genuine ability to spook and dismay, The Laundry Files are some of the most tremendously humane books I've ever read." (Tamsyn Muir, author of Gideon the Ninth)

What listeners say about Quantum of Nightmares

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Can not listen all the shrieking

I really wanted to listen the new Charles Stross book but the constant yelling and shrieking by the reader makes it impossible. From very low voice to very loud yelling in an instant, there's no way to listen to this piece with or without headphones. So I can't really tell much about the story.

5 people found this helpful

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Great story spoiled by hammy narration

I love this series of books, but this narrator is terrible! Overdone and hammed up to an intrusive degree.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent on every count

This was just amazing and a perfect combination of comic horror fantasy that left me almost crying with laughter. Special note of how well the narrator voiced Mary and the Banks children

3 people found this helpful

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Not the right narrator

The story is good, the drama unfolds and the humour is pure stross.

Unfortunately the narration was nowhere near on point.. from the technical with levels all over the place to poor vocal characterisations that didn't seem to fit with the characters to male characterisations that were barely understandable. If I could get my money back I would.

1 person found this helpful

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Narrator…just way too screechy !

Usual quality from Stross, but sorry Imogen, you’re talented but the voices you do for some of the characters… are just far, far too high pitched..they absolutely grated on my nerves😵‍💫😵‍💫😵‍💫 Had to turn the volume right down just to get through them. Made it to the end…because I’m determined! But not an enjoyable listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Exciting plot, superb narration

This direct sequel to Dead Lies Dreaming continues the story of Eve, her brother Imp and his housemates as they try to make sense of their family's secret fate, interwoven with two new plot strands that at first appear to be disparate but seen merge into each other as more secrets are revealed, like the sinister goings-on in a supermarket chain and the tales of a nanny trying to wrestle the kids of a superhero couple into submission without drawing attention to herself or them. The book starts off at a sprint and doesn't stop until the last paragraph of the epilogue.
I want to draw special attention to the narrator, Imogen Church. Her vocal range for the cast of characters is truly mind-boggling, from the hyperactive kids, via the out of her depth SuperNanny to the quietly sinister people in charge, she is a force to be reckoned with and I will be looking out for other books she's narrated. Her performance makes this book even more exciting than the content. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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I'm done for, go on without me

Twenty minutes in and I'm struggling. I'm a huge Stross fan but the narration is truly staggeringly awful, as in Librivox sub-amateur levels of awful.

The narrator is trying far too hard and the overacting is painful. A wide dynamic range means having to tweak the volume to hear it clearly for some characters meaning it is too loud for others. Even straightforward narrative passages are tortured into weird shapes by OVer Stressing Every Single Word.
The voices are exaggerated beyond parody.

I will persist because Stross, but I'm sure I'm not going to make it to the end.

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a great romp

Mary Poppins with dinosaurs and machine guns and all kinds of horrid beasties and nasty religious loonies. The ending was quite predictable but the romp was immense fun and the humour got me giggling. It needed excellent narration to work, and got it. A great book when you want a ride with old tropes in new hats and really don't want to think.

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Please! The narration...

It's really hard to rate the story because the narration is so dire. Yeah, I get the whole parody thing, but it'd be much better narrated deadpan. Unfortunately, it sounds like it's being performed for inattentive children who'll wander off unless they're pinned in place by overacting. There are probably books that'd suit Ms Church's style, but this isn't one of them.

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Book good, audio horrible

Story and plot is okay. Funny as usual, nothing much to report.
Sound is horrible. The actress is using the Tony Robinson (of the early Discworld audiobook notoriety) method of reading the story. Every person has a different voice (yay), however allmost everyone is overacted TO THE MAX (buh). The normal text is read in normal voice level, but dialogue is either normal (hurra), w h i s p e r i n g (buh) or SCREECHING (sigh) - and often in the same sentence, making it allmost imposible to adjust the sound level. And making it absolutly imposible to follow all the dialogue if there're any sounds nearby. So driving a car, washing up or doing the shopping with this book sucks.

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  • Nisse
  • 07-05-22

It's very very loud

The book is fine, what would be expected from Charles Strosa these days, nothing spectacular but a solid delivery.
The delivery of it through voice acting is, painful. The amount of screaming and shouting is just too much. it's a pity since 95 % of it is really good and engaging.

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  • Jan W.
  • 10-02-22

great sequel on the dead lie sleeping

story is great with the unexpected and megalomaniac schemes that Stross excels in. enthousiaste performance with much dynamics in volume but sometimes that makes it difficult to hear when whispering and you are in a car. finale is perhaps somewhat flat almost with a relatively weak final stand.

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  • Peter Wallin
  • 22-01-22

Strong stomach advised

Quantum of nightmares is a sequel to Dead Lies Dreaming in the Laundry-files-adjacent suite ‘The new management’. I’m thoroughly invested in The Laundry Files and was curious when DLD came out.

Having read both now I feel these two books should have been one narrative-wise. I understand that the author pastiches Peter Pan in one book and Mary Poppins in the other but I felt the story in DLD was a bit thin.

The story in Quantum of Nightmares however is meatier and would have been an excellent complement to Dead lies dreaming. Yes there’s a pun there, I suggest you deal with it.

I don’t think many will go into this book without having read the Laundry files, but this is an excellent book on its own. It’s a depiction of what British life would be like under an Elder God as the Prime minister. But it’s also a good allegory for how precarious life is for disenfranchised individuals wanting/needing to get back into work life.

Imogen Church is amazing as a narrator, and heightens the experience very much. I think this my first book of hers, but I will be interested in searching out more of her work based on her smashing work here.