The Clown Service
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The main protagonist, Tom Greene, who has screwed his previous mission now finds himself being reassigned to Section But being from a normal intelligence service, Toby hasn't got a clue as to how the dealings go about in Section Tom is shown as a bit of failure in the beginning of the book, having let a prisoner escaping because he was knocked out cold by a bust of Beethoven, and in the initial start up of the story he does hold this a bit.
Added to this is the rookieness of being new to the supernatural, only a handful know about these threats. Soon enough you see Toby getting acquainted with the dealing of Section 37, as far as that is possible when dealing with the supernatural, and he does regain his confidence and steadfastness. In the end this rooted him nicely on his spot in Section 37 and in the book itself. Next to Toby, there are quite a few other characters that you get to learn throughout the book and the most import ones are Augustus Shining and Olag Krishnin.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Augustus, he is not your average boss, but then again he doesn't have an average job His character brings in a lot of quick-wittedness into the story, he is a former cold era spy and has expertise in the supernatural field.
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With Toby being the newest employee of his, he feels himself obliged to lead everything in the correct way and he starts briefing Toby about his past and the general stuff of Section 37, and this is some cool stuff. But Augustus past is tied to one other character, Olag Krishnin and also the bad guy in The Clown Service, now I won't elaborate too much on his character as it would spoil to much.
But the way that Guy Adams describes him in the beginning of the book, being a ruthless, taking-no-no's for an answer guy really helped set the dark mood and the threat of him in this story straight. And even more so when you learn about what he can do. Overall the connection between Augustus and Krishnin, was set up in a great way and helped getting the story that much further, as this again is all connected to "The Threat" the Black Earth.
You can make up on the synopsis as to what that is. I already mentioned above that The Clown Service is a supernatural espionage thriller. But the supernatural aspect of the book isn't one that leaps of the pages, instead Guy Adams weaves this into the background of the whole story, creating by this an even greater feeling of what all might be possible.
Soon enough you know that it is a special gift and that it helps him in numerous way, and you learn just how powerful this can be. I really liked how Guy Adams is using this aspect to un liven up the storyline itself. With not letting it take over the complete story but showing it in dosed amounts will keep you on the edge of your seat, wanting to find out what happens next.
Because with this you never know what is hiding behind the next corner. The story of The Clown Service is written in a great manner, the first thing that falls to note is the way that Guy Adams writes his story.
The Clown Service : Guy Adams :
But Guy Adams also used the lay out the book is a great way. With The Clown Service being a espionage book, there are the occasional sheets of case files that give more background information about several characters and events and show how the dealing were done in the past. This felt just spot on in the whole setting of the book and really bolstered the idea of a espionage book. Though the story of The Clown Service might be complex, especially with all the new things and timelines that Guy Adams introduces, it is a true pleasure to read.
The Clown Service is a weird and interesting book meaning this in the best way of course. Guy Adams shows his take on urban fantasy and the supernatural and produces a fresh and interesting story; venturing into the crime and espionage of the 21st century with cold war spies and villains. The whole backdrop of the story, taking place in an supernatural 21st century, but not letting the supernatural really take over the story keep you on your edge as you never know what might happen.
This first venture into the espionage produced an superb story, and I hope that we will see more of Section 37 in the near future! Guy Adams just proves himself once again, his stories are great and whole lot of fun to read. Mar 22, Helen rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction , horror , war-thriller , fantasy , time-travel. Note that there are two more in the series.
It is difficult to say what this is about briefly, but here goes. Toby Green has been evaluated as inept by the British Security System which reassigns him to Section 37, which bears the same equivalence to "the Circus" as clowns do to a real circus - hence the name. The Section Head, August Shining, is thrilled to have a second staff person, warns Toby that the last person sent to him left screaming before the day was over.
During this first day Note that there are two more in the series. During this first day Toby helps to rescue an agent who has immersed himself in another consciousness level, leaving his body unconscious on his apartment floor. We have already met Olag Krishnin, a Soviet assassin who seems to have been active in the early s. As the book winds on we learn something about Black Earth, a project Olag has been furthering.
All reviews for: The Clown Service
This book is a great alternative to realistic spy stories. The format is the same, some of the events are the same while others are paranormal or just plain weird. August has a sister named April their parents had very little imagination who like Sherlock Holmes is "something" in the civil service and knows everyone, but she is not universally respected like Mycroft. It is thanks to April that the mission is more or less completed and like her I am not sure whether Toby's choice was the best but I don't know what else he could have done.
Guy Adams has fun with language, making the narration bounce and rush along, but putting in the type of description that makes the scene stay with you. I have an intense memory of the warehouse in the book and it and the "living" dead contributed prominent elements in a vivid nightmare I had afterwards. The multi genre nature of this book is indicated by the "shelves" I had to use, but the narration is a smoothly functioning whole and I am certainly going to find the other two.
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View all 3 comments. Aug 13, Tim Pendry rated it liked it Shelves: black-comedy , dark-fantasy , horror , british , science-fiction , popular-culture , thriller , alternative-histories , espionage.
This is a light - one wants to say grave - entertainment in a peculiar genre in which existential horror is mashed up with the English spy novel Le Carre meets Ligotti. It is fairly pedestrian, almost a pot boiler, until about two thirds of the way through.
The Clown Service Series
Then it suddenly picks up and becomes good - not enough in the context of the who This is a light - one wants to say grave - entertainment in a peculiar genre in which existential horror is mashed up with the English spy novel Then it suddenly picks up and becomes good - not enough in the context of the whole to give it a high star rating but enough to recommend that you persevere and want to see what Adams does next.
This last third or so is a very clever and superficially plausible merging of high end physics and horror which allows the slightly hackneyed espionage aspects to be the McGuffin and not much more. The ending is clearly set up to allow a sequel in the Felix Castor style. Guy Adams, who has written television tie-ins, seems well aware of how these things can be constructed. Since we know from TV that the first in a good series can be relatively weak as the story is set up - vide the first episodes of say Humans or Extant - it might be worth giving Adams the benefit of the doubt and seeing if he can pull this off if the publishers let him.
You will have to take my word for it that, if you approach this as light entertainment in the modern English horror style the self deprecating wryness that gave us Shaun of the Dead in its most comic version , you may allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised by the end.
But certainly not a masterpiece of the genre taken as a whole Jun 20, Nick Brett rated it really liked it.
taylor.evolt.org/dysun-el-masnou.php New recruit Toby is transferred there as a punishment but finds his new job may actually be the right place for him and help him not only deal with his inner daemons but also the more physical problem of his boss being trapped in the Twilight Zone and the dead coming back to life as part of a cold war Russian plot.
There are some good characters that are fleshed out and there is also a sense of humour in the writing and the dialogue. Interestingly the narrative switched from third to first person which confused at first and there were character perspectives also told in the first person, so you needed to switch into the way the story was being told. So I did enjoy it and will pick up follow up books. It differs from Rivers of London as that series almost has London as an additional character with strong links into the myths and history of the City, the Clown Service is set in London but with less of a focus on the City itself.
Jan 31, Andrew rated it really liked it. Now I know that sometimes a popular book spawns practically its own genre - I am sure we all can name a book that seems to be the vanguard of a whole host of similar books. Well this I think stands out and most certainly caught my attention. Ok there are other "secret histories" style books, many referring back to a cold war fought far from the public eye often with weapons and players extreme to the point of unbelievable but this book puts a fresh open and immensely readable approach to it all Now I know that sometimes a popular book spawns practically its own genre - I am sure we all can name a book that seems to be the vanguard of a whole host of similar books.
Ok there are other "secret histories" style books, many referring back to a cold war fought far from the public eye often with weapons and players extreme to the point of unbelievable but this book puts a fresh open and immensely readable approach to it all that made this book amazing fun to read. The characters are flawed - but rather than encourage you to pity or empathise with them - they make you realise that is who they are "warts and all" and realise that these imperfections are part of who they are - the banter and comments flying are brilliant and having worked in a small team not sadly on this sort of scale or importance I completely understand and recognise the banter and comments.
The fact that the title is made first as an insult and is then turned into almost a badge of honour stands as a testimony of how Guy Adams has made a high concept in to something we all can recognise and relate to. A great book to read and one I will be looking forward to reading the further exploits of the Clown Service. When The Clown Service arrived the cover grabbed me as it was seemingly so at odds with the title.
It evokes a classic cold war spy thriller, but in a colourful way. It is also set in a supernatural London; that fact alone would have sold me. But it was not just the supernatural London setting that made this book so much fun, it was its tone and sense of humour as well. I was really pleased with the book When The Clown Service arrived the cover grabbed me as it was seemingly so at odds with the title.
I was really pleased with the book and while the story was impeccably paced, I would have loved for it to have been a bit longer, so I could have spent just a bit more time with the characters. The Clown Service centres on Toby Greene. And Toby is seemingly somewhat of a failure, as his boss is keen to remind him. His last mistake — letting an asset he was babysitting get away — gets him shunted off to Section In contrast, he accepts all the weirdness Shining reveals to him as part of the reality of working at Section 37 almost too calmly.
Like Peter Toby is taken under his wing by an eccentric older mentor. Something which only makes the fact that circumstances make it impossible for Shining to actually give Toby all the details all the more frustrating, both for Toby and the reader. The narrative is nicely structured, told in two timelines, one in the present and one set in the early Sixties, when Shining first encounters Krishnin, the villain of the book.
Much of the story set in the past is conveyed through Shining or others sharing their stories with Toby, which is an enjoyable way to frame a secondary narrative. The Clown Service was faultlessly paced, both in terms of its action and its humour. This book was provided for review by the publisher. Feb 20, Abbas Daya rated it it was amazing. Toby Greene has cocked up one too many times in the eyes of his section chief, a man with a surly disposition and a healthy dislike of our hero.
Toby is therefore transferred to the department within the British Secret Service, dubbed the Circus, where all doomed agents are consigned to die — section Along the way Toby will learn the supernatural ropes of Section 37 and meet some weird and wonderful characters.
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He will also make some powerful new friends, not least of which is August, a man with Gandalf-like knowledge of all things supernatural. The verdict The book is a fantastic read; the action moves at a good pace and the story is engaging as Adams flits between narrative styles. Adams does a wonderful job of creating a gallery of fascinating characters; August Shining is suave, debonair and charming and wise, Toby Greene is a bit gormless but a good lad and so utterly endearing, and Tamar is just sultry and alluring.
The Clown Service is a delicious cocktail of all your favourite British spy icons - a dash of Bond, a sprinkling of the Avengers, with a twist of the supernatural for added flavour. So if you fancy a read that combines the best of British spy thrillers with humour and the supernatural, then you may find The Clown Service is your cup of tea! Sep 22, David Harris rated it really liked it.
Dennis Wheatley meets John le Carre "The Clown Service" is an interesting addition to the growing genre of the "secret agency defending the world from supernatural weirdness". I suppose one might label it the Torchwood genre.