Who is accomplished enough to claim a critic's eye? Who is as masterful as those who have written for the rest of us to read? When I was a young man, I believed I knew what was better than something else. Now, I am in awe of everything. Now I realize that the older I get, the less I know.
This was a fun listen for younger listeners. But, for a senior like me it was an interesting peek into the mindset of the young in the 21st Century. Google, digital code, fantasy worlds, etc. all were engaged throughout.
Yes, if I were 30 years younger.
I haven't listened to other performances, but I enjoyed this one as he spoke in various voices.
Sure. Another book could continue the fun although the conclusion of the story reveals the folly of the whole quest by the characters involved. There is more to say about quests and the tendency we all have to imagine significance in things that turn out not to be there. It's kind of sad. We all want our dreams to come true. But, there is a lesson there and that could be a starting point for another book.
The strange mix of fictional corporations, historical characters, and fonts with bizarrely overwhelming mentions of GOOGLE GOOGLE GOOGLE annoyed me. Leveraging all of Google's power was a quick way to illustrate some of the efforts, but lauding their cafeteria, management structure and general nerd culture to the degree and pages he devoted to it was unnecessary. The resolution also angered me for reasons I can not describe without "spoilers".
The characters, other than his caricature of a "quirky nerd girl" girlfriend, were likeable. The mystery wasn't really that mysterious, but the natural way the story was told made it feel more friendly and enjoyable.
He does an excellent old man voice.
It could be properly Wes Anderson-ed up to be enjoyable, but it would really depend on the director.
Read, read, read. Learn something new every day.
Good narration always enhances a story. And this was good!
I was so intrigued by the story telling. The mystery was gravy.
The "fuzzy knit cap". Stay tuned, you'll see.
They were all cool, from the secret society to the googling techies.
A line from the book:
“I've never listened to an audiobook before, and I have to say it's a totally different experience. When you read a book, the story definitely takes place in your head. When you listen, it seems to happen in a little cloud all around it, like a fuzzy knit cap pulled down over your eyes”
Thank you, Mr. Sloan, for giving me that description. Now every time I listen to a book I will be pulling down that fuzzy knit cap.
I really enjoyed this book. It was kind of a mystery, kind of a quest. There were interesting colorful characters mixed with average stereotypical contemporary clichés. There were really old mysterious tomes on dusty shelves in the same room with internet code and 3D rendering. The language was rich with the love and description of books, and casual and flippant with internet/computer references.
“He has the strangest expression on his face- the emotional equivalent of 404 PAGE NOT FOUND.”
The story takes place in the Google-infused city of San Francisco, but is predominantly set in the mysterious 24 hour book store, complete with tinkling bell on the entry door, bookshelves so high up you need a ladder to get to them, and hardly any customers.
There are conversations regarding 15th century printing and typeface mixed with which font comes standard on a Mac.
I found these references intriguing enough to google them, and they were relatively close to historically accurate (Names were slightly changed). The ironic fact that I googled while reading this book was not lost on me.
The word "googlers" was in this book so many times I lost count (with one character pronouncing it "goo-ga-lers"). They were a contemporary, forward thinking group dedicated to internet development, contrasted by the tome worshipping, "cave" dwelling, black robe wearing cult.
Overall this was really fun to read. It was full of hints of fantasy, secret societies, mysterious characters, secret codes and numerous techno-one-liners.
“I sit up straight and do the first thing a person is supposed to do in an emergency, which is send a text message.”
“Kat bought a New York Times but couldn’t figure out how to operate it, so now she’s fiddling with her phone.
We just finished listening to mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore and are so sad it is over! It was a completely new story that had us enthralled every chapter. The writing was richly descriptive and humorous. The narration was exquisite, as Ari Fliakos delivered the characters flawlessly. Thanks Robin Sloan for your imagination!