This audio book tops my list of favourite titles.
I love books about books, and this one creates the perfect literary cocktail: Put a literary mystery in a quirky bookstore, add a shady secret society and an appreciation of a font; shake well and splice the whole shebang with liberal splashes of current technology. It is creamy, cool, word-nerdy fun.
The character of Mr Penumbra was wonderfully rendered. Somehow, Ari Fliakos managed to capture a believable mysteriousness.
Mr Penumbra, of course. --My new crush.
First, the cracks about audio books are seriously funnier in this context. The geek references were exactly my cup of tea. The relationships felt like ones I have with people I know, so very authentic (I'm pretty sure I date the protagonist.) Google is a great hero but so are real human beings. The obsessions with books and mysteries are perfect for anyone who has ever wanted to find themselves in the middle of the stories of the jr high fantasy section.
Clay the protagonist is exactly the kind of person I love to hang around with. He's curious, creative and inescapablely optimistic. Failure is not the end, it just means to try something else. He's also goofy and a dreamer. Its his relationships with people that make his life work even our modern internet world.
He had the right 20 something tone for Clay and his voices for other characters are done with the affect of letting you know these are the way Clay sees these people, not the people themselves. It a great rhythm to his reading and it goes by so fast. I immediately started listening to it again as soon as I was done the first time.
Mysterious cults, hacker girls and ILM special effects... All Clay thought he wanted was a job in an all night book store.
Delightful! Share this one with everyone you know.
This story was just an absolute delight, beginning to end. The narrator really sounded like a carefree 20-something guy trying to find his place in the world. The wit and silliness of the main character's commentary was fun and just the right touch of humor. I do wonder what the written version of this book looks like, though that might just be the graphic designer in me wanting more visual input. While I had fun imagining what the crazy code books looked like and what the font might be, I do wonder if the printed version provided samples. Other than that, it was definitely an easy, fun listen, and I have recommended this to all my friends!
I found Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan accidentally on Audible while browsing samples. I laughed out loud so many times through this book during my morning runs I must have looks like a crazy person. The best word I can use to describe this book is witty. But this story isn’t just about books, it adds in the use of modern computer technology with a childhood nostalgia for your favorite cliche book series and – what else could there be but – a secret robed society, called the Unbroken Spine. It is funny, witty, entertaining, and completely unbelievable – but in a good way.
I identified with the main character in the sense that a) I too love the smell of books, b) I too love the complexities of things like Google, typology, website coding, and super computers, and c) have extremely similar internal monologues.
This book is the perfect read for all you twenty something-tech savvy-font enthusiast-book lovers who struggle with the concept of ‘book or e-reader?’ who dreamed of finding a hidden code in your favorite book that leads to a secret underground society that has been on a quest for eternal morality for over 500 years. Or, anyone in the mood for a light read, with quality writing.
In conclusion, there was a truly profound comment in this novel that I bookmarked. However, I removed the audio book from my phone too quickly and lost it. On the upside, this is definitely a book I will add to my library via softcover edition and re-read…and hunt for that quote.
My Rating: 4 Stars - Memorable, Witty, Laugh-out-Loud, Inventive, Fresh
(I wanted to but couldn’t give this book 5 stars because it still pales in comparison to my ultimate 5 Star book: Jane Eyre)
This book draws you in with the mystery of what is happening and then hooks you with the uncomfortable feeling of doing something you are not supposed to.
The story starts of pulling you in because you want to understand more. But what I enjoyed was being pulled along with a peppering of getting caught doing something you know you shouldn't but you can't help yourself.
As a techie I did like the spattering of Google references, fact or fiction it didn't matter there was still a feeling of the contemporary.
There were shadows of the Da Vinci Code but nonetheless, thoroughly enjoyable.
i like to read. i like to listen.
awesome. perfect. amazing.
the google part. the part where clay snuck into the basement. the first time he met kat. ok. thats three.
clay. i found ari fliakos' voice fit the part of clay so perfectly.oh and mr. penumbra of course.
i laughed a few times. but more often i just found myself smiling.
i think that this is a perfect book. i think there is something for everyone in this book. it's brainy but not pretentious, magical without magic, mysterious, thrilling...it's just great.
An important reason - narration is perfect!
It is a fun story. Intriguing, current and pleasant. I love those rare stories without violence, cruelty and bad guys.
I did my best to ignore author's, sometimes embarrassing, infatuation with Google. I assume it was there to make a point but it was at times uncomfortable to listen to (Googlers are so smart... they can do anything... they are the rulers of the world...). But when taken with a smile it did not diminish my enjoyment of the book.
Don't expect any brilliant conclusions or earth shuttering truths - it is just an intelligent book to read.
A nice, sweet and upbeat story, I greatly enjoyed it! I listen to books to and from work and it was a fun escape from the day to day.
,Mr Prenumbra's is a well written and engaging story with just enough of the right elements/
A memorable scene was when Clay enters the book store for the first time looking for a job.
My favorite scene was when the Googlers and the book cult people were at Google campus trying to crack the code.
I would rename it Dan Brown's should write this well.
This is the tale of a man in desperate search for a job finding work in an unusual, 24 hour bookstore. There aren't many customers, but the returning customers are always strange, and Clay Jannon has to not only sell books, but also write about what each unusual customer says and does.
The mystery deepens as Clay uses modern technology and the help of his friends and a sexy Google employee to learn why Mr. Penumbra's bookstore is so unusual. The trip takes them to NYC and Nevada and to Google itself to solve the mystery.
I enjoyed this book. There was some techno-talk, but not enough that it was over a newbie's head, and tales of bookstores are always a fun read. This isn't a long book, but it's long enough. Robin Sloan paces the story well and there are twists and turns aplenty to keep you guessing if they will ever solve the mystery of Mr. Penumbra's bookstore.