Tone reminds me of other books, written by persons of probably a similar age (under 35) - sort of an innocent voice, non-judgmental to the point of utter blandness. Don’t these people have opinions? Reactions? Dark thoughts of injustice and prejudice? I guess not. Political correctness is embedded in their DNA, apparently. Neither do they make mistakes or have setbacks. Maybe it’s wish fulfillment, but it seems like the general attitude of that generation is that things will work out for them just because.
The rest of the book is one big ad for how great Google is, despite every server in their universe not being able to crack a basic substitution code. And despite the massive build-up and the fervid paranoia of the Unbroken Spine, the secret turns out to be not so much after all. Kat takes it hardest which was amusing. Her first ‘no’. She didn’t deal with it very well.
Eh, I don’t know. I wasn’t overly annoyed while reading this book and picked it up for a palate cleanser, but I wasn’t fulfilled by it either. No deep secrets. No big reveal. The plot, on the surface, seemed complex, but wasn’t. Bland characters. No violence or dirty deeds. I guess if you like saltines, you’ll like this.
No matter where you go, there you are.
The generation of video game players and other techno-beasts is aging. Whether they are becoming adults, as in reality-based productive citizens remains to be seen. Corporate-based cults like Google-ites tend to scare me as the charm and super-reality presumed by the cultist of this religion-like fervor, can lead it's minion down a rosy path to nowhere. Meanwhile, Google and their ilk are soaking up information on all of us, from our buying patterns to our political affiliations, and using them to who knows what end. The characters that control this data (and its eventual impact on our lives) are controlled by whom exactly? They are rich beyond having normal tethers to reality, and powerful enough to effect QOL issues for EVERYONE!
And that makes me more than a bit uncomfortable. The General Motors and General Electrics of the past simply wanted to monopolize their markets and control the political decision makers via Lobbyi$t$, while making ungodly amounts of cash. But at least they made some helpful things along the way. Now the world is controlled by a class of wealthy game players, that discussed their thievery as 'investment vehicles' that benefit a small few, while making exactly nothing useful.
Now we have the notion of 'belonging' to something as meaningless as a cult or religion, that pays us very well to do who knows what for who knows whom. All this brainpower would be better exploited in science and medicine, aimed at improving the quality of our lives without disturbing the natural environment in which we survive.
Penumbra's tale is an old one, but the setting here is not a creepy little bookstore. It is a masterful manipulation of many of our brightest young minds, a story from which we get very little, if anything.
Unlikely to read other Robin Sloan books.
The characters were shallow & hard to care about.
He was ok.
Not really. Seemed like a story I'd like but it wasn't very interesting.
Maybe....it was a fun story at first, but about half way through I got very bored. It's definitely a teen lit-type book. If I had that expectation going into it I may have enjoyed it more, but maybe not. It got a bit annoying at times.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I just want to start out by saying that Ready Player One was a favorite of mine and I listened to it twice in a row.
Mr. Penumbra, on the other hand, just did not keep my interest. I felt it was written for a much younger audience. In addition, its level of geekiness and fantasy was way beyond what I could comprehend or enjoy. The characters were not particularly likeable or memorable and although I finished the book, I just did not care at all how it ended.
Whether I am just not the right demographic or the book wasn't that good, I can't tell. I would not recommend it to any of the people in my life, even the younger, more computer savvy ones.
See my title.
The story never let go of me.
His reading was just delightful. I believe he enjoyed the book as much as I did.
Delight; extreme delight.
I've read a lot of books in my 64 years. I'm now nearly blind and depend upon audiobooks. This book comes close to making up for the differences between reading a book and listening to a book.
I found it very satisfying to listen to this particular reader tell this particular tale. It's an absorbing story that combines old knowledge and new knowledge, books and technology with the interests and the needs of the young and the old.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is one of my current favorites, and, if it stands up to a few re-readings, it might be a candidate for my list of lifetime favorites
I don't really get the hype for this book. I felt like I had skipped something. The narrator was okay, but occasionally his voice got annoying, shrill when he was trying to show excitement. Maybe teenagers would like the book and it is just not one that can bridge it's genre gap.
The great story premise and synopsis led me to believe I was getting an urban fantasy with fascinating characters drawn into strange happenings at a mysterious bookstore that is more than it appears to be. Instead I got something like Ready Player One with Google worship and modern technobabble in place of 80s trivia and nerd wish fulfillment ruining what could have been a great plot. I wish the person who wrote the synopsis had also written the novel.
Tell us about yourself! I am a former high school history teacher and now, a semi-retired physician assistant.
A creepy bookstore run by a peculiar man inveigles a young man into a web of intrigue which involves a boy-girl investigation into an ancient cult with secret codes by using the tentacles of google to find a needle in a haystack. If you are not into fantasy, many references will be incomprehensible, but you may still enjoy the quest. There is little character development and the plot creates the tension of a well-used rubber band.
Couldn't even make it to the end on this one. Why? Because I gave up caring about halfway through how it turned out. The characters turn into such caricatures that you just can't get invested in what they are doing or how the whole thing ends up. It would have to get a serious rewrite to get to 4 stars. This started as a short story and then somehow it got made into a book. It's painfully obvious that it was a short story originally as the characters just peter out after the first couple chapters. There's nothing else to them. They don't develop, they don't change- they are fully done within the chapter they are introduced in. The author clearly doesn't have enough in him to flesh out a book.
I have to wonder how old the folks giving this 4-5 stars are. Unless you're a teenager or college student who thinks name-dropping gadgets or tech companies every couple paragraphs and referring to things in the context of role-playing adventures constantly is good plot building, this book is not for you. Google and a macbook are pretty much main characters by chapter 10. The authors likes to prominently mention he used to work at twitter in all his interviews and blurbs and after making it even partway through this mess, you just want to mentally asterisk that with "* But I really really wish I'd landed a job at Google."
I'm not sure this book even has a genre- bad tech stories?
The reader has a fairly limited range - stereotypical cali, stereotypical sorta surfer and old guy. You couldn't always distinguish who was speaking. Performance didn't really lend anything to the book.
Google! The author seems to believe it's a magical place where everyone is happy and everyone is a genius. Knowing someone who works there will in fact solve all your problems. He actually refers to people as Googlers and non-Googlers. It's idiotic.