I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this while commuting. I don't usually like fantasy but that element was very limited and instead this book was a good old fashioned quest story, complete with oddball characters, a somewhat ill defined nemesis, and a love interest (although that was kept to a minimum). Sure parts of the story require a little suspension of belief, but it was all in keeping with the fantasy genre.
Harry Potter meets Da Vinci's code. Books, e-readers, a secret society in a quest and digital technology get together in this fun, enjoyable mystery. And everything started at the mysterious 24 hours bookstore. The story grabbed me from the first line, and just wanted to know what will happen next.
The narrator deserves 10 stars. Wonderful!
author of "Starfish"
I would recommend it to my tech friends, those guys who love writing code and studying Google algorithms. Fantasy and mystery lovers might want to try something else.
The most interesting part of the story was the mystery of the old books; ancient, leather bound, encoded tomes lining the topmost shelves of the store and accessible to a few, eccentric patrons.
Clay, as a millennial, has a nerdy, friendly personality. Mr. Penumbra has a great, erudite, accented voice. Fliakos is a good narrator.
Mr. Penumbra was the most memorable character. I met him in the excellent "Ajax Penumbra 1969". It was fun to catch up with him all these years later.
Don't miss Audible's rendition of the prequel to this book, "Ajax Penumbra 1969".
It was defiantly an original story line!
Yes! I love "quest" type mysteries. It's like a lighter Dan Brown type mystery without the blood shed!
It was humorous in many places! The main character is such a normal guy, you cent help but love him!
If the opening strains of music in this book give you a little chill and make you wonder if this is actually a techno-Harry Potter, then you are in for a treat, my friend.
I *loved* this story. It takes a while to really get an idea of what's going on, but you are as hapless as the main character, so don't worry. It's quirky, amusing, and very original. I can't recall reading anything else like it, and that for me is a huge plus. I will undoubtedly listen to it again and again in those times when I'm feeling a bit down, and need a good story to lift me up.
I loved it, I will describe it as up front and in the moment ; the performance kept me thoroughly engaged and familiar the same way I felt as the story drew me in. This was beyond the fact that I knew the places that he was talking about in the City first hand. Beyond the fact that "Silicon Valley" in real time is leaking into Silicon Bay Area as well.
I heard the story of the 24 hour bookstore in 24 hours. I could not have waited the 500 odd years that the characters needed to puzzle out the story, but even that bizarre thought makes sense in terms of how rapidly our technology is growing. This book engaged the personal viewpoints towards technology that might be felt as differences in the terms of different generations and brings them together in a lighthearted way where the old and the young both respectively fit in harmoniously, to sort the mystery out. I don't think I have heard an author do that regarding our quantum technological shift. I liked the book because for me it was a thorough distraction from my daily life and at the same time the affirmation it gives is personal in relation. It was lighthearted amusing and very entertaining and HEY is all carried out in non violent language, which in our times is refreshing and hopeful in literature.
I like the end as I feel the characters carry on as familiar friends even after I close the book .
Thank You - Good Listening!
I'm the author of The Home Distiller's Workbook. I'm a geek-prepper-shiner. Currently into Urban Fantasy, Biz and Post Apocalyptic
I don't think the writer could do anything. It's almost a culture issue.
In the bookstore
The book starts with an amazing premise, ends with a whimper and feels like a long rant on why geeks and the people who work at Google are smarter and hence better then the rest of you. Don't get me wrong, I'm actually one of those silicon valley tech types. I have been on campus at Google often and I love eating there ;-) But this book feels like someone who has drank too much of the Google Kook Aid. There is a lot the G crowd gets right but there is also a lot they get wrong.
On top of that the relationship between the protagonist and the girl is totally unhealthy. If you find yourself in a relationship where your SO wants to break up with you because your ideas didn't work out and then is willing to try again because you were proven right? I'm sorry but if all it takes for her to ditch you is for you to have an incorrect hypothesis how long do you expect this to last? He needs to run screaming from this girl, not begging lamely for her to take him back. What is wrong with people who find this sort of behavior OK?
Lastly the story dies with a whimper. It tries to play off everything that is hip and cool about living in SF, I get it, I did that for 10 years. But in the end the pay off does match the build up and all in all it just feels like someone who is trying to justify their own life and not a real story.
Maybe I'm just burned out by too many want to be intellectuals after my years living and working in the bay area. I find way to many people confusing self centeredness with open mindedness and self importance with actual social contributions.
I am an RN with a 40 minute commute 1 way. A perfect excuse to have a good book keeping me company!
I had low expectations for this book. It had been on my "wish list" forever & I finally decided (because it was cheap) to give it a try. I figured if I didn't like it, I would return it and try something else. After all, life is too short to ready crummy books, right?
It was delightful! I was immediately drawn into the characters & the mystery of the 24 hour bookstore. Well written, full of surprises, & and an ending that made sense and closed all the loops!
This book is hard to classify into any specific genre. It is sort of a mystery, sort of techno-fiction (if that's even a real genre) and even has elements of sci-fi and fantasy now and then. But it was so enjoyable, I recommend to anyone who likes to get lost in a story.
I'm surprised no one seems to catch the quirky title!
This is the first fiction book I've read (or listened to) in a long time that I really liked. The title itself grabbed me. How cool would it to have a 24-hour bookstore nearby? And what a name!! The suggestion of a shadow, hinting at a subterranean cult that becomes stronger and until the sun is self-consumed. Gads! I'm beginning to freak out like Clay!
Ari Fliacos was a superb narrator.
A commuter that needs to fill 2 hours a day... with books!
You have probably read some conflicting reviews of whether non-techies should read this. I'll say this - if you are afraid of computer lingo, then this isn't for you. Otherwise, you'll be fine. You don't need to have a lot of knowledge of computers to follow the story. There might be some things that you don't understand, but you won't lose the story if you don't.
This is a GREAT story with a fantastic reader - he fits the tone of the book well. Some of my favorite lines from the book include: "We need James Bond with a Library Science degree!" and "He's Nosferatu as a Marine Corps Sergeant!"
It's lighthearted, but gives you the opportunity to think about some large philosophical issues, if you want to. I laughed out loud several times, and I will listen to this book again. I highly recommend it, regardless of your computer knowledge.