We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Audiobook

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....
Regular Price:$17.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life - mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore.

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.

With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the 21st century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that’s rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious listener, no matter the time of day.

©2012 Robin Sloan (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (6100 )
5 star
 (2521)
4 star
 (2220)
3 star
 (1026)
2 star
 (234)
1 star
 (99)
Overall
4.1 (5508 )
5 star
 (2222)
4 star
 (1888)
3 star
 (1031)
2 star
 (249)
1 star
 (118)
Story
4.4 (5527 )
5 star
 (3195)
4 star
 (1666)
3 star
 (534)
2 star
 (89)
1 star
 (43)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    john 03-11-16
    john 03-11-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My favorite book this year."

    If you liked issacson's bio of Steve jobs; if you were delighted by cumbrrbatch's portrayal of Alan Turing; if you liked ready player one; if you have ever thought twice about typefaces; or if you have tried, and enjoyed, coding of any kind, read/ listen to this book and enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anon 03-10-16
    anon 03-10-16

    practical red1

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    "Engaging all the way through"

    A truly unique and wonderful story. Interesting characters, witty dialogue, and excellent pacing. I can't wait for the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 03-09-16
    Diana 03-09-16 Member Since 2013

    Practicing Idealist

    HELPFUL VOTES
    745
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    336
    236
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    80
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clever, surprising, fun, human . . . worth it!"

    After a few recent audio duds, it is refreshing to hear an audio book written by an author who has plenty of brain cells to rub together. Bibliophiles, computer techies, or anyone who relates to today's rapidly changing world will enjoy this. Robin Sloan managed to make me laugh, smile, enjoy surprising twists, and see the present world through observant eyes.

    All without descriptions of spurting blood, foul language, and women being reduced to simplistic stereotypes. Even better, I didn't get the feeling the author was copying whatever is hot right now. Like vampires, or monster hunters. With so many original ideas, this author doesn't need to copy the latest formula trend.

    Great narration, nicely voiced characters. A quality audio book. Perfect if you are looking for a light-hearted and fun story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin 03-08-16
    Erin 03-08-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a very fun novel"

    The story itself was very fun and lighthearted- adventurous, funny, creative. I thought the reader did an excellent job narrating and drawing you into the story. The writing itself could have been a little better- some repetitive lines to really - hammer- the points home, could have been more nuanced and improved with more editing. However - I totally loved this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zev Hurwich 03-07-16
    Zev Hurwich 03-07-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "review"

    excellent writing, but too much Google worship. with a listen, it's sort but very fun

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bridget 03-06-16
    Bridget 03-06-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fantastic!"
    What did you love best about Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore?

    this book was a fun read. It wasn't too complicated but there was enough mystery to keep you coming back for more. I really enjoyed this book and I think everyone should read/listen to it!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blythe California 02-27-16
    Blythe California 02-27-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpected charming little fantasy/adventure story"
    If you could sum up Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore in three words, what would they be?

    Fantasy, technology, and mystery


    Any additional comments?

    Unexpected, charming little fantasy/adventure story set in high-tech San Francisco. It's a curious mix of reality, cutting edge technology, and then fantasy lurking hidden around every corner. It's hard sometimes to tell where reality stops and fantasy starts.

    During the recession in San Francisco Clay, an unemployed designer, gets a job at Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore and is soon trying to figure out how it can even stay in business, and what the second, hidden business of the bookshop actually is. Soon the story involves his special effect artist housemate, various Google technology and Google people, his startup-owning best friend from primary school, and lots of references to a beloved fantasy series (the Dragonsong Chronicles) that all manage to tie together into a D&D styled quest to find out the truth and help Mr. Penumbra and solve the mystery of the bookstore for good.

    Crossing between reality and fantasy, modern technology and historical mystery, it's hard to describe this book. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and the "quest" could have ended more impactfully, but it was a sweet and enjoyable light read with some likeable characters and lots of interesting detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johanna Musgrave 02-22-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved. It."

    I tend not to geek out about books...or listen to them again until the story has faded enough in my memory that cracking it open again feels like a new adventure. But as soon as I was done with this book, I texted everyone I knew who mildly enjoys books to download, read, buy! And then started the book all over again with my not-that-enthusiastic-about-books-in-general husband (he lives a sad life) and we devoured it with gusto. We laughed, a lot, and were so engaged in the story, we're buying a print copy for the kids we don't even have yet. Here here, Robin Sloan. Masterfully crafted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Poturica Chicago, IL 02-17-16
    Stephanie Poturica Chicago, IL 02-17-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable Listen"
    What made the experience of listening to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore the most enjoyable?

    This was a good title to listen to on my commute, it was entertaining without being so involved that I would lose my place while changing lanes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Characters were fun and their adventures were not always believable but hey, it's fiction so just go with it.


    Have you listened to any of Ari Fliakos’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, it was amusing, light, entertainment.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely worth a listen if you want a light selection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Pitman 02-12-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Such a delightful story and well read!"

    I found this to be intriguing without being hokey and a bright spot in the winter gloom. Thank you for such a fun read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.