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
This was a great, light-hearted listen. Techy but cool in a way non techs can understand, especially as pertaining to books. Loved it!
Narration was excellent, distinguishing characters.
It starts like a very fun, good, thriller mystery, that would make you want to continue hearing / reading. Really.
however somewhere before the middle it just loses its way and you don't find the storyline interesting enough to follow anymore...
all the relationships in the book are shallow and lack real feeling.
However the performance is wonderful, I would look for more books by Ari.
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.
Practicing Idealist, Dabbling Realist ;)
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.
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.
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!
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