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
I loved reading this book! It's definitely one of the most original and true statements about the resilient magic of books in light of advancing power of technology that only seems to threaten the survival of the centuries-old relationship between the reader and the written word, as well as among the fellowship of readers themselves.
I really tried to finish this book. the story droned on and on. I found myself checking to see how much longer the book was and if I could manage to get through it. I couldn't.... the reader was expressive but it just doesn't capture enough to keep the story from being riddled with too many geeky computer references and irrelevant banter about nothing.
Highly recommended book!!!! For those of you that like a great story with great narration, this is your book. A book about a mystery set in a bookstore and in a book.
I am a Native American woman who loves quirky - off the beaten path stories. I would like to find more books about people of color.
I love a good quirky book! This is a story of a unique bookstore and all the mysteries that it holds. I love the way the story weaves together the old days and technology to create a literary dance between the two. I don't want to reveal anything about the story because that would take the fun away from the reader. Suffice to say that its a magic ride that won't disappoint!
I am an avid reader of YA Fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, thrillers and mysteries. I am open and ridiculously optimistic about all books
Fun! Mystery and intrigue and immortality for us book and word nerds! Loved the performance. It definitely enhanced an already lovely and fun story.
Really enjoyed this book, I didn't know what to expect and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Well crafted and quirky characters! Loved the interesting descriptions of everyday items and landscapes. Narrator did a great job bringing the quirky bunch to life. Loved it!
Good story, bit convoluted at times, but it found its way. I REALLY enjoyed the characters in this book and the humor. I lol several times. Definitely worth the credit.
Unique characters were well drawn and described in a real life way by the narrator, Ari Fliakos. I felt as if I were right there.
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