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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....
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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 (5060 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Emily OShea 06-30-15
    Emily OShea 06-30-15 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    2
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    Story
    "SO good!"

    I absolutely loved this book! It's unique story captured my intrigue immediately and held it until the very end. I love how nicely and it wrapped up as well. Highly recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scstudent 06-30-15
    scstudent 06-30-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Internet, books, fun nerdiness"

    Neat commentary on today's Internet society all intertwined around an entertaining, although a teensy bit hokey at times, secret book society.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gypsyjolie Madison, WI, United States 06-29-15
    Gypsyjolie Madison, WI, United States 06-29-15 Member Since 2016

    audiobook addict

    HELPFUL VOTES
    218
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    226
    134
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    "odd but charming bookstore geeky mystery"

    This book was charming. It is part ode to bookstore and those that love them, paired with a zest for technology and new ways of accessing knowledge. Sure, this book will seem very dated with all its talk of Google and Wikipedia in a few years, but at heart its message will remain. Life is a good story, an adventure, and you need to share all its twists and turns with a few good friends. It reads a bit like YA despite the ages of the main characters. The combination of the book's affable, laid back "dude" nerdiness set against its fantastical adventure/quest plotline reminded me of Ready Player One, 14, and John Dies At The End. It's a dude book, and a geek book, yet oddly sentimental at the end. It seem ingenuous and sincere. I think the fantastic audiobook narration by Ari Fliakos really helped draw me into the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer S. Leblanc Houston, TX 06-28-15
    Jennifer S. Leblanc Houston, TX 06-28-15 Member Since 2010

    goodlifecpa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
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    "Charming tale (with a healthy dose of Google propaganda)"

    I don't read a lot of sci-fi or futuristic authors but I found this enjoyable charming and believable. The characters are mostly flat but in an enjoyable way that lends itself to a full story. The word Google does appear an extraordinary number of times in the story but the presence of the Company is tasteful propaganda. The narration is good and adds to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. J. Zannini Charlotte, NC USA 06-28-15
    P. J. Zannini Charlotte, NC USA 06-28-15 Member Since 2013

    Truthteller

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    111
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    "An absolutely delightful story."

    Filled with lovely characters (albeit conveniently stereotypical for a Silicon Valley based story) and a wonderful charm (akin to Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium) the book whisks you along on a a delightful ride. Sit back and enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amma Louisa, Kentucky USA 06-27-15
    Amma Louisa, Kentucky USA 06-27-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    34
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    "Magical"

    Jolly good fun! I was sorry when it ended as the teller of our tale does so with exuberance and fun. You simply want him to lead you on this journey with his positive and infectious gift of story sharing! The best hidden things are openly displayed and not seen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickie 06-26-15
    Vickie 06-26-15 Member Since 2015
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    41
    3
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    "Boring"

    I was bored to tears with this book. Not interesting in the least. I listened to the whole book to see if it would get better. It didn't. A waste of money and time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn 06-24-15
    Kathryn 06-24-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting story told with a fresh perspective"

    A mixture of mystery and fantasy...it isn't a heavy read, but it is a story that isn't formulaic and a fun way to pass the time on my long runs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina M. Kruse Pasadena, CA United States 06-10-15
    Christina M. Kruse Pasadena, CA United States 06-10-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    81
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    Story
    "Nothing very nutritious"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    A quick light read perfect for a lazy summer weekend.
    The story is interesting enough to keep you reading, although the pay-off is a bit underwhelming.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Franca 06-08-15
    Franca 06-08-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Fantastic novel"

    I've never read the book - the audio version was my first experience - and I must say - thoroughly enjoyed it. At times I wanted to speed through the book while at the same time not wanting to end the experience. Loved it so much I purchased copies for my techie brothers!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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