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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 (5047 )
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4.4 (4583 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gammy Di 04-24-15
    Gammy Di 04-24-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    12
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    Story
    "A story about books has to be wonderful"

    And it is. This is a delightful book that has fun characters, a good story and a love for the printed word. Even though I listened to the audio version I will still always love the printed book best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kath of Oz Melbourne 04-21-15
    Kath of Oz Melbourne 04-21-15 Member Since 2012

    Avid reader and journalist deploying my pen in the service of this planet's visionaries.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thoroughly enchanting"

    A lovely story that moves apace and keeps you guessing to the end, delightfully performed with ace characters - outlandish but completely believable. Vivid. Funny. Self aware.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reading Teacher 04-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    Story
    "Fun and well paced"

    This is not going to be a book that stays with me forever, but it was a fun read. The action reminds me of a Dan Brown book, and the reader made the story exciting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fred greensboro nc 04-20-15
    fred greensboro nc 04-20-15 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    89
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    "Good fun but could do without all that Google stuf"

    Penumbra is good clean fun that got a little repetitious with all those Google references. Other reviews mention the geekiness of the book but there is nothing so technical that an engaged listener would find too complicated. The characters are fun and quirky. The concept is definitely fun and quirky. The really neat stuff actually happens offline. Definitely worth a fun and easy listen. But sometimes I felt like I was listening to the audio book version of the Internship movie starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson because the author mentions Google-this and Google-that a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel W. Hibbs Berkeley, California United States 04-20-15
    Daniel W. Hibbs Berkeley, California United States 04-20-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Totally Unexpected Fun"

    Had no expectations. My son-in-law put it on my IPod. It was interesting, carried me right along, and was a fun listen. The narrator was excellent. Don't know how authentic or realistic the parts about Google world were, but a fun look into the possibilities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Austin Texas 04-17-15
    Amanda Austin Texas 04-17-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    17
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    "Lovely surprise"

    I usually don't write reviews but this book was a lovely surprise. Started just a wee slow but then the characters and story came about. The story was a engaging and thought provoking at times. Nice characters and intriguing little mystery

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha 04-15-15
    Samantha 04-15-15
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    2
    2
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    Story
    "Not as Cool as the Title Holds"

    It was an okay book with a combination of the surreal and structured electronic world. Interesting topic and the plot went downhill as the characters were too spread out and none really developed any depth. Somehow Google and Immortality and cult were in a the same sentence. Also, the leading female character sucks....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael United States 04-13-15
    Michael United States 04-13-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Good you"

    Good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good good fun cook cool week alone dude

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elonna B 04-08-15
    Elonna B 04-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    8
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    "So good!"

    Quite a good book. A surprisingly good book. I would Highly recommend! I loved the combination of technology and books

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ali 03-31-15
    Ali 03-31-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    "Fantastic!"

    I consumed this (audio)book in less than 72 hours. It's intriguing, smart, fantastical, and entertaining all at once. I got a little teary-eyed at the end. It's not quite "bigger than Potter" to this listener/reader, but it's up there. I only wish there were 6 more to accompany it. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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