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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel | [Robin Sloan]

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

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.
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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

4.4 (16 )
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4.3 (16 )
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4.6 (15 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Irene Thornleigh, Australia 04-11-14
    Irene Thornleigh, Australia 04-11-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    20
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delightful"
    What made the experience of listening to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore the most enjoyable?

    A mystery was set up, the process was engaging and the ending was as it should be.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The main characters were well fleshed out and likeable.


    What about Ari Fliakos’s performance did you like?

    It was appropriate - not too gaudy.


    If you could rename Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, what would you call it?

    Why rename it?


    Any additional comments?

    Recommend this. If you want fast action you will be disappointed but if you want to be intelligently entertained this is for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal 08-26-14
    Crystal 08-26-14 Member Since 2011

    I read and review Young Adult lit!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    76
    69
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Book for Book Lovers"

    I love books. In fact, I love books so much that I picked up Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore purely because I liked the idea of an actual 24-hour book store so much!

    And boy am I glad I did.

    Mr Penumbra’s is a love letter to all bibliophiles. It’s for anyone who ever dreamed of finding a real-life mystery in the pages of a book or wished they could go gather a party of their equally geeky friends and embark on an epic quest.

    But for all its fantasy origins, Mr Penumbra’s is grounded in modern day San Francisco on the forefront of the digital age. Technology and leather-bound tomes intersect for a fascinating look at the modern mythology of Google.

    Audiobooks are often treated as the ugly step-child of literary world so I think fellow audible.com users will especially appreciate the musings about the future of the written world in an increasingly virtual world.

    Mr Penumbra’s has transcended genre-preferences amongst my circle of friends so I highly recommend it to readers everywhere!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Mark
    Banchory, United Kingdom
    1/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Penumbra for President!"

    Mr Penumbra has an uncanny ability to spot a likely character! I thought the characterisation in the novel was classic - I loved the descriptions of the Googlers as well as the book stores mysterious clientel. A book set in social networking present day San Fancisco at the same time draws us into an enlightenment world in the early days of printing. Although American - I can't help feeling the Robin Sloan has read a lot of British SF and fantasy authors. His light touch humour and insite is refreshing. I am surprised this polished and entertaining book is a debut for him. I look forward to some more from his pen - or should I say typeface.
    This waas wound up with a very easy to listen to telling by Ari Fliakos.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gregory James Farrell
    10/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nice story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, this was a good book which developed the story quickly.


    Would you recommend Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes it's a fun book which doesn't take itself too seriously.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Damian
    8/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quirky but worth the read"
    Would you listen to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore again? Why?

    No but it was good the first time


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mr Penumbra was best, he seemed so wise yet cute.


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

    NO, but his performance was terrific


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

    I'm a bit of a stone so 'no'.


    Any additional comments?

    Read it, listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

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