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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Audiobook

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

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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 (7742 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Hudson 01-18-17
    Amazon Customer Hudson 01-18-17 Member Since 2016
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    12
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    Story
    "Fascinating"

    This story draws you in from the beginning and keeps you hanging on till the very end.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa 01-11-17
    Teresa 01-11-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Good book"

    Not my normal type of genre but based on reviews and when it was in an audible sale I decided to purchase it. I have had it in my library for quite sometime. It was very entertaining. I really liked the narrator. The narrator I think made the book much more enjoyable. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first but it really was a good listen. Great cast of characters. Interesting view of new technology and OK that is old knowledge.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamara L. Cunningham 01-09-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    67
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    "A lovely suprise"

    This is funny, quirky, and a must for science fiction meets cult, meets technology geeks. And this 45 year old homeschooling mom adored it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lise Bethesda, MD, USA 01-07-17
    Lise Bethesda, MD, USA 01-07-17 Member Since 2007
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    "This book is a joy"

    I loved this book. I try to switch between a novel, a history and a self improvement book so this was a wonderful treat. I read some other reviews and someone complained about the amount of detail given about fonts. I thought it was fascinating and I learned a lot. This is a sweet story and encourage you to read and enjoy it!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M0SS Idaho 01-04-17
    M0SS Idaho 01-04-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspiring Entertainment!"
    Any additional comments?

    As a nascent programmer I found this book to be an enjoyable listen. I couldn't pause it, I finished it within the same day. It is a very well thought-out book with plenty of mystery, the dashes of tech, history, romance, and even an important life lesson at the end. <br/>An added bonus is the masterful narration, especially the audio book within the audio book. It was a pleasant surprise and impressed me with the level of detail given to this audio edition of the book. Definitely buying the next book, Ajax Penumbra 1969, narrated also by Ari Fliakos.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    astaiannymph 12-24-16 Member Since 2013
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    19
    6
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    "Thinks it's deeper than it is"

    This is actually a pretty standard story. It *is* interesting, but it falls flat a lot. It sort of feels like Dan Brown, where the fantasy isn't really, which was heartily disappointing. You do always want to know what happens next, so that's good. the narrator is mostly good, nothing to write home about, nothing to complain about. One last quibble with the book is I really couldn't get behind the romantic subplot.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bookwormgrrrl USA 12-20-16
    bookwormgrrrl USA 12-20-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Harry Potter meets the Librarians"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    To listen to this book, one would think that the author was speaking directly through the narrator - Ari Fliakos is fantastic as the voice of the main character. He makes the story really live. I would absolutely love more from Mr. Penumbra.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Clay - his voice is real and funny


    Any additional comments?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BadKarmaCupcake 12-20-16 Member Since 2016
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    15
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    "fun!"

    If you're into speculative fiction and you enjoy geek-culture references, this is a definite must read. Light and entertaining, Penumbra is a perfect, pleasant escape.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 12-19-16
    John 12-19-16 Member Since 2014

    A love of reading has been replaced by an addiction to Audible. Financier by day, my nightly window to the world is ever-expanding.

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    "Performance Shines, Story Left Me Wanting"

    I enjoyed listening to the narrator navigate through the author's enciteful observations, yet I expected and genuinely wanted more from the storyline's climax. I wouldn't hesitate recommend this book because of the dialogue which kept me entertained throughout.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    itinerant 12-16-16
    itinerant 12-16-16
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    "Forgettable"

    I enjoyed the premise of this book . . . bookstores and mysteries and hapless characters bending the rules and discovering secrets . . . all good stuff. But it read like juvenalia to me: the characters and their concerns and what they said to one another didn't rise to the level of the surrounding premise. Too little, it seemed, was at stake, and the children solving the mystery and challenging the old order seemed to have nothing to offer in exchange of similar import . . .

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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