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Sourdough Audiobook

Sourdough: A Novel

Regular Price:$20.99
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Publisher's Summary

In his much-anticipated new audiobook, Robin Sloan does for the world of food what he did for the world of books in Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.

Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her - feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.

Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she's providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer's market, and a whole new world opens up.

When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

Leavened by the same infectious intelligence that made Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, while taking on even more satisfying challenges, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young author.

Includes bonus material that provides an audiobook-only glimpse at the evolving relationship between Lois and Slurry, the company upon whose dystopian meal replacements she and her engineer friends all subsist.

©2017 Robin Sloan (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

"Therese Plummer, veteran narrator of more than 300 audiobooks, brings a delightfully loopy creativity to the delightfully loopy novel...." (Chicago Tribune)

"Robin Sloan's second novel is an entertaining concoction of probiotic and high-tech ingredients...This is a funny, effervescent book told in the first person and given full range by Therese Plummer, whose youthful voice captures the matter-of-fact nature of Lois's unjaded, scientific temperament and the dizzying ups and downs of her spirits." (The Washington Post)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (423 )
5 star
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4.2 (399 )
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Story
4.5 (399 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Pinon Hills, CA, US 09-08-17
    Amazon Customer Pinon Hills, CA, US 09-08-17 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A New Robin Sloan Book? Yes!!"

    Delighted to find a new Robin Sloan book out. 4 years seemed a long time to go without his particular brand of adventurous discovery into worlds I could never imagine on my own. The pace and timing of each new discovery keeps you going and eagerly imbibing the sumptuous fare his books provide. As the audio book was downloading I wondered how the brief story the cover artwork told would unfold into one of Sloan's rich and rewarding novels.I did not read the summary past the first paragraph, as I wanted the story to unfold on it's own, nor was I put off by the fact that I don't like sourdough bread in the least. I knew there was an engaging story to be had and I was not disappointed.

    If you've listened to one his books before, you aren't reading any reviews to make up your mind, you're already downloading the book. If you haven't read or listened to one his books, then treat yourself, get comfy and enjoy the ride. When it's over and you want more, go get "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore". You'll be hooked.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rahni 10-14-17
    Rahni 10-14-17 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wanted to love it and didn't--but you might?"

    2.5 stars, with a chance for 3 stars (if--like the dough it rhapsodizes about--my opinion likewise rises over time)

    FULL DISCLOSURE: I don’t like sourdough bread. Never have. And I really lack basic patience for food preparation. If I’m hungry, I want to eat now, not in 45 minutes. Plus, there are 2.7 trillion things I’d rather be doing with any free minutes of my life rather than preparing a meal. I like food just fine (I’m not wasting away, by any means), but I just have very little interest and have the palate of a toddler. A very limited, particularly stubborn and uncultured, by-no-means-sophisticated toddler.

    So I’m not the right audience for this book. Not that that’s a deal-breaker—I have absolutely no interest in hockey, but LOVED Fredrick Backman’s Beartown. And, though slavishly devoted to Happy Meals, I really enjoyed Fast Food Nation (once I got the gumption/courage to read it). Despite what the low rating indicates I don’t feel dislike for this book, but more a feeling of apathy. it’s just that I constantly found myself thinking, “Meh. Whatever happens. Who cares. Is there something to care about?” or “I’m so BORED,” while listening to the audio version.

    And thus I can attribute some of my lack of engagement to the fact that my eyes nearly glaze over when talking about, reading about, or watching tv shows about food/food preparation/food appreciation. I’m the anti-David, in that regard (David is a wonderful, well-read, well-spoken, and deep-thinking friend who can find hidden gems in unlikely places. He is the reader that compensates for many of my own readerly failings. When he talks about reading cookbooks, even I am interested. Not enough to actually read one, but I can appreciate the idea of reading one and the pleasure it might bring some.)

    But—the food element aside—this book lacks the plot, momentum, and engaging characters that so charmed me in Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. It seems like a watered-down copy of that successful debut—in fact, as though a lesser author had pirated a less-inspired take on Mr. Sloan's completely WONDERFUL first novel—luddites vs. the techies, a huge Google-ish tech company, a main character’s eyes being opened to a new/old world—but with almost no plot development/movement, no characters I cared about, nothing but serendipitous success for Lois, a non-mysterious-mystery-element, and . . . I don’t know, I just couldn’t bring myself to care.

    Though I still appreciated Robin Sloane’s keen and quirky observations, powers of description, and his talent for portraying wonder and genuine enthusiasm. Describing items you could be offered that you never wanted, “An all-expenses-paid trip to Gary, Indiana” was a marvelously droll choice. I think if the central subject had interested me, I could have forgiven the rather boring story. The concept of proprioception almost intrigued me enough to keep my ears involved . . .

    Sigh. I wanted to love it. You might!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie 10-08-17
    Annie 10-08-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Sourdough is Sweet"

    I listened to this book while I was working out. It fed me with such happiness and energy while I worked out my problems alongside Lois! (My middle name is Lois, so I feel like an honorary member of the Lois Club. I love it.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel 10-08-17
    Rachel 10-08-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Compelling story but mispronunciations distract"

    The story is interesting but the tone of the narration is not my personal preference. To me the narration comes off as overly excited during mundane portions of the story. Worse, the names of streets and neighborhoods in the bay area are consistently mispronounced, which I read in other reviews prior to purchasing, but didn't realize how frequently these mispronunciations would come up! The main character lives on Cabrillo street. Cabrillo is pronounced Cah-brie-o. Yikes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha C. Riley UPLAND, IN, US 10-07-17
    Martha C. Riley UPLAND, IN, US 10-07-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Silly, but still fun"

    I enjoyed the first half of this book very much! I got so hungry for sourdough bread that I bought a loaf. The narrator is fabulous -- I mean, really. As the book went on, the story got pretty far-fetched and silly. Also repetitious. By the last couple of hours, I was ready for it to end. It's a light-hearted and clean read, though -- no sex, foul language, or violence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie 10-07-17
    Julie 10-07-17
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    "Read the print version if you are from SF Bay Area"

    The story is generally OK although I kept waiting for something important to happen which never did. The performer mispronounces several SF Bay Area place names (CaBRILLo for CaBREEyo and AlaMAYda for AlaMEEda) which took me right out of the story every time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daron Dickens Atlanta, GA 10-03-17
    Daron Dickens Atlanta, GA 10-03-17 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I love Robert Sloan"

    I love Robin Sloan. His last book is one of my all-time favorites. I love the way that he create interesting places and memorable characters. I think he certainly did that here. However, I feel like the story itself was not quite as cohesive as his past work. Although I loved reading about the starter and about the main characters journey, I felt like it lacked the pazaz. The way the story unfolded felt like it was constantly leading to some great reveal that never happened. I remember at one point noticing that there was only 30 minutes left in the book and wondering when everything was going to come together. It did but in somewhat of a lackluster way. Hear me, this is very much worth a read. I enjoyed it greatly. I just felt like it so just slightly short of 5 star.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Warner Concord, CA 10-02-17
    R. Warner Concord, CA 10-02-17
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    "I had to quit this book - and I never quit books!"

    Everything is too easy for this protagonist. Yes, she has a mild challenge or two at the outset of each new task, and then everything is fine, smooth sailing. This pattern is too predictable. And boring.
    And, as a resident of the same area where the protagonist travels, the narrator's mispronunciation of certain cities and neighborhoods is too much for me to overlook.
    Half way in and I am done. On to the next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Lipp Campbell , CA 10-02-17
    L. Lipp Campbell , CA 10-02-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Where's the story??! "

    Where's the darn story? It's all about a chick who likes bread and decides to bake it. Nothing important happens, except for an apparent downward spiral in the professional sphere because she prioritizes baking over her real job. Honestly, I want to save you the trouble here. Don't keep reading just because you want to find out what happens because NOTHING happens!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gwendolyn Sherman 10-01-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bland as flour and water"

    Very boring! I kept waiting for it to pick up and bring something interesting into the mix but this did not happen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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