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Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore

Sloan, Robin (eBook - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore
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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 twenty-first 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 reader, no matter the time of day
Authors: Sloan, Robin, 1979-
Title: Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore
[downloadable ebook]
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Statement of Responsibility: Robin Sloan
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 twenty-first 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 reader, no matter the time of day
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9780374708832
Branch Call Number: OverDrive downloadable ebook
System Details: Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Format: OverDrive READ
Format: Kindle Book
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Mode of access: World Wide Web
Subject Headings: Recessions United States Fiction Bookstores California San Francisco Fiction Bookstores Employees Fiction
Genre/Form: Downloadable ebook
Electronic books
Topical Term: Recessions
Bookstores
Bookstores
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From Library Staff

After a layoff during the Great Recession sidelines his tech career, Clay Jannon takes a job at the titular bookstore in San Francisco, and soon realizes that the establishment is a facade for a strange secret.


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Aug 07, 2014
  • telger rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour Book store- Robin Sloan
I was hooked because I love and kinda sorta addicted to books and the work of reading, as decribed by Mr. Penumbra. I was captivated and mystified by this bookstore- the secret society, what they do, why and who they are. But I have to admit after the long, winding journey of books, and libraries, New York and San Francisco- I feel I was dissapointed in the end. But this is just me though. I thought there is a bigger, more profound explanation but oh no.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Reading Game: This is a whimsical, optimistic story for people who love books. The main character, Clay, is a tech-savvy book lover who has lost his tech startup job in the recession. He goes to work as a clerk at Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, where it immediately becomes clear that something beyond simple book-selling is going on. The story that follows concerns cryptography, typography, data visualizations, e-book readers and of course books. This book is a lot of fun to read and is highly recommended for book-lovers AND technology-lovers.

Jul 06, 2013
  • Sarah1984 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is about a bookstore and the slightly fantastical people who frequent it, for either work or pleasure. There's a secret society that funds it and keeps it going in the background, and to start with I thought there was going to be some actual magic worked into the secret society. While there were no wands or incantations, there was still magic in the story. There was magic in the way the 26-year-old star and narrator of the story believes that physical bookstores will carry on because people still like the way books smell, and you can't get that through your Kindle (I read an actual book edition). There was magic in Robin Sloane's final message, that being immortal isn't about living forever, it's about what you do with your life and your impact on the people around you. And I have to disagree with his assertion that this book, like all books before it and after, will fade to the back of my mind - I don't think it will fade at all, I think I'll remember the descriptions of Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore with it's three storey shelves and the waybacklist for many years to come.

Apr 08, 2013
  • mombrarian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Funny, thoughtful, engaging story with mystery elements that tackles how and where print books and all things electronic intersect.

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Jan 23, 2014
  • sammier rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Your life must be an open city, with all sorts of ways to wander in.

Jan 23, 2014
  • sammier rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"We need James Bond with a library science degree."

Jan 23, 2014
  • sammier rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"What do you seek in these shelves?"

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