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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

by

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Cover

ISBN13: 9780374214913
ISBN10: 0374214913
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $12.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 hes embarked on a complex analysis of the customers behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just whats 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.

Review:

"For those who fear that the Internet/e-readers/whatever-form-of-technological-upheaval-is-coming has killed or will kill paper and ink, Sloan's debut novel will come as good news. A denizen of the tech world and self-described 'media inventor' (formerly he was part of the media partnerships team at Twitter), Sloan envisions a San Francisco where piracy and paper are equally useful, and massive data-visualization — processing abilities coexist with so-called 'old knowledge.' Really old: as in one of the first typefaces, as in alchemy and the search for immortality. Google has replaced the Medici family as the major patron of art and knowledge, and Clay Jannon, downsized graphic designer and once-and-future nerd now working the night shift for bookstore owner Mr. Penumbra, finds that mysteries and codes are everywhere, not just in the fantasy books and games he loved as a kid. With help from his friends, Clay learns the bookstore's idiosyncrasies, earns his employer's trust, and uses media new, old, and old-old to crack a variety of codes. Like all questing heroes, Clay takes on more than he bargained for and learns more than he expected, not least about himself. His story is an old-fashioned tale likably reconceived for the digital age, with the happy message that ingenuity and friendship translate across centuries and data platforms. Agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Wonderful...I had a great time reading [Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore], flew through it in one sitting....The reader gets that deeply satisfying feeling of entering a wholly created world, and looking on in wonder as that world gets created by the authors fearlessness and disregard for convention....It's a lot of fun, a real tour de force." George Saunders, in Blip Magazine

Review:

"I love this book....It's a good-hearted, optimistic book about friendship and being alive and the lure of the mysterious. It's a book that shows you Google the way Google sees itself, and bookshops the way bookshops ought to be. Its a tonal roadmap to a positive relationship between the old world and the new. It's a book that gets it. Plus, you know: book cults, vertical bookshops, hot geeks, theft, and the pursuit of immortality. This book is in my emotional heartland." Nick Harkaway

Review:

"Wonderful...I had a great time reading [Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore], flew through it in one sitting....The reader gets that deeply satisfying feeling of entering a wholly created world, and looking on in wonder as that world gets created by the authors fearlessness and disregard for convention....It's a lot of fun, a real tour de force." George Saunders, Blip Magazine

Review:

"I love this book....It's a good-hearted, optimistic book about friendship and being alive and the lure of the mysterious. It's a book that shows you Google the way Google sees itself, and bookshops the way bookshops ought to be. Its a tonal roadmap to a positive relationship between the old world and the new. It's a book that gets it. Plus, you know: book cults, vertical bookshops, hot geeks, theft, and the pursuit of immortality. This book is in my emotional heartland." Nick Harkaway, author of The Gone-Away World and Angelmaker

Review:

"A clever, entertaining story that also manages to be a thought-provoking meditation on progress, information and technology. Full of intelligence and humor." Charles Yu, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Review:

"A mysterious bookstore, puzzles, adventure, secret societies, quirky humor, new knowledge, old knowledge, and old-old knowledge. What else could you want in a book? Seriously." Emily Temple, Flavorpill

About the Author

Robin Sloan grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the Internet.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 40 comments:

jaymaolivia, May 20, 2013 (view all comments by jaymaolivia)
Read it solely because of a recommendation from a friend and could not put it down. It is the book for book lovers with some fantasy mixed in. It is the kind of book that you will walk past in a store, pause and smile :)
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Teri Linquist, May 7, 2013 (view all comments by Teri Linquist)
Every once in awhile a book manages to capture the essence of something you have been searching for. A quiet unassuming book that brings to life the search for something bigger that we all secretly yearn for. The ultimate grown up "quest" book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Max, February 10, 2013 (view all comments by Max)
It is one of those books you can't put down. Part mystery, part ode to the book, part romp through technology, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is magical. You'll find yourself equally engrossed in the characters and in untangling what the heck is going on. I took it on a trip to the east coast for the weekend- it was the perfect length.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 40 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374214913
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Sloan, Robin
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Technological
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20121002
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Adventure
Metaphysics » Fiction
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.50 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Farrar, Straus and Giroux - English 9780374214913 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "For those who fear that the Internet/e-readers/whatever-form-of-technological-upheaval-is-coming has killed or will kill paper and ink, Sloan's debut novel will come as good news. A denizen of the tech world and self-described 'media inventor' (formerly he was part of the media partnerships team at Twitter), Sloan envisions a San Francisco where piracy and paper are equally useful, and massive data-visualization — processing abilities coexist with so-called 'old knowledge.' Really old: as in one of the first typefaces, as in alchemy and the search for immortality. Google has replaced the Medici family as the major patron of art and knowledge, and Clay Jannon, downsized graphic designer and once-and-future nerd now working the night shift for bookstore owner Mr. Penumbra, finds that mysteries and codes are everywhere, not just in the fantasy books and games he loved as a kid. With help from his friends, Clay learns the bookstore's idiosyncrasies, earns his employer's trust, and uses media new, old, and old-old to crack a variety of codes. Like all questing heroes, Clay takes on more than he bargained for and learns more than he expected, not least about himself. His story is an old-fashioned tale likably reconceived for the digital age, with the happy message that ingenuity and friendship translate across centuries and data platforms. Agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Wonderful...I had a great time reading [Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore], flew through it in one sitting....The reader gets that deeply satisfying feeling of entering a wholly created world, and looking on in wonder as that world gets created by the authors fearlessness and disregard for convention....It's a lot of fun, a real tour de force."
"Review" by , "I love this book....It's a good-hearted, optimistic book about friendship and being alive and the lure of the mysterious. It's a book that shows you Google the way Google sees itself, and bookshops the way bookshops ought to be. Its a tonal roadmap to a positive relationship between the old world and the new. It's a book that gets it. Plus, you know: book cults, vertical bookshops, hot geeks, theft, and the pursuit of immortality. This book is in my emotional heartland."
"Review" by , "Wonderful...I had a great time reading [Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore], flew through it in one sitting....The reader gets that deeply satisfying feeling of entering a wholly created world, and looking on in wonder as that world gets created by the authors fearlessness and disregard for convention....It's a lot of fun, a real tour de force."
"Review" by , "I love this book....It's a good-hearted, optimistic book about friendship and being alive and the lure of the mysterious. It's a book that shows you Google the way Google sees itself, and bookshops the way bookshops ought to be. Its a tonal roadmap to a positive relationship between the old world and the new. It's a book that gets it. Plus, you know: book cults, vertical bookshops, hot geeks, theft, and the pursuit of immortality. This book is in my emotional heartland."
"Review" by , "A clever, entertaining story that also manages to be a thought-provoking meditation on progress, information and technology. Full of intelligence and humor."
"Review" by , "A mysterious bookstore, puzzles, adventure, secret societies, quirky humor, new knowledge, old knowledge, and old-old knowledge. What else could you want in a book? Seriously."
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