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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

by

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Cover

ISBN13: 9781250037756
ISBN10: 1250037751
All Product Details

 

Awards

Staff Pick

Mixing large doses of high tech, a mysterious bookstore, and an entire army of bibliophiles, this charming novel is a booklover's dream. You will be entranced by Mr. Penumbra's bookstore, with its shadowy customers and shelves teetering on the edge of vertigo, along with the twists and turns of this tale.
Recommended by Mary Jo, Powells.com

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a treat for the literary puzzle/code-breaking techno-savvy set. (Is that a set?) There's much more to the dusty three-story bookstore full of completely incomprehensible titles than meets the eye. Sloan does a slick job of pairing old-world secret society mystery with cutting-edge unimaginable technology. Who knew a 15th century German typesetter would be so clever as to send a message forward into the future? This is a fun read — fast and quite amusing — with everything from goldsmiths to Google being central to the plot.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Winner of the Alex Award, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything — instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clienteles behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstores secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.

Review:

“A real tour de force [and] a beautiful fable....The reader is swept along by Sloan's enthusiasm.” George Saunders, BLIP Magazine

Review:

“Part love letter to books, part technological meditation, part thrilling adventure, part requiem....Eminently enjoyable, full of warmth and intelligence.” The New York Times Book Review

Review:

“A book about passion — for books, for history, for the future....There is nothing about Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore that I didn't love.” Cory Doctorow

Review:

“An irresistible page-turning novel.” Newsweek

Review:

“One of the most thoughtful and fun reading experiences you're likely to have this year....There's so much largehearted magic in this book.” NPR

Review:

“A jaunty, surprisingly old-fashioned fantasy about the places where old and new ways of accessing knowledge meet...[Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore] cleverly uses the technological age in the service of its fantasy....Sloan's ultimate answer to the mystery of what keeps people solving Penumbra's puzzle is worth turning pages to find out.” Tess Taylor, San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

“[A] winning literary adventure....Sloan grounds his jigsawlike plot with Big Ideas about the quest for permanence in the digital age.” Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly

Review:

“Fantastic....I loved diving into the world that Sloan created, both the high-tech fantasyland of Google and the ancient analog society. It's packed full of geeky allusions and wonderful characters, and is a celebration of books, whether they're made of dead trees or digits.” Jonathan H. Liu, Wired, GeekDad

Review:

“Sloan makes bits and bytes appear beautiful....The rebel's journey to crack the code — grappling with an ancient cult, using secret passwords and hidden doorways — will excite anyone's inner child.” The Economist

Review:

“What makes Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore so impressive is Sloan's great gift for storytelling and his cast of brilliant, eccentric characters. Think of this novel as part Haruki Murakami, part Dan Brown and part Joseph Cornell: a surreal adventure, an existential detective story and a cabinet of wonders at which to marvel.” Carmela Ciuraru, Newsday

Review:

“Beguiling....The plot is as tight as nesting boxes, or whatever their digital equivalent....Sly and infectious.” Karen R. Long, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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 5 comments:

librariphile, August 2, 2014 (view all comments by librariphile)
Funny and a good story! I particularly liked the incorporation of technology into the story in a way that doesn't seem as though it'll get dated over time -- we'll see. A nice bonus is that Robin Sloan's website is quite charming. I'm looking forward to getting his newsletters.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Craig Ensz, January 2, 2014 (view all comments by Craig Ensz)
A unique and different sort of read. Stories of a bookstore that will entertain everyone.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
whym24, December 7, 2013 (view all comments by whym24)
A very enjoyable book for those who have a love of books and bookstores. The plot is fairly simple, without major twists or subplots, but the characters are engaging and the ideas that drive the story are creative and fun, particularly the setting and workings of the bookstore itself. It's a quick read; both because it's not terribly complicated but also because it's engaging and constantly begs to be read for a just a few pages more...
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 5 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781250037756
Author:
Sloan, Robin
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Thrillers/Technological
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects


Children's » Awards » Oregon Reader's Choice Award
Children's » Oregon Battle of the Books
Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Miscellaneous Award Winners
Featured Titles » Staff Favorites
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Adventure
Young Adult » General

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Picador USA - English 9781250037756 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Mixing large doses of high tech, a mysterious bookstore, and an entire army of bibliophiles, this charming novel is a booklover's dream. You will be entranced by Mr. Penumbra's bookstore, with its shadowy customers and shelves teetering on the edge of vertigo, along with the twists and turns of this tale.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a treat for the literary puzzle/code-breaking techno-savvy set. (Is that a set?) There's much more to the dusty three-story bookstore full of completely incomprehensible titles than meets the eye. Sloan does a slick job of pairing old-world secret society mystery with cutting-edge unimaginable technology. Who knew a 15th century German typesetter would be so clever as to send a message forward into the future? This is a fun read — fast and quite amusing — with everything from goldsmiths to Google being central to the plot.

"Review" by , “A real tour de force [and] a beautiful fable....The reader is swept along by Sloan's enthusiasm.”
"Review" by , “Part love letter to books, part technological meditation, part thrilling adventure, part requiem....Eminently enjoyable, full of warmth and intelligence.”
"Review" by , “A book about passion — for books, for history, for the future....There is nothing about Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore that I didn't love.”
"Review" by , “An irresistible page-turning novel.”
"Review" by , “One of the most thoughtful and fun reading experiences you're likely to have this year....There's so much largehearted magic in this book.”
"Review" by , “A jaunty, surprisingly old-fashioned fantasy about the places where old and new ways of accessing knowledge meet...[Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore] cleverly uses the technological age in the service of its fantasy....Sloan's ultimate answer to the mystery of what keeps people solving Penumbra's puzzle is worth turning pages to find out.”
"Review" by , “[A] winning literary adventure....Sloan grounds his jigsawlike plot with Big Ideas about the quest for permanence in the digital age.”
"Review" by , “Fantastic....I loved diving into the world that Sloan created, both the high-tech fantasyland of Google and the ancient analog society. It's packed full of geeky allusions and wonderful characters, and is a celebration of books, whether they're made of dead trees or digits.”
"Review" by , “Sloan makes bits and bytes appear beautiful....The rebel's journey to crack the code — grappling with an ancient cult, using secret passwords and hidden doorways — will excite anyone's inner child.”
"Review" by , “What makes Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore so impressive is Sloan's great gift for storytelling and his cast of brilliant, eccentric characters. Think of this novel as part Haruki Murakami, part Dan Brown and part Joseph Cornell: a surreal adventure, an existential detective story and a cabinet of wonders at which to marvel.”
"Review" by , “Beguiling....The plot is as tight as nesting boxes, or whatever their digital equivalent....Sly and infectious.”
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