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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

by

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Cover

ISBN13: 9781250037756
ISBN10: 1250037751
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $9.95!

 

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 8 comments:

Joanne Haley, May 19, 2015 (view all comments by Joanne Haley)
I absolutely loved this book! It is whimsical, quirky, mysterious and clever all rolled into one. Being from San Francisco made me appreciate the scenerios where Robin Sloan describes neighborhoods in the city. The book captured my attention from the first few sentences. Sloan has a great way of making his characters pop out of the pages and become real people like you know them and can see them and their quirky ways! The plot is so imaginative and the dips and turns it takes are truely unique from beginning to end. Even though it gets a bit "far fetched" at times I got so drawn into the story that I could totally see his story being a reality! Now I have to go back and read the first book which I'm told is the story of the start up of the bookstore in San Francisco.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Joanmusic, January 3, 2015 (view all comments by Joanmusic)
Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore reads like a choose-your-own adventure novel--one dimensional and pure fantasy. BUT, the themes are timely and significant to those who reflect on where modern society is headed. Not only is the conflict between books and computers laid out, but also the fate of works of art created throughout history, and, most importantly, the significance of friendship.

When I finished reading this, I felt like I had been reading a graphic novel. The story moves frame by frame through a series of caricature-like images ( the tall, narrow bookstore, the climbing walls, the reading room in NYC, the CalKnit Museum). Even the costumes are cartoon like (the black robes in the Reading Room, Kat's eternal red t-shirt, Mat's Salvador Dali boxer shorts).
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
plunderpdx, October 22, 2014 (view all comments by plunderpdx)
After reading a few pages I simply fell in love, not only from the exuberant sense of wonder but also from the mention of a '24 hour Erroll Flynn movie marathon'.

This book vividly recalls the magical hidden gems of my hometown, San Francisco. It has a quest; intrigue, whimsy, delightful characters, & of course, best of all-- a bookstore.

A quick read that I feel I want 10 copies of so I'll maybe have one that stays with me.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 8 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781250037756
Author:
Sloan, Robin
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Thrillers/Technological
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
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


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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
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Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Adventure
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
Young Adult » General

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 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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