Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Publisher: Picador
Release Date: 
January 1, 2012
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Series: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, #1
Genre(s): Adult, Contemporary
Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s 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.

“Strange things are afoot at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.”

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a book that will take you on an adventure like one you’ve never experienced before. Quirky and smart, this book is a must read for book lovers, tech junkies, design enthusiasts, or anyone who just appreciates the evolution of the printed word.

I immediately fell in love with this book, finding it so relatable as one who has a passion for everything that it conquers: literature, technology and design.

The characters were all unique and extremely witty, the story magical, yet real. You along with the characters become determined to decode the codex vitae.

I’m not sure what else to say without giving away the parts best left to discover yourself, except for to read this book. You will not regret it in the least.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, in my eyes, is a modern classic and will be read over and over by many generations. I genuinely love this book and will recommend it to anyone with a soft spot for books and technology, tirelessly.

P.S. – When can I get that eReader made of leather book material? Someone please invent this NOW!

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27 thoughts on “Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

  1. I just finished this book a few days ago and LOVED IT. I included one of Sloan’s quotes in my weekly wrap-up today and agree with you that it’s hard to talk about this book without giving away essential spoilers. Hope to have my review ready for Monday.

  2. I’ve been seeing this book on the net a lot lately. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I know, they need an ereader that feels like a book. The best you can do now is buy an expensive cover for it, but it’s not the same.

  3. I have just finished this book today! I found the story slowed down a little towards the end but I enjoyed it overall. It was just lovely and the last paragraph made me want to just hug the book

  4. I’ve been meaning to read this! About a curious bookstore? Count me in! Plus, I’ve heard the cover glows in the dark? You should try Gabrielle Zevin’s ‘The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry’ if you like this one…it’s also about a bookstore.

      1. I agree! I still have to finish her other series though, haven’t gotten my hands on a copy of the last book.

  5. I read this book back in January and absolutely loved it! It was such a wild whirlwind of a story and I had so much fun reading it. So glad you enjoyed it too. Great review!

  6. This sounds great! I tend to stay away from adult reads {I never know what I am getting into}, but I’m glad to hear that you liked it. I love the cover; the yellow is so eye-catching!

  7. Yes! As a girl who codes this book was absolutely wonderful! It was a perfect example of how literature and technology should work together in the future; a perfect mix of old knowledge and new knowledge.

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