Title: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Genre: Genre fiction, fantasy
How I got the book: I bought it
Summary (from Amazon):
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.
My Review (may contain spoilers!):
Full of mystery, this book was a good read. The premise itself was unique and it was by far predictable.
Clay gets a job at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore and has the night shift. Mr. Penumbra takes the morning shift, hands the keys to Oliver for the afternoon shift, who then hands the keys off to Clay for the night shift, and then he gives them back to Mr. Penumbra in the morning.
The bookstore is full of mystery and working there comes with a set of rules as Clay is not allowed to really touch or read any of the books on the shelves. The bookstore has very little business and the customers who do come in are unique in their own way.
Clay must document each customer with precise detail and description for Mr. Penumbra. It sounds like a dull job, but Clay put his heart into it.
Clay then decides to dig deeper into the bookstore behind Mr. Penumbra’s back. Instead of getting angry when he finds out, Mr. Penumbra is actually proud of Clay.
Mysteries are unfolded about the bookstore, but there are still more mysteries to be solved at the end. The novel was a fun adventure, but there was so much build-up that when you get to the end you can’t help but be a bit disappointed.
I’ll admit, I thought there was more to the mystery of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore than what was revealed.
Despite that, it was still a fun read and I would recommend giving it a go.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan gets 4 out of 5 stars.
“Of course, the relationship between book and reader is private, so we go on trust. If you tell me that your friend will read these books deeply, in a way that honors their authors, I will believe you.” –Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
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