MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE: A Novel ~Robin Sloan
YOU need to purchase this book and read it. MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE is a life changing novel delivered in a perfect package of a funny, delightful, fable. Robin Sloan has written a story to take us through the wardrobe, the looking glass, and the rabbit hole in the real time and grounded us in the amazing world of the printed page.
I overheard my daughter say she had just finished reading this book and she could not get it out of her mind; it was a provocative read and a positive read. I knew nothing about it except hearing the title and her passing comment to a peer on the phone. I loved the title, the characters and how it includes those who love the smell of books, those who think books are dead, and those with an e-reader carefully tucked into their pocket.
The Great Recession has arrived in San Francisco and a newly minted programmer is out of a job and looking for work, when he reads an ad about a night clerk position in a 24 hour bookstore. Mr. Penumbra offers Clay Jannon the job and tells him the rules of the store. The mystery tour enthusiastically begins.
The book takes us on a tour of the GOOGLE campus and shows off the capabilities of that contemporary force, proceeds to time travel the reader to the 15th century and the first printers – craftsmen and their radical ideas, their lessons which have kept readers reading and minds flowing with ideas. I learned so many new things about coding, and puzzles, new language and cultures, groups, communities and friendship. I looked up at least 20 words in the dictionary (Always a high mark in my reading adventures), I discovered new ways to search for things, and new reference points to reveal my search engine. Cleverly done Mr. Sloan!
I can imagine folks from 12 to 95 would enjoy this book. There was no sex or violence. I did not miss it or notice that it was not included.
From George Saunder, in BLIP Magazine – on the jacket:
“Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a real tour de force, a beautiful fable that is given legs by the author’s bravado use of the real (…) to sell us on a shadow world of the unreal and the speculative. Robin Sloan comes across as so bighearted, so in love with the world – the ancient world, the contemporary world – so in love with love, in love with friendship, in love with the idea that our technical abilities can serve as conduits for beauty, that the reader is swept along by his enthusiasm. It’s a lot of fun – but it’s also a powerful reading experience with a wonderful undeniability.”
I am reading it again!
There is a reading guide for MR PENUMBRA’S 24- HOUR Bookstore on line
MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOSTORE is a book from my own library suggested by my daughter. Thank you