Sunday, July 6, 2014
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
"Lost in the shadows of the shelves, I almost fall off the ladder."
"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 have landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after 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 customer, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything. Instead, they 'check out' impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, longs-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger. Soon Clay has embarked on a complex analysis of the customers' behavior and roped his friends into helping him figure out just what is going on. And when they bring their findings to Mr. penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside he walls of the bookstore.
With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or the young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that is rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day." -- from the inside flap
I enjoyed this book of books both new and old. I especially liked how Clay and his friends use their skills and interests to solve problems big and small.
Date read: 7/5/2014
Book #: 22
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
# of pages: 288