(0)
(Log in to vote)
Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore (2012)
(Book)

Call Number FICTION/SLOAN,R


Available
(2 holds on 3 copies)
LocationCall NumberItem Status
FictionFICTION/SLOAN,RDue 05-31-15
FictionFICTION/SLOAN,RAvailable
FictionFICTION/SLOAN,RDue 06-08-15
Published: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, c2012
Edition:  1st ed
Description:  288 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN/ISSN: 9780374214913 (alk. paper), 0374214913 (alk. paper),
Language:  English


Winner of the 2013 Alex Award

Related Searches:
Bookstores -- Fiction -- Employees
Bookstores -- Fiction -- California -- San Francisco
Fantasy fiction
Adventure fiction
Suspense fiction
Alex Award
B&T--201210
NEW BOOK--201209
Added--201209 afic

Additional Credits:

Login to write a review of your own.

Playfulness And a Humorous Quality


“What do you seek in these shelves?” This is the question asked of Clay Jannon when he first enters Mr. Penumbra’s 24–Hour Bookstore looking for a job. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines penumbra (noun) as a space of partial illumination (as in an eclipse) between the perfect shadow on all sides and the full light. By giving the proprietor this name, Robin Sloan gives us a hint as to the impending mystery surrounding this character.

Hired to work the night shift, Clay quickly begins to wonder how the bookstore makes enough money to stay in business.  Most of the customers he sees come not to buy books but to borrow them from a vast special collection. Curiosity leads him to try to understand the meaning these books may contain, these manuscripts of one’s life, these Codex Vitae. Not above using his friends at Google and Apple to pursue an answer he finds himself delving into in a cult-like fellowship called the Unbroken Spine. 

There is a playfulness and a humorous quality to this book that I enjoyed; even the book jacket glows with an eerie light in the dark. It doesn't take itself too seriously even though it covers topics of old knowledge versus new technology, friendship and disappointment, adapting and rising to the occasion when warranted. These are subjects anyone can write about in their own Codex Vitae.

4 Stars (Out of 5)


As the overnight bookseller in a strange bookstore, Clay Jannon unravels the secrets of its shelves and customers.  His interesting discoveries and sometimes humorous deductions keep the plot lively, but the characters are a little too flat, and I never really found a beating heart at the center of this story.  The most fascinating “character” is the company known as Google.  Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore will appeal to readers interested in any combination of technology, books, antiquity, and mystery.   

Login to add this item to your list.

Lists can be used to compile collections of items that you may be interested in checking out at a later date. You may also create public lists and share your favorites with other AHML customers.
No tags, currently.

Login to add tags.

To create a multiple word tag such as Science Fiction, enclose both words in quotes, like: "Science Fiction"

Critic Reviews

 
If your status is Confirmed Registration, your spot for the event is confirmed.

If registration for this event is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. Wait listed registrants are moved to the confirmed registration list (in the order of registration) when cancelations are received. You will receive an email notification if you are moved from the wait list to the confirmed registration list.