Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore

Book - 2012
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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.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374214913
0374214913
Characteristics: 288 p. ; 22 cm

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When Clay Jannon loses his tech job during the recession, he takes work as a night clerk in a most unusual 24-hour bookstore. Watching the customers’ peculiar habits, Clay becomes curious. He rounds up his geeky friends to help him investigate the mysterious happenings in the bookstore and finds ... Read More »

"“In a time when actual books are filling up tag-sale dollar boxes, along with VHS tapes and old beepers, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore reminds us that there is an intimate, adventurous joy in the palpable papery things called novels, and in the warm little secret societies we used to cal... Read More »

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cals_flss Oct 01, 2015

I'm generally a technophobophile: When it comes to technology, I love to hate it and hate to love it. While I eschew reading eBooks for pleasure, I am never without my smartphone and frequently marvel at how I lived without one for so long. All this to say, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a d... Read More »


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cals_flss Oct 01, 2015

I'm generally a technophobophile: When it comes to technology, I love to hate it and hate to love it. While I eschew reading eBooks for pleasure, I am never without my smartphone and frequently marvel at how I lived without one for so long. All this to say, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a delightful mix of old and new, high tech and low tech, old knowledge and new knowledge. Sloan has created a fantasy story with a D&D-esque quest, a centuries-old secret society, a bookstore that is more lending library for the arcane, obscure, and esoteric, as well as a cast of characters running the modern technology gamut from Google, to movie special effects, to software development, to graphic design. My only complaint is that the great Big Bang a-ha moment was more of a 'That's it? That was the big reveal?' letdown. Nonetheless, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is still worth the read.

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Mar 27, 2015

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