Mr Penumbra's 24-hour BookstorePaperback
- Publisher: ATLANTIC BOOKS
- Format: Paperback | 304 pages
- Dimensions: 111mm x 178mm x 27mm | 165g
- Publication date: 3 October 2013
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1782392335
- ISBN 13: 9781782392330
- Edition statement: Export & Airside ed
- Sales rank: 7,561
A New York Times bestseller, Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore is an entirely charming and lovable first novel of mysterious books and dusty bookshops; it is a witty and delightful love-letter to both the old book world and the new. Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, coupled with sheer curiosity, has landed him a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days, 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 they simply borrow 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' behaviour 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...It is suitable for readers of Scarlett Thomas' The End of Mr Y, Helen Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road and Jasper Fforde's First Among Sequels.
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Robin Sloan grew up near Detroit and has worked at Poynter, Current TV and Twitter in jobs that have generally had 'something to do with figuring out the future of media'. He has previously published short fiction in Kindle-only editions (Mr Penumbra started out as a 6000-word ebook). He lives in San Francisco.
"* 'A rollicking neo-Borgesian tale... an ode to the beauty of dead-tree books' - New York Times * 'Delightful... The protagonist is a tech nerd, but he's also a book nerd, so both those who crave shiny new technologies and those who relish the scent of paper will find room in these pages... Smart, hip and witty' - Washington Post * 'Irresistible' - Newsweek * 'The pages swell with Mr Sloan's nerdy affection and youthful enthusiasm for both tangible books and new media... [but] the ties that bind the story are friendship and vitality for life. This is a clever and whimsical tale with a big heart' - The Economist"