Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

3.74 (137,171 ratings by Goodreads)
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The New York Times Bestseller

A Winner of the Alex Award, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything--instead, they "check out" large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 138 x 208 x 26mm | 260g
  • New York
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1250037751
  • 9781250037756
  • 20,226

Review quote

"His story is an old-fashioned tale likeably reconceived for the digital age, with the happy message that ingenuity and friendship translate across centuries and data platforms." -- Publishers Weekly, "starred, boxed review"
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About Robin Sloan

Robin Sloan grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the Internet. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is his first novel.
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Rating details

137,171 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 23% (31,847)
4 40% (54,732)
3 27% (37,639)
2 8% (10,328)
1 2% (2,625)

Our customer reviews

This story follows the journey of a young man named Clay Jannon who finds a job at a quaint and quirky bookstore. While working the nightshift at this bookstore, Clay encounters a variety of unique and eccentric customers. The strange thing about these customers, however, is that they never buy any books; instead, they merely ‘check out’ the oldest books in the store. Clay soon discovers that there is much more to this bookstore and some of the books inside it than he thought. We, the readers, then follow Clay on his journey to decode the mysterious books and everything that goes along with them. This book was truly a fun delight to read. It wasn’t filled with any overly heavy, dramatic subject matter and was an extremely entertaining book. I would actually say this book was the definition of entertaining. First, I loved the entire ‘book’ focus and aspect of the novel (which is somewhat obvious, being the huge book lover that I am). I loved the bookstore itself and how it was described; I loved the huge, towering bookshelves and the different types of books (i.e. “regular books’ and the “Waybacklist�). When I first started this book, I don’t think I realized how big of a role that modern technology would play in it. I feel that most authors who try that are either really successful or fail miserably. Luckily, Sloan was extremely successful. I found the topic itself to be very interesting, and I found myself intrigued by the programming and coding that was used throughout. I think all of it added a really nice touch to the story. There was a very unique array of characters that each had an extremely distinct and entertaining personality. One of my favorite aspects of the novel was Clay himself. He had such a witty and fun narrative that truly captured you and brought you into the story. The pacing of the novel was spot-on; I never felt that the story was too rushed. I also did not find myself getting bored from the novel moving too slowly either. The novel seems a bit far-fetched at times, but it is fiction and that it extremely understandable. Overall, I found this to be an extremely well-written and exciting novel that I would definitely recommend to more
by Jordan
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