Jodi's Reviews > Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
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's review
Nov 21, 12

bookshelves: 2012-audiobooks, audiobook, ll12
Read from November 16 to 21, 2012

This book rather defies easy description. It's not really about a bookstore. That's the cover, fitting perhaps, for a quest. Mr. Penumbra is the keeper of a lending library, one that involves odd readership that requires that bookstore to be open 24x7. Because when they need that next book, they really need it. Clay, the new clerk, used to have a high paying job but now he doesn't and he'll do anything not to have to move back home. He figures he can modernize the bookstore. His job is to make careful notes in a log about who comes in to borrow books. What they were wearing, how they acted, etc. It's weird, but Clay is a flowish kind of guy. He doesn't know what he's doing when he starts plotting points on a 3-D map to see the patterns of what's being borrowed. Without realizing it, he's solved a puzzle, but he doesn't know to what. And then Google, yes, Google, gets involved, and this secret society of readers, the Unbound Spine, is forced to come out of the library, at least part way. Ari Fliakos reads this novel brilliantly. This quest to find answers is amusing and droll and confusing and funny and sweet and literate and not about a slacker. If you like books this one's for you.
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