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

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
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's review
Nov 25, 12

did not like it
Read on November 25, 2012

Ugh, not recommended. I considered stopping reading several times, but it was such a quick read that I just sped on through.

The novel made a dramatization of numerous topics that I do feel like I have a bit of expertise around - San Francisco, Googlers, data visualization, encryption - and the book's representation came off as a shallow, borderline painful overt dramatization. It seemed ridiculous. I know little of the author's background, but the novel itself gave the impression of too strong an effort to tie in lightly researched topics rather than topics of the writer's intimate knowledge. Normally, I like the reference to something I know - it creates a personal attachment to the narrative...that was not the effect of this book.

The prose wasn't particularly laudable. After the first 50 pages or so, I found myself skimming the paragraphs and not really feeling like I was missing much via a skim versus a proper read. I can't imagine that this book will fare well with time either: the contemporary references are set in such a way that five or ten years from now, this book will be incredibly dated feeling. Furthermore, there seemed to be numerous details and plot points that seemed totally irrelevant to the story: the core of this story seemed to be about 40 pages long.

I'm struggling for positive feedback on this was a short, easy read which made the pain points bearable.

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Reading Progress

02/11 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Annabel Smith Shallow, ridiculous, soon-to-date - yes, yes and yes!

message 2: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer Nowak I agree completely! I do not understand all the glowing reviews.

Mandy I think the glowing reviews are based on readers having a reasonable expectation. This is cute, easy, fun book. It's not life changing or tear worthy. So in my opinion...which is being based on the type of read this is, it's good, if not better.

message 4: by Erik (new) - rated it 1 star

Erik Very accurate review

Marian I totally agree, it came up as a recommendation after I read "The 100 year old man who jumped out the window" which was a funny light read, this one is very lame.

message 6: by Lucy (new) - added it

Lucy Mallett I'm sorry - it was just so boring. I couldn't even finish it. Really disappointed after all of the great reviews I read.

message 7: by Sheri (new) - added it

Sheri Nassikas Totally agree. Hated this book

Leena I agree completely!

message 9: by Joe (new)

Joe Whelan was about to get this book.....I am now backing away slowly.

Rebecca Agree to 100%

Angelina Totally agree. I totally sped through the book to get it done ! Boring...

message 12: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Well, you did read a fiction book. Dramatization is allowed. Personally this is my favorite book I think I've read in such a long time. But I guess you could write a better book...

message 13: by Renee (new) - rated it 1 star

Renee I'm not quite halfway through and "quick, easy read" is about the only positive I can come up with, too. It has potential, but this author is doing what so many others seem to do lately -- start something good and then drop it or resolve it quickly and easily.

message 14: by Renee (new) - rated it 1 star

Renee And, Hannah, yes, I believe I could write a better book. In fact, I know I can. And I have read many other better books than this one.

message 15: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Because you're the one who has a published work.... Oh. Wait.

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