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Ajax Penumbra 1969

(Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore #0.5)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  10,532 ratings  ·  987 reviews
August 1969 San Francisco. Ajax Penumbra seeks a book--the single surviving copy of the Techne Tycheon, a mysterious volume that has brought and lost great fortune for anyone who has owned it. Late one night, after another day of dispiriting dead ends, he stumbles across a 24-hour bookstore, and the possibilities before him expand exponentially.
Paperback, 65 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Picador (first published October 2nd 2012)
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Christine Read "Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore' first. It is better reading it without knowing the backstory first - better to discover the bookstore as the m…moreRead "Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour bookstore' first. It is better reading it without knowing the backstory first - better to discover the bookstore as the main character discovers the bookstore.(less)

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  10,532 ratings  ·  987 reviews

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Start your review of Ajax Penumbra 1969 (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #0.5)
this was fine. maybe if i had read it closer to when i read the book itself, i would have appreciated it more. it's cute, but i hadn't felt any real urgency to gain readerly access to brief origin story-episodes in the life of young penumbra, so this didn't answer any big burning questions or make me cry "thank goodness i know that now!"

i would gladly read a full-length prequel or sequel, and maybe this was just testing the waters - putting out e-feelers to see if there would be interest in con
Jimmy Holman
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, so when I saw this I just had to have it! It tells some of the back story behind Mr. Penumbra and how he came to end up in San Francisco. The only bad thing about it is that it's far too short! I'm ready for a full-length addition to the story of Mo and his mysterious band of cipher-breakers!
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I didn't know this was a thing. I received a second copy of the wonderful Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore as part if the Nervous Breakdown's Book Club and was a little disappointed until I found this slim little volume included as part of the selection. It turns out it was also signed by the author.

I sat down this morning and read this little prequel in about an hour, and I was immediately drawn back into the world of Penumbra. It was a lot of fun and brought to mind how much fun I had reading
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
This is a quick back story to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. It's a light, fun, and imaginative read. I'm glad to know more about how Ajax came to be Mr. Penumbra. Of course, I found Cortiva to be just as endearingly irritating as well.

Once again, like I felt after reading the larger book, I am aching for a visit to the City now. (San Francisco for those in the know.)
♥ Sandi ❣
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ♥ Sandi ❣ by: series book
3 stars

This is actually the prequel to Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. However when I read that book I was unaware of this book and that is because this book was not yet written. Therefore I did not rush to read this. Cute little diddy with a couple nice twists and turns.

Nice little short story about a college student, Ajax Penumbra, invited to work for Galvanic College's library as an Apprentice Acquisition Officer. His first assignment is to find the book Techne Tycheon. An invaluable book w
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed this rather small introduction to Ajax Penumbra. I am still undeniably in love with Robin Sloan’s writing style. His relationship with words is absolutely magical. And the love and appreciation for books… it creates such a special, and rather singular, atmosphere. I honestly wish there were more pages...

I think Mr. Penumbra deserved more time and space. Then again, his name is Penumbra...
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a blessing to acquaint books that we immediately love as all-time favourites. It was very special to experience this phenomenon recently, on August 22, 2016 in my adulthood. I sped through the “Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore” quest in one day. I waited three years to indulge in the prequel by the very talented Robin Sloan. The closing of the year 2019 was unfortunately, nearing the conclusion of my dear Mother’s life. It was a heart-wrenching time, with the need to be soothed by finally ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fun! Just what the doctor ordered and free on Hoopla with a perfect narrator.
I wish there was so much more to this book...!
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
It has been a long time since I read Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, and I'd forgotten how much I love escaping into the world that Robin Sloan has created. It made me both want to re-read 24hr bookstore and wish that he would write a new book.
Lauren (
I read it straight after the book and really enjoyed it. It was a bit hard to get into at the beginning but I really liked it and it’s definitely a great addition to the story!
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humour, usa
A prequel to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Ajax Penumbra 1969 explores the life of Mr. Penumbra of the 24 Hour Bookstore. Ajax Penumbra is offered a job in Galvanic College's library, where he is expected to hunt out old surviving books for their collection. His first assignment is to discover what happened to Techne Tycheon, a book of prophecy. His quest takes him to San Francisco, where he encounters the mysterious bookshop to which he would later devote his life, the redoubtable Marcus Co ...more
Dawn Michelle
A lovely little glimpse into the awesome Ajax Penumbra's life and how he ends up in San Francisco. I could have had more of this, but it was just lovely all the same. And to have the same narrator for this as well - that was just icing on the cake.
Lauren Stoolfire
A fun little short that's perfect for fans of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: america, audiobook
That was a fun novella. I’m sure it would have been better if I’d read the novel it’s related to first, but I didn’t manage my library holds very well and this came up first. Cute story about finding a book, with some hippies and early computer science thrown in.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore but this prequel was lacking. It's more of a short story than a full book so by the time I started getting into the storyline it ended.
Juliane Kunzendorf
This shortstory is a lot nicer to read than the follow up "Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour book shop". I don't think it is amazing, but a fun adventure - kind of more plausible than the other one and the main character is an interesting, curious and persistent person. Robin Sloane should definitely stay within the boundaries of short stories.
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting and quirky little story. A nice companion novella to Mr Penumbras 24 Hour Bookstore. Its great to see where Mr Penumbra came from and get a bit of insight into his and Corvinas characters. A nice read
*2.5 stars*

this was cute, but unfortunately not enough substance to really get into the groove of the late 60's/early 70's.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had missed Ajax Penumbra! This brief book tells us how young Ajax first encountered the quirky, quixotical bookstore this reader came to know and love.
Maya Gopalakrishnan
Fast paced and interesting

The small prequel to Mr Penumbra's 24 hour bookstore was fast paced and as usual had bits of the code and computers humming along in the background. Not sure if it can be read as a standalone book. The bicycle trip through the tunnel with Penumbra and Corvina racing to find the craft of fortune was fantastic but then this book was about the ability to entertain certain absurd ideas. There could've been more character development with something to show why Ajax choses to
John Velo
Mar 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Although this mini-novel was pretty adventurous and surprising, compared to the first book, it's lacking in some areas but I enjoyed reading it nonetheless.

It was very interesting to learn deeper about the history of the bookstore/book club and to get to know Mr. Penumbra and the other characters at a different time period. It was a bit difficult to imagine that Mr. Penumbra was once a boy and had his own adventures since I've gotten used to envisioning him as an old man but this prequel made t
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you loved Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, you'll love this novella. Really great. This author has a writing style I'm very fond of. And I'm always a fan of books about books.
Elyse  Walters
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
This book makes most sense if you've first read "Mr.Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. (quick fun read)
Syazwanie Winston Abdullah
Love this book! Read it after The Bookstore, so it made sense. Felt like I was visiting an old friend. And how now I know how Mr. Penumbra came about to join the "fellowship"!
Cynthia Shannon
This is such a cute short story but of course I wish the author would write more!
Lisa Lynch
So I did that thing where I read a book then wait too long to review it. I'm tempted to drop my rating for Robin Sloan's Ajax Penumbra 1969 because I honestly can't remember a thing that happened in it. Well, I remember what happens generally, but I could not tell you any specifics at all. At. All.

So this novella (or long short story?) is a prequel to Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, which I read earlier this year. In it, Ajax Penumbra searches for a rare book called the Techne Tycheon.
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
I just finished Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, and read this immediately after. I think that's also exactly why this is 'only' a three-star read for me: it just doesn't compare up to the brilliance that was Mr. Penumbra. It was fun to dive further into the universe and to learn about Ajax's background story, and I think it would have been a four-star read if I didn't read it straight after the first one. Still recommend this though!
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun, essentially preface, to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.
Jessica L. Dwyer
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am deeply obsessed with Robin Sloan’s voice, and the world he has created with Penumbra. More please!!!
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Robin Sloan is the author of the novels Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and Sourdough. He grew up near Detroit and now splits his time between the Bay Area and the internet.

Other books in the series

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (1 books)
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1)

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