Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore [Paperback]

by Robin Sloan | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1443415782 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 12/28/2012
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Friday, December 28, 2012
Received as a Christmas present.

From Chapters:
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco web-design drone, and serendipity, sheer curiosity and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey have landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra?s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, 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 ?checking out? impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he has embarked on a complex analysis of the customers?behaviour and roped his friends into helping him figure out just what?s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the secrets extend far beyond the walls of the bookstore.

With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the 21st century. Evoking both the fairy tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that?s rare to the world of literary fiction, Mr. Penumbra?s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter what the time of day.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Saturday, April 06, 2013
Clay Jannon was laid off as a designer from NewBagel, which had engineered the perfect bagel. Looking for a new job, he walks past a bookstore called Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore with a help wanted sign in front. On a whim, Clay walks in and asks for a job and soon finds himself working the night shift of this always-open bookstore. Clay is asked to take specific notes about each customer that comes in, although some of the customers are not typical bookstore customers. It seems like Mr. Penumbra also has a lending library, as some of his clientele will come in (at any time of day or night) and exchange one book for the next. The books all have weird names and Clay can't help but look in these books even though he's explicitly been told not to. Everything in the books are in code. Clay can't figure out what this book store is but when a young Google employee walks in to his store he wonders if she can help out.

This book is incredibly charming. Whenever Mr. Penumbra is in a scene and calls Clay "my boy" or they describe him smiling, you can't help but be endeared to him. All of the characters in this book are well written. Each is quite unique and serves a very important purpose to the story. Sloan does a fantastic job of bringing in elements of the story that are required for major plot lines further without making it feel unnatural or forced. I found the plot almost graceful from this stand point.

There's a geeky thread to this book that reminded me of Microserfs by Douglas Coupland, another book which I really enjoyed. Google and its employees play a big part in this book and there's a lot of talk about coding and algorithms which, being a computer science graduate, I quite enjoyed. The entire story has an upbeat feeling to it which is rather unusual these days.

Journal Entry 3 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, April 07, 2013
This book is with me :)

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Friday, August 09, 2013
Clay Jannon was a web-designer when he lost his job during the latest recession. Looking for a job brought him to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore where he is hired as the night clerk. The store is a combination of very small regular bookstore and a monolithic amount of very strange and odd books. Clay must learn to use the library ladders to climb large stacks to retrieve these other books.

Clay is given the night shift and soon learns that the obscure books are for borrowing from an odd set of characters. He must detail their every book and demeanor in an logbook. Clay has been told to never look inside these books. But who could resist and he is puzzled about their contents.

When a Google employee enters the store he requests her help and they soon learn the meaning and first step of decoding the books.

This is a charming and extremely likable book. The reader can not help but like the characters and is caught up with the infectious nature in finding out the truth.

Journal Entry 5 by HoserLauren at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Sunday, August 11, 2013
This book is back with me.

Journal Entry 6 by HoserLauren at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Thursday, February 13, 2014
Mailed today to Sunlightbub from the Best of 2013 Swap. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 7 by Sunnybubble at Wallasey, Merseyside United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I don't get as many bookcrossing books as I used to, so this was a lovely parcel to receive. What makes it even better is that it looks like a great read and has passed through the hands of two old bookcrossing friends. Thanks Lauren x

Journal Entry 8 by Sunnybubble at Wallasey, Merseyside United Kingdom on Friday, September 05, 2014
I picked this to read as our next book club book, and I hope the other members enjoy it as much as I did.
It's a quirky little book and very enjoyable.
Clay wanders into a job in a mysterious bookshop, and is given the brief of keeping a journal of all customers. It soon becomes clear that the few books are sold in the shop, which is more of a lending library for bibliophiles on a secret quest. Add into the mix a beautiful nerd-girl and supporting cast of Clay's friends and you get a slightly bizarre, intriguing and engaging novel, like nothing I've read before.
Thanks so much for sharing.
Passing onto a non-bcing bookclub friend.

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