by Robin Sloan
Buy from Indigo
Description: 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 has 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 the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.
The Good Stuff
- A truly unique (in a good way) tale that was totally unexpected as I had a different idea of what the book was about
- It deals with secret libraries and bookstores - um - hello, you can see why this one intrigued me
- I don't want to give away spoilers but one of the settings was AWESOME - please take me to a place like that
- A love story to the written word - no matter what the form
- Lots of intrigue and mystery
- Tons of Geeky humour
- Makes you think
- the characters were almost archetypical - I felt no emotional attachment to them as they didn't come across as real.
- A little too slow paced
"I realize that the books I love most are like open cities, with all sorts of ways to wander in."
"A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time."
"We need James Bond with a library science degree."
Who Should/Shouldn't Read
- This would be a fabulous book for a book club or just to talk about over coffee or a glass of wine.
- Fans of Douglas Copeland or Christopher Moore will feel a connection to this tale.
- Librarians will especially feel for this book as it deals with keeping the old yet embracing the new. The knowledge that technology will not destroy the written word. The two can and will work together
- You love books/bookstores - this one is for you
I purchased this from Chapters Shawnessy because my HarperCollins reps waxed so poetically about it