Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Customer Reviews

254 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    131
  • 4 Stars
    78
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    7

Sorted By Most Useful

4 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 08-31-15

And now for something completely different.

What a clever book! A marriage of the age of social media and an age of antiquity. With strong characters, good narration and a thoroughly intriguing plot and concept this book kept me royally entertained. It's a little bit different from the norm so it's hard to say who would or wouldn't enjoy such a book but if you do fancy a slightly different adventure then this is definitely one to try.

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13 of 13 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Mike on 01-22-15

gentle nerd wish fulfilment fantasy

This is one of those books that suddenly seemed to be evey where I looked. The title appealed and what's not to like about a mystery in a bookstore, so I downloaded it.

It is a unique book: a quirky, slightly dizzying, overlaying of Google-led West Coast Techie culture; a centuries old, secretive bibliophile sect with a mission and a real-life analog of a traditional Dungeons and Dragons questing party.

It is told with a light touch, lots of pop culture references, and a self-deprecating charm that make it an easy read.

This is a only a "thriller" if you don't get out much. No body-count. No supernatural beings. Not even car chases and gun fights. The height of excitement is a trip to an old New York basement and a visit to a massive automated warehouse and yet I was happy to keep reading.

This is a book with a message. A fairly anodyne message but one that is passionately told. I won't tell you what it is because that is about the only real surprise in the book.

Whether you enjoy this book may depend on whether you find the central character endearing and resourceful or just naive and lost. "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" made me smile but it was so gentle and so slight that it didn't make a lasting impression. I assume that the ubiquity of the book is attributable to the fact that it has a clever title, is easy to read and envisions a MacBook-wielding, nerdy, website designer as heroic.

Reading "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" was a fine way to pass a couple of idle afternoons but if I'd bought a physical copy rather than an audiobook, it would be on its way to the second-hand bookstore by now.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 03-10-15

Absolutely fantastic

This is a completely absorbing and realistic fantasy. I love the protagonist, the way it is written and the way it is read. It is a quirky and hard to define book but if you don't read/listen to it you will be missing out. The amazing story of a man that has failed to find his place in the world and how he finds it through the power of a good puzzle, his own resourcefulness, Google, the Internet and most importantly friendship.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Rob on 11-08-17

A new meaning to getting lost in a book

I was recommended this by a stranger on twitter and i'm glad i was, its an adventure you could only find in a bookshop with enough intrigue to keep you guessing. Great fun!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By MikeyC on 05-31-15

Weird but intriguing

A very unusual book but within 20 minutes you are hooked. Well worth a listen.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 03-08-15

Very likeable characters, funny and engaging

What made the experience of listening to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore the most enjoyable?

The main character was immediately very likeable and funny. He reminded me a little of Harry Dresden from the Jim Butcher series if Harry Dresden worked in a book shop and didn't have magical powers. The writing was great - lively, rich and funny.

What does Ari Fliakos bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He's a great narrator and brought the story alive, especially the main character.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, although it took me a few days.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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