Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore : Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

  • by Robin Sloan
  • Narrated by Ari Fliakos
  • Series: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
  • 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life - mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore.
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.
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 listener, no matter the time of day.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


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

A mystery was set up, the process was engaging and the ending was as it should be.

What did you like best about this story?

The main characters were well fleshed out and likeable.

What about Ari Fliakos’s performance did you like?

It was appropriate - not too gaudy.

If you could rename Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, what would you call it?

Why rename it?

Any additional comments?

Recommend this. If you want fast action you will be disappointed but if you want to be intelligently entertained this is for you.

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- Irene


Did not enjoy this book at all despite a fabulous narrator. Did not understand the computer language or the Si fi references. Did not find it amusing.
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- Jenny

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-26-2013
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group