- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Books; Main edition (27 Feb. 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1782391215
- ISBN-13: 978-1782391210
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 417 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore Paperback – 27 Feb 2014
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"* 'A rollicking neo-Borgesian tale... an ode to the beauty of dead-tree books' - New York Times * 'Delightful... The protagonist is a tech nerd, but he's also a book nerd, so both those who crave shiny new technologies and those who relish the scent of paper will find room in these pages... Smart, hip and witty' - Washington Post * 'Irresistible' - Newsweek * 'The pages swell with Mr Sloan's nerdy affection and youthful enthusiasm for both tangible books and new media... [but] the ties that bind the story are friendship and vitality for life. This is a clever and whimsical tale with a big heart' - --The Economist
The story is gripping, the characters are terrific and the writing is clever and funny. As intelligent as it is enjoyable (Daily Mail)
It's a proper novel. By which I mean, not that it has pages you actually turn - that is optional with novels nowadays - but pages that you actually want to turn, which is getting rarer and rarer.... Charming, gently comedic, sweetly nerdy and enthusiastic about media both old and new (Irish Times)
Rollicking... an ode to the beauty of dead-tree books (New York Times)
Delightful... Smart, hip and witty (Washington Post)
The pages swell with Mr Sloan's nerdy affection and youthful enthusiasm for both tangible books and new media... A clever and whimsical tale with a big heart (The Economist)
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After losing his job Clay Jannon is at a loss as to what to do with himself. Everyone around him seems to have their act together and is starting to show the signs of success. Meanwhile he moping around with no clue as to his next step.
One night, while he is out feeling sorry for himself, he sees a sign for a night clerk in a 24 bookstore. When he is offered the job Clay cannot fathom how much this seemingly nothing position could be about to change his life.
As part of a team of three it is Clay’s job to service the needs of the eclectic bunch of customers that enter through the doors even at the oddest of times. Once a customer has left Clay is to write down every exact detail of the encounter – from what book the customer took to what they were wearing and what they said.
As time goes on Clay feels like there is more going on in the store than what he realises. And so begins his journey – one that will stretch the bounds of his imagination and take him on the journey he never realised he was always destined.
Well written this book is certainly different. It draws you in slowly rather than throwing you in two feet first until you are incapable of putting the book down. The diversity of the characters is fantastic, each complimenting the other in ways you would least expect. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book and would definitely look to recommend it. Enjoyable through and through I am already looking forward to my next encounter with Robin Sloan.
So much going on, with wonderful characters and a great central mystery which is determined to uncover with the help of various talented friends who are well skilled in hi-tech BUT - isn't there always a but - could his delving be doing more harm than good?
There is so much more than the surface to be read in this tale which seems to be superficially new against old, youth against experience and it is fun every inch of the way.
A vastly entertaining and very clever read. Enjoy!
There were several moments where I felt that the author was setting me up for a big reveal or some twist of events....and then nothing. The characters felt a bit one dimensional, and despite the author's clear desire to have some edgy popular stuff included, it just fell flat for me.
2 and a half stars.
This isn’t the best written novel I’ve ever read. Some of the description is very simple, almost juvenile in nature, and the characters are not particularly well rounded. However, there is a certain charm to the plot which made this a very enjoyable read.
I agree with other reviewers (who have written very eloquently about what the plot lacks) that it's not really sure who its audience is. The Title probably draws in older, book loving readers - and then you find the central characters are young and hip and thinks it's normal to attend a party via a webcam because they're at work. It's all a bit too San Fran.
Don't get me wrong - I work in IT and am a bit of a geek and also love stuff like Red Dwarf (and will happily read sci fi from time to time) so you would think I would have enjoyed this more.
But I stray from the point....I found it a confused book (target audience wise), with characters that were not fully developed and a wandering style of prose that didn't add any impetus to keep turning the pages. I just didn't care enough about the outcome to carry on.
P.S. - it didn't help that I prefer Bing!
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