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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore


304 pages • $15.00
ISBN: 978-1-250-03775-6

A Novel

Robin Sloan

A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist

“Sloan cleverly combines the antiquated world of bibliophilia with the pulsating age of digital technology, finding curiosity and joy in both.”—The Economist

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. 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 him 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. “A fantastic story . . . I loved diving into the world that Sloan created, both the high-tech fantasyland of Google and the ancient analog society. It’s packed full of geeky allusions and wonderful characters, and is a celebration of books, whether they’re made of dead trees or digits. I will point out, though, that if you get the hardcover [or paperback] version of the book, the dust jacket glows in the dark—something you won’t find on your Kindle. Of course, I didn’t know that until Google told me.”—Jonathan H. Liu, Wired

Robin Sloan  © Helena Price

© Helena Price

Robin Sloan grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the Internet.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia); Pennsylvania State University, Altoona