Books, Review

Mr Penumbra’s 24h bookstore – Robin Sloan ***


The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.

The beginning of this book is amazing. There were some great truths about unemployment, how you start out knowing what kind of job you want. Then you go a bit broader because it’s more important to find a job than to find your dream job and eventually you just settle for any company that doesn’t go around killing people. I really felt connected to the writer, almost like he was writing down my thoughts.

I loved the idea of this hidden bookshop with shelves that seem to go on forever. I think this is the same for any book lover. I wish that the bookstore was real and that I could go there.

Unfortunately, this is where my positive review ends. Although the idea of a puzzle was great, I did not like the way it developed and certainly not the way it was resolved. It was too easy and predictable. There was no tension in the story for me. I wasn’t compelled to keep on reading, I had to drag myself to the end. I was also very annoyed by the Google part, they came across very snobbish and arrogant and it only got worse and worse. Maybe that was the point, that technology doesn’t know everything, that paper books will prevail, but I just got so frustrated by the whole thing. Sure, why don’t we scan super old books and put everything on the internet.. Ugh, no!

Yes, I was disappointed because everyone seemed to like it and I really wanted to like it too. I mean, a book about books.. You don’t really come across those very often, or at least not great ones. I enjoy finding myself in books. It gives me the feeling of being understood.

So unfortunately, not a winner for me.

If you can recommend good books about books, let me know!



Blurb: Goodreads
Cover: Pinterest

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