Melissa’s Mr Penumbra‘s 24-Hour Bookstore Review

I can’t remember how I heard of a new book called Mr Penumbra‘s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, described as a modern day literary mystery. But I heard about it before it was available, reserved it at the Mr Penumbras 24hr bookstorelibrary and joined a queue of other computer savvy pre-reservers, which was only fitting given the marriage of physical books and technology in the book.

Meanwhile, I Google-stalked Mr. Sloan and found his delightfully minimalistic website with a great short story of the fable persuasion.

Finally, the long anticipated book arrived at the library and I was a goner from the first chapter.

The writing is just like his website, featuring judicious use of evocative language. The protagonist, Clay, a newly redundant young man, not long out of university ends up working at an old bookstore in a strange part of San Francisco. The description of the bookstore was delicious; being a bookstore lover who recently watched Funny Face (Audrey Hepburn), the sliding Audrey Hepburn on ladderladder reaching up floors tickled me.

The writing is infused with a firm sense of sight, smell & touch; Sloan creates scenes with the sparsest, most beautiful descriptions.

Combining a reverence for books and the stories they transmit, Google, Googlers and much talk of computer code was an ideal way to capture my attention. Mr. Penumbra and his customers are delightfully eccentric and exactly how I would imagine members of a literary cult to be.

Ultimately, the literary mystery was beautifully plotted, though entirely guessable. But imagine if Google actually was working on life-prolonging technologies and held the key for 500-year-old literary mysteries?

2 thoughts on “Melissa’s Mr Penumbra‘s 24-Hour Bookstore Review

  1. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will come back from now on. I want to encourage continue your great posts, have a nice day!|

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s