Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
During this time of economic change jobs aren’t anywhere near as secure as they used to be and when Clay Jannon finds himself unemployed he searches the ads, sends out his CV and soon hits the streets to find work. He stumbles across Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, an unassuming little shop nestled up next to a strip club. He meets the proprietor, Mr Penumbra himself, answers his questions and is soon employed covering the night shift in the store. There are rules, one of them is never read the books, especially the Waybacklist books that are shelved high in the upper levels of the shop and another being the strict detailing of all comings and goings within the shop. After a bit of encouragement from a friend his curiosity gets the better of him and he sneaks a peek at the books he hands out to the strangest of his late-night customers. He’s shocked and confused to find they are all written in some sort of code. So who are all these strange customers and what are they getting from these books? As things go from unusual to downright weird Clay starts to wonder what kind of book cult he’s gotten himself into.
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a delightful mix of cutting-edge technology, a love of the written word and code. Sloan draws you into the novel straight away with a hugely likeable and funny main character in Clay then keeps you gripped until the final few pages with a ton of twists and turns. Smart, quirky and a joy to read Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is sure to appeal to bibliophiles and technology lovers alike
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