Monday, April 15, 2013

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Publisher:  Atlantic Books,
Not yet available in paperback in the UK. ASIN (Amazon Standard ID Number): B00A25NLOU

Released in the UK this year for the Kindle, it popped up on Amazon as one of those 'Other customers also bought' books when I was looking for references for my review of Advent by James Treadwell. It's generally well thought of on Amazon and Goodreads, and the plot appealed to my love of books and bookshops, so I thought why not?

I found it really enjoyable, highly entertaining, engaging and hard to put down.

Out of work web designer Clay finds a job in a dusty old bookstore with a mysterious set of books and customers. Curious about the goings on, which clearly aren't normal, he embarks on a quest to find out more about the bookstore, his employer and what these people are up to. Using modern technology Clay and his friends and associates attempt to solve a 500 year old mystery at the heart of the bookstore.

It was laugh out loud funny, the characters were interesting, the puzzle of the books was engaging. The bookstore was so well described it was pretty much a character in the book.

What I liked most - the puzzle, the mystery, the bookstore itself, the humour. The epilogue-y bit at the end, I love a good epilogue.

What I liked least - how short it is, or at least how short it felt. It took me only a day or so to read, and I could have happily spent some more time there.

Favourite Quotes: there were a few good ones, but this is the one that induced the outburst of mirth that made me grateful I was on my own: "Don't forget your ruler on your first day of cult "   I could also quote the entire last paragraph or two, but that would give away too much.

Highly recommended, and if you choose to read it I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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