Customer Reviews for

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Average Rating 4
( 249 )
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(113)

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(38)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

23 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

Magical, fun, and funny

At the intersection of book & tech, type & typing, Dan Brown & Borges, a book-lover's dream novel. Get it. Read it. Love it. Now.

posted by ReneeFL on October 5, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

Tongue in cheek humor pervades this book. The story centers arou

Tongue in cheek humor pervades this book. The story centers around the eccentric owner of a strange and wonderful bookstore, where books are revered, and also the clerk he hires, Clay Jannon. Clay is out of work, driven into an aimless state of being by a failing econom...
Tongue in cheek humor pervades this book. The story centers around the eccentric owner of a strange and wonderful bookstore, where books are revered, and also the clerk he hires, Clay Jannon. Clay is out of work, driven into an aimless state of being by a failing economy. One day, while walking, he discovers a job opportunity as the night clerk for Ajax Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore. The shop seems to exist for a dual purpose. On the one hand, it is a bookstore, albeit not one that sells many popular books, or many books at all, for that matter, and on the other hand, it caters to a group of unusual people who are studying odd books in order to discover a very well-kept, hidden secret. The bookstore is reminiscent of a library or a museum. Shelves are filled with ancient manuscripts from floor to ceiling, a ceiling only reached with the aid of a ladder. It is a temple for books.

The secret, that this unusual group of people, seem to be searching for, is a missing code. They must decipher it when they find it. What is this mysterious code? It is the key to eternal life, the key to immortality. In this brief novel, the reader is led on an abstract journey to find the answer. It is often outside reality, and it is often very confusing.

This creative little book combines the wisdom of the ages with the creativity of technology to search for the answer. The merry chase is sometimes convoluted and, truth be told, in several places I was completely lost, but soon, the thread is picked up again and the search goes on. In the end, for me, the message of the book was that eternal life, immortality, is the written word, it is what we leave behind as our accomplishments, as well. Time marches on for everyone and so does progress.

As the book proudly proclaims: “There is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care. …all secrets worth knowing are hiding in plain sight.”

posted by thewanderingjew on January 13, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Magical, fun, and funny

    At the intersection of book & tech, type & typing, Dan Brown & Borges, a book-lover's dream novel. Get it. Read it. Love it. Now.

    23 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    BAM! Holy font Batman!

    If you love books, the old fashioned paper ones and the new e-books, you will love this read. What do you hope to find in all of the books you read? Why do you read so much? A book not only about people that love books, but about how our friends are called upon, about our own curiosity about things we don't understand, and what we do to satisfy our curiosity. All who were involved or know someone who is/was a Dungeons and Dragons fan will see someone they know (or are). And the geeks shall inherit the earth.

    16 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Debut novel?

    It's perfect. Such a treat to read. Has everything you could want. It almost feels like it was written just for me, designed and thought out for me. Sort of a relief to know there's more of me, if you love this book, you're a friend of mine <3

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 13, 2013

    Tongue in cheek humor pervades this book. The story centers arou

    Tongue in cheek humor pervades this book. The story centers around the eccentric owner of a strange and wonderful bookstore, where books are revered, and also the clerk he hires, Clay Jannon. Clay is out of work, driven into an aimless state of being by a failing economy. One day, while walking, he discovers a job opportunity as the night clerk for Ajax Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore. The shop seems to exist for a dual purpose. On the one hand, it is a bookstore, albeit not one that sells many popular books, or many books at all, for that matter, and on the other hand, it caters to a group of unusual people who are studying odd books in order to discover a very well-kept, hidden secret. The bookstore is reminiscent of a library or a museum. Shelves are filled with ancient manuscripts from floor to ceiling, a ceiling only reached with the aid of a ladder. It is a temple for books.

    The secret, that this unusual group of people, seem to be searching for, is a missing code. They must decipher it when they find it. What is this mysterious code? It is the key to eternal life, the key to immortality. In this brief novel, the reader is led on an abstract journey to find the answer. It is often outside reality, and it is often very confusing.

    This creative little book combines the wisdom of the ages with the creativity of technology to search for the answer. The merry chase is sometimes convoluted and, truth be told, in several places I was completely lost, but soon, the thread is picked up again and the search goes on. In the end, for me, the message of the book was that eternal life, immortality, is the written word, it is what we leave behind as our accomplishments, as well. Time marches on for everyone and so does progress.

    As the book proudly proclaims: “There is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care. …all secrets worth knowing are hiding in plain sight.”

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Wow!

    Loved this book fantastically fun, fast moving and holds your interest! Immediately wanted to find more to read by this author to find out this is his first book, will be watching for more!


    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    Fun read for computer dorks and dungens and dragon dorks alike!

    I want to live next door to this book store. Really i want to work there, read there, maybe even get locked in there every once in awhile. I mean if it weren't a 24hour book store.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Serious Fun!

    A serious book which doesn't take itself too seriously. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore concerns an unusual San Francisco book store, and the eccentric cast of characters associated with it. The narrator, Clay, is a smart but down-on-his-luck relatively recent college graduate who stumbles into working at the title book store where he soon discovers a literary mystery. Naturally, he sets about trying to solve it. Clay is clever (so there are numerous funny lines), as are most of those in his orbit, but he and his friends are also kind which makes all of them likable characters for whom it is easy to care, and easy to cheer. The novel is an homage to quest novels, and a celebration of the friendship (or fellowship as it always is in a quest novel) that sustains when in the midst of such journeys. Really, really fun read!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Well worth the time and money just for the storyline...

    Once it's out in paperback it will make an excellent present. I would explain just exactly what I liked about the storyline and how it progressed, plus the character development, but that would be a spoiler not unlike finding out about the end of the Sixth Sense before seeing the movie.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

    Recommended for book and tech lovers!

    This was a fun book to read for a book lover such as myself. Also a good light read for someone into technology. It is fun to see the two worlds at odds and then come together to solve the mystery. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Highly recommended for both nerds and "real" book lovers

    Having worked in printing and publishing when it was "hot press" and then "cold press" this book was especially interesting to me. I remember trays and trays of little letters being set by hand in our print shop. And loving computers and technology in general, the book has "feet" in both worlds/both times. While parts seemed pure fiction, I was surprised to find, after research, that many of those parts are fact. It's a fun read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    Excellent Book!

    Very good read... and at the ending the epilogue wrapped everything up nicely, which I think should be in every book. I'm not spoiling anything, so I'm telling you right now: read this, you won't be disappointed. :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    I loved this book. It was fun, unusual, with a good mystery to

    I loved this book. It was fun, unusual, with a good mystery to solve and interesting local SF Bay Area characters. A fast fun read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2013

    a thin gruel

    Yes, this book is clever. I do like how the author weaves in all manner of information technology, from early typesetting to Google's spider-armed book scanner. But as I turned the (virtual) pages, the whole story felt so thin: the characters sketchy modern versions of quest archetypes (the author admits as much, minus the 'sketchy' part); the plot a creaky contrivance.

    A few chapters in, the protagonist makes a virtual model of the bookstore he's working in on his computer. At the end of the description he addresses the reader: (I'm paraphrasing): "If this sounds impressive to you," he writes, "you're over 30."

    And if this books seems impressive to you, I'll wager that you are not much of a reader.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This was a totally fun read!

    This was a totally fun read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    I Loved It.

    I not only want to re-read this book, I want to live it. At the very least, I want to live in Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

    Techies

    Techies on a romp, pretty fun, light reading, high tech combined with ancient text.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    An Excellent Read

    An Excellent Read

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    Worth the Time.

    Nt

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Fun

    Fun to read. Not terribly engaging at first. Nice message at the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    Good

    Enjoyed but wasn't rushing page to page to see what happened next

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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