Customer Reviews for

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

Average Rating 4
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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

7 out of 10 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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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 113 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    Fun read

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It is well paced and well written. The story is somewhat fantastic but still in many ways believable, with the main character always keeping his feet on the ground and his wits about him.

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

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Imaginative writing made this an enjoyable and entertaining book.

    Imaginative writing made this an enjoyable and entertaining book. The characters were excellent and each added their talents and skills to the story. Advances in technology were employed to make their discoveries, but intelligence and logic were more essential. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Fun read

    Not what I expecred at all, in a good way! Loved it and would reccommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    Loved it!! Part mystery, part techo babble.. lol. No, but really

    Loved it!! Part mystery, part techo babble.. lol. No, but really. It was an amazing book. After awhile it seems like everyone is writing the same story but this was something refreshingly new. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good read, or a good mystery... you don't have to be too tech savvy to follow along. Buy it! You won't be sorry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Run

    Run do not walk. This book is seriously fantastic and will keep you turning pages and drawing you in.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    Excellent read!

    I love the characters! I love the book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 17, 2014

    A must read!

    This novel was fantastic, complete with mystery, quality writing, and memorable characters. If I fall in love with the characters, I will love the book. The people surrounding this story became my friends and sucked me into their world of books and secret societies. If you haven't read this yet, it is most certainly worth the time.

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

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Read because of the night circus comparisons it drew

    Loved this book so much. Can not wait for the author to write another book.

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

    Posted December 10, 2013

    It's a light, fun read and definitely a page turner for me. I ap

    It's a light, fun read and definitely a page turner for me. I appreciated that no offensive languages were used so it can be great for teens too. Loved the subtle humor. The epilogue tied up loose ends for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 29, 2013

    What Fun!! Please write more books!

    What Fun!! Please write more books!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This story follows the journey of a young man named Clay Jannon

    This story follows the journey of a young man named Clay Jannon who finds a job at a quaint and quirky bookstore. While working the nightshift at this bookstore, Clay encounters a variety of unique and eccentric customers. The strange thing about these customers, however, is that they never buy any books; instead, they merely ‘check out’ the oldest books in the store. Clay soon discovers that there is much more to this bookstore and some of the books inside it than he thought. We, the readers, then follow Clay on his journey to decode the mysterious books and everything that goes along with them.
    This book was truly a fun delight to read. It wasn’t filled with any overly heavy, dramatic subject matter and was an extremely entertaining book. I would actually say this book was the definition of entertaining.

    First, I loved the entire ‘book’ focus and aspect of the novel (which is somewhat obvious, being the huge book lover that I am). I loved the bookstore itself and how it was described; I loved the huge, towering bookshelves and the different types of books (i.e. “regular books’ and the “Waybacklist”).

    When I first started this book, I don’t think I realized how big of a role that modern technology would play in it. I feel that most authors who try that are either really successful or fail miserably. Luckily, Sloan was extremely successful. I found the topic itself to be very interesting, and I found myself intrigued by the programming and coding that was used throughout. I think all of it added a really nice touch to the story.

    There was a very unique array of characters that each had an extremely distinct and entertaining personality.

    One of my favorite aspects of the novel was Clay himself. He had such a witty and fun narrative that truly captured you and brought you into the story.
    The pacing of the novel was spot-on; I never felt that the story was too rushed. I also did not find myself getting bored from the  novel moving too slowly either. The novel seems a bit far-fetched at times, but it is fiction and that it extremely understandable.

    Overall, I found this to be an extremely well-written and exciting novel that I would definitely recommend to anyone.

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  • Posted September 27, 2013

    For some it's the journey and for others it's the destination. T

    For some it's the journey and for others it's the destination. This book can help us understand that the only disappointment is in defining our experience by the roads others chose to take. I really enjoyed this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    A bibliophile's delight!

    I don't know how helpful this review will be, but I had to have the opportunity to add my five stars to the score! I would happily have scored higher. I too would love to live in this bookworld. It provide's a true Reader with great characters, fun, and an intelligent place to be in for a while. Not as far out there as Thursday Next, but shares that unique genre.
    A phenomenal first book, and for future books I won't be waiting for paperback.

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  • Posted August 6, 2013

    National Treasure meets Bill and Ted¿s Excellent Adventure Cla

    National Treasure meets Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure

    Clay Jannon finds himself a clerk in Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. Despite his misgivings – he’s a web-design guy working in an ancient store which lends obscure books to weird people – he sticks with it. He decides to figure out the secrets of the store, the books, the borrowers, and maybe even Mr. Penumbra. The puzzle of the store is solved, but the adventure is just beginning!

    This novel is at once an Epic Adventure and a whirlwind, quicksilver romp. It’s little-boys-turned-gizmo-geeks playing superhero and pausing periodically to ask themselves banal questions with utter sincerity. (Consider Clay’s stupefaction to learn that Mr. Penumbra has a first name! And it’s...!). It’s a Quest complete with dungeons and dragons (OK, not actual dragons), wizards, code words, rituals, and True Meaning. It’s downright hilarious.

    Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore may be read quickly, but will not quickly be forgotten. As with any great adventure, the questions asked and the truths learned throughout the quest will remain in the reader’s mind. As will Mr. Penumbra’s first name.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    I LOVED it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    Couldn't put it down!

    As a tech fiend and a longtime bibliophile, I am in heaven with all the geeky goodness and old fashoned love of friends this book delivers. Mr. Penumbra sure DOES know how to pick 'em! This is an engaging and fun romp.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    An unexpected great read

    A great summer read. If you get the hardcover the book jacket glows in the dark!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Great read!

    This book will hook you from the very first page. The story is exciting and filled with humor. One of the best books I have read in quite a while. Looking forward to more books from this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Extremely entertaining lighthearted, quick read

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great characters and story, couldn't stop thinking about the story even days after I finished the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    A lovely read!

    A perfect fit for the modern reader!

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 113 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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