A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstoreThe Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that’s rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day.
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New In Paperback: 'The Round House,' 'San Miguel,' 'The Story Of Ain't,' 'A Thousand Mornings' : NPRIn softcover fiction, Louise Erdrich finds the heart of a family trauma, T.C. Boyle mines love and horror on San Miguel and Robin Sloan tells of a bookstore with secrets in stock. In nonfiction, David Skinner opens up Webster's third dictionary. In poetry, Mary Oliver returns home.- NPR Books
Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Technology and the Bibliophileby Robin Sloan When Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore was released, the New York Times ran a nice profile of me and the book, and to fit the book's themes, the reporter, Jenny Schuessler, decided we should meet not in a conference room, not in a coffee shop, but in a secret library.- FSG's Work in Progress
Work in Progress » Blog Archive » Novels and the FutureOn May 7th, Robin Sloan and Nathaniel Rich sat down in front of an audience at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco to discuss the role of fiction in interpreting the future. After the event, the conversation continued online.- FSG's Work in Progress
Robin Sloan grew up in Michigan and now splits his time between San Francisco and the Internet.
Robin SloanAri Fliakos
ALA Alex Awards Winner (Adult for Young Adults), YALSA Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award - Nominee, L.A. Times Book Prize - Finalist, NPR Best Book of the Year, The Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year, Publishers Weekly Listen Up Awards: Best in Category