Liked It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“"Lost in the shadows of the shelves, I almost fall off the ladder."
“The Good Stuff
A truly unique (in a good way) tale that was totally unexpected as I had a different idea of what the book was about
It deals with secret libraries and bookstores - um - hello, you can see why this one intrigued me
I don't want to give away spoilers but one of the settings was AWESOME - please take me to a place like that
A love story to the written word - no matter what the form
Lots of intrigue and mystery
Tons of Geeky humour
Makes you think
The Not So Good Stuff
the characters were almost archetypical - I felt no emotional attachment to them as they didn't come across as real.
A little too slow paced
"I realize that the books I love most are like open cities, with all sorts of ways to wander in."
"A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time."
"We need James Bond with a library science degree."
Who Should/Shouldn't Read
This would be a fabulous book for a book club or just to talk about over coffee or a glass of wine.
Fans of Douglas Copeland or Christopher Moore will feel a connection to this tale.
Librarians will especially feel for this book as it deals with keeping the old yet embracing the new. The knowledge that technology will not destroy the written word. The two can and will work together
You love books/bookstores - this one is for you
I purchased this from Chapters Shawnessy because my HarperCollins reps waxed so poetically about it ”
“The description of this book said it was "a literary adventure story for the 21st Centruy . . ." I love a literary adventure, so I figured this would be good. Unfortunately, I think the best audience for this book are the characters from the Big Bang Theory and NOT in a good way!
Full disclosure - I did not finish the book. I forced myself to go about halfway through, and honestly the only reason I went that far is because I was listening to this on audiobook, and didn't have anything else for my daily subway commute. But the techno-geek aspect of this book was the biggest component and for me that was very dull.
In fact, I really did not see any "literary" aspect, other than the fact that the book starts in a bookstore. In fairness, possibly the literary stuff happens in the second half, but I simply could not force myself to keep reading to find out.
The characters also felt very one-dimensional to me. I didn't connect to any of them, even the supposedly mysterious Mr. Penumbra, so it was hard to really care about what happened to any of them.
Everything about this book felt slow and ponderous and it was a massive effort to stay with it even though all I had to do was listen. This was a miss for me.”
“Fun, fast, a bit silly, book club read-would be a good summer beach read. I'm anticipating the discussion of readers' opinions of the connection between technology, reading, book stores (and the virtual kind). A good break from the rather serious stuff we've been up to lately.”WetDogsMom wrote this review 4 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Clay finds himself out of work and roaming aimlessly around San Francisco until he stumbles into Mr. Penumbra's bookstore and a job at one of the oddest bookstores he has ever seen.
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Old books, cutting-edge technology, a strange cult, mysterious codes, odd characters--this book had a little bit of everything. My only complaints were that I wanted to see the code and I felt the ending was a tiny bit of a let down. I look forward to more books by Mr. Sloan.”
“I've struggled deciding how to review this book. It was not what I expected so I was disappointed. But does that mean it wasn't good? So, I tried to lay my expectations aside and review this book for what it is, not what I thought or wanted it to be.
This may be a spoiler (sorry for that, but you should know). The book is NOT fantasy (what I thought). It is not science fiction. It is straight up technology, even if some of the characters (the society of novices, unbound and bound) don't know it.
What I liked: the story telling was funny. Most of the book was fun to read with very likable characters and an entertaining story and backdrop.
What I didn't like: the ending. The story had such potential. It built to a great climax and then....just died. I felt cheated by the build up.
All in all, I'm not sorry I read it, but I really wanted to like it more.
“The happy reader for this book is a techie bibliophile (or a bookish technophile). Light reading, short chapters, somewhat shallow characterizations about young, rich, brilliant, hipster techno-nerds solving a centuries-old puzzle in a book. It's got elements of Harry Potter, Dan Brown, and the National Treasure movie series and the hardcover glows in the dark. Overall, not as enchanting as I'd thought it would be.”K. wrote this review 9 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Great message from this book. Think of it as a toned down DaVinci Code with a gentler, kinder protagonist. The info about google was really interesting. Best part was the information about Aldus Manutius..the stained glass window at the library where I work is of Aldus and his printing press.”Carolyn F wrote this review 10 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
I try to stay away from books that are super popular at the moment. I tend to be disappointed, expecting so much more than the book can deliver. However, in this case, I am so glad that I chose to read this book! It was absolutely wonderful.
Honestly, I didn’t know where this book was going half the time and that was one of the great joys of it! It sucked me in right away and kept me in suspense from beginning to end, something that I rarely find. I really enjoyed the characters; they were all well-rounded and likable. The settings and the storyline were just as enjoyable and it’s hard for a bibliophile to not enjoy a well written story about books and bookstores, I mean, come on! It was a book about friendship, adventure, technology, and the changing world around us. The only reason this book didn’t make it to my 5-star club was the ending. I can’t put my finger on it but I was not fully satisfied. Perhaps I set myself up for failure, expecting something more grand. Regardless of this, I still loved this book and its lovable characters. I would have no problem recommending it to others.
“I would put this book in the young adult section. I would compare it to a grown up Harry Potter, but there is no magic, and Harry Potter is so much more imaginative and detailed. Though some of the characters were interesting, only a few of them were explored in depth, and left me wanting. The "puzzle" or "mystery" was not intriquing and did not draw me in. While I enjoyed the visual descriptions of the settings, not much else of the story drew me in. Felt like I was wasting my time, but read it to see what I was missing. Any "adventure" or "mystery" didn't really start until the last 1/3 of the book. ”Becky S wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Read this off the recommendation of a friend. This book is fantastic, there is a perfect blending of quick humor and engaging writing style, of old influence and modern ideals. I thought maybe it would be more poignant to someone who works in bookstore, but then again I don't work in a bookstore like this. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a good, quick read, who likes used bookstores and ancient puzzles.”bekahboo wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No