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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐1/2

"The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, but after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest.

The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything; instead, they "check out" large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele's behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends, but when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore's secrets extend far beyond its walls."


Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is fiction novel by Robin Sloane and is the first in a series of the same name.

This was not entirely what I wanted this to be. While the idea of a centuries-old puzzle seems like it would be an interesting concept, I just felt like the book just didn't fully commit to it. The parts about Clay and his love life and everything about Google took me away from the story. If this had zeroed in on solving the mystery through non-technological methods, I would have found this more interesting.

I am unsure whether or not to read the second book as I don't feel like there is much to further expand upon.

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