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What a clever book! A marriage of the age of social media and an age of antiquity. With strong characters, good narration and a thoroughly intriguing plot and concept this book kept me royally entertained. It's a little bit different from the norm so it's hard to say who would or wouldn't enjoy such a book but if you do fancy a slightly different adventure then this is definitely one to try.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
This is one of those books that suddenly seemed to be evey where I looked. The title appealed and what's not to like about a mystery in a bookstore, so I downloaded it.
It is a unique book: a quirky, slightly dizzying, overlaying of Google-led West Coast Techie culture; a centuries old, secretive bibliophile sect with a mission and a real-life analog of a traditional Dungeons and Dragons questing party.
It is told with a light touch, lots of pop culture references, and a self-deprecating charm that make it an easy read.
This is a only a "thriller" if you don't get out much. No body-count. No supernatural beings. Not even car chases and gun fights. The height of excitement is a trip to an old New York basement and a visit to a massive automated warehouse and yet I was happy to keep reading.
This is a book with a message. A fairly anodyne message but one that is passionately told. I won't tell you what it is because that is about the only real surprise in the book.
Whether you enjoy this book may depend on whether you find the central character endearing and resourceful or just naive and lost. "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" made me smile but it was so gentle and so slight that it didn't make a lasting impression. I assume that the ubiquity of the book is attributable to the fact that it has a clever title, is easy to read and envisions a MacBook-wielding, nerdy, website designer as heroic.
Reading "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" was a fine way to pass a couple of idle afternoons but if I'd bought a physical copy rather than an audiobook, it would be on its way to the second-hand bookstore by now.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore the most enjoyable?
A mystery was set up, the process was engaging and the ending was as it should be.
What did you like best about this story?
The main characters were well fleshed out and likeable.
What about Ari Fliakos’s performance did you like?
It was appropriate - not too gaudy.
If you could rename Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, what would you call it?
Why rename it?
Any additional comments?
Recommend this. If you want fast action you will be disappointed but if you want to be intelligently entertained this is for you.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I love books. In fact, I love books so much that I picked up Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore purely because I liked the idea of an actual 24-hour book store so much!
And boy am I glad I did.
Mr Penumbra’s is a love letter to all bibliophiles. It’s for anyone who ever dreamed of finding a real-life mystery in the pages of a book or wished they could go gather a party of their equally geeky friends and embark on an epic quest.
But for all its fantasy origins, Mr Penumbra’s is grounded in modern day San Francisco on the forefront of the digital age. Technology and leather-bound tomes intersect for a fascinating look at the modern mythology of Google.
Audiobooks are often treated as the ugly step-child of literary world so I think fellow audible.com users will especially appreciate the musings about the future of the written world in an increasingly virtual world.
Mr Penumbra’s has transcended genre-preferences amongst my circle of friends so I highly recommend it to readers everywhere!