Customer Review

316 of 335 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A love letter to literature *and* technology, October 8, 2012
This review is from: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel (Hardcover)
There's so much in this slim volume that I'm not sure where to start. Here's the TLDR version: it's an utter delight, and you should buy it immediately.

Our hero is a graphic designer with some meager programming skills who is left jobless by the recession. He finds new work as a bookstore clerk, and soon discovers that the store is much more than it seems. His quest to uncover its secrets leads only to mysteries, eventually sending him not only across the country but (figuratively) back in time to when the technology to make books widely accessible first became available.

The "I love the smell of glue" crowd is represented, as are the "print is already dead" folks. Neither are wrong, because the book as object *and* the book as text are important in different ways. The vast power of the Internet is harnessed, often to great effect, but human handcraft is also vital.

That would be plenty, but there's so much more. For instance, consider the idea -- so casually tossed off -- that the world is simply filled with secret societies, the only hitch being that most of them don't realize that they're secret. Or ponder how the standard adventuring party from role-playing games, when the roles are translated into modern terms, actually is a fine combination of human resources for accomplishing a goal quickly. Or think on how movable-type presses were, in their day, the equivalent of a young Internet -- a new technology with limitless and thrilling potential to open vistas theretofore undreamed-of.

It's missing a few things, most notably combat and sex. I didn't miss them. I didn't even really notice their lack until I sat down to write this review. There's no need for faux excitement when there's so much genuine excitement. The book is so full of *story,* not to mention ideas, that the pages very nearly turn of their own accord.

Buy it. Read it. Rethink parts of your world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 29, 2012 1:11:06 PM PST
Ty says:
Enjoyable review.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2013 9:52:52 AM PST
Eli_RV says:
"It's missing a few things, most notably combat and sex. I didn't miss them."

That is perfect. Wonderfully stated. Too many forms of entertainment today have violence and sex as a matter of course - Mr. Penumbra's is a great example of story telling in which it's simply not necessary.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Austin, TX United States

Top Reviewer Ranking: 152,921