- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; First Edition edition (October 2, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374214913
- ISBN-13: 978-0374214913
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 2,436 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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Set in San Francisco, Sloan does a pretty good caricature of the Bay Area startup scene, and even throws big tech players like Google into the mix—the latter actually plays a surprisingly key role here! I’ve only been living in the Bay Area for about three months now (at the time of this review), but even I had to appreciate the nods to the neighborhoods I’ve visited.
Clay Jannon is a semi-fresh college grad hoping to find some footing in a post-Recession jobscape. He’s likeable and relatable—the roommate we’ve all met or had in our early twenties. He’s self-depracting and also not particularly talented. This isn’t a harsh critique of his character, by the way. In fact, he makes this admission several times throughout the novel.
But what Clays is really good at is making friends with extremely gifted specialists—all of whom play a part in the larger story....and that leads me to my biggest critique.
Because for every obstacle Clay faces, he also “just so happens” to have a major resource at his disposal that can solve the problem. So even though I thought the story was adorably quirky, insightful, and tender, there were a lot of plot points that wrapped up a little too neatly for me.
Also, if you happen to be a professional codebreaker, this book will either pique your interest or frustrate you to no end. I am not a professional codebreaker, so I found this aspect of the book both entertaining and suspenseful.
My final verdict is that Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a whimsical read that’s sure to please book lovers of all backgrounds—but especially if they live in California.
I geniunely enjoyed this book. I found myself picturing the story while reading it and I longed to see this bookstore in real life. The idea of a bookstore containing unusual books that most people have never heard of is exciting to me. It definitely makes me wonder what gems may be hidden in my nearest bookstore.
I am rating this book Four Stars because it drug in some spots and was predictable. I enjoyed it but I did have a few moments where I felt like I was reading an advertisement rather than a novel. The characters were likeable and relatable. The premise was fantastic and I would love to find a bookstore like the one from the story. This is the first book that I have read by this author and I will be looking into his other titles. Great read!