Monday, 22 August 2016

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan
Published 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Finally!  In my recent reading history, actual entertainment and fun have been hard to find.  Several have been well-written and hardly "duds", but neither have they left me with the "maybe recommend it to someone else" sparkle in my eye.

I believe I can rank this book in that happy category.

The writing skips along in merry measure.  The setting of the strange old book store with its impenetrable mystery grips the imagination.  The hero is lively and personable as he peels back layer after layer to scratch his curiosity.  The writing skill is more than adequate to the task.

The essence of the plot is young, and desperate for employment, Clay Jannon landing a job at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.  A man of the internet and ultra web savvy, this musty bookstore bewilders him.  Open 24 hours?  The number of customers that come thru the door he can count on one hand.  A most peculiar secret society seems to be a work...but to what end?

With a network of exceptional and eccentric friends, Clay attempts to pierce the secret of the bookstore, and once he crosses that barrier, to face the challenge on the other side.

There's a magical quality to the narrative without any magic actually coming into play.  The mystery is big and grand.  As I say, every single person that Clay actually meets is chock full o' skills and inner depths.  Without ever breaking the rules of our mundane reality, it still edges up so its toes are smack on the border of fantasy.

It's an easily digestible and tasty read that keeps the pages turning.

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