Audiobook review- Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

You’ll never look at a type-face the same way ever again……

A church-side post-wedding conversation led us to Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore- authored by Robin Sloan. Probably like us, you’ve never heard of this title or its author before? But having too many Audible credits (we weren’t able to accumulate any more before we started to lose them), we started madly buying books, and one novel we shrugging-ly dropped into our virtual shopping basket was Mr. P’s. We honestly had no idea what we were getting ourselves into!

This novel was published in 2012, but I have to admit that this novel was the most ‘present-day’-feeling book I’ve ever read! It wasn’t futuristic, but it just felt so ‘now’! The story centers around a young laid-off tecky named Clay Janan; being unemployed, he takes any job on offer, this being a night-shift shop assistant at a dusty old 24-hour bookstore, which doesn’t sell many books and doesn’t see many customers. But things aren’t what they seem to be, and just when you start to think ‘Where the heck is this book going?’ WHAM! The story takes turns you’d never expect coming!

The writing style is modern and playful, the main character Clay is a character you’d love to have as a mate and you totally get right behind his cause, and although the book is relatively short (audiobook is slightly under 8 hours long), you’re completely invested all the way through to the end, hoping real hard that everything works out well for all of the characters (unfortunately there isn’t a sequel).

I personally think one day this book will be noticed by the masses, and bigger things will unfold for Robin Sloan! For example, George R. R. Martin’s novels remained relatively unknown for 20 years before HBO turned it into a hit TV saga. Thus although Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is still relatively unknown, even though it’s been on bookshelves for the past 7 years+, with next to no web-presence/footprint – I’m a believer that one day it’ll be turned into a movie! It just has all the elements for the big screen – mystery, intrigue, tech, romance, and a secret society……Oh no, I’ve said too much…..

And the audio version of the novel was narrated and edited so well, one of the best audio experiences in recent memory – we’ll definitely be searching for more books narrated by Ari Fliakos- who did a great job bringing to life each of the characters.

“Good job, my boy”.

If you’d like to check out Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore for yourself, just click HERE!

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