Monday, July 15, 2013

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

by Robin Sloan
Rated: PG

Clay Jannon was a victim of the great recession. His marketing job with a precision bagel company went phut with the company after just one year; barely long enough to gain experience and certainly not long enough to  make any real impression on a prospective employer. As the job search dragged on, Clay decided to take a chance when he saw the help wanted sign on a dusty, dark, 24-hour bookstore in a less than ideal part of town. As the night clerk, time dragged by with few customers and a strict ban on ever opening any of the books. The customers he did get were odd, though. With too much time on his hands, Clay started to notice patterns in the regular customers and when he actually took a peek inside one of the books, he really started to get interested. For within was not a story, but a code. He opened another, then another - the entire bookstore was a giant code. And Clay was going to solve it no matter where it took him.

This book reminded me of a Mr. Benedict Society for adults. I enjoyed it. It's an implausible, fun story with a somewhat corny ending. A great summer book for just relaxing and enjoying the moment. It is also very clean, which you just can't say about too many books for adults these days.