Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2014 DEBUT CATEGORY – KITCHIES PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2013 IMPAC DUBLIN LITERARY AWARDS
A New York Times bestseller, Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore is an entirely charming and lovable first novel of mysterious books and dusty bookshops; it is a witty and delightful love-letter to both the old book world and the new.
Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a Web-design drone and serendipity coupled with sheer curiosity has landed him a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. And it doesn’t take long for Clay to realize that the quiet, dusty book emporium is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few fanatically committed customers, but they never seem to actually buy anything, instead they simply borrow impossibly obscure volumes perched on dangerously high shelves, all according to some elaborate arrangement with the eccentric proprietor. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he has plugged in his laptop, roped in his friends (and a cute girl who works for Google) and embarked on a high-tech analysis of the customers’ behaviour. What they discover is an ancient secret that can only be solved by modern means, and a global-conspiracy guarded by Mr. Penumbra himself… who has mysteriously disappeared.
The story is gripping, the characters are terrific and the writing is clever and funny. As intelligent as it is enjoyable * Daily Mail * It’s a proper novel. By which I mean, not that it has pages you actually turn – that is optional with novels nowadays – but pages that you actually want to turn, which is getting rarer and rarer…. Charming, gently comedic, sweetly nerdy and enthusiastic about media both old and new * Irish Times * Rollicking… an ode to the beauty of dead-tree books * New York Times * Delightful… Smart, hip and witty * Washington Post * The pages swell with Mr Sloan’s nerdy affection and youthful enthusiasm for both tangible books and new media… A clever and whimsical tale with a big heart * The Economist *
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