Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

mr penumbra uk book

“Your life must be an open city, with all sorts of ways to wander in.”

A book about a bookshop? Sold!

Mr Penumbras 24 hour bookstore is about exactly that. An ex graphic designer finds himself suddenly unemployed and so takes work as a bookstore employee. He works the nightshifts, being given the instructions that whenever he should lend a book, he must record the name of the title they borrow, their name and as detailed a description about their physical appearance as possible. It’s odd, but he likes he job and so does as instructed, and documents about as many of Penumbras odd and varied customers as he can. But to occupy the long evenings he puts his I.T skills to use by designing a digital map of the store and its stock, including who borrowed books and when, only to notice a mysterious pattern emerging from the selected titles.

This book takes a bit of a turn for the unusual, and is a bit techie for my taste. I enjoyed it, but I found the mystery reveal to be a bit flat. But if you like a kooky kind of story you’d probably like it a little more than I did, but I think I was just expecting something more than I ended up getting.

3/5

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