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Download Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel, by Robin Sloan Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robin Sloan Narrator: Ari Fliakos Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore

The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead "checking out" impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he's embarked on a complex analysis of the customers' behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what's going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.

With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that's rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious listener, no matter the time of day.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An old-fashioned tale likably reconceived for the digital age, with the happy message that ingenuity and friendship translate across centuries and data platforms.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Beguiling…The plot is as tight as nesting boxes, or whatever their digital equivalent…Sly and infectious.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “What makes Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore so impressive is Sloan’s great gift for storytelling and his cast of brilliant, eccentric characters. Think of this novel as part Haruki Murakami, part Dan Brown, and part Joseph Cornell: a surreal adventure, an existential detective story, and a cabinet of wonders at which to marvel.”


  • “Sloan makes bits and bytes appear beautiful…The rebels’ journey to crack the code—grappling with an ancient cult, using secret passwords and hidden doorways—will excite anyone’s inner child.”


  • “Fantastic…I loved diving into the world that Sloan created, both the high-tech fantasyland of Google and the ancient analog society. It’s packed full of geeky allusions and wonderful characters, and is a celebration of books, whether they’re made of dead trees or digits.”


  • “[A] winning literary adventure…Sloan grounds his jigsaw-like plot with Big Ideas about the quest for permanence in the digital age.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A jaunty, surprisingly old-fashioned fantasy about the places where old and new ways of accessing knowledge meet…[Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore] cleverly uses the technological age in the service of its fantasy…Sloan’s ultimate answer to the mystery of what keeps people solving Penumbra’s puzzle is worth turning pages to find out.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “One of the most thoughtful and fun reading experiences you’re likely to have this year…There’s so much large-hearted magic in this book.”


  • “An irresistible page-turning novel.”


  • “Delightful.”

    Washington Post

  • “Part love letter to books, part technological meditation, part thrilling adventure, part requiem…Eminently enjoyable, full of warmth and intelligence.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title”, October 2012
  • A 2012 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Selected for the October 2012 Indie Next List
  • Finalist for the 2012 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize for First Fiction
  • Nominated for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
  • A 2012 NPR Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Los Angeles Times Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2012 YALSA Alex Award
  • A 2013 Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award Nominee
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