I squeezed the last few pages of Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore into little rogue minutes today. The last paragraph made me goose-bumpy up and down my limbs.
What an unusual book. And how utterly, squeakingly sweet and warm, what a squishy lovely heart it has, how fuzzy and cuddly the various ropes that tie all the lovely ideas together.
I can’t remember when last a book made me feel so happy. Does that sound twee and silly? Mebbe, bebbe, but hell, Mr Sloan is an unexpected burst of nice.
Here’s a link to the first chapter, and here’s the review we ran in the Cape Times:
Clay Jannon is out of work. He’s part of the Google-generation and so it comes as a surprise to him when he finds himself working at a very strange bookstore. He also finds himself working for one of the most endearing literary characters I have chanced upon in years: Mr Penumbra. The 24-hour bookstore is no ordinary one. It has members, not customers, and Clay’s job is to service them and not read the books. Of course he does and the plot pages its way through a post-modern clash between the arcane and the internet generation. Part mystery and part story about a love affair with the written word, and an unlikely friendship, Robin Sloan has pulled off a book that holds as many surprises as his bookstore does. Whether you are a loyal book aficionado or like to be glued to your e-reader you will find a home in this wonderfully complex tale.