Discuss Robin Sloan's "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore"
About the book:
This is a novel about books and technology, cryptography and conspiracy, friendship and love. It begins in a mysterious San Francisco bookstore, but quickly reaches out into the wider world and the shadowed past. I talked about the ideas behind the book on NPR’s Morning Edition, and had a real-life bibliophile adventure with the New York Times.
George Saunders says: [This book] is a real tour-de-force, a beautiful fable that is given legs by the author’s bravado use of the real (Google is in there, for instance, the actual campus) to sell us on a shadow world of the unreal and the speculative. Robin Sloan comes across as so bighearted, so in love with the world—the ancient world, the contemporary world—so in love with love, in love with friendship, in love with the idea that our technical abilities can serve as conduits for beauty, that the reader is swept along by his enthusiasm. It’s a lot of fun—but it’s also a powerful reading experience with a wonderful undeniability.
Penumbra is published in the U.S. by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It was selected for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program and the Indie Next List. The Economist called it “a clever and whimsical tale with a big heart.” NPR says it’s full of “large-hearted magic”—how about that!
Please check out the discussion guide, too: http://www.bookbrowse.com/reading_guides/detail/index.cfm/book_number/2792/mr-penumbras-24hour-bookstore