A Novel for the 21st Century

A 24-hour bookstore in San Francisco is the jumping off point for musings on life, love, dot coms and the Great Recession.

San Francisco author Robin Sloan will be in Petaluma Tuesday to discuss and read from his new work Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

Described as a gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking and rollicking adventure, the novel is set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore where a young protagonist finds a job after being laid off in the Great Recession.

“But after just a few days on the job, he starts to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests,” according to a summary on Amazon.com. “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.”

He concludes that the store is a front for something and soon embarks on a cross-country adventure to find out.

Amazon.com writes:

“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 reader, no matter the time of day.”

Sloan will speak at Copperfield’s Books, 140 Kentucky St. on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 7pm. The public is invited to a pre-event mixer at 6pm that includes appetizers, socializing, a book talk and prizes.


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