The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.
‘Dan Brown meets Enid Blyton’, as summed up by one of our members.
It may be over simplifying this modern take on fantasy-realism (nothing simple about that tag), but it does encapsulate what Mr Penumbra’s Bookstore held in literary terms for our group.
An interesting aspect of reading fresh young authors is our tendency to identify them within our already read literature. Finding something completely new in fiction does not happen often, but this one comes close. Sloan’s blend of today’s cutting edge technology coupled with theological presence, not to mention that fabulous bookstore, had the majority of us compelled to read on. It certainly took us away to somewhere entirely new.
The scores stayed high, 7-8 and it was generally considered to be an entertaining book with simple language and a well thought out plot.
No prizes for guessing what the main topic of discussion was … books, books, books!!