Author: Robin Sloan
Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Listening copy via local library
I know I'm not the first to call this a mash-up of Umberto Eco and Doug Coupland because that's exactly what Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is.
It's a mystery about manuscripts and codes, it's a humorous social commentary on Silicon Valley, it's Old World technology meets New Media crowdsourcing. It's a delightful journey on all these levels.
It starts with Clay, a victim of Silicon Valley lay-offs, who finds a job working at a quirky bookstore in San Francisco. What's even more interesting than the odd books are the odd customers, people who come in all hours of day and borrow the books rather than purchase them.
Clay gets his friends to help him figure out the mystery of bookstore, which uncovers a secret world of codes and codex, and maybe even the secret to immortality.
Narrated ably by Ari Fliakos, Clay and the various other oddball characters are believable, charming, and fun.
I'd recommend to readers who enjoyed Ready Player One by Ernest Cline or The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore Book Trailer: