Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I was so excited about the book’s premise and the first pages I was in love with it. But then something odd happened, the book turned obnoxious, and into a love letter to Google. The characters didn’t develop, and there were too many convenient plot devices that everything turned to the unbelievable side. And don’t get me even started with the mystery which will reveal at the end. While there is nothing wrong with the idea/conviction, it sounded childish the way it was delivered with all the shallow hype along with the idea that Google, vegan cookies, and kale juice will save the world. (I have nothing against vegan cookies or kale juice, but more I read the book more they irritated me.) Maybe it is me, but I couldn’t get into this Silicon Valley glamor. It only annoyed me. It felt like I was watching inside a bubble which thinks the rest of the world isn’t there. The only thing I found lovable was the passion for books and writing written on the pages. Also, the premise of the main character: how the downturn in the economy impacted his life, and how he had to make compromises.

But I need more substance, not only the superficial deepness. And least of all this attitude that Google is our savior. I cannot recommend this book, but as I see so many people have loved it, I know this is only one opinion and you should find out yourself if the book’s storytelling and characters work for you as the book is a fast read.

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