Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When is a bookstore not a bookstore?

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore has something for nerds of all stripes: books nerds, Tolkien nerds, typography nerds, technology nerds, just to name a few. With a few more elements of universal appeal thrown in: friendship, romance, quest for immortality, and a mystery, and voila: a fun and engaging read. 

I do have to confess that at times, while following the narrator's line of thinking as he solved the mystery, I got slightly lost. There were quite a few Aha! moments that, for me at least, turned out to be not quite as momentous as the book portrayed them. 

This book has been compared on many end-of-year lists to Where'd You Go, Bernadette? as books that are written for an intelligent audience who may need a short reprieve from deep, thought-provoking book but still want to be transported by excellent writing. It seems like a bit of a back-handed compliment, especially for an author who touched on some Big Themes, albeit delivered in easy-going, almost slacker language. I think I understand what there readers are trying to say though, and I agree. This is a very well-written book without pretensions and affectations. I enjoyed it.

Here is a quote from the book: 
"I always thought the key to immortality would be, like, tiny robots fixing things in your brain," she said. "Not books."
My only question is, why is the font on the cover not in Gerritzoon?