Book Review | Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan

ajax penumbra 1969 book coverThis prequel to Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is immediately interesting and a fun, easy read. It’s also a very quick read at just under 100 pages. The story begins with Ajax Penumbra as a college student in the Midwest and follows him out to San Francisco in search of an ancient text. This particular manuscript has been traced over the decades by those hoping to procure it, but has mysteriously disappeared from circulation. Penumbra joins forces with the owner and clerk (Corvina) of the 24-Hour Bookstore in order to track down the book.

I’d like to say that this Sloan book was by no means disappointing, and in the traditional sense it wasn’t, but I just wanted there to be more of it! Ajax Penumbra 1969 is a great book in that it jumps right into the story, it is linear and easy to follow throughout and it provides an entertaining narrative. The cast of characters is small and manageable. This book will be enjoyed by all fans of Sloan’s previous novel and can certainly be read first (prequel), even though it was written later. Personally, I enjoyed a bit of the backstory about how Penumbra came to the 24-hour Bookstore. As a previous San Francisco resident, I liked reading about the founding of BART too. Check it out from a library near you. Happy Reading!


About amy de simone
Amy is an active volunteer, traveler and photographer. She is interested in art, libraries, museums and nonprofits. She holds an M.A. in Library & Information Studies and a B.A. in Italian Language & Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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