Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore

People love this book. People love Cool-Whip.  I used to love Cool-Whip myself, that was until I ate real whipped cream.  Now Cool-Whip tastes like Monsanto light sweet crude to me.  I can see where one might enjoy this book in theory, but c'mon its pretty damn crappy.  Everything about this book is contrived.  The hardcover book even glows-in-the-dark.  Written in a abstract, it seems like a good idea for a book.  Whoops, the first time author used to work at Twitter and considers himself a media inventor. Uh-oh.

Our narrator Clay Jannon, (stupid name), a former designer but laid off during the Great Recession (so current--can't you relate!) works the late shift at a 24 hour San Francisco bookstore.  Oddly, this is the only 24 hour bookstore in San Francisco that does not involve porn (fiction!).  The small number of customers that come in are working from "secret stacks." These books look like nonsense, unless you are into The Bible Code.  That was a really hot book in like 1996.  It turns out its all about a secret society involving fonts. Ok, I kind of like fonts, I'll give him that. 

Robin Sloan is not a good writer.  Sorry dude, you may be a fantastic tweeter, but a novel is not a simple matter of 140 characters.  Unless you are George R.R. Martin and those characters are not so simple.  This book reads like it was sponsored by Google.  There is lot of time devoted to Google and how awesome it is!  It feels like one big ad for Google.  I DO NOT LIKE THAT. That is the last thing I want in a novel, commercials.  Unless that commercial is for something in Diagon Alley and that item is something like butterbeer. 

There are a lot of geeky things in this book.  But something doesn't feel right, in Ready Player One, you could feel the love from the geek trivia, really feel it.  I suspect Robin Sloan probably is a tech geek but there is something "fake-geek-hot-chick-with-glasses-that-don't-really-have-glass-in-them-geek" about it. Its icky.  

Drinks:  The characters drink something called the Blue Screen of Death. (Get it?!)  I have never tried it but it doesn't sound too awful. 3/4 oz. vodka and 1/2 oz tequila with several dashes of Blue Curacao liquor shaken with ice. Sounds strong, but if anyone tries it, let me know.  I will try it myself, but Blue Curacao is not something I have just sitting around.

Also, I think this would be fun to try because its set in San Francisco.  San Francisco Cocktail: 1oz sloe gin, 1 oz sweet vermouth, 1 oz. dry vermouth, dash of orange bitters, dash of aromatic bitters.  Shaken with ice, garnish with a cherry. Dang, I need some ingredients for this one too. Well, at least this blog isn't sponsored by Bacardi and I spend my whole review talking about how awesome it is.

No comments:

Post a Comment