No Dark Magic

books, Sweden, and computers, not necessarily in any order

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Posted at — Mar 19, 2014

This book has so many things I love (bookstores, Hadoop, friendship, just to name a few) and yet it feels so unlikable. The tone resembles that of modern sitcoms (in a bad way), the main character is a two-dimensional kidult who constantly uses people and gets lucky. There’s close to no intrigue, and just one thought to chew on (which is laid out so tiringly and flatly you actually can’t chew because of painful numbness).

I guess it might be amusing for someone to see the word “Google” a lot in a “real book”, or to witness the last page 4-th wall breakage, but I’m not into that.

And last but not the least, I know that even for the most brilliant programmers things just don’t work as flawlessly and fast as it’s pictured in the book, so all the parts about programming felt a bit…​ false.


(286 pages)

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