Clay is looking for a job, any job, when he walks into Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore. Before he knows it, he has a job there but it is the strangest job he could imagine. He rarely sells any books but there are some regulars who come in to check out the books from the back section of books which are never to be sold. He is to write down complete descriptions of all transactions including the weather, what the person was wearing, what their state of mind seemed to be, etc. He is told never to go reading the back section but of course, it isn't long before he's breaking the rules and finding that the books are written in some kind of code. He starts trying to decipher a pattern in the books borrowed and then brings his friends in and sees just how much faster it can go when you get Google involved with the project. It turns out the books are part of something much bigger than he ever could have imagined, a secret group who is certain that within the codes of the books contains the secret to immortality. Now he and his friends along with Mr. Penumbra are trying to bring the power of Google and the whole of computing to bear on this problem to find the answer. Will they find the answers they seek or does that way lead to disappointment?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I thought the characters didn't have a lot of depth to them and were simply there to move the story which was about the book and the society but since the whole thing was based where I live and grew up, I also know those people in terms of the stereo-types they represented so it didn't make a huge difference to me. I loved the adventure of it, the fantastical quality, the mystery. Just a fast, fun read.
Page count: 304p/13,364p ytd/194,402p lifetime