Author: Robin Sloan
Pages: 262 Pages
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Leavened by the same infectious intelligence and lovable nerdiness that made Robin Sloan’s Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young writer.
Lois Clary is a software engineer at General Dexterity, a San Francisco robotics company with world-changing ambitions. She codes all day and collapses at night, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighbourhood hole-in-the-wall from which she orders dinner every evening. Then, disaster! Visa issues. The brothers close up shop, and fast. But they have one last delivery for Lois: their culture, the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her – feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it.
Lois is no baker, but she could use a roommate, even if it is a needy colony of microorganisms. Soon, not only is she eating her own homemade bread, she’s providing loaves daily to the General Dexterity cafeteria. The company chef urges her to take her product to the farmer’s market, and a whole new world opens up.
When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?
Ok, I genuinely don’t know what to write. After nearly four years of book reviews a book has me stumped. I cannot for the life of me tell you what Sourdough was about. I mean on a surface level it is about bread but on a deeper level I don’t have a clue.
I can only say that reading it was an experience but to give an opinion over whether or not I liked it is going to be a bit ambiguous. I would have to go with no I did not enjoy reading Sourdough but mainly because I have no idea what the story was about. That is a very different reason than disliking the writing. Sloan is a good writer and tells the story he wants to tell. That I did not enjoy it is not a reflection on his creativity or writing skills. We just didn’t mesh.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan is available now.
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