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Summary

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 neighborhood 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 farmers 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?

Leavened by the same infectious intelligence that made Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra s 24-Hour Bookstore such a sensation, while taking on even more satisfying challenges, Sourdough marks the triumphant return of a unique and beloved young author.

©2017 Robin Sloan (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

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More Robin Sloan please!

I bought this after listening to the BRILLIANT Mr Penumbra's 24 hour book store. The author has a great knack of being able to fuse the everyday with IT Tech, Mystical elements and fantasy. This is more than a story about baking sourdough - I actually put off myself buying this book due to REALLY liking penumbra but this one being about...Baking. I need not have worried. Sloan's ability to make every sentence and chapter intriguing is captivating. Really good characters and Brilliantly read and produced. Therese Plummer characterises this book really well. Fab. Can't wait until the next Sloan release!

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Robin hits the right note again

The narration was a little slow for me so I put it on speed 1.25. However the story was good if a bit odd, it had a mildly futuristic tone without being bafflingly full on Sci-Fi. Sourdough has the unique premise of being about the special and unusual starter culture, the main ingredient of sourdough bread which seems to have a life of its own. In fact the descriptions make it feel almost alien in nature and it occasionally reacts to humans like something the government would have Professor Allan Quatermass investigating in a huge crater, after it oozes and pulses its way out of a fallen meteor in an alternative London of 1958. Personally I preferred Mr Penumbras 24 Hour Bookshop and its precursor Ajax Penumbra as the intrigue was easier to follow and not as baffling as Sourdough. That said you would not be wasting your time by adding it to your library as it is enjoyable if a little complex in places,

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Unexpected

This isn’t something I would usually have gone for, but a friend recommended it. I enjoyed the slightly ridiculous plot and the fun, real-life facts thrown in.

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  • Peter
  • 19-06-18

A story about our society, told through bread

Robin somehow manages to tell a captivating story entirely about bread. But also about the modern dreams,:making it big, working at a hip start up, discovery both scientific and about one self. It summarizes all the current problems with food industry, and all the varied solutions. The miracle is that all of this is told between the lines of a story about a young woman moving to a new state. If you liked penumbra you'll like this. It follows the same patterns, has the same key ingredients.
This book will make you want to go for a walk in san fransisco, bake bread, and make new friends.
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