Piranesi

272 pages

English language

Published April 7, 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

ISBN:
9781526622426

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (12 reviews)

Piranesi's house is no ordinary building; its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.

There is one other person in the house--a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.

For readers of Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane and fans of Madeline Miller's Circe, Piranesi introduces …

12 editions

reviewed Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

slow to start, but it does get very good

5 stars

I found this book a bit slow for the first 50–60 pages, which are spent mostly describing the World without much of any sort of Plot happening. It only really begins to pick up around Part 3, when the mystery inherent to the setting starts to unravel, all through the eyes of a narrator not so much unreliable as naïve and lacking in knowledge, which makes him unable to understand things which are clear to the reader. It's the sort of book where it's worth reading (or at least skimming) the first few parts again to see what you missed the first read through.

A beautiful book that quiets and comforts my mind

5 stars

If we were born in another world what form would the shadows cast upon the walls of our cave take? What mythologies and art would inform our identity? What are the limits that malicious people have to do harm through warping and confining our realities? How does the society around me shape the person I am at any given time?

Piranesi explores these questions in a labyrinth of an endless house full of statues that is flooded by the sea. The answers are in the faces of our neighbors and in the hushing pose of the faun.

Review of 'Piranesi' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Practical stuff out of the way first: This book is written as a series of journal entries. It's reasonably short (not a heavy tome like Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell). I read it in bits and pieces over the course of a couple of days.

The book is like a dream that slowly becomes more lucid over time. It's weird, but in a dream-like way. Or, you could say that it starts out like a dream and then slowly turns into a mystery. The author manages to build a very vivid (if somewhat empty) world over the short number of pages. It's one of those books (or movies) that changes your thinking a bit during the time you're reading it and makes everything feel a bit surreal.

I am struggling to come up with a fair comparison to another book. It's like a cross between a surreal dream-like movie (think …

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