Susanna Clarke, most famous for her Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell novel, is back with a whole new world. Piranesi is a standalone novel of breathtaking proportions.
Piranesi is not his name, but it is what he goes by in the House. The House is not truly a House, but a labyrinthine setup of rooms. They are full of statues and memories, with the tides and other elements doing as they will.
Piranesi would be alone in this world, if not for The Other. The Other is a man who Piranesi meets with regularly, to research and understand this great House, and the Great and Secret Knowledge it contains. That is, until something happens in this world, in the House, that changes everything.
“The House is valuable because it is the House. It is enough in and of Itself. It is not the means to an end.”
Holy cow. Can I go back in time, please? Just so I can read Piranesi for the first time again. That's all I want. Seriously though, I adored Piranesi and every moment and emotion that it brought with it.
This was a truly wonderful tale. It's so beautiful and creative, while also being full of intrigue, mystery, and more than a fair share of danger. This was my first novel I've read by Susanna Clarke, but if the rest of her novels are like this, consider me sold on her work!
“Perhaps even people you like and admire immensely can make you see the World in ways you would rather not.”
I was truly enchanted by Piranesi. All of the details, the world, Piranesi himself. Everything. It was a captivating tale, one that left so much room for thought and questions. It was fascinating, seeing how this world connected to the real world – and the very real mystery that Piranesi didn't know he was a part of.
Clarke's writing was outstanding, leaving nothing to be desired, except maybe a few hundred more chapters. But that's probably just me being greedy, as I'm clearly enraptured by this world. I don't know what the odds are about seeing more stories set here, but I would love nothing more than that.
The way the story unfolded was an absolute treasure. Right away, it's clear that something is wrong. And over the course of the novel, more and more hints come out, until the truth is staring straight down at Piranesi, and the reader, by proxy. It was brilliantly done. Now I can't wait to see what Clarke comes up with next (not to mention, I clearly have to check out her other works!).
Check out more reviews over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks
'Just read Susanna Clarke's extraordinary Piranesi ... Like nothing else' Justine Jordan, Guardian
The long-awaited return from the author of the multi-million copy bestselling Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Piranesi lives in the House.
Perhaps he always has.
In his notebooks, day after day, he makes a clear and careful record of its wonders: the labyrinth of halls, the thousands upon thousands of statues, the tides that thunder up staircases, the clouds that move in slow procession through the upper halls.
On Tuesdays and Fridays Piranesi sees his friend, the Other. At other times he brings tributes of food and waterlilies to the Dead. But mostly, he is alone.
Messages begin to appear, scratched out in chalk on the pavements. There is someone new in the House. But who are they and
what do they want? Are they a friend or do they bring destruction and madness as the Other claims?
Lost texts must be found; secrets must be uncovered. The world that Piranesi thought he knew is becoming strange and dangerous.
The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite
'A book to look out for in 2020' - Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Express, SFX
'Piranesi astonished me. It is a miraculous and luminous feat of storytelling, at once a gripping mystery, an adventure through a brilliant new fantasy world, and a deep meditation on the human condition: feeling lost, and being found. I already want to be back in its haunting and beautiful halls!' MADELINE MILLER
'What a world Susanna Clarke conjures into being, what a tick-tock-tick-tock of reveals, what a pure protagonist, what a morally squalid supporting cast, what beauty, tension and restraint, and what a pitch-perfect ending. Piranesi is an exquisite puzzle-box far, far bigger on the inside than it is on the outside' DAVID MITCHELL
'Piranesi is a gorgeous, spellbinding mystery that gently unravels page by page. Precisely the sort of book that I love wordlessly handing to someone so they can have the pleasure of uncovering its secrets for themselves. This book is a treasure, washed up upon a forgotten shore, waiting to be discovered' ERIN MORGENSTERN